On January 31, 2023, we had the pleasure of sending our long-standing and valued employee Dr. Martin Geyer into his well-deserved retirement. Dr. Geyer accompanied the ATB since its foundation in 1992 and was responsible for developing and managing the department "Horticultural Engineering". From 2002 to 2016, he was also involved in the development of the entire institute, as a member of the board and assistant scientific director.
Through the research in his department, he and his team took up central and future-oriented topics at an early stage. Questions that he and the members of his department pursued included the topics of harvesting, preparation, transport and storage of fruit and vegetables, sustainability in food value chains, use and development of state-of-the-art technologies, alternative resources, and packaging development.
Dr. Geyer was passionate about promoting horticultural research and permanently anchored the research topic at ATB. As an internationally renowned scientist, he published over 100 publications at ATB, including book chapters and books. In addition, building networks was a natural part of his work. Over the years, his department has organised a wide range of internationally renowned conferences, including the and Insecta conferences, that continue to be held annually.
"We know Dr. Geyer as an open, interested and communicative colleague who critically and constructively questions - himself, his superiors, as well as decisions, ideas and visions. With his creative nature, he has contributed to a wide variety of successful developments at the ATB. For example, the development of semi-mechanised and mechanised harvesting of white asparagus," recalls Prof. Dr. Reiner Brunch, former scientific director of the ATB.
His direct co-workers also hold him in high esteem, because Dr. Geyer has been there for them with advice and support, not only professionally. "As an entire department team, we would like to thank him once again for the excellent working atmosphere. We were always impressed by the passion with which Dr. Geyer discussed ideas and shared with us the great interest in horticultural and food technology issues and constantly pushed them forward," emphasises Dr. Schlüter, head of the working group "Emerging food resources and technology".
"We would like to thank Dr. Geyer for his long-standing loyalty and his commitment in actively helping to shape the ATB. We wish him all the best for his retirement. We are sure that we can look forward to a lively and good exchange and contact with Dr. Geyer in the future as well," says Prof. Barbara Sturm, Scientific Director of the ATB.
"Technology in Horticulture" - A Central Field of Research at the ATB Now and in the Future
Simultaneously with the departure of Dr Geyer, the department "Technology in Horticulture" was dissolved on 31 January 2023 in the course of the strategic and structural further developments of the ATB implemented in 2022. However, the research field of horticulture and all other topics of the former department, as well as the employees, will remain with the ATB in the future. The working groups "Precision Horticulture", "Process Quality and Technology", "Packaging and Storage" and "Emerging food resources and technoloy" were warmly welcomed by the remaining and newly tailored departments on February 1, 2023, in order to ensure seamless continuation of their research work there.
"As part of our strategic further development, we will thus bundle our competences in the areas of sensor technology, automation technology and robotics in the future in order to be able to work even more specifically on the development and implementation of technologies relevant to horticulture," Prof. Dr Sturm explains. "To achieve this, we are also striving for more in-depth cooperation with the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) and the Osnabrück University in order to be able to translate our shared vision of pioneering innovations in horticulture into practice."