Chris HarbourtFood & Agriculture
Chris Harbourt, Ph.D., co-founder of Agrible, Inc., is a world-class scientist and engineer with an eye on innovation and growth. Chris brings over 25 years of agricultural experience to Agrible and is heavily involved in every aspect of the business, including technical development of products. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech and his Master’s and PhD in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. After college, he joined an engineering consulting business. There he grew his department from one employee to over 20 and expanded the market to new offerings of advanced analysis attracting new clients and increasing revenue. In addition to his work at Agrible, Chris is an adjunct professor in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department at the University of Illinois, where he guest lectures, advises student groups, participates on graduate committees, and mentors students. Chris also turned his hobbies into a business and makes one-of-a-kind restoration parts for antique cars and airplanes, as well as field-hardened scientific equipment for river monitoring.
Awards and honors: 2016 ASABE AE50 Award for Outstanding Innovations in Product or Systems Technology; 2015 Innovation Celebration New Venture Award, Champaign County Economic Development Corporation; 2013 Innovation Celebration Entrepreneurial Excellence in Management Award.