Delta-T Devices Founder, Ed Potter, shared a platform with a number of prestigious academic speakers to pay tribute to the life and work of Professor John L. Monteith at the 2013 American Society of Agronomy Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida last November.
John, who passed away in July 2012, was probably most renowned for the Penman-Monteith equation for evapotranspiration, and for the original edition of Principles of Environmental Physics. He had a long and distinguished career developing and applying physical principles to water management in agricultural production and environmental problems.
Delta-T’s relationship with John Monteith was long and fruitful. It was initiated by an unexpected letter from John to Ed in 1973 which proposed a collaboration to manufacture several of John’s designs for new microclimate instruments. These devices included a “fully automatic porometer”. Ed, who had recently set up Delta-T Devices, eagerly took up this this opportunity.
The title of the presentation “Professor Monteith and Delta-T: An extraordinary collaboration” gave a hint that this would not be just a review of the difficult and complex theory of the cycling or dynamic porometer. The history of the development of the automatic porometer through three versions (leading to the current AP4) is explained, but there is also strong focus on the relationship between an academic and a small manufacturing company over four decades of collaborative development and production.