ASIC honors Stephen Smith, Linda Davis

March 24, 2015 -  By

ASICThe American Society of Irrigation Consultants (ASIC) is bestowing two prestigious awards at its annual conference April 25-27 in Minneapolis.

Stephen Smith, Ph.D., will receive the ASIC Roy Williams Memorial Award, and Linda Davis will be awarded the ASIC 2015 Sam Tobey Lifetime Achievement Award.

Owner of Wade Water Photography and Buena Vida Farm in Fort Collins, Colo., Smith has 40 years of experience in irrigation engineering and water resources. His career was jumpstarted as the founder of Aqua Engineering in 1975. He then served on the faculty at Colorado State University where he taught irrigation design for almost 20 years. Smith also is an author, having published the textbook “Landscape Irrigation: Design and Management” in 1996, as well as many technical papers. His Ph.D. dissertation was written around a patent-pending approach to meeting municipal demands for safe yield water supplies without drying up farms.

Smith currently is the U.S. Head of Delegation to two International Organization for Standardization  committees involving irrigation and water reuse. In addition, he has been an active professional member and past national president of ASIC—and is a Society Fellow. Smith also has served on the Irrigation Association board of directors and as president in 2009. He holds three degrees in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University and New Mexico State University.

“We are such a close and dynamic industry,” Smith said. “Irrigation educators and practitioners are hungry for innovative ideas and technology that can be brought to bear affordably. That’s what drew me to ASIC in the 1980s—steadfast commitment to exploring and sharing irrigation innovation. The society has always directed an unblinking focus on water conservation and unbiased, third-party support to clientele. The Roy Williams Award is quite gratifying and absolutely a milestone in my professional career.”

Named after an ASIC founder and one of the original independent irrigation consultants, the Roy Williams Award is given for significant contributions to the irrigation industry by an individual, organization or business. It is not an annual accolade but given to an individual or organization as ASIC deems appropriate. Any member of the society may submit nominations in industry areas that include irrigation design and application, water conservation, research, academia, manufacturing and all related fields. ASIC members and non-members alike are eligible for the Roy Williams Award.

The Sam Tobey Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual or individuals whose long-term support of ASIC’s principles and efforts to promote the goals of the society are deserving of special recognition by his or her peers.

As this year’s recipient, Davis has used her hospitality knowledge and networks to help manage successful ASIC educational conferences for more than 10 years—first as an employee with Rain Bird Corp. and later as a volunteer after retiring from Rain Bird. She joined Rain Bird in 1996 as corporate event planner, developing, planning and managing contractor, distributor events and trade shows. She also planned and executed special events, including large customer fetes with Rain Bird’s Tournament of Roses Parade entry.

“I was completely surprised when notified I would be receiving the Sam Tobey Award,” Davis said. “My husband, Rick, and I have always enjoyed a special relationship with ASIC and its members. Rick became a professional member in 1975 and I attended many conferences with him. I feel pretty protective over the next generation of emerging irrigation consultants and will continue to do what I can to advance the society.”

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