Compilation of 2020 Fellow Award Winners

2020 Fellow Award Winners

Rewarding Our Top Experts

In 2015, the John Deere Fellows Program was launched to give the highest level of individual recognition to employees who have contributed to the company's success through deep expertise in their functional areas, demonstrated leadership, and reputation inside and outside the company. It is the pinnacle of the Knowledge Leadership Path, an initiative that was launched in 2014.

Meet the 2020 Fellows

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Leading Thinkers


Each year, we bestow our highest honor on the thinkers, leaders, and doers who steer us into the future.

2020 Fellows
Gilles Dryancour
Wissam El-Ratal
Sue Gray
Lee Redden
Eric Johnson
Brij Singh
Dave Smart

Photograph of Gilles DryancourPhotograph of Gilles DryancourPhotograph of Gilles Dryancour

Public Affairs


Dr. Gilles Dryancour, director of corporate affairs in Europe, is credited with transforming the industry's key trade association in Brussels, Belgium, home to the European Union.

Read more on our US site

Photograph of Wissam El-RatalPhotograph of Wissam El-RatalPhotograph of Wissam El-Ratal

Virtual Engineering


Wissam El-Ratal's efforts in Virtual Design Verification have enabled Deere to differentiate their products utilizing leading edge analytical tools and methods.

Read more on our US site

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Sue Gray has significant expertise in crop protection, as well as seed and genetics, which has brought key industry roles for Deere.

Read more on our US site

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Materials Engineering


Dr. Eric Johnson has deployed new technologies and processes, such as the use of additive manufacturing for tooling and service part application.

Read more on our US site

Photograph of Lee ReddenPhotograph of Lee ReddenPhotograph of Lee Redden

AI and Machine Learning


Lee Redden is the co-founder of Blue River Technology, a company John Deere acquired in 2017, and a leader in applying deep learning to agriculture and control systems.

Read more on our US site

Photograph of Brij SinghPhotograph of Brij SinghPhotograph of Brij Singh

Power Electronics Engineering


Dr. Brij Singh, the R4 Manager of External Relationships, has demonstrated success in the application of advanced power electronics at John Deere.

Read more on our US site

Photograph of Dave SmartPhotograph of Dave SmartPhotograph of Dave Smart

Software & Network Engineering


David Smart has had his fingerprints on several key electronics software developments for more than three decades, including tractors, loaders, and precision farming.

Read more on our US site

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Great Leaders


It starts at the top. Smart people guiding other smart people--that's how we help our customers build a better world.

Meet our leadership team

2019 Fellows

  • August Altherr

    Innovation Delivery

    August Altherr is a key driver of European innovation in agriculture equipment and has numerous patents to his credit. His work evolved into the 6R Series, considered as one of Deere's most successful tractor platforms and which is now assembled in five locations globally. Altherr helped establish think tanks of young engineers from top European universities to find innovative solutions for contractors and large arable farms, and key customer segments.

  • Noel Anderson

    Strategic Intellectual Property

    Noel Anderson has 117 patents to his credit and is one of John Deere’s most prolific inventors. Anderson provides Deere with a distinctive competitive advantage by bringing together diverse and emerging areas of technical expertise into invention disclosures and patents. He has played a key role in the development, deployment, execution, and continuous improvement of the John Deere Enterprise Intellectual Property Strategy Process.

  • Dr. Martin Kremmer

    Technology Innovation

    Dr. Martin Kremmer is known for expanding the method for studying granular media in complex, moving 3D geometries and conducting fundamental studies on agricultural goods such as soybeans in mechanical meters of precision planters. He is named author or co-author in 40 invention disclosure and patent applications. Dr. Kremmer has been responsible for the overall vehicle concept design of all mid-sized tractors.

  • Carol Lewis

    Human Resource

    Carol Lewis is a respected voice in employee benefits. Her efforts include working in Washington, D.C. on legislation or regulatory changes, educating employees on health care benefits, updating senior leadership on employee pension and post-retirement benefits, negotiating lower health care solutions, meeting with retirees, and mentoring employees. She was instrumental in deployment of a company-wide wellness program, navigating health care reform, and other benefit-related activities.

  • Dr. Adrian Rantilla

    Market Research

    Dr. Adrian Rantilla has earned a reputation for applying research and analytics in sales and marketing. His insight and diligence has reduced costs in multiple programs through understanding customer motivations and behaviours. He is known for developing and cultivating strategic customer advisory relationships around the globe, adding value by focusing on how to solve the most challenging business problems.

John Deere Fellowship Archive

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  • ​Jørgen Audenaert, Small Grain Production System Mgr R2: 2018 European Precision Farming Fellow
  • Dennis Bowman, Senior Principal Engineer: 2018 Tractor Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. Klaus Hoehn, Senior Advisor Information & Technology, Office of the Chairman: 2018 Technology & Engineering Senior Fellow
  • Dr. Fred Nelson, Principal Metrology Engineering: 2018 Precision Ag Systems Fellow
  • Dr. Julian Sanchez, Director - Prec Ag Strategy & Business Dev: 2018 Technology Innovation Fellow
  • Dr. Long Wu, Module Lead - Pe Control Systems: 2018 Power Electronics Engineering Fellow


  • ​Dr. Danan Dou, Advanced Technology and Innovation Manager: 2017 Power Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. Mohamad El-zein, Mgr Advanced Materials & Mechanics: 2017 Materials Engineering Fellow
  • Shufeng Han, Senior Staff Engineer: 2017 Automation and Controls Engineering Fellow
  • Juergen Hollstein, Lead R2 Industry Partnerships: 2017 Electronics Engineering Fellow
  • Cory Leland, Principal Metrology Engineering: 2017 Metrology Engineering Fellow
  • Teryl Oftedal, Program Manager - Engine Applications: 2017 C&F systems Engineering Fellow
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Pickel, Manager External Relations: 2017 Agricultural Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. John Reid, Director - Enterprise Product Technology & Innovation: 2017 Technology Innovation Fellow
  • Richard Wubbels, Mgr Engineering Spfh & Heads: 2017 Hay and Forage Engineering Fellow


  • Dennis Anstey, Systems Engineer: 2016 Hay & Forage Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Roger Mohr, Director - Corporate Business Division: 2016 Construction & Forestry Business Development Senior Fellow
  • Terry Pickett, Mgr - Advanced Engineering: 2016 Intelligent Solutions Fellow
  • Dr. Carol Plouffe, Manager - Enterprise VD&V: 2016 Soil & Crop Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Craig Puetz, Manager Engineering: 2016 Drivetrain Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. Bernard Romig, Principal Scientist/Principal Engineer: 2016 Vehicle Dynamics Fellow
  • Dr. Nicolai Tarasinski, Mgr. Advanced Engineering: 2016 Vehicle Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Robert Wick, Director - Customer and Product Support: 2016 Customer Support Fellow
  • Dr. Richard Winsor, Senior Staff Engineer: 2016 Internal Combustion Engines Fellow


  • John Brown, Associate Chief Counsel: 2015 Financial Law Fellow
  • Dr. Liwen Dai, GNSS Research Engineer: 2015 GNSS Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. J.B. Penn, Senior Advisor, Office of the Chairman: 2015 Global Agricultural Economics Senior Fellow
  • ​Dr. Satyam Sahay, Lead - Advanced Engineering: 2015 Materials Engineering Fellow
  • Al Smemo, Principal Engineer: 2015 Powertrain Engineering Fellow