Ben Crowther

Ben, from Reading, is passionate about the environment. He has developed a new way to farm using less water to feed more people and reduce the carbon footprint of farming.

Ben’s family all like making things. He grew up surrounded by steam engines, crocheting and his dad’s vegetable patch. Ben was the one who sorted the pipes and fences for the veg patch and liked to fix things when they went wrong.

 

Ben studied engineering design at the University of Bristol because it was recommended to him – his friend’s sister had also done it. He worked in web design for a while but he wanted to make something more real and tangible than websites. Ben wanted to be his own boss and make a difference to the planet. At university, he met people who were also passionate about reducing food waste and CO2 emissions. Together they developed new ways to grow plants and set up a business – LettUs Grow.

 

Ben is chief technical officer and co-founder for his business LettUs Grow. The company aims to build the most efficient farms to feed the next generation. Instead of growing plants in soil, they cover plant roots in mist filled with nutrients. This increases the plants growth and uses less water than traditional farming. They also use less pesticides and the technique can be used across the world, from cities to deserts. While Ben has an engineering background, he knows that sometimes the best solution isn’t the most high-tech. Engineering helps you develop a new way of thinking to find solutions to challenges.

 

His job is a real mix of business, software, biology and technology. He is always learning and works with a team of experts to make sure the plants are growing perfectly. Together they grow over 50 different types of crop, including carrots, strawberries, radishes – and of course, lettuce.

 

Ben loves how broad engineering is, from web design to engines, aeroplanes to farming. Engineering lets him find a better solution than what came before, and develop ideas to feed the planet.

Where to next?

Find out more about how you can turn what you love into engineering, and what a future in engineering could look like, by exploring the links below. And if you have a question or comment, get in touch, we’d be happy to help!