John Deere

Fellows Program

Rewarding Our Top Experts

The John Deere Fellows Program is the highest level of individual recognition to employees who have contributed to John Deere's success through deep expertise in their functional areas, demonstrated leadership, and their reputation inside and outside the company.

At John Deere, we recognize and celebrate our innovative thinkers, leaders, and doers who steer us into the future and, with a shared higher purpose, enable lives to leap forward.

2021 Fellows Award Winners

Dr. William F. Cooper sitting by a microscopeDr. William F. Cooper sitting by a microscopeDr. William F. Cooper sitting by a microscope

Physics Electronics Materials


Dr. William F. Cooper, Advanced Engineering Manager, has benefited those who expect an industry-leading level of quality in John Deere products.

Read more on our US site

Portrait of Dr. Günter HähnPortrait of Dr. Günter HähnPortrait of Dr. Günter Hähn

Road Construction Technology


Dr. Günter Hähn, Senior Vice President Operations - Wirtgen Group, is the first Wirtgen employee to earn the honorable John Deere Fellow Award.

Read more on our US site

Portrait of Gregory FinchPortrait of Gregory FinchPortrait of Gregory Finch

Digital Technology


Gregory C. Finch, Principal Engineer, has been recognized for his leadership necessary to bring cloud adoption to John Deere.

Read more on our US site

Portrait of Steve SassPortrait of Steve SassPortrait of Steve Sass

Heat Transfer & Fluid Dynamics


Steve Sass has proven so proficient in meeting customer requirements it's led to him being recognized as an expert of heat transfer and fluid dynamics.

Read more on our US site

Glenn Pope standing in front of a combineGlenn Pope standing in front of a combineGlenn Pope standing in front of a combine

Crop Harvesting Engineering


Glenn Pope, known as “The Pope of Combines,” has spent more than three decades understanding customer needs and aligning them to product development.

Read more on our US site

Kormann standing by a robotic arm.Kormann standing by a robotic arm.Kormann standing by a robotic arm.

Integrated Solutions


Dr. Georg Kormann, engineering manager for hay and forage Advanced Engineering and Tech Integration, has an appreciation for what customers want, expect, and even demand.

Read more on our US site

2020 Fellows

  • Dr. Gilles Dryancour

    Public Relations

    Dr. Gilles Dryancour is viewed as a tireless advocate for John Deere's interests on legislative and regulatory issues throughout Europe. He is credited with nearly single-handedly transforming the industry’s key trade association in Brussels, Belgium, home to the European Union.

  • Wissem El-Ratal

    Virtual Engineering

    Wissam El-Ratal has proven himself a passionate visionary in Virtual Design Verification (VDV) for the Global Tractor Platform. He uses VDV to select design concepts through the concept selection process. His efforts have enabled Deere to differentiate their products utilizing leading edge analytical tools and methods.

  • Sue Gray


    Sue Gray has significant expertise in the crop protection industry, as well as seed and genetics. Her experience includes biomass handling and cellulosic ethanol as well as developing a path toward the strategy to achieve 300-bushel an acre corn yields and the study and implementation of nutrient application placement.

  • Lee Redden

    AI and Machine Learning

    Lee Redden is the co-founder of Blue River Technology, a company John Deere acquired in 2017. His passion for agriculture and a pioneering spirit have enabled Redden to be on the forefront of machine learning. He is a preeminent expert in the field and a leading mind in applying deep learning to agriculture and control systems.

  • Dr. Brij Singh

    Power Electronics Engineering

    Dr. Brij Singh has demonstrated success in the application of advanced power electronics over his 12-year career at John Deere. Singh is a highly renowned teacher, mentor, and researcher with a decorated history of leveraging valuable funding opportunities to accelerate his work.

  • David 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. His 40-year career is highlighted by his ability to deliver solutions in areas of new technology where no tools for development and troubleshooting were available.

John Deere Fellowship Archive

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  • August Altherr: 2019 European Innovation Delivery Fellow
  • Noel Anderson: 2019 Strategic Intellectual Property Fellow
  • Martin Kremmer: 2019 Technology Innovation Fellow
  • Carol Lewis: 2019 Human Resource Fellow
  • Dr. Adrian Rantilla: 2019 Market Research Fellow


  • ​Jørgen Audenaert: 2018 European Precision Farming Fellow
  • Dennis Bowman: 2018 Tractor Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. Klaus Hoehn: 2018 Technology & Engineering Senior Fellow
  • Dr. Fred Nelson: 2018 Precision Ag Systems Fellow
  • Dr. Julian Sanchez: 2018 Technology Innovation Fellow
  • Dr. Long Wu: 2018 Power Electronics Engineering Fellow


  • ​Dr. Danan Dou: 2017 Power Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. Mohamad El-zein: 2017 Materials Engineering Fellow
  • Shufeng Han: 2017 Automation and Controls Engineering Fellow
  • Juergen Hollstein: 2017 Electronics Engineering Fellow
  • Cory Leland: 2017 Metrology Engineering Fellow
  • Teryl Oftedal: 2017 C&F systems Engineering Fellow
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Pickel: 2017 Agricultural Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. John Reid: 2017 Technology Innovation Fellow
  • Richard Wubbels: 2017 Hay and Forage Engineering Fellow


  • Dennis Anstey: 2016 Hay & Forage Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Roger Mohr: 2016 Construction & Forestry Business Development Senior Fellow
  • Terry Pickett: 2016 Intelligent Solutions Fellow
  • Dr. Carol Plouffe: 2016 Soil & Crop Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Craig Puetz: 2016 Drivetrain Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. Bernard Romig: 2016 Vehicle Dynamics Fellow
  • Dr. Nicolai Tarasinski: 2016 Vehicle Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Robert Wick: 2016 Customer Support Fellow
  • Dr. Richard Winsor: 2016 Internal Combustion Engines Fellow


  • John Brown: 2015 Financial Law Fellow
  • Dr. Liwen Dai: 2015 GNSS Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. J.B. Penn: 2015 Global Agricultural Economics Senior Fellow
  • ​Dr. Satyam Sahay: 2015 Materials Engineering Fellow
  • Al Smemo: 2015 Powertrain Engineering Fellow