Eddy will help establish horticultural efficiency best practices and lead development of
a USDA-sponsored professional credentialing program for CEA design and construction professionals
Resource Innovation Institute (RII), the leading not-for-profit energy and water benchmarking organization providing resource efficiency best practices for CEA producers, has appointed seasoned greenhouse consultant Rob Eddy to serve as Technical Director.
In his new role, Eddy will oversee RII’s multidisciplinary Technical Advisory Council, represented by both industry and academic subject matter experts. The advisory council will address topics such as water circularity, automation and controls, lighting, HVAC and other key horticulture subject areas. Eddy will also lead the development of a design and construction professional credentialing program while steering RII’s technical team in their production of best practices guides. His background will be instrumental in extending the value producers gain from RII’s PowerScore, an innovative tool that standardizes and measures the ways growers optimize facility efficiency and productivity and determines baselines to enable a range of market actors to support producers with policies, incentives and standards that promote agricultural resilience.
“Rob brings a wealth of horticultural experience to the RII community. His expertise will be a tremendous resource for producers of a variety of crops,” said Derek Smith, Executive Director of Resource Innovation Institute. “As controlled environment agriculture continues to mature as a discipline and new technologies are developed, Rob’s background in facility management and research will be invaluable to ensuring RII continues to provide leading-edge information and practices.”
Since 2017, Eddy has worked as a greenhouse consultant for a variety of agriculture clients, including with hydroponic and cannabis facilities. As a consultant, he has designed large-scale cultivation facilities/greenhouses for proposed projects in six states and consulted on greenhouse renovations, airflow uniformity, equipment selection and sensors on multiple projects. Eddy has served on RII’s Technical Advisory Council for Best Practices Guides of CEA crops, and has been a member of RII’s Water Working Group on cannabis sustainability. Prior to working as a consultant, Eddy worked as the Plant Growth Facilities Manager for Purdue University where he was responsible for all aspects of crop management for a state-of-the-art, 43,000-square-foot greenhouse, three grow rooms and more than 60 plant growth chambers. Earlier in his career, Eddy worked as a horticulturist for Dow AgroSciences, where he was accountable for crop quality of 60+ research species in a 60,000-square-foot, 32-zone greenhouse.
“It is an exciting time to be working in CEA, particularly as advancements in knowledge and technology continue to push innovation,” Eddy said. “Those in CEA are hungry for these advancements and are constantly looking for ways to refine and improve their operations. I am gratified to be joining RII, which has such a stellar reputation among growers. I look forward to the challenge.”