IA announces Dobson as Excellence in Education Award recipient

The Irrigation Association announced that Robert Dobson, CIC, CID, CLIA, of Rutgers University is a recipient of the 2023 Excellence in Education Award. This award recognizes an outstanding educator who teaches irrigation, water management and/or water conservation and has a commitment to not only elevating the level of education but also promoting the field of irrigation as a viable and sustainable career to students.

Bob Dobson has been teaching irrigation for the Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management School and the Office of Continuing Professional Education for 20 years. During this time, he has taught approximately 1,600 students in the two-year program alone. Dobson has worked developing irrigation courses, teaching and guiding students, and co-authoring books, including the IA’s Irrigation, Sixth Edition. With over 50 years of personal experience in the industry as the president of Middletown Sprinkler Company, Dobson is able to share his unique wealth of knowledge in best water management practices and real-world challenges and solutions with his students.

“Bob Dobson is truly one of our industry’s most valuable contributors,” says IA CEO Natasha Rankin, MBA, CAE. “During his accomplished career, he has contributed to the irrigation industry’s success as a business owner, long-time instructor, author, course developer and volunteer association leader. In addition to enriching the IA’s education and certification programs, his contributions have led to many advancements enjoyed by the industry today.”

Dobson is a past member of the Irrigation Association Board of Directors and served as president of the association in 2013. He also served as the chair of the IA Certification Board. He is not only a tremendous educator, but he is a well-respected professional in the industry and a dedicated mentor to students who hold him in the highest regard.

“I am honored to have been selected as the recipient of the Irrigation Association 2023 Excellence in Education Award. In high school and college, my career aspiration was to be a teacher,” said Dobson. “As many of you may know, I have had a 50+ year career as an irrigation contractor. Some 20 years ago, I was asked to consider teaching irrigation subjects at Rutgers. I am so grateful for that opportunity. It’s amazing how some things in life go full circle. Irrigation is such a crucial element in golf course and landscape management. It’s awesome to hear back from former students of how our class discussion of irrigation has benefited their turf management decisions.”

In addition to Dobson, this year’s Excellence in Education Award was also presented to Aavudai Anandhi Swamy, PhD, PE. Dobson and the other 2023 IA award recipients will be recognized during the Irrigation Show and Education Week in San Antonio Nov. 27-Dec. 1. The 2023 IA awards are sponsored by Hunter Industries. More information about this and other IA awards and past recipients can be found at irrigation.org/awards.

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