Honors and recognizes an engineer or engineering team for a unique contribution to developing or advancing a new engineering concept. A "concept" is defined as "a thought or opinion that has been clearly defined and has resulted in either some form of hardware, standard of practice, trend in design, educational practice, or has otherwise manifested itself in some practical usable scheme or plan related to agricultural engineering or the industries it serves." It may represent an entirely new invention or concept or it may represent a major reevaluation or an important innovation of a known concept.

Herbert N. Stapleton, who in 1974 was the first of the Engineering Concept of the Year Award, funded the award from 1985 to 1993. The award is now endowed by Rain Bird International.

The award shall consist of an engraved plaque or plaques describing the appropriate citation.

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Criteria: The recipient is not required to be an ASABE member. Consideration for the award is granted to those whose concept has been presented in ResourceTransactions of the ASABEApplied Engineering in Agriculture, the Journal of Agricultural Safety & Health, an ASABE technical paper or another regular publication of the ASABE. The concept can be presented as a feature article, technical abstract, news item, advertisement or any other readily identifiable manner in the Society's publications.

Only those concepts presented in the publications described and dated from September 1 through August 31 will be eligible for nomination submission by the entry due date of October 31 for M-113 award committee consideration of the following year's award. (Publication date clarification example - for 2020 award year: a concept published in an ASABE publication from September 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019 would be eligible for submission of a nomination by the October 31, 2019)

A concept is not eligible for submission if it was described in an ASABE publication prior to this eligibility period except for one exception, if the M-113 Engineering Concept of the Year Award committee allows an award nomination to be carried over for one more year of award consideration.

Submission Deadline: October 31

Nomination Instructions: All required nomination materials must be submitted through the ASABE awards nomination website, linked on the right side of this page.  Below is a guide to preparing a nomination: 

Nominations for the award may be made by the author or authors of the concept or by any member of the Society. 

1. Name(s) of nominee(s) with business affiliation, business and home addresses and business telephone number.
2. Education (schools, degrees, special training, dates).
3. Name of the concept.
4. Date, issue and page of the ASABE publication in which the concept was presented and its form of presentation whether an article, advertisement, new item, etc.
5. Names, addresses and telephone numbers of three references familiar with and capable of evaluating the concept. It is preferable that at least two of the references be from outside the organization submitting the nomination.
6. Name, address and title (if any) of the nominator.
7. Clear definition of the concept and any resulting hardware, practices, trends, etc.
8. The manner and extent of the concepts realized and potential impact on and acceptance by the agricultural engineering industries it serves.