Five people smiling on a skybridge

John Deere Fellows Award

Rewarding Our Top Experts

In 2015, the John Deere Fellows Program was launched to give the highest level of individual recognition to employees who have contributed to the company's success through deep expertise in their functional areas, demonstrated leadership, and reputation inside and outside the company. It is the pinnacle of the Knowledge Leadership Path, an initiative that was launched in 2014.

Meet the 2019 Fellows

Five Deere & Company employees have earned designation as a John Deere Fellow – the highest individual honor bestowed by the company.

August Altherr

Innovation Delivery Fellow

August Altherr is a key driver of European innovation in agriculture equipment and has numerous patents to his credit. His work evolved into the 6R Series, considered as one of Deere’s most successful tractor platforms and which is now assembled in five locations globally. Altherr helped establish think tanks of young engineers from top European universities to find innovative solutions for contractors and large arable farms, and key customer segments.

Carol Lewis

Human Resource Fellow

Carol Lewis is a respected voice in employee benefits. Her efforts include working in Washington, D.C. on legislation or regulatory changes, educating employees on health care benefits, updating senior leadership on employee pension and post-retirement benefits, negotiating lower health care solutions, meeting with retirees, and mentoring employees. She was instrumental in deployment of a company-wide wellness program, navigating health care reform, and other benefit-related activities.












"This year's John Deere Fellows represent a wide range of experts who are recognized by their peers for innovation and leadership. Their work greatly benefits our customers and their fellow employees."  

   — Samuel R. Allen, chairman and CEO

Past Winners

Expand AllCollapse All


  • ​Dr. Danan Dou, Manager Product Engineering: 2017 Power Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. Mohamad El-zein, Mgr Advanced Materials & Mechanics: 2017 Materials Engineering Fellow
  • Shufeng Han, Senior Staff Engineer: 2017 Automation and Controls Engineering Fellow
  • Juergen Hollstein, Global Mgr Electr - E-Power & Advanced Engineering: 2017 Electronics Engineering Fellow
  • Cory Leland, Principal Metrology Engineering: 2017 Metrology Engineering Fellow
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Pickel, Manager External Relations: 2017 Agricultural Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. John Reid, Director - Enterprise Product Technology & Innovation: 2017 Technology Innovation Fellow
  • Richard Wubbels, Mgr Engineering Spfh & Heads: 2017 Hay and Forage Engineering Fellow


  • Terry Pickett, Mgr - Advanced Engineering: 2016 Intelligent Solutions Fellow
  • Dr. Carol Plouffe, Virtual Design & Verification Mgr.: 2016 Soil & Crop Systems Engineering Fellow
  • Dr. Nicolai Tarasinski, Mgr. Advanced Engineering: 2016 Vehicle Systems Engineering Fellow


  • Dr. J.B. Penn, Senior Advisor, Office of the Chairman: 2015 Global Agricultural Economics Senior Fellow
  • John Brown, Associate Chief Counsel: 2015 Financial Law Fellow
  • Dr. Liwen Dai, GPS Principal Engineer: 2015 GNSS Engineering Fellow
  • ​Dr. Satyam Sahay, JDTCI Technical Fellow: 2015 Materials Engineering Fellow
  • Al Smemo, Principal Engineer: Powertrain Engineering Fellow
Noel Anderson

Strategic Intellectual Property Fellow

Noel Anderson has 117 patents to his credit and is one of John Deere’s most prolific inventors. Anderson provides Deere with a distinctive competitive advantage by bringing together diverse and emerging areas of technical expertise into invention disclosures and patents. He has played a key role in the development, deployment, execution, and continuous improvement of the John Deere Enterprise Intellectual Property Strategy Process.

Martin Kremmer

Technology Innovation Fellow

Dr. Martin Kremmer is known for expanding the method for studying granular media in complex, moving 3D geometries and conducting fundamental studies on agricultural goods such as soybeans in mechanical meters of precision planters. He is named author or co-author in 40 invention disclosure and patent applications. Dr. Kremmer has been responsible for the overall vehicle concept design of all mid-sized tractors.

Adrian Rantilla

Market Research Fellow

Dr. Adrian Rantilla has earned a reputation for applying research and analytics in sales and marketing. His insight and diligence has reduced costs in multiple programs through understanding customer motivations and behaviors. He is known for developing and cultivating strategic customer advisory relationships around the globe, adding value by focusing on how to solve the most challenging business problems.