Scientific discovery can change the world in fundamental ways, and Robert Geiger, Ph.D., is on a quest to do just that at BPS Technology, says Bravis Brown, the chief executive officer of the company.
“Dr. Geiger’s scientific accomplishments are rooted in his desire to create something that will have a worldly impact for generations. During that quest, he’s produced nine peer-reviewed scientific journal publications and filed 23 patents,” Brown said in his nomination.
Brown says Geiger’s biggest professional milestone just launched in 2021 from the company’s agriculture division, a proprietary nutrient management product to enhance fertilizer efficiency.
By 2050, estimates are that the world population will be 10 billion people.
Geiger and his team developed a process that allows a standard liquid fertilizer to be used at half the rate, while still producing a successful crop. Fertilizer use efficiency has long-been an issue in agriculture.
Today’s elite corn hybrids can produce more than 600 bushels per acre, yet the average in the U.S. is less than 200 bushels per acre. BPS Technology’s work is aimed at improving that.
“When Dr. Geiger hangs up his lab coat in the evenings, he heads home to his wife and four children. On the weekends, he spends nearly eight hours over Saturday and Sunday coaching kids T-ball, coach-pitch baseball, and soccer,” Brown said.
– Paul K. Harral
Where did your first paycheck come from?
When I was 16, I started working at Burger King. I was a line cook working for $6.25 an hour, saving up to buy a bike. My first check was probably $50 total, and it felt like a million bucks.
What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?
Growing up, I loved The Goonies. I was drawn to the exploration and the strong sense of adventure. I could identify with the kids’ curiosity and that they were trying to solve a mystery.
What other profession would you like to try?
I always wanted to be an astronaut. Many years ago, I applied for the program to join the team going to a mission on Mars. I made it to the second round, but it was not meant to be. I have always been fascinated with space exploration.
Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.
My dad. When I was a kid, I would tag along with my dad who was a copyer repairman. I joke that I got to be his wing man. He would teach me how to take things apart, repair parts and fix machines. He encouraged me to tinker with electronics and gave me a box of discarded pieces that some would consider trash. I used the pieces to build my first computer when I was around 11 years old. I credit him with teaching me how to take something that was broken and make it into something useful and instilling a sense of curiosity in me, which ultimately led to my career as a scientist.
When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I decided to major in chemistry on the drive to college as I was being dropped off at football camp to start my freshman year. I considered continuing with computer science but thought it would limit me. I wondered how I could learn to solve bigger problems, and I thought that if I could discover how things worked at a molecular level, then that would open
a whole new world of possibilities.
What is your favorite song?
Happy, Pharrell Williams
Tell us about your photo shoot prop.
A family photo. It’s a reminder that the reason I work so hard is to provide for my family and give them a better future. I grew up from humble beginnings, and I want to give my kids better opportunities and for them to see what hard work looks like.