HARDEN sports turf research firm STRI Group has appointed an agronomic consultant.

Gary Smith has worked in the industry for over 25 years, mainly in a professional technical support role.

He has been involved in various product launches in the chemical, nutrition and biotech sectors.

Latterly he worked for Symbio UK.

Paul Woodham, STRI’s general manager of agronomy, said: "It’s an exciting time to welcome Gary, who comes with a wealth of technical knowledge and industry experience.

"He will be a great addition, supporting our operations across the business."

Other recent recruits have included consultant Samantha Maxwell – who has joined the group's Melbourne-based business SportsTurf Consultants – and Kate Breare and Oliver Thornton, who have been appointed trials officers with the STRI UK research team.

And the group – based on the St Ives estate – is seeking to expand further.

Lee Penrose, group director, said: "We are always searching for ambitious and talented individuals to continue our growth.

"Engaging with industry leaders such as Gary ensures our work exceeds the expectations of our clients."