Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is seeking applicants for a tenure track position in Precision Agriculture Technologies and Data Management (Research/Extension) (Job No. 511916) as part of its SmartFarm Innovation Network faculty cluster hire. The cluster hire of 13 new faculty positions will be filled over multiple years within several academic units and Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (AREC’s). Collaborations of cluster hires and existing faculty will enhance interdisciplinary flagship programs at the nexus of digital, biological, social, and physical sciences and engineering with application to agriculture, food, and natural resources. This ambitious vision will create a statewide network of interconnected faculty, partners, and resources for scientific discovery and developing and deploying new technologies. The goal is to increase overall efficiency, resiliency, sustainability, and economic value of food, agriculture production systems, and natural resources and expand Virginia Tech’s global influence in this rapidly evolving domain.
The successful candidate will develop a nationally recognized research and Extension program in precision agriculture technologies and data management. The tenure home will reside either in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences or the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. The position will be located at the Tidewater AREC in Suffolk, VA Linkages with colleges and departments outside of CALS and with relevant industry are highly encouraged. Opportunities for international engagement exist and are encouraged.
The Extension program will provide guidance and training for Virginia’s agricultural producers, county Extension agents, industry and researchers to better manage and optimize crop production efficiencies using data science. Integration of research and Extension programs will enhance development, adoption and utilization of precision agriculture applications and data science to increase agricultural resiliency and sustainability. Examples of applications and technologies include, but are not limited to, remote sensing, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), precision irrigation systems, smart sensor design, computer vision, GPS/GIS data for site specific management, wireless sensor networks, and autonomous/robotic systems in agronomic/horticultural cropping systems. The broad goal is to contribute to a statewide agriculture data and technology network including the main campus at Blacksburg, the various ARECs, and county-level Virginia Cooperative Extension offices to provide the agricultural community of the Commonwealth access to digital information that enhances a new agricultural and natural resources’ economy.
The successful individual is expected to secure extramural funds to support an integrated Extension and research program. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are required, and the candidate is expected to establish and maintain close working relationships with industry, commodity groups, state agencies, county Extension agents, regional Extension specialists, and other organizations as appropriate. The development of a focused and cohesive research and Extension precision agriculture program that addresses the needs of producers in Virginia and the region and supports the publication of peer-reviewed Extension materials, popular press articles, and refereed scientific articles is required. The successful candidate is also expected to recruit and mentor graduate students.
In addition to the online application, required application materials include: 1) cover letter summarizing qualifications, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) statement of current research interests (1-page limit), 4) statement of extension education and graduate mentoring philosophy (1-page limit), and 5) full contact information for four professional references. All inquiries concerning this position should be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Dr. William Hunter Frame, firstname.lastname@example.org (757-807-6539). Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2020 and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected.
A PhD in biological systems engineering, agricultural engineering, mechanical engineering, agronomy or a closely related field is required.
Experience in precision agriculture research and Extension Knowledge of current and emerging technologies in precision agriculture Experience in agronomic and/or horticultural cropping systems Ability to effectively communicate with industry and producer stakeholders Demonstration of success in securing extramural funding and publication of research results If an engineer, maintain a license as a professional engineer or have the ability to obtain a professional engineer license.
Internal Number: 511916
About Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Building on its motto of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. We seek candidates who adopt and practice the Principles of Community, which are fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion, and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members. Virginia Tech actively seeks a broad spectrum of candidates to join our community in preparing leaders for the world.