Vonwiller Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow in Robotics and AI for Precision Agriculture

About the opportunity

We are seeking a highly motivated and skilled postdoctoral researcher to join our robotics team to advance the state-of-the-art in field robotics and AI for precision agriculture. You will undertake applied research in data fusion, optimisation and AI algorithms that will analyse, in real-time, soil samples taken by our agriculture field robot and use these results to determine, in real-time, the next optimal sampling location for the robot. You will participate and conduct field trials on farms (spanning multiple days per trial) to implement and validate these algorithms.

Our project is in collaboration with agriculture scientists, and your contributions will enable autonomous precision sampling and will help transform agricultural operations world-wide.

Your key responsibilities will be to:

  • design and develop innovative algorithms that analyse, in real-time, soil samples obtained by our agriculture field robot. Utilise machine learning techniques, statistical modelling, and data fusion methodologies to extract information about the soil, such as macro nutrients and pH
  • work closely with the team to refine the sensing capabilities on the agriculture field robot. Collaborate on sensor integration, calibration, and validation processes to ensure accurate and reliable soil measurements
  • use the information derived from the analysis to determine optimal sample locations for the agriculture field robot. Develop an optimisation and decision-making framework that maximises the knowledge gained about soil nutrient distribution, and that learns and is adaptable over time
  • conduct repeatable field experiments and validation studies on farm, spanning multiple days per trial, to assess the performance and effectiveness of your algorithms. Collaborate with agricultural scientists to compare algorithm-derived insights with traditional soil analysis methods and refine your work accordingly
  • publish research papers and technical reports in high-impact journals and present work at conferences, workshops, and industry events
  • Provide guidance and mentorship to graduate students and junior researchers involved in the project.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher who has:

  • a recent Ph.D. in Robotics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Agricultural Electronics Engineering, or a related field (candidate near completion may also be considered)
  • a strong background in AI, machine learning, statistical analysis, and algorithm development
  • proficiency in the programming languages Python/C/C++, and in coding real-time implementations 
  • demonstrated expertise in developing real-time algorithms
  • excellent analytical and problem-solving skills to handle complex data and algorithmic challenges
  • strong communication skills to collaborate effectively with interdisciplinary teams and the wider community, both written and verbal
  • track record of publishing research papers in relevant engineering scientific journals and conferences
  • experience in working with Visible and/or IR and/or Spectral sensors
  • experience in undertaking field and/or outdoor experiments with sensors and algorithms

The following criteria would also be valuable but not mandatory:

  • familiarity with soil analysis techniques and understanding of soil nutrient dynamics in agricultural systems

To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the APPLY button at the top of the page.  

If you are a current employee of the University or a contingent worker with access to Workday, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard.  Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Linden Joseph or Rebecca Astar, Recruitment Consultants, Recruitment Operations, Human Resources at recruitment.sea@sydney.edu.au.

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

Click to view the Position Description for this role.

Applications Close Sunday 06 August 2023 11:59 PM

Please contact Salah Sukkarieh


Australian Centre for Robotics