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PhD student in Precision Agriculture – Site Specific Tillage at Ghent University (UGent) in Belgium

PhD student in Precision Agriculture – Site Specific Tillage at Ghent University (UGent) in Belgium

Apr 04, 19
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Last application date:            May 31, 2019 10:26

Department:  LA20 – Department of Environment Employment category Doctoral fellow

Contract:  Limited duration

Degree: MSc in Mechatronics Engineering, Agriculture Engineering (not agronomy), Biosystems Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering.

Occupancy rate: 100%

Vacancy Type:  Research staff

Job description

Addressing food security issues in the light of the rapid population growth is an increasingly important global challenge. More food will have to be produced in the next 50 years than has been over the past 10,000 years (2008 UN sustainable development forum). One way to achieve this is by managing farm resources site specifically using advanced technologies in precision agriculture. Precision agriculture technologies play an important role in addressing the conflict between producing more whilst operating within a sustainable framework.

A fully funded PhD scholarship in Site Specific Tillage is available in Precision Soil and Crop Engineering Group (Precision SCoRing), within the Department of Environment, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University (UGent) in Belgium. We are looking for a top MSc student, to work as PhD candidate under a project funded by the Flemish Scientific Research (FWO) under the Odysseus I call for proposal 2016, with a total budget of €3.5 M: Towards Establishing a Centre of Site-specific Technology for Soil and Crop Management. The aim of the project is to establish a research platform combining cutting-edge soil and crop sensors, modelling and system control technology for managing farm resources (seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, water, and manure) site-specifically, with the final goal of establishing a precision agriculture centre in Flanders.

We are looking for top students with a MSc degree obtained between September 2019 and not earlier than September 2016. Successful candidates will have the following responsibilities:

  •  Run your PhD project and deliver the project results in a timely manner.
  •  Submission of high quality publications in international journals.
  •  Link and integrate with research project of the other PhD students in the group as deemed appropriate.
  •  Contribute to group activities as requested by your promoters that are within the remit of the role and the grant, and the associated grade. This may include:
  1.  Supporting and collaborating with MSc and PhD students.
  2.  Contribution to teaching programmes if requested to do so.
  3.  Assist in other activates in the group as deemed necessary.

Profile of the candidate

The candidate should fulfil the following requirements:

  •  Have or will soon have a MSc degree Mechatronics Engineering, Agriculture Engineering (not agronomy), Biosystems Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering.
  •  Should have knowledge in the use of basic engineering software and modelling languages, such as, MATLAB Toolbox, LabVIEW, DaisyLab, AutoCAD, or C++…..
  •   Should have knowledge in engineering drawing, machine design and control theory including but not limited the design and use of microcontrollers.
  •  Desirable to have knowledge in sensing technologies, modelling and data mining.
  •  Good contextual understanding of agricultural systems, precision agriculture and the ability to work in the field with agriculture machinery.
  •  The candidate should have a high level of proficiency in English sufficient to communicate effectively with colleagues and write papers and reports.
  •   Good practical problem solver / Ability to find appropriate solutions to academic and technical problems.
  •  Ability to work as a member of a team within a dynamic research group.

How to apply

• We offer a fully funded PhD scholarship starting anytime between 1st June 2019 and 1st October 2019. We offer approx. €2000 per month based on a full working week (38 hours).

• Candidates will have the opportunity to work within a stimulating research environment within the Precision SCoRing Group with interdisciplinary team comprised of agricultural engineers, mechatronics engineers, electrical engineers, soil scientists, agronomists and data mining experts, where many international collaborations are foreseen.

Applications should be submitted by not later then 31st May, 2019, enclosing the following documents:

  •  Cover letter outlining your motivation, research and teaching experience.
  •  Detailed CV and publication record.
  •  Your MSc degree or an interim document if you are still finishing your MSc.
  •  A verified transcript of your MSc and BSc degrees.
  •  Two reference letters from academic members.

Applications need to be submitted via email with subject ‘PhD in Site Specific Tillage’ to project promoter Prof. Abdul Mouazen (E-mail:
For information, visit:

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