Professor in Digital Agriculture

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In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven, Department of Biosystems, Research unit MeBioS and Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, there is a full-time academic vacancy in the area of Digital Agriculture in Leuven (Arenberg). They are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent [interdisciplinary] research record and with educational competence within this field. The multi-disciplinary research team of the MeBioS division has built-up a worldwide reputation in the domain of measuring, modeling and control of biological systems. The division is a pioneer in precision agriculture and has built an extensive national and international network, both in the academic and business world.

Research

The rapid evolution in sensor technology, robotics, IoT networks and artificial intelligence provides unprecedented possibilities to gather, process and analyze spatial (object) and temporal (time) data to improve agricultural efficiency, productivity and sustainability as an enabler for precision agriculture. Advanced ecophysiological models which allow to predict the impact of weather, soil and management on short-term and long-term yield, nutrient uptake, water use efficiency and environmental outcomes are key to translate these data into better management decisions.

  • You exploit the newest developments in Big Data analysis and Artificial Intelligence on data from agricultural systems.
  • You conduct innovative, interdisciplinary research to develop and use mathematical models (digital twins) of agricultural systems integrating ecophysiological models and data based models with sensor networks.
  • You use these models to predict plant responses to changing management and environmental conditions, as well as to develop new technologies to support farmers in their decision making.
  • You strengthen existing research lines on precision horticulture.
  • You set up collaborations within and outside the department.
  • You strive for excellence in your research and thus provide a contribution to the continued development of the MeBioS division.
  • You publish at the highest scientific level, acquire resources for research, develop international collaborations and supervise PhDs at an international level.
  • You give the necessary attention to the valorisation on behalf of government and business in applied research.

Education

  • You ensure high-quality education within Bioscience Engineering, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty through the supervision of master theses and as a promoter of PhD students.
  • You develop your teaching materials in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and research-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educationalist professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.
  • Your teaching assignments are established in consultation and based on your specific profile. The scope of this is limited in the first years of your appointment. In your further career, the faculty pays a great deal of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.

Service

  • You are prepared to enthusiastically participate in the activities of various committees and workgroups in the Department of Biosystems and the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, and also to represent the university in external commissions.
  • You will translate and exploit basic knowledge of ecophysiological models and data based models and other tools related to digital agriculture into commercial products, new startups and corporate alliances in the agrofood industry.

Profile

  • You have a PhD in Agricultural or Bioscience Engineering, or any other field that prepares equally well for the research program and teaching activities. You have a strong research profile with expertise in digital farming. The quality of your research is proven by publications in top international journals which arm you to contribute to the research output of the department. 
  • You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is an advantage.
  • You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude.
  • You also possess leadership capacities within an academic context.
  • A good command of English is required. The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings. Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch resp. English to the required level.