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Fully funded 5 PhD studentships in Precision Agriculture - Belgium  

Company managed [?] Still accepting applications
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Posted on : 28 May 2017

Project 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.
  •  Fully funded 5 PhD scholarships in Precision Agriculture are available in Precision Soil and Crop Engineering Group, within the Department of Soil Management, Faculty of Bio-science Engineering in our University in Belgium. 
  • We are looking for top MSc students, to work as PhD candidates under a recently funded project 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 Center 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, fertilizers, pesticides, water, and manure) site-specifically, with the final goal of establishing a precision agriculture center in Flanders. 
  • The following 5 PhD projects are available under this project:  
    • Site specific fertilisation. 
    • Site specific manure injection. 
    • Site specific pesticide applications. 
    • Site specific soil compaction management. 
    • Site specific seed rate management.  

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 under Odysseus project 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:  
    • Supporting and collaborating with MSc and PhD students. 
    • Contribution to teaching programmes if requested to do so.  
    • 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 in Agriculture Engineering, Biosystems Engineering, Agronomy, Mechatronics 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++….. 
  • Desirable to have knowledge in sensing technologies, modelling and control theory. 
  • 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.  

  • We offer approx. €23787 per year (€1982 per month) based on a full working week (38 hours). 
  • Candidates will have the opportunity to work within a stimulating research environment within the SiTeMan Group with interdisciplinary team comprising of agricultural engineers, soil scientists, agronomists and data mining experts, where many international collaborations are foreseen.