Postdoctoral Research Associate - Texas A & M University

Postdoctoral Research Associate (Unmanned Aircraft Systems), Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University.

With the world’s growing population, we must increase food production per unit area by 100% by 2100, when population is expected to plateau. Two of the main tools we have to meet the challenge are production optimization (a.k.a. precision agriculture) and crop improvement (through breeding and genetics involving high-throughput phenotyping). Unmanned aircraft systems are a key component of the future sensing requirements to fully realize the benefits of production optimization and crop improvement. The employee will provide sensing expertise and experimental research productivity to a combined research program in precision-agriculture, remote sensing, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), high-throughput phenotyping, and “big-data” analytics. Agency partners in this effort are Texas A&M University’s (TAMU’s) Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering (BAEN); Texas A&M AgriLife Research; the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Center for Authonomous Vehicles and Sensor Systems (CANVASS); and the TAMU Center for Geospatial Sciences, Applications and Technology (GEOSAT). The position will be funded for at least one year.


  1. Provide leadership and participation in remote-sensing image collection with UAVs operated by appropriate flight teams.
  2. Provide leadership and participation in development and execution of protocols for consistent image-analysis products for repetitive scientific needs (e.g., geographic registration, spectral correction, image mosaicking, production of NDVI images).
  3. Provide leadership and participation in development of innovative image-analysis techniques to provide phenotype measurements to collaborating scientists.
  4. Provide leadership and participation in design and development of new autonomous sensing systems including work in mechatronics and optoelectronics.
  5. Provide leadership and participation in research and development of analytical techniques for “big data” produced in the research program.
  6. Assist faculty in experimental design, field supervision, and fieldwork during data collection.
  7. Supervise assigned graduate and undergraduate students.
  8. Oversee the Biological Engineering Sensor Technologies Laboratory (BEST Lab.) including providing guidance in training graduate and undergraduate students to work in BEST Lab.
  9. Procure necessary parts, equipment, materials, and supplies.
  10. Use presentation graphics and multimedia to develop presentations and documents in support of the lead principal investigator in BAEN.
  11. Write research reports and make oral presentations.
  12. Perform other related duties as assigned.

The individual in the position will receive supervision from the research program’s lead principal investigator in BAEN. The individual will supervise graduate students and undergraduate student workers and other individuals who will assist in the combined research program.

A Ph.D. degree in Biological & Agricultural Engineering or closely related engineering field.

Demonstrated experience in research projects, extensive knowledge of computers and GIS and image-analysis software packages. Experience in precision-agriculture technologies (GPS/GIS), image-processing and remote-sensing software and hardware including UAVs, robotics, and optoelectronics is desirable. Significant programming experience in HTML, C, JAVA and/or other languages. Experience in designing and building electronic circuits.

Knowledge, Abilities and Skills
Excellent written and oral communication skills, proficiency in remote and proximal sensing for agricultural applications, and willingness to work in laboratory research and agricultural field-research operations are required. Ability to write well-structured computer programs. Ability to design, build, and test electronic circuits.

Applications can be submitted at