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PhD Crop Precision Farming

24.10.2017 - Institute of Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zurich

The Institute of Agricultural Sciences at ETH Zurich, Chair of Crop Science (Prof. Achim Walter), seeks a PhD Student in Crop Precision Farming.

Our research focus within the joint project "Reconciling innovative farming practices and networks to enable sustainable development of smart Swiss farming systems (InnoFarm)” is to improve and assess precision crop monitoring approaches from aerial platforms. The overall goals of the PhD project are (1) to improve crop trait extraction from aerial images based on field experiments and (2) to establish recommendations for Swiss farming practice based on images acquired from fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and/or multicopter UAV. This PhD project is carried out together with colleagues from grassland sciences and agricultural economics in the framework of the overall, interdisciplinary project InnoFarm. Tasks include ground-based and airborne measurements of crop canopies of various crops in our FIP field site in Eschikon and on farms throughout Switzerland; extraction of traits from such data and development of concepts for refined agricultural practices.

We look for a dynamic, reliable and highly motivated student with a M.Sc. degree in agricultural sciences, remote sensing or related disciplines. The applicant should enjoy field as well as computer work. Expertise in geodata processing, good statistics skills, experiences with large data sets, driver license and German language proficiency are beneficial. English language proficiency, willingness for interdisciplinary cooperation and solid background in plant or crop sciences are required. We expect planning of and participation in joint measurement campaigns, synthesis efforts and outreach to stakeholders ranging from farmers to policy makers.

We offer an interesting position (100%) in an interdisciplinary research group at a lively university environment in Zurich. The research will be carried out in a 4-year project with a preferred starting date in January 2018. Salary and social benefits are provided according to ETH Zurich rules.

We look forward to receiving your online application including a CV, transcripts, copies of all Bachelor and Master certificates and a letter of motivation until November 1, 2017. Earlier applications are welcome, outstanding candidates can be interviewed before the final deadline. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

For further information about our research in general please visit our website For information about InnoFarm please visit the website of the coordinating group at Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Achim Walter via email at (no applications).