Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering - FREC Ag Engineer

Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) in Biglerville, PA.
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Work Unit:
College of Agricultural Sciences
Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Position: Faculty, tenure-track – Specialty Crop Mechanization. Title: Assistant Professor. Availability: July 1, 2017. Responsibilities: Research and Extension. The successful candidate will provide leadership in the area of specialty crop engineering and mechanization. The focus will be on the development and promotion of mechanized solutions primarily for the tree fruit, small fruit, and vegetable industries to increase operational productivity and efficiency. The appointment will be 60% research and 40% extension. This position will be located at the Penn State’s Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) in Biglerville, PA. FREC serves Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region with the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the crop areas of tree fruits and wine grapes. The facility, located in Adams County, consists of 180 acres of farmland, with 68 acres in orchards and vineyards. FREC has four modern green houses, a cold storage building with three walk-in coolers, as well as indoor labs and offices. The facility includes new housing for a total of 8 graduate students or visiting scientists. FREC is well equipped with farm implements and specialized scientific equipment to support research and extension programs in perennial crop systems. There are currently four faculty members, two administrative employees, five tech service employees, 11 staff/wage payroll employees, four graduate students, and 25-30 summer employees. For additional information visit our website The tenure home for the position will be in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, College of Agricultural Sciences. Specific areas of research include but are not limited to: Development of machinery systems for specialty crop (fruits and potentially vegetable) production and harvesting, detection and control systems for automation and mechanization, robotics including applications of unmanned aerial system (UAS), safety engineering, monitoring and data collection for precision agriculture, and identification, selection, and design of optimal machine systems. Extension responsibilities will include interfacing with the appropriate industries to solicit inputs on needs and delivering programs that provide engineering solutions and assisting stakeholders with technology adoption. The successful candidate will be expected to provide expertise and leadership as an active member of the Extension Horticulture Unit, and will be expected to engage in extension activities that are consistent with the new Extension Business Model. This will include using and contributing to all capabilities of the “Atlas Platform” ( The successful candidate will be expected to develop strong research and outreach collaborations with personnel at the FREC, faculty in other departments and colleges, as well as nationally and internationally. Securing external federal grant support for collaborative projects is imperative. The candidate will be expected to train graduate students as part of the research and extension components of the position. The successful candidate will be expected to develop intellectual property resulting from research and extension collaborations with industry, and a desire to push industry adoption. Qualifications: Candidate must have a Ph.D. in biological, agricultural, mechanical, industrial, electrical, or a related engineering field, or agricultural technology, with a solid core of fundamental engineering or engineering technology coursework. Research experience integrating engineering and biology is important because the faculty member is expected to interact and provide leadership with teams of engineers and biological scientists from many disciplines. Ability to communicate effectively, to provide creative leadership, and to work cooperatively with students, faculty, staff, and industry and agency groups is paramount. The ability to engage professionally with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students across the university is required. Professional Engineering (PE) registration or pursuit thereof is desirable. Experience with intellectual property is desirable. Salary: Competitive, commensurate with background and experience. An attractive benefits package is available. Application: Review of applications will begin on May 1, 2017. Candidates must provide a curriculum vitae, copies of graduate transcripts if applying at the Assistant Professor level, statements of teaching or extension, and research experiences and interests, up to three relevant publications, and a list of at least three professional references. Questions can be directed to search committee chair Jude Liu, The Pennsylvania State University at, or co-Chair Jim Schupp,

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,104 $23,748 $31,392
B $17,712 $26,124 $34,524
C $19,152 $28,728 $38,304
D $21,072 $31,620 $42,156
E $23,604 $35,400 $47,196
F $26,436 $39,660 $52,872
G $29,136 $44,412 $59,712
H $33,192 $50,616 $68,040
I $37,848 $57,696 $77,580
J $42,444 $65,772 $89,136
K $49,236 $76,308 $103,392
L $57,120 $88,524 $119,928
M $66,240 $102,672 $139,116
N $78,168 $121,152 $164,148
O $90,768 $142,968 $195,168
P $107,124 $168,696 $230,280
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088