Graduate Research Assistantship (M.S.) – North Dakota State University

Position Focus: Using multiple sensing technologies for wheat disease detection

Position Description: Following Kansas, North Dakota ranks as the second leading wheat producer in the United States. Fungal leaf spot diseases (e.g., tan spot and stagonospora nodorum blotch) would significantly lower the crop yield. Targeting to replace the low-efficient blanket method for fungicide application, this position focuses on using multiple sensing technologies to detect fungal leaf spot diseased farm areas and then generate a disease map, which would be used as a reference for fungicide application. This project is supported by North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. The graduate research assistant will have the opportunity to engage with researchers from Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, North Dakota State University.

Position Responsibilities: The graduate research assistant will focus on using state-of-the-art technologies to detect wheat diseases. Specific work includes, but is not limited to, designing and constructing a ground data collection system (consisting of a vehicle and multiple sensors), acquiring ground data using the developed system, obtaining images using drones mounted with different sensors, and testing/developing different algorithms on detecting wheat diseases using the obtained data.

Position Qualifications: Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural, mechanical or civil engineering, computer science, or similar programs are encouraged to apply. Applicants with imaging analysis, data fusion, programming, and machine learning experience are preferred. This position seeks candidates who are self-motivated with excellent interpersonal and communication skills.


TOEFL iBT 79 or IELTS 6.5 (required for international students only).
Salary: The assistantship will be funded at a competitive level.
Effective: Applications accepted until the position is filled with an anticipated starting date of the spring of 2020.


Application Process: To apply, please send a cover letter, resume/CV and the names and contact information of three references by email as a single PDF file to Dr. Zhao Zhang (zhao.zhang.1@ndsu.edu). Skype/video interview may be requested and only those selected for an interview will be contacted. For questions regarding this position, contact Dr. Zhao Zhang at zhao.zhang.1@ndsu.edu (701-231-8403).