Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is seeking applicants for a tenure track faculty position in Food Traceability as part of its Phase II SmartFarm Innovation Network™ faculty cluster hire. Phase II includes a total of seven (7) faculty positions to be filled within several academic units and Agricultural Research and Extension Centers. Collaborations of cluster hires and existing faculty will enhance interdisciplinary flagship programs at the nexus of digital, biological, social, and physical sciences and engineering with application to agriculture, food, and natural resources. The cluster hire will be affiliated with the Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture for enhancing the interdisciplinary networking. This ambitious vision will create a statewide network of interconnected faculty, partners, and resources for scientific discovery and developing and deploying and extending new technologies. The goal is to increase overall efficiency, resiliency, sustainability, and economic value of food, agriculture production systems, and natural resources and expand Virginia Tech’s global influence in this rapidly evolving domain.
The Food Traceability position will be located at the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (VSAREC), (https://www.arec.vaes.vt.edu/arec/virginia-seafood.html), Hampton, Virginia, with tenure home in the Department of Food Science and Technology Department of Food Science & Technology | Food Science & Technology | Virginia Tech (vt.edu), at the Virginia Tech main campus in Blacksburg. This is a 9-month tenure-track position with a joint Research and Extension appointment.
The successful candidate shall develop and establish a nationally and internationally recognized integrated research and extension program in food traceability, focused on development and implementation of rapid detection/traceability and big data management across agricultural commodity sectors, with an emphasis on fisheries, aquaculture, and their products. The Extension program will focus on assisting seafood harvesters and producers, processors, wholesalers, distributors, and retail establishments to improve the quality, safety, reliability, traceability, value, and regulatory compliance of their products. Furthermore, outreach and educational programs will be developed and conducted for producers, educators, processors, consumers, regulatory agencies and other decision makers. The individual will be expected to obtain extramural funding from a variety of funding sources with emphasis on competitive and industry funding. Potential areas of research may include (but are not limited to) Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, blockchain, bio-based markers, novel smart packaging, whole genome sequencing, portable vibrational spectroscopy, lab-on-a-chip, and smartphone-based analysis.
The individual is expected to contribute to graduate education. Qualified candidates will demonstrate the ability to recruit and mentor graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) and undergraduate students, and be committed to service on AREC, department, college and university committees, as well as appropriate professional organizations. Global engagement is important as the incumbent’s career advances, and will contribute to the expansion of Virginia Tech’s reputation in this domain.
This position is part of the CALS SmartFarm Innovation Network Initiative Cluster, and aligns with the Global Systems Science as well as the Data and Decisions, and Sustainable Food Production destination areas of Virginia Tech and the agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability areas of CALS. Collaborations/linkages with faculty located in various departments on the main campus in Blacksburg and with a number of Agricultural Research and Extension Centers located across the Commonwealth are highly encouraged.