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Asst. Prof. - Food Process Eng

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Work type: Teaching & Research Faculty
Senior management: Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department: Virginia Seafood AREC
Location: Hampton, Virginia
Categories: Agriculture / Life Science

Job Description

The Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is seeking applicants for a tenure track faculty position in Food Process Engineering 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 Process Engineering position will be located at the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (VSAREC), (, Hampton, Virginia; with tenure home in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering (, at the Virginia Tech main campus in Blacksburg. This is a 9-month tenure-track position with appointments in research, extension and teaching.

The successful candidate shall develop and establish a nationally and internationally recognized integrated research and extension program focusing on safe and efficient processing, packaging, storage, and distribution of food materials and other bio-products across agricultural commodity sectors; with an emphasis on fisheries, aquaculture, and their products. The Extension program will focus on assisting fishers, aquaculturists, and other agriculture producers, processors, wholesalers, distributors, and retail establishments to improve food quality and safety, shelf life, and regulatory compliance of their products. Furthermore, Extension and educational programs will be developed and conducted for fishers, producers, educators, processors, marketers (wholesale and retail), consumers, regulatory agencies and other decision makers. The individual will be expected to obtain extramural funding, in support of her/his program, from a variety of funding sources with emphasis on competitive and industrial funding.

The individual is also 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 the AREC, department, college and university committees, as well as appropriate professional organizations.

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, such as the Food Science and Technology Department and with a number of Agricultural Research and Extension Centers located across the Commonwealth are highly encouraged.

Required Qualifications

Ph.D. in Biological Systems Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Food Technology, or related field is required; Experience in thermal and non-thermal process validation is essential; The candidate must have excellent oral and written communication skills, demonstrated ability for, and commitment to, quality graduate student education, demonstrated publication record, and demonstrated ability to develop and conduct scholarly research, both independently and collaboratively; The individual shall create an environment that fosters collegiality and diversity with stakeholders and the university; Evidence of extramural funding.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience in machine learning, thermal and non-thermal process validation modeling, as well as process automation is desirable, as is product/process research and development; Experience in food regulation and protection of public health is also desired, as is experience in HACCP, food supply chains, tracking and ID of fresh/processed/packaged products; Experience with advanced software that mimics real-world conditions in food processing is beneficial; Demonstrated experience with industry outreach, extension, or education is also beneficial; Experience with alternative energy generation, storage, delivery and use is also beneficial, as agriculture and food sectors endeavor to reduce carbon foot prints.


Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date

May 6, 2022

Additional Information


The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.


About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Gail Jamison at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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