Professor in Operations Management for Smart Farming


Aarhus University (AU)

Professor in Operations Management for Smart Farming

The Department of Engineering (ENG) at Aarhus University (AU) invites applications for a position as (full) professor to strengthen our research in Agricultural Operations Management anchored in Electrical and Computer Engineering. The professor’s responsibility is to advance the Operations Management research in Digital/Smart Farming providing, among others, the science foundation for industrial/public sector collaboration.

AU is in the process of implementing an ambitious strategic 5-year recruitment plan to increase its activities significantly within research and education in the engineering sciences with the vision of bringing AU into the global engineering elite. As part of this build-up, AU seeks exceptional innovative and visionary engineering researchers to strengthen and develop the section of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The position aim to strengthen and advance ongoing activities at the department’s Agricultural Operations Management research group. This research focus on linking advanced information and communication technology with management of innovative automation and smart processes, specifically planning, intelligent operations optimization, and system evaluation to improve sustainability of farming and food systems. The main responsibilities of the professorship will be basic and strategic research into understanding operations and information engineering for next generation intelligent and automation technologies in smart production systems, specifically smart farming, and assess sustainability indicators like environmental impact, operational efficiency, and economic feasibility of innovations. Key research topics include system analyses, operations analysis, operations planning (mission planning, task scheduling and allocation), operations optimization (e.g. route planning), supply chain management, fleet management, design of information management systems, etc. Key methodologies involve mathematical/physical models, modelling, optimization methods (linear programming, dynamic programming, graph theory, state-space-models, heuristic methods, etc.).

With this professorship, ENG wants to strengthen the academic leadership of research and innovation in this area nationally as well as internationally. The professor will stimulate and coordinate research and innovation activities on Operations Management in Digital/Smart Farming, develop of innovative methodological approaches in close collaboration with industry, and provide the science basis for public sector collaboration and advisory service. Finally, the professor will act as head of a research group, participate in knowledge exchange with society and industry, raise external funding and participate in supervision of PhD students and post-doctoral training, be responsible for the educational guidance of assistant professors, and grow the research group/team and research lab.
Besides research and education, the professor will conduct and lead policy support. The research area of the professorship is a key field of the Department’s national public sector advisory service to the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark. Also internationally, the research area of the professorship is a key public sector advisory area, involving the European Union or other international bodies.

The ideal candidate must contribute to the development of the Electrical and Computer Engineering research programme in general, and specifically to advance the existing research group in Agricultural Operations Management. In addition, the candidate must be capable of:

  • Initiate and drive internationally competitive research activities, and contribute to strengthening the current research activities.
  • Hold an exceptionally strong and recognized research profile demonstrating his/her international stature in Agricultural Operations Management.
  • Have relevant teaching/supervision experience in the domain on both MSc and PhD level.
  • Document a strong track record in external funding (e.g. EU, national), and a vision on how to further sustain/develop this trajectory together with national and international networks.
  • Develop and enhance interdisciplinary collaboration within the Department, and between the Department and relevant national and international research communities.
  • Establish synergies between own research and related research activities to secure needed interdisciplinary methodologies (e.g. ICT/IoT engineering, biological/environmental research, agronomic-technical research).
  • Maintain development of comprehensive research-based industrial/public sector collaboration and expand public advisory service to Danish authorities.
  • Participate in MSc, PhD and post-doctoral training and be responsible for the research and training guidance of assistant professors/postdocs.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate a distinguished publication record evidenced by appropriate bibliometric parameters in prestigious Agricultural/Biosystems Engineering and related journals. A pre-existing strong international research network is required from successful candidates, along with experience in attracting new research funding based on this network. A long-term strategic research plan must also be included in the application. The candidate will be required to further develop and enhance the strong relationship between the research and public sector collaboration.


The successful candidate must possess relevant academic qualifications and a proven record of scientific achievements and management at international level. Additional professional and personal qualifications are emphasized:

  • PhD degree or equivalent qualifications within production and operations management in agriculture.
  • Documented research qualifications and experience as an international recognized research leader in relation to central parts of the research area.
  • Experience in communication of research in a wide context.
  • Ability to strengthen national and international cooperation within the research area.
  • Documented ability to attract research funding.
  • Documented experience with supervision of postdocs, PhD and MSc students.
  • Documented teaching experience.
  • Documented leadership skills in relation to international collaboration and development of interdisciplinary research teams.
  • Documented leadership skills in relation to manage a research team in terms of large project portfolio management, research coordination, and strategic research development.
  • Documented experience with establishing the scientific basis for industrial collaboration and advisory service to Danish authorities (read and write Danish).

For the position, it is imperative that candidates hold a deep understanding of real-world systems and applications within the domains of Digital/Smart Farming technologies and praxises.
The position is available from November 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.


Your application must contain a visionary research statement, a teaching statement, a CV including current research activities, R&D experience, a complete publication list as well as your teaching, fundraising and leadership experience. Both research and teaching statements should not be longer than 5 pages in length each. Please provide your ResearcherID, Google Scholar profile link, and/or a unique search query in Google Scholar and/or Web of Science to retrieve your publication and citation track record. Also, please provide names of references (minimum 3) whom the search committee may contact directly.

Place of employment and place of work

Place of employment is Aarhus University, and place of work is Science and Technology, Finlandsgade 22, 8200 Aarhus N., Denmark

Further information

For more information, please contact Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Jens Kargaard Madsen (  / +45 41893280) or Head of Department of Engineering, Thomas Skjødeberg Toftegaard ( / +45 21379470).
Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the assessment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. The selection is made on the basis of an assessment of who of the candidates are most relevant considering the requirements of the advertisement. All applicants will be notified within 6 weeks whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee and will receive his/her assessment. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process.Formalities and salary range Formalities and salary range
Science and Technology refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities. 

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University’s website.

Aarhus University

Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at