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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

PhD in Smart Sensing and IoT for Agriculture

DZO-02 PhD in Smart Sensing and IoT for Agriculture

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

Role Description

The Wireless Sensor Network Group (WSN) at the Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork is currently advertising for the position of Postgraduate Researcher in Smart Sensing and IoT for Agriculture.

The Tyndall National Institute is a world leader in the development of Smart Sensing systems for use in the body, on the body and around the body. Working closely with a global range of academic, business and clinical partners, our technology is under evaluation by several multinational corporations and is approaching market readiness in a number of areas. 

As part of the recently funded ERA-Net project HALY.ID co-funded by DAFM and in conjunction with Teagasc – the center for Agricultural Research, the Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) group is developing a world leading research activity to enable smart sensing systems for integration and deployment in to the farms of the future.

IoT for Smart Agriculture

Globally, agriculture is undergoing seismic disruptions arising from the competing challenges of food security, the environment, and societal needs. Driven by the quest of improving sustainability, HALY.ID proposes an autonomous field-monitoring system and an autonomous fruit-monitoring system to replace common human-based field monitoring of pests and detect the internally damaged fruits invisible to the naked-eye. This system is based on data collection and processing with new emerging technologies (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Vision sensors, spectroscopy, Edge Computing, LPWAN Communications, NIR-HSI, microwave/THz) enhanced by Algorithmic and Machine Learning techniques.

The successful Postgraduate Researcher will work on the development of data acquisition systems using IoT devices. This includes the smart monitoring of the local micro-climate as well as the acquisition of multimedia content. Due to the nature of the deployment, long-range and low data rate communication methods will be used to transfer the findings to the cloud. A number of edge computing approaches and trade-offs between the quality of sensing and energy consumption will be explored.

The successful applicant will carry out their research project within this team which has expertise in microsystems technology, wireless sensors, electronics and low-power system hardware and software design.

Activities will include applied domain focused research in to IoT smart sensing research including drone path planning, constrained system image processing and analysis, quality of detection and communications optimization over low data rate communications protocols.

The candidate will be expected to supervise postgraduate students as part of the project management team, write scientific publications associated with their work and travel to international conferences, workshops, industry meetings, proposal project meetings. This will help to strategically position Tyndall WSN as a world-leading industry-focused applied research group in the area of smart system development for agricultural applications.

The postgraduate activities will focus on the development of a resource constrained edge computing sensing and communication system for insect detection and identification.

Activities will also include travel to international conferences, workshops, proposal project meetings, to strategically position Tyndall WSN as a world-leading industry-focused applied research group.

The Postgraduate Student will help develop prototype and test the next generation edge computing sensing and communication systems, energy efficient sensor deployment in conjunction with research project partners.


  • To work under the direction of the postgraduate supervisory team to fulfill the deliverables associated with the HALY.ID program of work.
  • To conduct relevant research activities, including planning, organizing, conducting, and communicating research studies within the overall scope of the research project.
  • To develop the specification, design and deployment of resource constrained sensing systems.
  • To undertake tasks requiring technical competence in the field of IOT sensors for agriculture focused on including drone path planning, constrained system image processing and analysis, Quality of detection and communications optimization over low band width communications protocols.
  • To undertake tasks which may include recording results and preparing reports including conclusions and recommendations. Application of qualitative and quantitative research techniques in IOT systems for agricultural applications.
  • To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Principal Investigator, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies.
  • To carry out administrative work to support the program of research and ensure all project deliverables and milestones are achieved in a timely manner.
  • To disseminate project outputs, through the interpretation of results and the preparation of manuscripts for publication.
  • To perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.

Essential Criteria

  • Minimum requirement of a Masters in Electrical/Electronic Engineering (H2.1 minimum) or equivalent in the area of Antenna and Microwave Engineering
  • Experience with edge computing sensor development, resource constrained image analysis, systems integration and test
  • Experience with appropriate lab-equipment, simulation tools and modelling software.
  • An ability to work independently to a schedule.
  • A demonstrated capability in the delivery of research projects at undergraduate level.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • High levels of initiative, self-management, achievement-orientation, and motivation are encouraged.

Desirable Criteria

  • Good analytical skills and computer skills.
  • Evidence of excellent organizational and communication skills.
  • Evidence of excellent time management skills.
  • Experience with IoT sensor systems for Agriculture is an asset.
  • Experience in Image processing and IoT communications protocols

DAFM -The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine ( ) is a department of the Government of Ireland. The mission of the department is to lead the sustainable development of a competitive, consumer focused agri-food sector and to contribute to a vibrant rural economy and society.

TEAGASC - ( is the semi-state authority in the Republic of Ireland responsible for research and development, training and advisory services in the agri-food sector.

Interviews will be conducted as soon as suitable candidates are identified.

The successful candidate will be expected to commence in Q1 2021.

This is a 4 year fully funded PhD position in conjunction with Teagasc.

An annual student stipend of €18,500 applies for the successful candidate of this position. Yearly University academic fees at the EU PhD rate will be paid by the Tyndall National Institute.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Brendan O’Flynn at .

Application Instructions

Step 1 - Click here to download the Application form and indicate the Job Reference DZO-02.

Step 2 - Return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to

Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations ( Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application. In special circumstances the panel may consider a prior degree in English (e.g. Master thesis written in English) as evidence of English language proficiency.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.