PhD Position in Path and Route Planning for Field Operations with Autonomous Agricultural Vehicles
Wageningen University

PhD Position in Path and Route Planning for Field Operations with Autonomous Agricultural Vehicles

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

Do you want to perform research on accurately planning operating routes for relatively light, self-driving agricultural vehicles? And do you want to contribute to our research to reduce pressure on the environment while, at the same time, boosting efficiency?
The research is done within the context of the NWO public-private LIFT project “Fields2Cover” and builds upon previous work at the Geo-information science and Remote Sensing (GRS) group as well as an extensive body of literature. The research will advance the capability to handle irregularly-shaped parcels of land and hilly terrain and develop functionality for simultaneously routing multiple unmanned ground vehicles. The methods to be developed are to be implemented in an open-source software library. They will be extensively tested using an autonomous agricultural vehicle developed by the company AgXeed B.V.

The research and development are conducted mainly at the Laboratory for Geoinformation Science and Remote Sensing at Wageningen University (NL) under the supervision of Dr. S. de Bruin and Dr. J. Valente, and in collaboration with the company AgXeed B.V. The successful candidate is expected to engage in field tests of the developed technology and to assist with the supervision of MSc students working on related topics.

We ask

We seek a motivated researcher who has:

  • a MSc degree in Geographical Information Science, Computer Science/Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or another related discipline;
  • familiarity with spatial optimization problems such as path planning or route optimization;
  • good programming skills, especially in Python;
  • experience with open source libraries for handling geospatial data;
  • the ability to work in a team and meet project deadlines;
  • good oral and writing communication skills in English. A proven sufficient level of English proficiency as indicated by an IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 for speaking) is required.
Furthermore, it is a plus when you have:
  • understanding of agricultural machinery and agricultural practices;
  • knowledge of Global Navigation Satellite Systems;
  • a previous academic record (journal paper or conference publication);
  • experience with field robotics.

We offer

You will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your  needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreement (scale P). This is based on a full working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.
In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural end-of year bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours that we determine together in good consultation;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes, e.g.
    the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra for extra leave;
  • a flexible model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace on the Wageningen Campus;
  • make use of the sports facilities on campus for a small fee.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with our internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for personal initiative in a learning environment. With us you get a versatile job in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere, with students and staff from over 100 countries around the world.
You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 15th consecutive time.

More information

For more information about this function you can contact Dr. Ir. S. de Bruin, Associate Professor via

For more information about the procedure you can contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter via

Do you want to apply?

This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission.

This vacancy is open up to and including August 31, 2020. We want to plan the first job interviews on Thursday, September 10, 2020.

Equal opportunities employer

We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age.
We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialized research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 30 locations, 6.500 employees, and 12.000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen. We have been named Best Employer in Education category 2019-2020.

We are the laboratory of Geo-information science and Remote Sensing. Our fundamental research and education concern our living environment: nature, landscape, land use, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, water management, and various claims on space. The laboratory is very international in terms of staff and student composition.
We strive to advance spatial competences for a sustainable world. In Wageningen, we are active in several BSc programs and in the MSc programs in Geo-Information. Nationally, we collaborate in the joint MSc in Geographical Information Management and Applications (GIMA). We lead fundamental and applied research towards Science for Impact. Our research agenda is represented in five themes:

  1. Sensing and measuring
  2. Modelling and visualization
  3. Integrated land monitoring
  4. Human-space interactions
  5. Empowering agro-environmental communities.
Please also take a look at: Fields2cover.

Click here for more information about working at Wageningen University & Research. More information about Wageningen Campus you can find here.

We do the recruiting for this vacancy ourselves. Please do not contact us for sales purposes.

Apply now

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Engineeroxy


All Jobs


Chinese University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou)

Harvard University Academic Positions

Kuwait University Current Faculty Openings

Osaka University Academic Opportunities

Purdue University Job Postings for Faculty Positions

University of Cambridge Job Openings

University of Geneva Faculty Opportunities

University of Nottingham Research Positions

University of Oslo Academic Jobs

University of Saskatchewan Faculty Positions

University of Southampton Research Vacancies

University of Tokyo Current Academic Vacancies

University of Toronto Open Faculty Positions

University of Zurich Job Postings