Faculty Spotlight

"The only one who never makes mistakes is the one who never does anything" -- Theodore Roosevelt

Joe Luck

Joe Luck

What is your position at UNL?:

Assistant Professor and Precision Agriculture Engineer

What drew you to UNL?:

I wanted to get a job focused on agricultural technologies when I finished with my graduate degrees. I grew up on a farm where we produced corn and soybeans (primarily) and was hoping to build on those experiences in my professional career. I was very excited when this position was advertised in Nebraska that has given me the chance to work with farmers and industry professionals, students, and other researchers. 

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?:

Working with students is definitely one of the best things about being a faculty member. Whether it’s interacting with students in the classroom or working with graduate students to discovery new research findings, it’s all very rewarding.

What are the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of your job?:

One of the most challenging parts of my job is maintaining a balance between my extension, research, and teaching responsibilities. I wouldn’t change it though, I enjoy working in each area very much and try to integrate them as best I can.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?:

I was very indecisive early on in college and didn’t have a clear path for a long time. I went to a community college and was going to major in elementary education. Then I switched to civil engineering, graduated and worked for a few years. I finally had a chance to return to school and get back into agriculture and I took that route. I finished my Ph.D. in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering…I was in college just over a decade when you add it all up!

What is your life like outside of work?:

Pretty laid back for the most part, but never a dull moment for sure! I married my best friend (she’s also a faculty member at UNL) last year and we love living in Lincoln. We’ve got a couple of pets (and a horse!) and enjoying spending time around our house that I work on a lot (it was built in 1926). We like cooking, hanging out with friends, working in the garden (and being outdoors in general), playing tennis and watching movies. 

Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?:

Work hard at learning and don’t underestimate your potential. So much of learning (and life, in general) is a building process…the harder you work, they more you’ll be able to push yourself to do incredible things down the road. This doesn’t just apply to getting through school…you’ll find the same challenges and opportunities when you graduate and begin your career. You want to start that part of your life off with good habits and a strong work ethic, it will take you far!

Extension workshop:

Joe Luck Workshop

Extension interests include Site-Specific management strategies, Precision agriculture technology utilization, and Farm management software training.