Ph.D. student in biological systems engineering

Ph.D. student in biological systems engineering - Dr. Daran Rudnick
Contact: Daran Rudnick
Department: • Biological Systems Engineering
Role(s) Needed:
  • Research Assistant

Students Needed:
• Graduate

A Ph.D. student is sought for a graduate research assistant (GRA) position in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering (BSE), starting in May 2018 under the supervision of Dr. Daran Rudnick. The GRA will be working on an integrated research/extension program titled “UNL - Testing Ag Performance Solutions (TAPS).” The TAPS program hosts a farm management competition in which participants (individual and/or groups of producers) compete in crop production and marketing of yield. Competitors make several input and management decisions, which include crop insurance selection, hybrid and planting population density, all marketing decisions, irrigation scheduling and quantity, and fertilizer timing, amount, and method. The management objectives of the contest relate directly to the management and relationship of resource allocation to profitability and sustainability. Competitors’ choices are made in an environment where real-time information regarding field conditions is available using new and emerging technologies. The successful candidate will be responsible for evaluating these management practices as they relate to input use efficiency as well as assessing the performance of technology/instrumentation for irrigation and nitrogen management. Opportunities for stakeholders to meet and discuss outcomes, challenges, and experiences are a large part of the contest, and therefore, the successful candidate will be expected to work closely with growers and industry personnel. The multidisciplinary aspects of this program make this position perfect for candidates interested in pursuing a career in extension/research. Additional information on the TAPS program can be found at

Strong technical and analytical skills are desired, along with the ability to carry out field research using advanced instrumentation for monitoring soil water dynamics, evapotranspiration, crop canopy response to water and nitrogen stress, and other factors. Strong communications skills are also required, as well as the ability to effectively work in a team environment. The successful candidate will be located on campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, to complete coursework and will be stationed at the West Central Research and Extension Center (WCREC) in North Platte, Nebraska, for the remaining time. Additional information about BSE can be found at and about WCREC at If interested, please contact Dr. Rudnick for additional information. Prior to the position being offered, the candidate will have to be admitted into the BSE department.

Please email Dr. Rudnick at if you are interested in this opportunity.