The role of digitalization in everyday life is becoming increasingly important—a development that can also be observed in agriculture. For people working in this sector, digitalization offers many ways to meet objectives more easily, such as documentation for legislative purposes or social demands. Agricultural production is expected to become more efficient using digitalization technologies. This not only antagonizes the increase of cost pressure on agricultural production, but can also help to address problems such as climate change. Sensor technology, robotics, automation and artificial intelligence play an important role in this trend (BMEL, 2017).
The Tulln-based project, „DiLaAg – Digitalization and Innovation Laboratory in Agricultural Sciences“, pursues the objective of establishing a scientific nucleus to deal with this topic via a cooperation between the Forum Morgen Privatstiftung, the Government of Lower Austria and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna and its consortium partners, the University of Technology, Vienna, and University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. Working with digitalization in the context of agriculture and science includes both training young scientists through a doctorate college and creating a platform for research, development, training and consulting (the „Digital Agriculture Lab“ innovation platform), which is also open to the public and is intended to be a meeting place for social discourse on the subject.
The PhD students involved in the “DiLaAg” project will be jointly supervised by scientists from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, the TU Vienna and the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, depending on their specific expertise. This kind of cooperation guarantees an intensive intra- and inter-university exchange.
We are offering the following PhD projects:
- Data-based process controll in agricultural engineering
- Integration of plant parameters for intelligent agricultural processes
- Strategic collection and provision of field crop data
- Hybrid deep/machine learning models for plant growth prediction
- Distributed secure data mining and machine learning for privacy-preserving data integration and sharing
- Using digital sensors to display the benefits and traceability of dairy cows grazing
- Sustainability assessment using life cycle analysis
Deadline for the submission will be the 26th of June 2019.
The hearing of invited PhD candidates takes place at the 3rd of July 2019 at the University and Research Center (UFT) in Tulln, Lower Austria.
Pay grade in terms of collective agreement for university staff (payable 14 times per year): B1
University of Natural Resources and Life Science, Vienna (BOKU)
The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences positions itself as a teaching and research center for renewable resources, which are necessary for human life. It is BOKU’s objective to help make a considerable contribution to conserving and protecting resources for future generations by providing diversity in its fields of study. By connecting natural sciences, engineering and economic sciences, we wish to increase knowledge of the ecologically and economically sustainable use of natural resources to provide a harmoniously-cultivated landscape.
Division of Agricultural Engineering (ILT)
Project coordination will be implemented by the Institute of Agricultural Engineering. As part of the Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, the Division of Agricultural Engineering is engaged in research and teaching, which is conducted in Vienna, Tulln and Groß-Enzersdorf. The division’s objective is to develop innovations based on sustainability by incorporating ” high-tech” and digitalization into agricultural processes. For this purpose, newly developed methods, machinery, equipment and constructions for diverse areas of application are being analyzed and evaluated. The Division of Agricultural Engineering is committed to locally-adapted and efficient agricultural engineering. The innovative technologies developed at the division are intended to promote ecologically, socially and economically-balanced production processes.
Division of Agronomy
The Division of Agronomy, which is part of the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, has its research focus on the sustainable production of arable crops, product quality and the environmental relevance of their production. In particular, it investigates the development of optimal production methods for the Pannonian climate; growth and yield formation of alternative crop species and mixed crops as well as plant roots; their morphology, physiology and function with regard to water, nitrogen and phosphorus demand. The division consists of three working groups and is headed by Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Kaul. The experiments are carried out on different scales: in the laboratory, in the greenhouse and in the field. The experimental areas are in Tulln and Groß-Enzersdorf.
University of Technology, Vienna (TU Vienna)
The Institute of Information Systems Engineering (ISE) at the Vienna University of Technology is the largest scientific institute for information and communication technology in Austria. The institute provides foundational and advanced techniques, algorithms, design and engineering approaches to model complete lifecycles of data-intensive and distributed information systems. Such information systems play a vital role in many forms of organizations, and act as a facilitator and enabler for the digitalization of personal and social spaces. The Institute’s research focus includes software and data engineering, semantic technologies, algorithm optimization, machine learning and decision support. The institute has many years of experience as a coordinator and partner in national and international basic and applied research projects.
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
As one of the world’s leading veterinary universities, the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni), contributes its expertise to this consortium—particularly in the field of animal health management, represented by the Clinical Unit for Herd Health Management in Ruminants. In the field of herd health, the Clinical Unit is internationally renowned and networked with numerous important research groups in this field. Aspects of precision livestock farming (PLF) are among the department’s research priorities. Additionally, several FFG-funded projects have been carried out and published by the Clinical Unit. Further expertise in the field of the assessing of animal welfare and applying PLF technologies is offered by Vetmeduni’s Institute for Animal Welfare Science. The Vetmeduni has an additional site in Lower Austria, VetFarm Kremesberg, which has provided the corresponding infrastructure from previous PLF studies as well as the animal numbers required for application-oriented studies.