Job Summary

The Ag Alumni Seed Controlled-Environment Phenotyping Facility Specialist is responsible for the daily operation and management of plant phenotyping equipment in the AG Alumni Seeds Phenotyping Facility (AAPF) at Purdue University. The facility houses state of the art controlled-environment growth chambers with precision environment and irrigation control, and employs automated imaging systems (RGB imaging, Hyperspectral scanning, and CT scanning) and various high-throughput physio-ecological measurement systems for non-destructive phenotypic data acquisition from diverse plant species. The candidate will be part of a team which facilitate experiments aimed at measuring and modeling responses to biotic and abiotic stresses in controlled environments, and will be trained in the operation and function of all automated software/hardware used for irrigation, plant movement, data collection, transfer and storage. This person needs the ability to deliver and maintain high quality horticultural research, the willingness to learn new technologies, and the ability to work independently and/or as part of a team. The person will regularly engage and liaise with staffs, students, and faculties with diverse backgrounds from across campus, as well as with providing tours through the facility for stakeholders, donors, and campus visitors. In addition, the incumbent will be responsible for coordinating and scheduling research projects in AAPF, as well as invoicing users. The incumbent will also need to supervise part time employees and volunteers hired to support the operation of the phenotyping facility.


  • Daily operations of the growth chambers, imaging systems, and automated irrigation system and overseeing experiment and data collection, and maintaining all and every part within those systems; this includes monitoring and maintenance of the infrastructure systems, such as the water softening system, the air-compressor(s), the security cameras etc. that enable the other systems to work correctly in the facility
  • Plant water and nutrient management using the automated fertigation system in AAPF
  • Provide consultation inputs in experimental design and implementation. Keep track of collected data and deliver collected data to customers
  • Coordinate with multiple labs/PIs to schedule experiment in AAPF
  • Keep track of progress of the experiments/events in the facility, and manage user invoicing
  • Maintain and manage the operation and experiments in the facility during weekends and/or holidays
  • Optimization of existing and new instrument and systems for data collection and plant management


  • Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, botany, agronomy, agricultural/biological engineering or related fields
  • 2 years of experience required in the following: plant nutrient/water management, and in integrated pest management; coordinating usage of shared resources in a research environment; operating automation systems/robotics and/or other plant measurement systems; data storage and transfer management
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including weekends and/or holidays, and will assume on-call responsibilities
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to interact and communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders/customers in a professional, respectful manner
  • Customer and quality-oriented and tolerant to stress
  • Strong organization skills in overseeing various, sometimes competing tasks/projects
  • Demonstrated capability in prioritizing and scheduling projects in a busy environment with multiple stakeholders/users of competing interests
  • Effective time management skills are preferred to manage competing responsibilities
  • Computer skills in managing the automated facility operation, and to facility data management

Additional Information:

  • Purdue will not sponsor an employment related visa for this position
  • A background check will be required for employment in this position
  • FLSA: Exempt (Not Eligible For Overtime)
  • Retirement Eligibility: Defined Contributions Waiting Period
  • Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply