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Tenure-track Professor/Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and in


The University of Tennessee’s (UT) Tickle College of Engineering (TCE) and Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) are searching for faculty to strengthen the university’s position as a global leader in Artificial Intelligence-related research. As such, the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) within TCE and the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science (BESS) within UTIA invite qualified applicants to apply for the Professor or Associate Professor position in broad artificial intelligence (AI) systems and AI applications in the agriculture and natural resources sectors, appointed primarily in EECS and secondarily in BESS.

The Tickle College of Engineering is undergoing an unprecedented period of growth and success and anticipates adding over 30 new faculty over the next three years as part of ambitious cluster hiring campaigns lead by Chancellor Donde Plowman and Dean Matthew Mench. The college has set records in research expenditures, enrollment, incoming student GPA, diversity, and intellectual property development for two years running. New facilities include the state-of-the art Zeanah Engineering Complex, the University of Tennessee Manufacturing and Design Enterprise (TN-MADE) facility, and the Innovation South building now under construction that will house UT’s Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF). TCE currently has 185 T/TT and 67 NTT faculty in its seven academic departments and offers 12 undergraduate, 16 MS, and 15 PhD degree programs. Affiliated with TCE and located in Tullahoma, Tennessee, the UT Space Institute is a hub of aerospace and defense research. The college is also home to eight research centers and three interdisciplinary institutes. With approximately 3,800 undergraduate and 1,150 graduate students, the college sits 31st among public universities in the most recent U.S. News and World Report graduate rankings. Faculty in the college have won 21 early career awards (NSF, DoE, DARPA, AFOSR, and ARO) since 2016. In FY22, the college had NSF HERD research expenditures of $109 million.

Recruitment into the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Cluster creates opportunities to build bold agendas that advance big ideas. The chosen applicant will join a group of nearly 30 seasoned and successful professors who collaborate and enhance each other's areas of expertise in soil sciences, agricultural informatics, sciences and engineering, computer science and engineering, and machine learning (ML). The team is deeply driven to broaden the academic and instructional influence of their research. For the early career faculty position applicants, the cluster also offers a unique framework for professional development and mentorship within a rich transdisciplinary environment.

The ideal candidate for the position has a collaborative and interdisciplinary mindset and prioritizes working with colleagues to realize shared research and educational achievements, including large-scale proposals, joint publications, and new transdisciplinary curricular programming. As Tennessee’s flagship and land-grant institution, UTK is particularly interested in recruiting candidates who are deeply connected to the organizations and communities in which their work will have translational impact. The Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee is seeking candidates who have the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the diversity and intercultural goals of the University.

This joint position will accelerate applications of AI, including ML, and/or execute analytics, on agriculturally-relevant data sources, including satellite imagery, climate, and weather. Application spaces of this position could include factors such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biomass and crop yields, disaster risks, plant breeding, canopy conditions, agricultural input optimization, forestry and agricultural machinery operation, energy consumption, land, water, and nutrient uses, and ecosystem services. Specifically, the faculty could develop and use cutting-edge computer AI models to integrate the data from equipment, sensors, soils, plants, climate, and the economy at multiple spatiotemporal scales. Ultimately, the AI models will guide farmers/foresters to apply digital technologies for management decisions and output prediction. Another application domain could be to develop innovative Internet of Things (IoT) and low-power sensing systems for the integration of embedded electronics that serve as the data collection platform to support the AI-driven research and 3D model development. This integration will promote the development of intelligent solutions to better serve more sustainable and integrated climate-smart agricultural and forest systems. While receiving support from existing EECS and BESS scientists and researchers, the selected applicant will be the lynchpin to forging a transdisciplinary transformative research critical mass among existing EECS and BESS faculty with expertise in soil science, ecology, agronomy, hydrology, sensors, modeling, robotics, ML, and mechatronics.

Research Expectations: The successful candidate will develop a thriving internationally recognized research program, evidenced by successful and sustained grants activity, a strong publication record, regional / national / international recognition by peers as an expert in this research area, active mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students and /or post-doctoral researchers, and outreach to stakeholders. Candidates’ research programs for the position should integrate strongly with the objectives of the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Cluster, as described above.

Teaching Expectations: The successful candidate should be a passionate and dedicated educator capable of teaching students from a wide range of academic backgrounds, such as computer science, engineering, and life sciences. Specific courses will be developed as the transdisciplinary Climate-Smart Cluster program evolves.


In addition to having a doctorate in Computer Science, Computer / Electrical / Mechanical / Biosystems Engineering, Agriculture, Biology, Environmental Science, or other closely related discipline, the candidate for the position will have a record in research and teaching that warrants hiring at the Associate or Full Professor rank. Preference will be given to candidates who have demonstrated research leadership and effective team building. The selected candidate will have excellent verbal and written communication skills and exhibit the ability and willingness to both sustain their own vibrant research program and to work in an interdisciplinary environment.

Candidates for Associate Professor should have a demonstrated record of publishing in appropriate journals, securing and executing externally funded research, and internal and external service to their professional community.

Candidates for Full Professor should have a demonstrated record of publishing in appropriate journals, securing and executing externally funded research, and internal and external service to their professional community. In addition, the candidate should have national/international recognition in their field of study.

Desired additional qualifications: Relevant postdoctoral and/or teaching experience; understanding of the Land Grant mission and experience in communication to farmers and other stakeholder groups of relevance; experience in creating decision-support tools; experience in data analytics and high computational modeling; contextual knowledge of agroecosystem dynamics.

Application Instructions

Applicants should electronically submit their cover letter, vita, teaching and research statement, optional representative publications, and three letters of recommendation to Interfolio ( ). Please submit your application by January 15, 2024, to ensure full consideration.

For questions, please email Search Committee Co-Chairs, Dr. Greg Peterson (EECS) at or Dr. Doug Hayes (BESS) at .

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admission without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status, or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the university. Requests for accommodations of a disability should be directed to the Office of Equity & Diversity, 1840 Melrose Avenue Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-3560 or or (865)974-2498. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), the ADA (disability), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Investigation & Resolution 216 Business Incubator Building 2450 E.J. Chapman Drive Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 or (865)974-0717 or .

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