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Postdoc and Graduate Assistant Positions

Environmental Sediment Mechanics Research Group

Project #1: Probabilistic Streambank Erosion Curves for Advancing Assessment and Prediction in the Context of Climate Change

Sponsor: North Carolina Water Resources Research Institute – USGS 104(b)

Description: The goal of this project is to advance assessment and prediction of streambank erosion in the context of climate-change induced fluctuations in streams’ water-sediment regimes. To accomplish this goal, the project will implement a technical approach that integrates streambank erodibility JET testing, root-dendrogeomorphology, high-frequency monitoring of erosion rates and environmental conditions, and non-deterministic numerical modeling with USDA-BSTEM. Throughout the duration of their studies, the student will interact with colleagues from the City of Raleigh, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the NC State Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering.

Project #2: Linking Scour Evaluation and Data from Geotechnical, Erodibility, and Hydraulic Investigation-An Integrative Approach

Sponsor: North Carolina Department of Transportation

Description: The objectives of this project are: (1) to estimate sediment erodibility parameters through correlation with physical and engineering parameters obtained from site geotechnical investigation; and (2) to correlate flow parameters and the flow-induced shear stress to facilitate the computation of scour and erosion magnitude for piers, abutments, and embankments. To address these objectives,  the project will implement a technical approach that integrates soil erodibility JET testing, hydrodynamic characterization, and process-based numerical modeling with Delft3D. Throughout the duration of their studies, the student will interact with colleagues from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the Colby College Department of Geology, and the NC State Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering.

If interested, please contact Celso Castro Bolinaga. In the email, describe your background, which project you are interested in, your motivation to pursue graduate studies, and attach a resume/CV. For more information about the research group, the department, and/or applying to NC State University click here

Waste Valorization Techno-economic and Life-cycle Optimization

The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at North Carolina State University is hiring a postdoctoral research scholar in the area of process modeling and optimization, spatial modeling, and environmental/agricultural data analysis.The postdoctoral research scholar will report directly to Dr. Mahmoud Sharara and work closely with Dr. Dani Jones (Biological and Agricultural Engineering) and Dr. Eric Edwards (Agricultural and Resources Economics). The position is funded through the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) program, the North Carolina Department of Justice (NC DOJ). Interested applicants should be available to start as soon as August 2023 but no later than October 2023. The position is expected to be funded through the summer of 2024 and subject to further extension.
The successful candidate is expected to perform literature and data syntheses to develop process models for technologies to process manures from different animal species (swine, poultry, and cattle). These models will capture efficiency, emissions, and techno-economic performance (TEA) for processes alone or in a cascade. The scholar will develop mixed-integer optimization models to inform site selection and scale of technology adoption. The scholar is expected to generate peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and assist with leading research efforts.

We especially encourage women, members of underrepresented groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Review and synthesize quantitative studies related to manure processing technologies and product/byproduct performance and valuation.
  • Manage large datasets (including spatial datasets) from multiple sources to derive data regarding manure quantities/composition, land-uses, and transportation logistics.
  • Develop process models and optimizations to estimate region-wide and state-wide technology adoption performance and economics.
  • Generate peer-reviewed manuscripts and technical reports, and present the work at technical conferences and stakeholder meetings.

For more details and to apply, please click here.

Biocarbon Utilization and Sequestration Lab

The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at North Carolina State University invites applications for a full-time postdoctoral research associate to work with Dr. Joe Sagues in the area of techno-economic and life cycle assessment of carbon-negative bioprocessing technologies. The initial appointment will be for one year, with the possibility for extension.

Duties and Responsibilities
The successful candidate is expected to generate peer-reviewed publications and assist with leading research efforts in techno-economic and life cycle assessment of carbon-negative bioprocessing technologies. The successful candidate will assist in the development of new carbon-negative bioprocessing technologies.

The hire will be expected to work with a diverse team comprised of engineers, biologists, chemists, economists, and entrepreneurs from academia, industry, and national labs.

For more details and to apply, please click here.

The Automation and Robotics Lab

The Automation and Robotics Lab at North Carolina State University is seeking a highly motivated  postdoctoral researcher. The ideal candidate will be responsible for conducting cutting-edge research in  the field of agricultural applications with a focus on automation and robotics. The successful  candidate will work under the guidance of Dr. Lirong Xiang and collaborate with other faculties from NC  State University to carry out research projects, write high-quality manuscripts, mentor graduate and  undergraduate students, coordinate research and extension teams, and participate in grant writing. The  minimum salary will be $55K/year plus benefits and health insurance. The initial contract is one year,  with the possibility for extension based on the satisfactory performance and the availability of funding.  

QUALIFICAITONS 

  • A Ph.D. or met all Ph.D. requirements in Agricultural Engineering, Electrical Engineering,  Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or other closely related disciplines. 
  • The candidate must have strong track record in at least one of the following areas:
    •  Robotic control and manipulation
    •  Mechanical design
    • Electrical design 
    • Computer vision 
    • Machine learning, deep learning  
  • Strong programming skills (e.g., C/C++, Python, MATLAB) 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills 

HOW TO APPLY 

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply here. Please also email your resume to Dr. Lirong Xiang. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Flood Mitigations Ph.D. Assistantship

The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at North Carolina State University invites applications for a full-time Ph.D. Assistantship to work with Dr. Mohamed Youssef and Dr. Barbara Doll who are exploring nature-based flood mitigation strategies. Specifically, Dr. Youssef and Dr. Doll are investigating temporary water storage in the agricultural landscape as a strategy to reduce the risk of flooding following extreme weather events. The research involves both field experiments and computer modeling. This is a 3-year assistantship contingent upon the availability of funding and student’s academic standing.

Duties and Responsibilities
The successful candidate will conduct a field experiment under the supervision of Dr. Youssef and Dr. Doll to assess on-farm water storage strategies for flood mitigation. The successful candidate will also conduct a model simulation study to extrapolate the short-term results of the field experimental study to larger spatial scale over the long-term. Responsibilities include field data collection and analysis,
calibrate/validate hydrologic models (e.g., HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS), assist with generating project reports, present results of the research in scientific conferences, and generate peer-reviewed publications. Other

Responsibilities
The successful candidate will be expected to work with a diverse team comprised of engineers, soil and crop scientists, and economists, and stakeholders. For additional information contact Dr. Mohamed Youssef at Mohamed_youssef@ncsu.edu or Dr. Barbara Doll at Barbara_doll@ncsu.edu.

MS Graduate for Wastewater Treatment Project

Contact: Dr. Mike Burchell (mike_burchell@ ncsu.edu)

Start dates – (flexible) August 15, 2023 or January 15, 2024

Project description:
This project will evaluate technologies that combine physical and biological processes to enhance nitrogen and phosphorus removal at smaller rural wastewater treatment facilities – a crucial strategy to improve surface water quality in NC. Advances in duckweed breeding and genetics and in the use of biochar have increased their potential to strip nutrients from wastewater. This study will combine laboratory experiments and scaled-up tests at a rural wastewater facility to enhance and build upon previous on-site research by members of the project team. We hypothesize harvestable duckweed and biochar filters will significantly reduce ammonium-nitrogen and phosphate in secondary wastewater effluent. Further, treatment efficiency will be enhanced as a treatment train and if wetland plants and pulsed aeration are added to the biochar filter. Nutrients captured by duckweed and biochar adsorption could potentially be recovered and reused as soil amendments. These alternatives could significantly improve watershed health, with minimal economic effect on underserved rural communities. This research project will be further enhanced through undergraduate and graduate student training, as well as the development of outreach materials and workshops for rural wastewater operators that will complement the goals of existing state wastewater infrastructure programs.