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Junior Specialist/Hardware Developer

Application Window

Open date: September 3rd, 2021

Most recent review date: Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Saturday, Sep 3, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The UC Davis Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering is seeking a Junior Specialist I for a full time 100% position to assist in the developing and demonstrating a real-time monitoring and early detection system for insect activity in rice and almonds. The Junior Specialist rank is an entry level position, The junior specialist rank is an entry level position requiring a BS degree in Computer Engineering or related field, accordingly it is inappropriate to hire applicants with advanced degrees in this field, or those with bachelor’s degrees and three years’ relevant work experience. (See APM-UCD 330).

The incumbent will be involved in developing the hardware (insect trap devices) and software of the new system. The incumbent is also required to conduct research activities in our lab and at storage and processing facilities to validate the functionality and to document the new system effectiveness and accuracy. The work will require some degree of independence in travelling to storage and processing sites in California and working with industry collaborators at field sites.

Insect infestation during storage of agricultural products such as rice and almonds can reduce their quality, grade and price and increase food safety risk. Consequently, infestation can lead to significant financial losses for the growers and processors. Minimizing the impact of infestation is important to the industry of rice and almonds. In California and rest of the world, the current human inspection methods for insects are associated with inaccuracy, time consuming, requiring trained personnel and lack of skills to identify the insect. Additionally, these methods do not have the capability of real time and early detection of insect activity in stored products. Early insect-detection is considered as an effective technique to determine the optimal pest management practice to minimize the infestation risk and maintain storage longevity, quality, grade and safety of the agricultural products, and reducing the treatment cost. This position will help to develop a real-time monitoring and early detection technique for insect activity in stored rice and almonds and preserve their quality and grade, and mitigate the economic impacts.

The incumbent should be actively involved in collecting data on effectiveness and accuracy of the new system and helping to analyze and summarize the results and discuss the research findings with collaborators and funding agency coordinators. The incumbent will also help prepare presentation materials on the new system features and the performance results, in the form of posters, slides and reports that will be presented at industry meetings and professional conferences.

The incumbent will provide mentorship to undergraduate students in Dr. Pan’s research group, training them in development, deployment, and assessment of the new system functions and operations.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

BS degree in Computer Engineering or related field acquired by start date

Preferred qualifications

• Willingness to learn
• C++
• Arduino
• Board Design
• Experience in developing the hardware, software, websites, mobile apps, operating server and databases, designing circuits and building a microcontroller.
• Experience in designing the insect trap devices.
• Knowledge related to software and hardware system required to monitor insect activity in agricultural products.
• Experience working with Autodesk Eagle
• Basic knowledge of HTTP
• Experience working on the research related to insect detection in grains using an imagining system.
• Laboratory skills to evaluate the insect detection system.
• Skills to install the system in commercial storage facility and collect data wirelessly.
• Able to work well under supervision and with others.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 2-4 required (contact information only)
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Campus Information

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We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals’ with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UC Davis positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available at:

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) is committed to inclusive excellence by advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. UC Davis celebrates the multi-cultural diversity of its community by creating a welcoming and inclusive environment demonstrated through a variety of resources and programs available to academics, staff, and students. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values of UC Davis that are embedded within our Principles of Community and are tied with how to best serve our student population. Our excellence in research, teaching, and service can best be fully realized by members of our academic community who share our commitment to these values, which are included in our Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision, our strategic plan: “To Boldly Go,” our Principles of Community, the Office of Academic Affairs’ Mission Statement, and the UC Board of Regents Policy 4400: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement. UC Davis is making important progress towards our goal of achieving federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offers a plethora of resources on their website, and the Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HEDI) has outlined similar goals in their Anti-Racism and DEI Action Plan.” There are a plethora of links available on the About Us webpage where you can learn more about our Administration, Diversity and Inclusion, Rankings, Locations, Native American Land Acknowledgement, Sustainability, Visiting UC Davis, UC Davis Health, and Campus Safety.

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As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for applicable deadlines. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Sacramento, Yuba City and Firebaugh CA