Skip to main content

Postdoctoral Researcher in Smart Mechanisation for Sustainable Agricultural Development

Camperdown, Australia
$105,314 - $122,830 + 17% superannuation
Closing date
8 Aug 2024

Job Details

  • Located on the Camperdown campus with frequent trips (2-3 times per year at 1 week each) to Cambodia (and broadly the Mekong Region) for field trials and partner engagement
  • Unique opportunity for growth in the field of smart mechanisation for sustainable agriculture
  • Full time, fixed term for 2 years with a high possibility of extension (subject to performance and continued industry funding). Offering a base salary of $105,314 - $122,830 + 17% superannuation

About the opportunity

The ACFR is one of the largest robotics research institutes in the world, with over 100 members including faculty, research fellows, technical staff, and postgraduate students. The ACFR performs fundamental research on perception, control, modelling, learning and systems engineering and has strong industry and scientific collaborations in sectors including mining, commercial aviation, agriculture, defence, intelligent vehicles, and underwater mapping and exploration.

To learn more about the Australian Centre for Robotics (ACFR), click here.

We are seeking an early-stage Postdoctoral Researcher specialised in Mechatronics Engineering, or Agriculture or Mechanical Engineering (with software and electronics experience), or Electrical Engineering (with mechanical experience), to join our project focused on the gradual electrification and smart mechanisation of existing two-wheel tractors in the Mekong region, specifically Cambodia.

The ideal candidate will conduct research at the intersection of technology and sustainable agricultural development. This is a multi-year project (5 years), and the role offers an exceptional opportunity for the right candidate to grow into the field of smart mechanisation for sustainable agricultural development and to become a leader in this area.

The aim of this project is to build the technological and socio-economic foundations for the design, manufacture, and field evaluation of electric two-wheel tractors with precision agriculture capability (smart mechanisation), critically evaluating their potential to enhance the sustainability and productivity of Cambodian agriculture.

Similar examples of our previous work can be found here:




This role involves close engagement with the agriculture ministry, local universities, and NGOs, as well as economic, policy, and equity and social inclusion research experts. The candidate will play a key role in integrating technology with these other areas, co-designing systems, conducting field experimentation, and evaluating outcomes. Additionally, the role includes supervision of thesis and capstone projects in Australia and Cambodia. The candidate will be expected to travel to Cambodia (and more broadly the Mekong Region) 2-3 times per year, at 1 week each.

You will have exclusive access to a diverse group of mentors from engineering, agriculture, and the social sciences, all with experience in development agriculture. These mentors will support you to:

  • conduct research to innovate and refine electric and smart mechanisation technologies for two-wheel tractors
  • support the co-design process of electrified and smart mechanised two-wheel tractors with local stakeholders
  • collaborate to implement these technologies, ensuring they meet the unique needs of Cambodian agriculture
  • engage with overseas universities to develop and deliver training programmes and facilitate knowledge exchange
  • partner with NGOs and research experts in economics, policy, and social inclusion to support community-based projects and build capacity in Mechatronics technologies
  • provide technical support and mentorship to local engineers and students
  • conduct workshops and seminars to promote the adoption of innovative Mechatronics solutions
  • supervise thesis and capstone projects in Australia and Cambodia
  • facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration between engineering, economic, policy, and social inclusion domains to ensure holistic project outcomes
  • publish research findings in high-impact peer-reviewed journals
  • present research outcomes at international conferences and workshops
  • contribute to public dissemination efforts to increase awareness and understanding of project impacts
  • engage with stakeholders to translate research findings into practical applications
  • develop impact reports and case studies to demonstrate the benefits and lessons learned from the project

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values. We are seeking an excellent candidate for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who has:

  • a PhD in Mechatronics, or Agriculture or Mechanical Engineering (with software and electronics experience), Electrical Engineering (with mechanical experience), or related field
  • proven practical experience in sensing and control systems preferably within the outdoor/natural environment
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to work effectively in diverse cultural settings
  • strong problem-solving skills and adaptability
  • demonstrated interest in capacity building and sustainable development
  • ability to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • experience working on projects in developing countries is highly desirable.

To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page.

For employees of the University or contingent workers, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or any documents in alternate formats, please contact Rebecca Astar, Recruitment Operations by email to

Copyright The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

Click to view the Position Description for this role.

Applications Close

Thursday 08 August 2024 11:59 PM


The University of Sydney was established in 1850 and is consistently recognised, both locally and internationally, for its outstanding teaching and research excellence. Sydney alumni include Prime Ministers, Governor Generals, Nobel Prize winners and leaders in every field of endeavour.

The University offers a comprehensive range of courses, including a number of disciplines unique in Australia. Teaching is spread across nine different state-of-the art campuses, located across New South Wales.

The University of Sydney’s commitment to excellence in research has resulted in an outstanding record in national competitive funding and underpins an approach to teaching which has won nominations for excellence and resulted in high student satisfaction ratings. The University has 78 research centres and institutes and is home to three ARC Centres of Excellence.

The teaching, research and cultural life of the University is supported by extensive facilities, including the largest library collection in the Southern Hemisphere, the world-class Nicholson Museum of archaeological antiquities, the Macleay Museum of natural history and ethnographic collections and the University Art Gallery. Its outstanding sporting and recreation facilities provide a training centre for students and Olympic athletes.

The University of Sydney is a key member of the Group of Eight Australian major research-intensive universities, and the Worldwide Universities Network.


The University of Sydney has nine official campuses.

1.         Camperdown/Darlington Campus.

2.         Cumberland Campus. Home to the Faculty of Health Sciences (based in Lidcombe).

3.         Mallett Street Campus. Home of the Sydney Nursing School.

4.         Sydney Conservatorium of Music Campus. In Macquarie Street, central Sydney.

5.         Rozelle Campus. Home to Sydney College of the Arts.

6.         Surry Hills Campus. Home to the Faculty of Dentistry.

7.         Camden Campus. Contains facilities connected to the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

8.         Burren Street Campus. Facilties are currently under development.

9.         Sydney Medical School campuses. These include the School of Rural Health (in Dubbo and Orange), the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Westmead Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Nepean Hospital, Northern Clinical School, Sydney Adventist Hospital, Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, and Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health.


The University of Sydney has 16 faculties.

1. Agriculture and Environment

2. Architecture, Design and Planning

3. Arts and Social Sciences

4. Business (Business School)

5. Dentistry

6. Education and Social Work

7. Engineering and Information Technologies

8. Health Sciences

9. Law (Sydney Law School)

10. Medicine (Sydney Medical School)

11. Nursing and Midwifery

12. Pharmacy

13. Science

14. Sydney College of the Arts

15. Sydney Conservatorium of Music

16. Veterinary Science

Number of Employees

Full-time employees: 7616

For more information, please visit:

Company info
+(61) 2 9351 2222

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert