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Iowa State University Postdoc Research Associate- Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Drones in Transportation Infrastructure System in Ames, Iowa

Position Information:

Position Title:Postdoc Research Associate- Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Drones in Transportation Infrastructure System

Appointment Type:Post Doc/Trainee

Job Description:Job Description

Under the direction of Principal Investigators/Director of the PROSPER program at InTrans, the duties and responsibilities of the successful candidate will be:

  • Conduct research (field, laboratory, and analytical work) and coordinate project tasks related to the small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAVs/sUAS/Drones) technology (i.e., platforms and mounted sensors) for transportation infrastructure system applications.

  • Conduct research on sUAS platforms and sUAS-mounted sensor technologies for airport pavement inspection and management in a university and industry setting within the project budget.

  • Conduct research on the use of sUAS for real-time foreign object damage (FOD) detection and identification on airport surfaces in a university and industry setting within the project budget.

  • Conduct research on smart and sustainable airport/highway pavement systems and unpaved roads.

  • Conduct data collection, cleaning, quality assurance, analysis, and model validation activities.

  • Manage multiple priorities and tasks in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.

  • Write and participate in the preparation of peer-reviewed journal papers and research funding proposals.

  • Participate in reporting to funders and present results to key stakeholders.

  • Work collaboratively with industry and academic partners involved in projects.

  • Proactively engage in discussions with other research groups to gather data and insights necessary to complete interdisciplinary research.

  • Communicate effectively (frequently and concisely) with the project and PROSPER team, supervisors, and sponsoring agencies.

  • Lead and assist/supervise undergraduate and graduate students on multiple research projects.

  • Keep and maintain accurate and detailed records of all research performed with excellent interpersonal skills and a strong work ethic.

  • Be able to work on an unconventional schedule and travel on short notice (typically day trips or 8-10 overnight stay) to respond to sponsoring agencies’ requests.

  • Must adhere to all campus and EH&S safety policies.

This position is funded through competitive research grants and industry. The successful candidate will be offered a one-year contract with the possibility of renewal for additional years. No renewal is guaranteed and will be dependent on further grant support.

Required Minimum Qualifications

Ph.D. in Engineering, Sciences, or Design (e.g., Civil Engineering (from all sub-disciplines such as Transportation Engineering, Construction Engineering, Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, etc.), Aerospace Engineering, Aviation, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Remote Sensing, Geology, Geography, Aviation and Transportation, Agronomy, Design, Architecture, City and Urban Planning, Geographic Information Systems, Urban Design, and related fields) with an emphasis on the application of sUAS platforms and sUAS-mounted sensor technology(s) in transportation infrastructure systems and/or pavement engineering field; Strong knowledge and experience in various sUAS-mounted sensors (including optical, thermal, Light-Detecting and Ranging (LiDAR), radar, multi/hyperspectral sensors, and so on), and various post-processed data analysis (including orthomosaics, 3D point clouds contours, Digital Terrain Models (DTMs), radar scans, hyperspectral data cubes, spectral profiling, 3D models, and so on); Demonstrated knowledge and experience in artificial intelligence, machine learning, image and signal processing, statistical programming, and other sensing data processing and analysis tools for transportation infrastructure engineering applications; Demonstrated programming skills (or ability to learn new programming languages quickly, e.g., Python or Java) to develop codes for research projects and tasks; Excellent technical writing skills proven by peer-reviewed journal publications and research reports are a must as the successful candidate is expected to make significant contributions to proposals and publications; Experience managing multiple tasks/projects. Four years of relevant research experience (including graduate research studies), as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications.

Preferred Qualifications

Demonstrated expertise in sUAS platforms and sUAS-mounted sensor technologies for airport pavement inspection and management; Demonstrated experience in the application of remote sensing and geospatial information systems (GIS) technologies for solving diverse problems in transportation applications and other areas; Familiar/experienced with pavement and granular road system; Hold the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 Remote Pilot license and be experienced with sUAS flight operations and be familiar with the FAA and state transportation agencies’ regulations on sUAS flights; Demonstrated knowledge and experience in MATLAB; Familiar or experienced with analytical and numerical analysis and software visualization tools.

Department/Program & College Description:

The Program for Sustainable Pavement Engineering and Research (PROSPER) is a program dedicated to sustainable highway and airport pavements research under the Institute of Transportation (InTrans) at Iowa State University. The PROSPER was founded in 2013 and has been instrumental in advancing research, education, and technology transfer in the area of sustainable highway and airport pavement infrastructure systems.

To apply for this position, please click on “Apply for this Vacancy” and complete the Employment Application. Please be prepared to enter or attach the following:1) Letter of application/cover letter2) Curriculum vitae3) Contact information for three references

4) Statement of research interests

5) Copy of transcripts from undergraduate and graduate studies For questions regarding this vacancy, please contact Dr. Halil Ceylan, hceylan@iastate.eduIf you have questions regarding this application process, please e-mail or call 515-294-4800 or Toll-Free: 1-877-477-7485.

Proposed Start Date:January 1, 2021

Proposed End Date or Length of Term:December 31, 2021

Number of Months Employed Per Year:12 Month Work Period

Time Type:Full time

Pay Grade:Post Docs

Application Instructions:

To apply for this position, please click on “Apply” and complete the Employment Application. Please be prepared to enter or attach the following:

1) Resume/Curriculum Vitae

2) Letter of Application/Cover Letter

3) Contact Information for Three References

The candidate selected for hire may be requested to provide documentation to verify highest degree completed.

If you have questions regarding this application process, please email or call 515-294-4800 or Toll Free: 1-877-477-7485.

Original Posting Date:September 11, 2020

Posting Close Date:December 7, 2020

Job Requisition Number:R3209

Iowa State University is classified as a Carnegie Foundation Doctoral/Research University-Extensive, a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), and ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top public universities in the nation. More than 30,000 students are enrolled and are served by over 6,200 faculty and staff.

Iowa State University is a global and culturally diverse university committed to providing an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment for both learning and employment. We know that diversity in experience and perspective is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and building an inclusive academic community. At Iowa State, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituents. The university has an expectation that all employees will demonstrate a contribution to diversity and inclusion as embodied in Iowa State University’s Principles of Community.

All offers of employment, oral and written, are contingent upon the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by federal and state law, ISU policies/procedures, and may include the completion of a background check and/or a consumer credit check.

Iowa State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, 515 294-7612, email

If you have questions about the application process please email or call 515-294-4800 or Toll-Free at 1-877-477-7485. Iowa State University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should email or call (515) 294-4800 or Toll-Free: (877) 477-7485. TTY users are welcome to use the Iowa Relay Service number by dialing 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2942.

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