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Full Professor in Digitally Controlled Environmental Agriculture

Maastricht University - and HAS University of Applied Sciences

Full Professor Digitally Controlled Environmental Agriculture

Maastricht University and the HAS green academy - university of applied sciences have joined forces to boost knowledge and education regarding Environment Agriculture and are looking for a Full Professor to power this boost. 

Job Description

Globally, Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is rapidly expanding. It includes high-tech greenhouse and vertical farm production of healthy vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers.  Dutch technology and expertise provide an important basis for this growth. In an environment where temperature, light and fertigation can be controlled, the growing conditions can be optimally designed for the crop. It allows local-for-local production, optimal water and land usage and it is amenable to mechanization. CEA helps to reduce waste, labour, and transport. It contributes to increased food safety, food security and product quality.  

Worldwide there is a shortage of farmer succession, and this is no different for the horticultural sector. Fortunately, the CEA sector envisages solutions to this problem. CEA is especially amenable to data driven crop management solutions. Data coming through sensors in the growth facility and on the plants give information on how to adapt the growing environment in terms of temperature, light, fertigation, plant pruning etcetera. The CEA grower of the future will thus be more reliant on a data-driven growth management system in the future, and the plant management in the greenhouse will be further automated. 

We strive to improve CEA system designs and crop management standards by using technology that will serve plant (optimal growth conditions), people (fresh and healthy plants) and planet (sustainable production methodology). Via various "dashboards", the integration of data streams from the plant sensor, the greenhouse or vertical farm and the surrounding environment, is used to build a better understanding of the growing environment enabling improved crop management and advice. The management of the CEA systems is complex and needs a combination of grower experience with the crop (green fingers) and interpretation of continuous data coming from the production systems. There is a lot to be discovered and innovated 

Where are you going to work?

The professor will be based at the Brightlands Future Farming Institute (BFFI) in Venlo but will have a close connection to (and work partially at) the Agri & Business department of HAS green academy in Venlo and Den Bosch. 

You will be the bridge between HAS Green Academy and BFFI connecting both institutes, students, and researchers by building a knowledge infrastructure on the Brightlands Campus Greeport Venlo. This infrastructure will be closely linked to the educational programs of HAS Green Academy and UM. 

The Brightlands Future Farming Institute (BFFI) is a research collaboration between BASF, Nunhems and the Faculty of Science and Engineering of Maastricht University. It focuses on Natural sciences and technology. At the BFFI, University of Maastricht scientists and students work on the genetics, growth recipes and crop management related to vegetable production. Together they strive for the optimal phenotype by integrating plant genetics, plant environment and crop management. 

The university of Maastricht and the HAS green academy – university of applied sciences therefore like to get in contact with candidates that are interested and qualified for the position of Full Professor Digitally Controlled Environmental Agriculture. 


You are a creative person, who has a vision regarding CEA and you are not afraid to share this vision with other stakeholders. You are proactive and have an entrepreneurial mind-set, which allows you to work in a new research environment. Besides that: 

  • A clear vision, developing next level digital controlled environment agriculture
  • A track record in crop modelling and/or relevant crop growth management systems
  • Ability to network and translate this vision, in close cooperation with international scientist and industry, into relevant research proposals
  • Experience with, or ability to translate practical crop growth experience into relevant research topics for digital CEA
  • Ability to translate research findings to practical tools for CEA farm operations
  • Teaching experience in an appropriate field, both for students and the international horticultural sector
  • Ph.D. and equivalent experience in a relevant field
  • An international network within a relevant field and the ability to interact with and explain gained insights with growers, students, and society
  • A collaborative mind set. Preferably collaboration experience with crop physiologists and plant scientists
  • Experience with external grant acquisition
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in Dutch and English, as you will be working in an international and intercultural setting 

Although we are searching for a full professor, we also encourage Associate Professors with a strong track record to apply for this position. 

What we offer

As Full Professor Digitally Controlled Environmental Agriculture at Faculty of Science & Engineering, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Venlo. In addition, we offer you: 

  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale 16 according to UFO profile Professor, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €7405,00 and €9680,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1,0 FTE. Upon proven suitability, the employment contract will be converted to an indefinite contract.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'. 

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here

Maastricht University

Why work at Maastricht University?

At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research. 

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers. 

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community. 

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together. 

Click here for more information about UM. 

Faculty of Science and Engineering 

At the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), we focus on themes such as circularity and sustainability, future farming, digitisation and (scientific) instrument development.  FSE's leading projects, like the Einstein Telescope Pathfinder, are sure to grab anyone's attention.  The faculty is a vibrant hub of education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS).  At FSE, over 450 staff members and 3700 students gather to explore e exciting interdisciplinary research and educational programmes. Feel welcome, be part of our team and put your brilliant mind to work!  

FSE at the Brightlands Campuses

Maastricht, Sittard-Geleen, Heerlen, and Venlo, the home of four creative Brightlands campuses, are bustling with 30,000 entrepreneurs, researchers, and students working diligently to solve global challenges. The Faculty of Science and Engineering is active on all four Brightlands campuses, and this is where our impact reaches its peak. To give you an idea of what is happening at each campus: Sittard-Geleen is home to the largest chemical site in the Euregion, while Venlo is a large hub for agri-food innovation. Maastricht is the site of the Health Campus, and Heerlen is the place to be for Smart Services.  


Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Cyriel Mentink, Director Campus Development Venlo at for more information. 


Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new Full Professor Digitally Controlled Environmental Agriculture? Apply now for this position.The vacancy will be open until we have found the right candidate. 

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized. 

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.

Location: Maastricht - Netherlands
Salary: €7,405 to €9,680
£6,440.84 to £8,419.63 converted salary* gross per month plus benefits
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 11th June 2024
Closes: 31st December 2024
Job Ref: 885
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