Senior Research Engineer - Robotics & Automation

Closing Date: 

Feb 22, 2019


4890 Victoria Avenue North, Vineland Station, Ontario

General Outline: 

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) is recruiting for a Senior Research Engineer, Robotics & Automation to work in an industry-driven research environment. Vineland is a world-class research centre dedicated to horticultural science and innovation. Located in Canada’s Niagara Region, Vineland’s mission is to deliver innovative products and production solutions that address the needs of the horticulture industry and advance Canada’s research and commercialization agenda. We are an independent, not-for-profit organization, funded in part by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Our people are the most important asset in achieving our goals and are known in the world for excellence in science and entrepreneurship. Our staff enjoys an exciting and challenging work environment noted for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Vineland welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

Must be legally entitled to work in Canada.

Duties & Responsibilities: 

The Robotics & Automation group at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is a unique group of engineers, computer scientists, and research technicians who tackle innovative problems where engineering intersects with horticulture and agriculture. We work on multiple projects concurrently that present many interesting challenges and demand a careful, creative, and thoughtful approach to design and implementation. Our mission is to enhance the industry with high-impact solutions to enhance greenhouses and farms with the newest technologies for improving productivity, lowering costs and growing better, healthier plants and produce.

As a Senior Research Engineer, you will be taking part in every stage of research and development for a variety of ongoing and future projects as well as playing an important leadership role in our group. Your job will be primarily focused on developing electro-mechanical robotics systems and integrating components such as actuators, sensors, mechanisms and power supplies. You will play a critical leadership role in helping the team manage project timelines, schedules and resourcing to ensure that we execute projects as efficiently as possible. Our Research Scientists will depend on you to help bring innovative concepts to life and ensure that we strike the perfect balance between ground-breaking research and practical application, while our engineers and technicians will look to you for guidance and motivation.

Key Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Project management responsibility in terms of time, cost and quality delivered – from scoping phase until project closure while ensuring progress in compliance with planned schedules and budgets
  • Engineering judgement for project design and progress monitoring, trouble-shooting, (e.g., when to design something from scratch vs. purchase off-the-shelf solutions, what level of detail is necessary at each stage of a project, careful consideration of design requirements and operational expectations)
  • Manage a team of four to seven engineers as a pool of expertise to be assigned to concurrent projects led by other engineers and Research Scientists
  • Programming microcontrollers (e.g. Arduino, STM32, Tiva etc.) for controlling various sensors, actuators and other devices
  • Design, assemble and test custom electronic circuitry and PCB’s
  • Develop algorithms for robotic manipulation
  • Support mechanical design activities (3-D modeling, fabrication and assembly)
  • Integrate computer-vision outputs for hand-eye coordinated manipulation
  • Support field testing of developed technologies
  • Take part in system design review sessions


  • Undergraduate degree in engineering with a focus on mechanical, biomechanical, mechatronics or robots
  • Professional Engineer Certification
  • Minimum  three years experience in industry
  • Two to three years of experience in managing engineering projects utilizing modern project management tools
  • Experience with working in a multi-disciplinary team and willingness to operate at the unique interface between engineering and biology

Additional Desirable Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

  • Graduate degree in engineering
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification or a diploma in Project Management
  • High level of creativity and inventiveness
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Ability to tackle new topics and step outside of your comfort zone
  • Excellent CAD skills (parts, assemblies, integration of off-the-shelf components)
  • Familiarity with mechatronics, robotic manipulators, mobile robotics, actuators, and sensors
  • Familiarity with computer vision, machine learning and control systems

Additional Info: 

The term of appointment for this position is March 2019 to March 2023.