Upward Farms designs and operates complete ecosystems of plants and fish in vertical farms, supplying these organic products to local grocers. We are currently expanding and have recently opened a new cutting-edge, fully automated facility in Brooklyn. More and larger farms are in the works. Our mission is to heal the broken food system and reconnect eaters with flavorful and nutritious local food.
In this role, you will manage the vision, roadmap, and execution of Upward Farms’ high throughput plant phenomics systems, spanning crop scouting, trait characterization, and quality control. Your focus areas will include the detection of disease, stress, and pests at scale; the quantification of phenotypes and forecasted yield; and the development of go/no-go checkpoints throughout the production process. To accomplish this, you will set the high level strategy for plant phenomics, whether that means working externally with partners in imaging hardware and analysis, or partnering internally with colleagues and stakeholders. In this role, you will join the Agriculture and Manufacturing R&D (AMRD) team and collaborate with colleagues from Software & Electronics and Engineering. You will lead the conceptualization, development, and prioritization of new features and systems, and contribute towards the advancement of plant production outcomes at Upward Farms.
Your objective is to identify the business objectives that plant phenomics systems will fulfill at Upward Farms, define what success looks like, and provide product and technical leadership in turning that vision into reality. Success in this role will mean fostering alignment, buy-in, and execution around key plant phenomics outcomes and supporting the development cycle across various teams from start to finish. You are encouraged to build bridges, do what it takes to solve the right problems, and co-create our R&D culture. The ultimate responsibilities and contributions in this role will be shaped around the individual we hire and their background. There is tremendous room for growth.
- Lead the development and execution of product and feature visions for crop scouting, trait characterization, and quality control imaging systems.
- Dive deep into relevant areas in the biological, physical, and information sciences, then zoom out and communicate at a high level with a variety of stakeholders professionally and effectively.
- Work alongside project managers to identify and manage vendors and partners across imaging hardware and analysis.
- Actively partner with the AMRD Director and colleagues in the continuous development of the team.
- Coordinate and plan the development of disease detection and yield estimation algorithms.
- Contribute to the development of decision support systems and crop models.
- Support to the coordination and planning of experiments in R&D and production systems to advance plant imaging and phenomics capabilities.
- Act as a stakeholder to the development of aquaculture phenomics, microbiomics, and business intelligence systems.
- MS or PhD in the natural sciences or engineering.
- 2+ years industry or research experience in high throughput phenotyping, plant imaging, computer vision, image analysis, phenomics, or remote sensing.
- Familiarity with scripting languages such as Python, R, Matlab, or equivalent.
- Intrinsically curious to understand things at a fundamental level while simultaneously driven to rapidly put solutions into the hands of customers.
- Practical understanding of plants and business fundamentals.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills to a wide range of technical backgrounds.
- Project management experience.
- Flexible, curious, and open minded.
Preferred Skills & Experience
- Product management or technical product management experience.
BenefitsWe offer a dynamic work environment and benefits that include:
- Aetna Medical, Aetna and MetLife Dental, and Aetna Vision insurance; FSA/HSA plans; and HIPAA-compliant health advocates. Upward Farms contributes 78-100% of the premium for Medical benefits for employees and their families.
- Unlimited paid sick time. For extended illness, we offer short term disability.
- Up to 20 days paid time off per year, depending on experience, in addition to paid holidays.
- For new parents, an extension of New York State’s paid family leave for up to 18 weeks of fully paid parental leave. This leave is in addition to Disability leave available to pregnant and postpartum mothers.
- Commuter benefits, discounted gym memberships, and other perks.
- Fresh salad, and lots of it!
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our needs are unique and varied so we value colleagues with diverse backgrounds. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and/or protected veteran status.
Please note we do not provide immigration sponsorship for this position; applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis.