The purpose of this position is to assist a team of researchers to:
Conduct research measuring and recording energy consumption on Minnesota dairy farms,
Evaluate solar PV as a combined source of electrical energy production and shade for dairy cows on pasture ,
Study electric charging systems and electric vehicles for farm use,
Evaluate basic economics, and
Educate farmers and students about clean energy strategies for Minnesota farms.
50% Research and Testing: Assist in instrumenting the livestock facilities at commercial dairy farms to obtain baseline energy consumption data. Collect and organize data from dairy farms. Responsibilities include installation of sensors and monitoring equipment, data collection and organization, daily entry into research logs, data analysis and assistance with the preparation of reports.
20% Monitor Operations and Maintain Equipment: Participate in the development of a solar PV system and electric charging station at the WCROC. Assist in acquisition, operation, maintenance of electric vehicles. Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), policies, and procedures as deemed necessary for electric vehicles and charging station. Observe and document system operations. Verify data collection and control systems are actively and accurately recording data. The position is responsible for maintaining research equipment, reporting mechanical failures, implementing and overseeing safety protocols. Work with staff to optimize the systems and data collection processes.
10% Program Outreach: Conduct tours explaining key concepts of the dairy energy systems. This would also include developing knowledge of equipment and operations. Outreach activities may also involve presenting results to small and large audiences, developing print materials, assist in designing features of the website and on-site portals, and participation in organizing educational events.
10% Troubleshoot: Identify performance issues and develop appropriate actions to rectify the situation. Be available to identify and correct problems with data acquisition, storage, access, and delivery. Resolving these issues will likely involve using a combination of basic electronics and mechanical skills.
10% Duties as assigned: Will be expected to back up and cross train with other renewable energy staff members.
Essential knowledge, skills and abilities:
Bachelor's degree in engineering, animal science, or similar technical field and 1 year of related experience or a combination of related education and applicable experience to total 5 years
Basic computer skills including experience with MS Office
Preferred knowledge, skills and abilities:
MS degree in electrical, mechanical, agricultural engineering, or closely related field. Professional experience may substitute.
Two years professional work experience or a combination of education and related professional work experience totaling six years.
Experience working in a research environment with data acquisition systems.
Demonstrated experience in organizing and analyzing data.
Demonstrated communication and professional writing skills.
Practical experience with solar or other energy systems.
Must be able to work cooperatively with others and accept direction from supervisors.
Must have logical, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
Must be able to work independently, exercise good judgment, and respond to rapidly changing demands.
Ability and desire to continue learning by on the job troubleshooting and review of current literature.
Ability to occasionally work for extended periods in outdoor environments.
Ability to travel occasionally for training, outreach, or research activities.
General knowledge of dairy or other livestock production systems.
Demonstrated ability to work with commercial farmers.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.