Research Scientist – Robotics Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) is recruiting for a Research Scientist – Robotics Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence to work in an industry-driven research environment. Vineland is a uniquely Canadian results-oriented organization dedicated to horticulture science and innovation. We deliver innovative products, solutions and services through an integrated and collaborative cross-country network to 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.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Reporting to the Director, Automation, the Research Scientist, Robotics Machine Learning (ML) & Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a core role within Vineland’s Automation team with supervisory responsibilities of other researchers, engineers and technical staff
  • A scientist is appointed to lead research and development in an area of specialized scientific or engineering expertise. They are required to maintain a strong up-to-date knowledge of their field and make a significant intellectual contribution to the delivery of Vineland’s innovation goals.
  • The multi-disciplinary, integrated nature of Vineland’s research programs requires a flexible, team focused mind-set and a solid understanding of organizational goals and priorities. Scientists are expected to be outstanding role models of Vineland’s core values of Excellence, Integrity, Entrepreneurial spirit, Openness, Collaborative and Impact-driven.
  • As a Research Scientist, Robotics ML & AI expert you will develop algorithms, AI and ML capabilities for robotic and automation systems to perform functions that involve picking crops, aiding decisions of picking and much more
  • This role involves developing systems architecture and deploying various ML & AI techniques such as neural networks, deep learning and much more for embedded hardware solutions or data storage/cloud applications

Key duties and responsibilities:

Science/Engineering – 80%

  • Design and apply ML/AI algorithms and evaluate their performance and translating generated algorithms into production-level code (in python preferably)
  • Integrate with existing software practices that produce maintainable code, including automated testing, continuous integration, code style conformity and code review
  • Familiar with improving/optimizing/tuning existing algorithms as well as development of new algorithms from scratch. This will include software design, software development and debugging.
  • Demonstrate a hands-on approach to problem solving and must be willing to actively participate in evaluation of algorithm and system performance
  • Develop new deep learning algorithms that can leverage massive amounts of labelled/unlabelled data experimentally showing state-of-the-art performance
  • Develop machine learning models using deep learning techniques for computer vision tasks
  • Produce high quality tested code that enables large scale research and can be transferred to physical robots deployed in the real world
  • Stay up-to-date on the state-of-the-art in AI/ML techniques and software, in collaboration with our team members
  • Work in a multidisciplinary team and collaborate with other teams across the organization
  • Present results in verbal and written communications, including potentially at top international conferences
  • Provide intellectual leadership in their field and contribute to the design and execution of Vineland’s R&D activities
  • Provide guidance, training and oversight to technical staff as required
  • Prepare plans, budgets, analysis and reports to aid in execution and communication of R&D activities
  • Prepare business case, budgets and rationale for new projects, present opportunity analysis to senior management and proposals for grant or industry funding
  • Maintain a high level of quality control in area of expertise including (but not limited to) experimental design, methods of data collection and analysis, reporting and record keeping
  • Maintain a strong awareness of issues and opportunities in the horticulture sector, generate new ideas and pursue the development of projects that deliver on Vineland’s innovation goals
  • Participate in the creation, protection and commercialization of intellectual property
  • Maintain a strong up-to-date knowledge of technological advancements and competition in the field
  • Participate in the scientific community via conferences, peer-reviewed publication, adjunct university faculty status and/or graduate student supervision

Collaborator and Client Relations – 10%

  • Build collaborative relationships in the science and technology community that strengthen Vineland’s R&D teams
  • Build and maintain relationships with clients and industry partners to gain input, support, investment, service contracts or commercial relationships as the role requires
  • Communicate results and represent Vineland at scientific, industry, government and public events

Human Resources – 5%

  • A scientist is likely to participate on more than one R&D team and may be accountable to Program Leader/s in addition to their own direct supervisor
  • Manage staff that may include other scientists, postdocs, engineers, technical staff and interns as required. HR responsibilities include: hiring, performance management, training and professional development, vacation and sick leave.
  • Foster an open, productive and collaborative work environment
  • Set annual targets and hold staff accountable for meeting milestones and developmental goals
  • Maintain a safe and healthy work environment and ensure policies and procedures are followed

Management and Administration – 5%

  • Administer and adhere to organizational processes and policies
  • Interface with the Director, business staff and/or senior management to develop R&D plans, proposals, intellectual property filings, commercialization strategies and other material that facilitates the innovation process
  • Prepare reports, proposals, plans and presentations for internal and external audiences


  • PhD (preferred), Masters (+3-year technical experience) in computer science or engineering
  • Proficient in Python and Unix is a minimum. Additional knowledge of C/++ is a plus.
  • You are passionate about ML, both large scale engineering and research challenges, especially in Robotics & Automation
  • Strong background in mathematics (optimization, linear algebra, statistics and algorithms)
  • Project delivery experience in a relevant area
  • Experience in working in cross-functional teams
  • Supervisory experience with strong interpersonal skills
  • Superior ability to communicate technical information in written and oral communications to a range of different audiences
  • Up-to-date technical knowledge and awareness of new developments in field
  • Sound working knowledge of budgeting and financial management
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to engage in the business side of R&D
  • Familiarity with intellectual property (IP) concepts
  • Self-assured, confident, self-motivated and goal-oriented
  • Strategic, insightful, creative and adaptable

Additional desirable qualifications, skills and abilities:

  • PhD (preferred) in computer science or engineering
  • Relevant experience to the position such as post-doctoral roles, a proven track record of publications or artificial intelligence
  • Familiarity with neural networks and applications in robotics
  • Have experience with object detection, computer vision and path planning
  • Experience in horticulture or agriculture
Full Time Position
Closing Date: November 6, 2020
Location: 4890 Victoria Avenue North, Vineland Station, Ontario, Canada, L0R 2E0

Apply Today

Please fill out the online application for this position. You will receive confirmation that your application has been received. Only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.

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 outstanding benefits and an exciting and challenging work environment noted for collaboration and knowledge sharing all set against a backdrop of natural beauty.

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