Research Assistant: Agricultural Engineering (ARA)

Updated: 5 months ago
Location: Adelaide, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Deadline: 14 Dec 2023

  • Based in UniSA STEM at the Mawson Lakes campus
  • Full-time, fixed term contract until 15 December 2024
  • Salary: $77,390 - $103,789 per annum (plus 17% superannuation)

About the Role 

The Research Assistant will undertake specific research on key projects, “Proof-of-concept - Oscillatory tillage in broadacre agriculture” and “Optimising soil amelioration costs in typical Mallee soils”, both funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) in collaboration with UniSA STEM. You will conduct high quality research and assist in the development of referred academic journal publications related to the research project activities. 

About UniSA STEM 

UniSA STEM  links engineering, mathematics, science, defence and cybersecurity, environmental science, aviation, information technology, construction and project management, harnessing the connections across disciplines to bring big ideas to fruition. Our researchers are solution focused and collaborative to deliver technical expertise and advice to industry, government and community groups to make commercially viable and sustainable impacts. We integrate research into our teaching, with students working alongside researchers in first-class facilities, what’s discovered one day is taught the next. Our graduates are entrepreneurs and trailblazers, who design and build the world they want to live in. UniSA STEM also incorporates leading edge research organisations; the Future Industries Institute, the Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments and the Centre for Industrial Artificial Intelligence (AI).  

The Agricultural Machinery Research and Design Centre (AMRDC) is the oldest research group at the University of South Australia, with national and international recognition. Its research focus includes the development of improved engineering solutions for agriculture, particularly the cropping and food industries. The AMRDC research team undertakes a large number of multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects, but also delivers postgraduate project supervision, provides expert specialist advice as well as consultancy services to the associated machinery manufacturing industry. 

Core Responsibilities 

  • Conduct high quality research and development activities under key project milestones related to the evaluation, optimisation and DEM modelling of oscillatory and rigid tine tillage system under supervision 
  • Design mechanical assemblies, conduct stress analyses, produce specialised manufacturing drawings as required 
  • Plan and undertake laboratory and field experimental work under guidance by senior research staff, including protocol development, data sampling, analysis, interpretation and technical report writing 
  • Contribute to research extension activities including, subject to the availability of funds, participation at conferences and seminars 
  • Support the submission of new research grants to secure future funding for the position 

Essential Skills and Experience 
  • Close to conferral, equivalent relevant experience or a PhD research degree in soil-tool systems involving discrete element method (DEM) simulation techniques 
  • Modelling experience of oscillatory tillage tool systems 
  • Ability to plan, design with appropriate statistical considerations and execute testing and research protocols in both laboratory and field contexts 
  • Evidence of high-quality research output commensurate with the length of research career, which is published and presented in appropriate forums 
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills demonstrated through working with external partners, and working effectively both independently and as part of a research team 


Getting a great job working with the best is just the start. UniSA rewards its staff with a wide variety of benefits such as:  

  • Access to great personal development opportunities  
  • Generous superannuation contributions of 17%  
  • Flexible working conditions Employee assistance and development programs  
  • Various on-site services available at our campuses which may include on-site gym membership  
  • A variety of leave arrangements 


As a University of Enterprise, we offer a dynamic and agile workplace culture, one that embraces challenges and thrives on breaking new ground. Our staff are creative and innovative thinkers, communicating with clarity, conviction and enthusiasm. We embrace diversity and inclusion in a vibrant, engaging environment. Our people are authentic, resilient, and influential, and we deliver results.  

Start Your Unstoppable Career 

For a copy of the position description and to apply, please visit Working at UniSA . The online application form will list the specific selection criteria that you need to address.   

Please address your cover letter to Kiara Lalli, Consultant: Recruitment Central. For further information about the position or the recruitment process, please contact UniSA Recruitment Central on +61 8 8302 1700 or via email at [email protected]  using job reference number 5590.  

Applications close: 11:30pm Thursday 14 December 2023  


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Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

UniSA is committed to developing a diverse workforce and a constructive enterprising culture in which everyone can thrive.

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