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SmartFarm Innovation Network® Cluster Hires

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The Virginia Tech SmartFarm Innovation Network® is rapidly expanding thanks to many new faculty hires. Since 2020, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has advertised 13 new tenure track positions identified as the SmartFarm Innovation Network® cluster. Our success has been phenomenal, attracting motivated faculty with a variety of knowledge and skills in engineering, computer science, data analytics, technology, statistics and the capacity to apply those into advanced innovation in agriculture. While you may recognize some of these names, as our first hires arrived in 2020, others are new to Virginia Tech as recently as January 2022 and a couple will arrive in August 2022. Many of these new hires have already joined CAIA and are ready to network with you. Please welcome the new SmartFarm Innovation Network® cluster faculty.

  • Hasan Seyyedhasani, Connected Technologies in Agriculture Applications – Agronomic Crops; School of Plant and Environmental Sciences [SPES]
  • Sanaz Shafian, Connected Technologies in Agriculture – Horticultural Crops; SPES
  • Kaylee South, Controlled Environment Agriculture Technologies; SPES
  • Emmanuel Torres Quezada, Horticulture Cropping Systems; Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center (ESAREC) and SPES
  • Srdjan Acimovic, Tree Fruits/Specialty Crop Pathology; Alson H. Smith Jr AREC and SPES
  • Abhilash Chandel, Precision Agriculture Technologies and Data Management; Tidewater AREC and Biological Systems Engineering
  • Anubhab Gupta, Economics of International Agricultural Development; Agricultural and Applied Economics [AAEC]
  • James Chen, Animal Data Sciences; Animal and Poultry Sciences [APSC]
  • Azahar Ali, Biosensor Engineering; APSC
  • Alejandro Del Pozo, Applied Insect Ecology; Hampton Roads AREC and Entomology
  • Hannah Sunderman, Adaptive and Organizational Leadership; Agriculture, Leadership, and Community Education [begins August 2022]
  • Yifan Cheng, Food Packaging; Food Science and Technology [begins August 2022]

One of the positions, targeted toward food traceability, was not filled. However, other positions further were filled during this same timeframe, expanding our SmartFarm Innovation Network® capacity even further:

  • Elinor Benami, Data Analytics and Machine Learning in Global Agricultural Sustainability; AAEC
  • Chi Ta, Environmental, Energy and Public Economics; AAEC
  • Vijay Singh, Weed Science; ESAREC and SPES
  • Nicholas Santantonio, Small Grains Breeding; SPES
  • Brianna Posadas, Human-Computer Interactions for Plant Sciences; SPES
  • Johan Osario Estevez, One Health; Dairy Science
  • Tiffany Drape, Community Viability and Evaluation; ALCE