Research Officer: Postharvest Technology


Job ID:



$69,841 - $89,134 pa



Job Views:



Manawatu / Wanganui 



Employment Type:

Full time

Job Description:

Massey Agritech Partnership Research Centre, College of Sciences

The newly formed Massey Agritech Partnership is seeking to appoint 3 Research Officers on a full-time permananet basis in the Postharvest Technology area. A significant proportion of the position will be conducting commercial orientated kiwifruit research through our key client relationship with Zespri International.

Location:Palmerston North
Grade:Lecturer/Research Officer
Salary:$69,841 - $89,134 pa
Applications close:11:45 p.m. on 11 October 2018

Position overview

About the role;
As a Research Officer you will be required to taking on a range of work related to postharvest research and development, for New Zealand’s large export industries and key industries in development. You will also assist in meeting commercial demand for problem-solving for New Zealand export orientated fresh product industries. Key activities of the group include:
• industrial scale research (in both lab and industrial environments) featuring atmosphere and temperature manipulation that enables outcomes to be translated to supply chain practice; 
• development of a suite of non-destructive testing methodologies for fruit quality assessment including (NIR, OCT and laser-backscattering;
• quantitative, stochastic, real-time predictive mathematical modelling of fruit and vegetable quality as influence by harvest properties and storage and supply chain conditions. 
• Large scale data capture and consequent elegant data mining, presentation and communication of learnings focused on fresh product quality factors that influence commercial value and outcomes.

Reporting to the Director of the Massey Agritech Partnership under the direction of the Professor of Postharvest Technology, you will work closely with academics and technical staff within MAP and other departments. You will also be expected to develop a team of graduate (PhD and Masters) students and may need to oversee casual staff and interns, and work closely in collaboration with laboratory management.

About you
Your personal experience within the postharvest sector ensures that you are familiar with both research and commercial environments. You are flexible and resourceful, and enjoy the challenges associated with successfully coordinating complex and varied projects, and are prepared to travel both with New Zealand and internationally in order to achieve research outcomes if required. Remuneration will be commensurate with skills and experience.

Job description

Purpose statement

Ensure the successful completion of commercially-funded postharvest projects.

Responsible to

Director of Massey Agritech Partnership.

Key accountabilities

• Work within contract research environment to deliver specific outcomes and project milestone around the development of postharvest technologies. 
• Establish an excellent working relationship with key client Zespri. 
• Efficiently respond to enquiries from prospective clients, scope and assess potential projects, liaise with academic and technical staff within MAP and our collaborators, prepare project proposals and estimate required resources.
• Co-ordinate and carry out projects from contract to completion, ensuring excellent communication within the team and with the client, and that the final outputs are on time and to the required standard.
• Share responsibility with other technical staff for training on, and preventative maintenance of, laboratory equipment, in the Postharvest Laboratory and associated coolrooms.
• Support undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff in their research.
• Ensure Health and Safety policies are adhered to at all times.

• To operate within the Massey Agritech Partnership and work with a major commercial client to create and implement workflow integration of research findings. 
• To use a range of laboratory equipment and be able to collect robust and reliable data. 
• To use a high level of analytical skills to analyse and present such data.
• To work with Centre management to provide project management. 
• To assist Centre management in developing new projects, with existing and new clients.

• Assist in the delivery of project outcomes, by being available for relevant field work and providing assistance where required.
• Assist with other relevant projects and provide technical support to others. 
• Other duties as requested by the Director.

Person specification


A relevant PhD qualification in horticulture or plant biology.


Appropriate technical experience in: 
Postharvest quality assessment for fruit or vegetables.
Mathematical modelling and prediction of fresh food quality. 
Data capture, analysis and data mining associated with fresh food processing.
Sound technical knowledge on postharvest biology of fresh products (primarily fruit and vegetables).
Good understanding of the needs of domestic and export-oriented fresh product industries.
Experience working in a multi-disciplinary team.
Experience in developing and maintaining relationships with external clients.
A high level of skill and experience using the Microsoft Office suite and statistical analysis products

Personal attributes and behaviours

Self-motivated and possessing strong personal management and problem solving skills.
Have the ability to interact professionally with a diverse group including industry clients, university academics, technicians and students.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Ability to contribute strongly to a team environment, while demonstrating flexibility, initiative and resourcefulness.
Exceptional relationship management skills.

Company Info
Massey University Manawatu,Auckland and Wellington Campus
New Zealand

Phone: 0800 627 739
Web Site:

Company Profile

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