Systems Architect, Open Agriculture Initiative

MIT CityFARM   •  

Cambridge, MA

Industry: Business Services


5 - 7 years

Posted 355 days ago

Under the direction of the OpenAg Director and Principal Investigator, the Systems Architect will help design, develop and produce open-source architectural plans for various scales of Food Computers. The Systems Architect will manage the iterative development of associated software and hardware systems required to make Food Computers high-fidelity, data-sensing growth chambers. These systems will include image sensing and image-based machine learning, air movement and control, root temperature control, relative humidity sensing and control, nutrient sensing and control, and systems to replicate various drought, flood, and light conditions.


  • Assist in the development of OpenAg’s next generation of architectural and engineering systems;
  • Collaborate closely with OpenAg’s internal team of horticulturalists, researchers, embedded systems engineers, and software developers to meet system requirements;
  • Manage the sequencing, staging, and iterative development of OpenAg’s Food Computer prototypes;
  • Coordinate horticultural experimentation and ensure that all elements of the Food Computer are ideally designed to meet the research team’s experimental objectives and constraints;
  • Contribute to the hardware, software, and data development for testing, analysis and environmental sensing and control systems;
  • Take part in teaching, media outreach, knowledge transfer and educational activities as needed and in collaboration with the OpenAg supervisors and team;
  • Support OpenAg research being conducted by UROPs, visiting students, and/or postdocs;
  • Establish connections with Media Lab, MIT and external academic institutions to foster research collaborations;
  • Coordinate with OpenAg’s back end, front end, mechanical, biological and educational teams;
  • Liaise with industry leaders and interact with MIT Media Lab research sponsors;
  • Other duties as assigned.

This appointment is for one year with possibility of extension based on funding and research priorities.


Minimum of five years’ experience in architectural design, program management, and project leadership. Experience leading the development and construction of numerous multi-million- dollar engineering systems, including those for building enclosures, structural supports and anchorages, plumbing and electrical supplies, and air control and movement. Experience in laboratory design, including the development of HVAC, imaging, and other data-sensing systems. Experience in the development and implementation of scientific curricula, including those in the open-source and Citizen Science movement, which is based on student-collected and student-published scientific data. Demonstrated abilities in project management; exceptional communication and management skills; Ability to work independently with minimal oversight and to think strategically, efficiently, and economically about expensive, years-long design projects; Demonstrated commitment to diversity and to serving diverse constituents. You must be able to do great work alongside a diverse group of colleagues in a fast-paced, team-oriented, and often- changing work environment.

job ID #15330.