Research Engineer - Spray Analysis

Land O' Lakes

Land O' Lakes

River Falls, WI, USA
Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Research Engineer – Spray Analysis

Provide technical support and daily operation of laboratory equipment and assist in experimental setup and execution of spray analysis studies in the wind tunnel lab. Will be involved in supporting experiments critical to the daily function of the Winfield United Innovation Center and to delivering upon our strategy: to provide our owners with the most innovative and rigorously validated agricultural products in the industry. Will also conduct periodic maintenance of equipment and laboratory space and develop quantitative and qualitative methods for investigating new products and supporting current portfolios and apply analytics to solve problems and effectively communicate to the product development team.

Will also effectively communicate with multiple stakeholders involving cross functional collaboration with research staff, customers, and marketers. Position will assist research managers in conducting experiments to leverage wind tunnel lab capabilities to support research efforts of the product development groups in areas of chemistry, controlled environments, phenotyping, and local field testing. Additionally, will synthesize laboratory methods and results to build marketing collateral and educational materials for distribution to growers and non-technical audiences.


1) This individual will set up and support experimental equipment including:

  • Benchtop analytical equipment

  • Creation and setup of test fixtures

  • Arrangement of high-speed photography equipment

  • Alignment of laser diagnostic equipment

  • Chemical sample preparation

  • Plant specimen preparation

  • Validation of instruments, calibration

  • Assist with methodology development based on physical principles

2) Execution of spray atomization and deposition experiments in low speed and high-speed wind tunnels: including performing defined tests, acquiring and organizing data, and uploading and storing primary and secondary measurements

3) Maintenance of laboratory and equipment including:

  • Routine cleaning of laboratory equipment

  • Verification of equipment operation, monthly calibrations

  • General laboratory upkeep

  • Understands resource planning and assists in any data management needed for the process


  • Assist with data analysis, interpreting and presenting data insights and responsible for assigned aspects of product development projects.

  • Evaluate, provide feedback and communication with other labs or internal groups on BWUP products.

  • Utilize instruments to gain better understanding of pesticide droplet movement as impacted by various variables (nozzles, tank mixtures, environments, crop, adjuvant components).


  • Support marketing efforts by highlighting value provided by laboratory capabilities

  • Document laboratory processes with photographs and video

  • Develop informational communications material to explain experiments to non-technical audiences

  • Identify outstanding needs in existing data to support marketing efforts

  • Develop marketing materials to communicate lab results to customers

  • Coordinate with marketing teams to distribute completed marketing collateral

  • Support lab tours

  • Develop materials to present during lab tours for partners and customers

  • Present to small groups of retailers and growers about the lab capabilities


  • Provide support to other research laboratories and programs within the Innovation Center, including:

    Controlled environments (greenhouse & growth chamber)


    Field research


    Materials characterization

  • Other support duties as assigned


  • Innovation Center Safety

    Follow all laboratory rules and regulations, including health and safety policies

    Assist with the authorship of SOPs

  • Attend safety meetings, staff meetings, trainings, etc…

Required Qualifications:

Experience and Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering or physical sciences with 1+ years of experience

  • 1+ yr experience working in a research, technical, or mechanical support role

  • Experience following detailed technical procedures or processes

  • Ability to lift 50 lbs

  • Ability to stand for 6+ hours per day

Competencies & Other Skills

  • Basic computer skills and proficient in Microsoft Office Suite

  • Comfort with hand tools and power tools

  • Detail oriented

  • Able to produce consistent, high-quality results

  • Adaptable to new methods, processes, and software

  • Ability to work effectively with shifting priorities

  • Ability to work independently and seek out resources or help when needed

  • Adhere to safety procedures and wear PPE for extended periods while working with pesticides and around mechanical systems

Preferred Qualifications:

Experience and Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering or physical sciences with 3+ years of experience or master’s degree in engineering or physical sciences

  • Experience in a laboratory research role with an emphasis in analytical equipment and physical measurements

  • Experience with electromechanical design and sensor operation and integration

Competencies & Other Skills

  • Experience with experimental design and data interpretation

  • Experience with fabrication and rapid prototyping techniques

  • Experience with mechanical design for simple mechanisms

  • Comfort with public speaking to present complex subjects and laboratory results to both technical and non-technical audiences

  • Proactively improves work processes and practices

  • Labview software for system controls and sensor integration

  • Wiring, electronic, and plumbing design

  • Video setup, capture, and editing for marketing collateral

  • Documentation of new methods

  • Laser safety awareness training

  • Experience with phase Doppler interferometry, particle image velocimetry, quantitative shadowgraphy, aerosol sampling and quantitative fluorometry

  • Familiarity with agriculture

About Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Join us and be part of a Fortune 250, farmer- and member-owned cooperative that is reimagining the business of food. We have been named a Top Workplace by Indeed and LinkedIn, and to the TIME 100 Most Influential Companies list.

We provide a broad portfolio of benefits to keep you and your family at your best. Land O'Lakes is Where Your Future Takes Root.

Land O'Lakes, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) M/F/Vets/Disabled. The company maintains a drug-free workforce, including post-employment substance abuse testing pursuant to a Drug and Alcohol Policy.

Neither Land O’Lakes, nor its search firms, will ever contact you and ask for confidential information over the phone or in email. If you receive a call or email like this, please do not provide the information being requested.