Dr. Steven J. Thomson is a National Program Leader with the USDA National Institute Food and Agriculture (NIFA). He engages Universities, other federal agencies, and industry to provide national leadership in Capacity and Competitive Grant programs. He leads four programs that focus on engineering processes to improve systems relevant to agriculture.
These research, education, and outreach activities include precision agriculture, robotics (NSF collaborative), cyber-physical systems (NSF collaborative), and instrumentation and controls. Dr. Thomson co-leads two programs that involve youth farm safety and access to assistive technologies by disabled farmers and veterans.
Dr. Thomson has research background in statistics, aerial application of crop protection materials, irrigation management, water balance and crop modeling, decision support systems, sensing systems and electronics, remote sensing, unmanned aerial systems, precision agriculture, and agricultural safety.
He has been involved in research, extension, and instruction both as a faculty member at Virginia Tech, where he received the Alpha Epsilon Award for his Research and Extension program, and as Research Lead Scientist with the USDA ARS before joining NIFA.