Engineering Research Technical Officer

United Kingdom
£30,942.00 - £42,792.00
Sep 29, 2020
Oct 29, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Job Purpose

The University of Birmingham has been awarded ERDF funding for Phase 2 of the highly successful ARLI collaborative research project to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Black Country and Coventry and Warwickshire LEP (West Midlands LEP) areas. The project links local SMEs in the low-carbon sector with cutting edge research and global expertise to deliver innovative low-carbon products and services from a variety of waste streams.

There is a need for a highly qualified Technical Research Officer at the University to support SMEs by providing enterprise support and research and development collaboration to develop effective alternatives to the use of natural raw materials or to utilise waste streams to provide added value. Working closely with researchers and industry partners at the University of Birmingham and beyond, the successful applicant will develop applied methodologies and processes for materials companies. They will suggest and contribute to the development of research techniques, models and methods, process improvement, quality assurance, in collaboration with colleagues within the ARLI partnership. The role will involve planning, developing, testing and delivering research and development using a range of methods / facilities dedicated to the ARLI project. The successful applicant may also work with commercial software developers, software end-users and manufacturing companies, to develop models of the manufacturing operations used by industrial concerns and deliver experimental validation of the models at both laboratory and industrial scales.

The post will be based in the School of Engineering at Birmingham although the post holder will be expected to work in various locations from time to time. The role will also involve collaboration with West Midlands LEP area SMEs. Therefore, the ability to interact with external commercial organisations is a prerequisite for this position.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

To plan, develop and deliver research and development using a range of methods / facilities dedicated to the ARLI project.

Demonstrate solutions to manufacturing issues relevant to the ARLI stakeholders, notably the West Midlands LEP areas SME supply chain.

To suggest and contribute to the development of research techniques, models and methods, process improvement, quality assurance, in collaboration with colleagues within the ARLI partnership.

Working with the Senior Technical Officer, Project Manager and Business Engagement Manager in the delivery of business assists and knowledge transfer activities through:
  • identifying new materials and innovations arising from their work or that of co-workers which may provide sources of new intellectual property;
  • contributing to the writing of bids for future work in the ARLI themes and delivery of resulting collaborative projects;
  • providing appropriate training to beneficiaries of ARLI to enable them to implement and apply the techniques and methodologies developed and demonstrated by the project;
  • planning and undertaking laboratory testing of physical and/or chemical properties;
  • preparation of reports, publications, training material, presentations and web content suitable for both academic and end user SME users; and
  • dissemination of the results produced by the project research using appropriate and effective media such as publication, seminars etc.

To support the project management and leadership by:
  • contributing to the planning and organising of the programme and/or specific research activities;
  • preparing papers and presentations for management groups and other bodies;
  • undertaking related management/administration required to deliver the research objectives;
  • analysing and interpreting the results of own research and generating ideas based on outcomes of benefit to the sustainability of ARLI;
  • providing guidance to other staff and partners on own specialist area; and
  • maintaining accurate and auditable time recording assigned to specific project work packages.

Undertaking other duties, as necessary and when these arise, as directed by the Senior Technical Officer.

Person Specification
  • To hold a relevant first degree or masters in related disciplines including Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, construction materials or equivalent experience;
  • Hold, or be close to completion of, a PhD or EngD in related disciplines or equivalent experience;
  • Post graduate practitioner experience in innovation, properties of materials and their reactions with other components;
  • Experience of supervision and management of research students and projects.
  • Strong laboratory testing, computer programming, data and analysis skills;
  • Possesses sufficient breadth and depth of specialist knowledge in the discipline and or research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes;
  • Relevant and up to date knowledge in at least one of;
  • chemistry of materials and their reactions with other components/environment
  • construction materials
  • relevant laboratory testing and practices
  • low carbon analysis
  • life cycle analysis
  • Skilled in the use of standard Microsoft packages and statistical analysis;
  • Ability to summarise complex issues/concepts and present them appropriately for a range of audiences;
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly to non-experts;
  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones;
  • Ability to plan, manage and prioritise own workload, respond to changing priorities and deliver innovative solutions to deadlines maintaining a consistently high standard of service and meeting client needs;
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a multi-functional team across partner organisations;
  • Good client relationship management and interpersonal skills and an ability to work closely with other people at all levels of seniority, both within and outside the University;
  • Good communication skills: oral, written and presentational;
  • Understanding of the higher education research environment, its research functions and markets;
  • Understanding of academic research and knowledge transfer practices, funding streams and motivations.

Personal Qualities

The successful applicant will:
  • Have a passion for sustainability, the circular economy and wanting to make a difference;
  • Have the ability to work outside comfort zones on projects which may not align with their academic speciality;
  • Be flexible in team working and activities to be carried out;
  • Be responsible for managing their own work and deliver on time;
  • Have the ability to communicate and work with industry and provide technical reports which respond to the client's needs;
  • Work on a number of projects simultaneously to short timeframes; and
  • Positively contribute to the team in all ways.

For informal inquiries please contact Peter Braithwaite

The University is committed to safeguarding and we promote safe recruitment practice, therefore all associated pre-employment checks will be undertaken before any appointment is confirmed.

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community '

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