Research Fellow in Laser Processing - Engineering and Physical Sciences

United Kingdom
£30,942 - £42,792
Oct 05, 2020
Nov 03, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details

School of Engineering

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

As this vacancy has limited funding the maximum salary that can be offered is Grade 7, salary £33,797.

Grade 7

Full Time - Fixed Term Contract until 30th September 2021

Closing date - 31st August 2020

This post will be part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Job Summary

The University of Birmingham has been awarded funding from ESIF and its partners to form a Smart Factory Hub (SmartFub). The Hub is led by Prof. Stefan Dimov and has state-of-the-art facilities in the Schools of Engineering and Metallurgy and Materials on Birmingham's Edgbaston campus.

There is a need for a highly qualified Technical Officer/Research Fellow at the University to support the establishment of industrially relevant SmartFub Demonstrators and the take up of digital technologies to enable high-value and sustainable manufacturing via a range of technology transfer channels and collaborations within SmartFub. Working closely with researchers and industry partners at the University of Birmingham and beyond, the successful applicant will assist businesses in developing new products and processes by conducting technology audits, feasibility studies and industry-focused R&D projects.

The successful applicant will be using state-of-art advanced manufacturing facilities already available at the University and also will be involved in the development of the Smart Factory Physical Demonstrator that will complement and extend the existing capabilities in digital technologies for additive/subtractive manufacturing, surface engineering and Industry 4.0 enabled smart factories.

The post will be based in the School of Engineering at Birmingham although the post holder will be expected to work on locations from time to time. The role will also involve collaboration with SMEs across all Local Enterprise Partnership areas supported by this Project. Therefore, the ability to interact with external commercial organisations is a prerequisite for this position.

Main Duties

To conduct technology audits, scoping studies and demonstration projects on characterisation and development of laser processing solutions to address specific industry requirements;
  • To design, implement and validate hybrid processing solutions that integrate laser processing with complementary manufacturing technologies.
  • Demonstration and application of these solutions to the benefits of SmartFub stakeholders, notably strategic partner companies and SMEs across all LEP areas supported by this Project.
  • To carry out a quantitative analysis of parameters affecting process-material interactions, e.g. materials' microstructure, removal rates, etc., in laser processing;
  • To develop new applications for the laser processing technology by working closely with colleagues within the SmatFub partnership.

Working with the Business Engagement Manager, Project Manager and Academic Theme Leaders in the delivery of business assists and knowledge transfer activities through:
  • Identifying new manufacturing and automation methods and techniques 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 SmartFub themes and delivery of resulting collaborative projects;
  • Providing appropriate training to beneficiaries of SmartFub to enable them to implement and apply the digital manufacturing technologies, techniques and methodologies developed and demonstrated by the project;
  • Preparation of reports, publications, training material, presentations and web content suitable for both academic and end user SME users;
  • Dissemination of the results produced by the project using
  • appropriate and effective media such as publication, seminars etc.

To support the project management and leadership by:
  • contributing to the planning and execution of feasibility studies and technology development 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 and development objectives;
  • analysing and interpreting the results of own research and generating ideas based on outcomes of benefit to the sustainability of SmartFub;
  • providing guidance to other staff and partners on laser processing and its integration with other manufacturing technologies;
  • maintaining accurate and auditable time recording assigned to specific project work packages.
  • Undertaking other duties, as necessary and when these arise, as directed by Team leaders within the project.

Knowledge and Skills
  • High level of competence and experience in laser processing, e.g. laser ablation technology, modelling of laser-material interactions, designing laser-based manufacturing solutions, the use of different surface characterization/ measurement technologies for process optimization
  • High level of competence in planning and conducting complex empirical studies
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
  • Ability to summarise complex issues/concepts and present them appropriately for a range of audiences.
  • 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.

Qualification and Experience
  • To hold a relevant first degree or masters in Mechanical, Materials or Manufacturing Engineering or related disciplines or equivalent experience.
  • To hold a PhD or EngD in Mechanical, Materials or Manufacturing Engineering or related disciplines.
  • Post graduate practitioner experience in laser processing, hybrid manufacturing processes, inspection and characterisation methods, CAD/CAM tools and process modelling through either industrial or post doctoral academic positions.
  • Experience of supervision and management of research students and projects.

Informal enquires to Milla Shah, email:

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