Research Fellow - School of Chemical Engineering

1 day left

United Kingdom
£30,942 - £42,792
Dec 19, 2020
Jan 18, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details

Area: School of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Salary: Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322 with potential progression once in post to £42,792

Band/Grade: Grade 7

Hours: Full time

Duration: Fixed-term until 3 February 2022

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK

Closing Date: 3 January 2021


Plastic waste is one of the great environmental challenges of our time. Recently, a promising new technique has been developed, which converts waste plastics into petrochemical feedstocks and clean, low-sulphur fuels by injecting them into a gas-fluidised bed of heated particles. This research project aims to take significant steps towards making this potentially globally transformative technology a commercially viable and widely adoptable reality.

The successful applicant is expected to create and contribute to the achievement of the goals of the project Advanced Imaging and Numerical Modelling of Segregation and Transport of Plastics in Fluidised Beds: Toward a Circular Economy for Plastics (see through a combination of novel experimental and theoretical research.

The successful applicant will take on the role of lead researcher for a recently-funded EPSRC grant. They will work alongside industry partners and other academics (including external collaborators) to conduct own and original research, design and conduct experiments and numerical simulations, and to support and direct postgraduate and undergraduate students working on the project. The work will also include the design of experimental systems, and the development of theoretical models.

The successful applicant will work with the University of Birmingham's world-leading Positron Emission Particle Tracking facility to provide novel insight into the dynamics of fluidised bed reactors, with particular focus on their application as waste-plastic recycling systems. This detailed experimental imaging will be supplemented by the application of cutting-edge numerical and theoretical models to be developed by the applicant, supported by a team of academics and doctoral students. The applicant will also have the opportunity to work closely alongside the R&D and Engineering teams of Recycling Technologies Ltd. (, such that their findings may be rapidly applied to real industrial systems.

Summary of Role
  • Work within the specified research grant projects
  • Contribute to writing additional bids for further research funding
  • Obtain, analyse and interpret research findings and results
  • Disseminate research findings for publication in peer reviewed journals, presentations at international conferences and posters at national and international conferences
  • To manage the project in collaboration with Dr. Windows-Yule

Main Duties/Responsibilities
  • Conduct own and original research
  • Contribute to writing bids for research funding
  • Obtain, analyse and interpret data
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
  • Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars etc
  • Supervise students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students
  • Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods
  • Undertake management/administration arising from research
  • Contribute to Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration
  • Contribute to enterprise, business development and/or public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the College and the University
  • Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, for example at seminars and as posters
  • Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and students assisting with the research
  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines
  • Promote equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.
  • To identify, build and maintain new and existing collaborations with national and international companies and academic institutes.

Person Specification
  • Hold, or be close to completing a PhD in a suitable STEM subject, ideally Chemical or Mechanical Engineering, Physics or Applied Mathematics, though applicants with other STEM degrees are welcome to apply. Candidates with PhDs in or related to the fields of particle science, particle technology, multiphase systems or fluid dynamics are particularly welcomed.
  • A track record in a relevant research area, ideally with expert knowledge of particulate and/or multiphase systems (in particular fluidised bed reactors) and the numerical and/or theoretical modelling thereof.
  • Prior knowledge of fluid dynamics, and in particular models such as the Kinetic Theory of Granular Flow (KTGF) would be highly useful but not necessary.
  • High level analytical capability
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods, in particular discrete element modelling (DEM) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and ability to contribute to developing new ones
  • Knowledge of programming, ideally in Python, C/C++ and/or Rust.
  • Ability to design experimental systems.
  • Laboratory experience.
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
  • Contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project
  • Co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Christopher Windows-Yule;

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

Valuing excellence; sustaining investment

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