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Research Fellow

Mechanical Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,395 to £37,345 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term (30 months)
Closing Date:  Wednesday 02 January 2019
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1085718DA

Looking to take the next step in your academic career? Look no further - the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences have an exciting opportunity for you to join one of the UK’s most dynamic centres for engineering and environmental research and education.  

Sensors for tribological applications are still in their infancy and lack the proliferation seen in many other industries. Join a University team developing next-generation electrostatic sensors, mapping charge on tribological surfaces that will enable the health of mechanical systems to be monitored and future life predicted.  Mapping surface charge will involve a linear array of sensors developed in ECS, but tested in Engineering and this project will help optimize the development of these by facilitating the design and manufacture of a sensor evaluation module to evaluate the sensitivity and resolution of these new sensors.

The sensor array /learning system would be trained to detect early evidence of lubricated contact decay from charge maps of the surface and allow better prediction of remaining useful life or, what corrective adjustment is needed in running conditions, to assure operational integrity.

The role of the research fellow will be to work on calibrating new electrostatic array sensors designed to detect degradation of lubricants and surfaces in tribological contacts. The research fellow would be responsible for designing and commissioning a test facility to allow surfaces with known defects and wear characteristics of different sizes to be used to obtain typical sensor responses under different translational speeds. This data would train the machine learning algorithms developed by colleagues in computer sciences on the project. The PDRA would also be responsible for correlating the electrostatic array sensor data with other measurements taken from the same area such as topography, work function, XPS and SEM or microCT imaging to build forensic correlative images for robust detection of surface health and remaining life of surface. 

The applicant should have a relevant PhD in engineering or related science areas. They are likely to have an experimental background, with some experience of surface analysis techniques and knowledge of Tribology and/or material science/surface engineering and be interested in next generation condition monitoring of machines. They will work as a team of three PDRAs being recruited to this EPSRC funded project. They are likely to have co-supervision of the 3 PhD students being recruited into the project and will engage with MSc and MEng student projects and group design projects as needed. 

* Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded, the title of Research Assistant will be assigned.

Application Procedure

You should submit your completed online application form at https://jobs.soton.ac.uk. The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Elsa Samwell (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2507. Please quote reference 1085718DA on all correspondence.

Please note: The University Recruitment department will be closed from close of business on Thursday 20th December 2018 to Wednesday 2nd January 2019, so we will not be able to assist you with any application queries during this time.


Athena SWAN Bronze Award holder: Faculty of Engineering and the Environment 

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We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.


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