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Research Fellow - High Voltage Electrical Materials

Electrical Power Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,395 to £37,345
Full Time, Fixed Term (end date 31/12/2020)
Closing Date:  Monday 17 June 2019
Interview Date:   Thursday 18 July 2019
Reference:  1142919FP

We are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to work on an industrially funded project (LiCaSe), running for 18 months from 1 July 2019.  

The role is based within the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory, and the client is a major electricity business within the utility sector.  You will be responsible for delivering research as part of an interdisciplinary team led by Dr James Pilgrim (Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory, TDHVL) and Professor Richard Brown (Chemistry). The team will also include staff and postdoctoral researchers from Chemistry and TDHVL and scientists and engineers from the sponsoring organisation. The role is at the interface of electrical engineering and chemistry, with a particular focus on examining multifactor degradation processes in electrical insulation systems.

The LiCaSE project aims to increase understanding of mechanisms of aging of insulation systems in the sealing ends of power transmission cables, in order to identify when failures may occur and to develop appropriate mitigation strategies.  Working closely with team members, the Research Fellow will focus on the degradation mechanisms involved in aging of silicone oils used in cable sealing ends, and to understand the systemic factors affecting aging. The approach will combine laboratory experimental work to recreate accelerated aging conditions with analytical methods to identify compounds indicative of breakdown and mechanistic analysis. 

You should have a PhD* in Materials Science, Chemistry or Electrical Engineering, or equivalent professional qualifications and work experience.  Due to interdisciplinary nature of the work, a first degree in Chemistry would be desirable where the PhD is in Engineering.  The ideal candidate brings a general understanding of one or more of the following: dielectric materials, electrical testing, degradation processes.  You will be expected to report to the sponsor at regular meetings, produce technical reports to a commercial standard, and will also be responsible for preparation of publications and presentations at conferences and project meetings.  You must demonstrate that you have managed multiple tasks to deadline while working in collaboration with others. The post includes meetings with the project team and industry partners in locations across the UK and Europe.

For further information please contact Dr James Pilgrim, email: 

The post is available for 18 months in the first instance.

*Applications will be considered from candidates who are nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

About the research environment

The post is based in the Electrical Power Engineering research group ( Ranked in the top 1% of universities globally and among the UK’s top 20 for research, the University of Southampton has an international reputation for its research, teaching and enterprise activities.

Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. University of Southampton holds an Athena Swan Silver Award. The University has a generous maternity policy and onsite childcare facilities; employees are able to participate in the childcare vouchers scheme.  

Application Procedure

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Ita Holmes (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 9002. Please quote reference 1142919FP on all correspondence.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:

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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