View All Vacancies

Research Fellow in Experimental Solid Mechanics

Mechanical Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,942 to £31,866 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term until 31/03/2022
Closing Date:  Tuesday 04 August 2020
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1274220DA

Applications are invited for a full time fixed term Research Fellow position at the University of Southampton. The role is to develop an original method to identify the mechanical properties (stiffness, damage, failure stress) of adhesives at high rates of loading. Adhesives generally operate in shear, and are sensitive to tensile stresses. Therefore, the method addresses combined stress states (tension/shear). Traditional test methods based on Hopkinson bars are not generally well adapted for high rate testing of adhesives because of their low stress to failure. Recently, a new generation of tests has been devised as part of a large project called ‘Photodyn’ ( These rely on inertial loading with full-field acceleration and strains obtained from ultra-high speed imaging of grid or speckle patterns. Using dynamic equilibrium, stress metrics are derived from the acceleration field and used in the identification process. The project will consider both the IBII test for strain rates in the 1000s, and the IBUS test for strain rates in the 100s. Preliminary results on adhesives have been promising.

We are looking for an early career researcher with experience in full-field experimental mechanics, hopefully with some knowledge of high strain rate testing of materials though this is not compulsory. The project requires both experimental and computational skills. The selected candidate will join a group of about 10 researchers working on similar topics (permanent staff, post-docs and PhD students).

To be successful you will have:

  • PhD or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in solid mechanics or mechanics of materials
  • Expertise in the mechanical testing of materials
  • Experience in full-field strain measurements 
  • Excellent command of the English language (written/oral).

Ideally with:

  • Experience in high-speed imaging of deformation
  • Knowledge of polymer/adhesives mechanical behaviour.
  • Good programming skills (Matlab, Python or equivalent).
  • Expertise in high strain rate testing of materials.

The role is fixed term until 31/03/2022.

Equality, diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in the School of Engineering. We particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), LGBT and disabled applicants to apply for this position. In recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science we were awarded an Athena SWAN bronze in 2013 and 2016.   We give full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy* and onsite childcare facilities.

The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has recently been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.  Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities.  This commits all of our staff and students to take responsibility for managing their activities to minimise harm to the environment, whether this is through switching off non-essential electrical equipment or using the recycling facilities.

*subject to qualifying criteria

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 Senior Research Assistant will be given.

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 Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2507. Please quote reference 1274220DA on all correspondence.

Athena SWAN Bronze Award holder: Faculty of Engineering

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.

Login to your account


Forgotten your password?

Register for an account

Mindful Employer Disability Confident Leader HR Excellence In Research Stonewall Diversity Champion Athena Swan Silver Award - University of Southampton Committed to being an Inclusive Employer Technician Commitment