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Research Fellow

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £34,980 to £41,732
Full Time Fixed Term
Closing Date:  Wednesday 31 July 2024
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  2667024A3-R

In-situ Investigation of Thin Films Using Novel Microscopy Technology

The Energy Technology Group at the University of Southampton invites applications for a post-doctoral research assistant position in the area of experimental optics, lamellar liquid crystals and lubrication. This position is ideally suited for researchers fascinated by light interaction with ordered and disordered nanoscale systems and interested in developing optical technology to characterize them and explore their behaviour in tribological contacts. We offer an exciting opportunity for an enterprising candidate to join a truly multidisciplinary project, sponsored by the EPSRC, which will be carried out by a team of experimental chemists, physicists, and engineers. The project will use a well-documented optical microscopy technique to develop an exciting novel setup for in-situ investigation of lamellar liquid crystal lubricants in tribological contacts. 

To support the extensive experimental side of the programme, you will have strong practical skills and a track record in the areas of optical microscopy and liquid crystals. Your prime responsibilities will be the development of the bespoke version of optical setup fitted on the tribometer, its operation, testing its capabilities, running experiments and formulating protocols for its optimum use in various operating conditions. The aim is to establish structure-property relationships between different nano-structured films and their optical response.

It is essential you have a PhD or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in Optics and/or Liquid Crystals. 

You will conduct independent, high quality experimental research and work closely with one doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, senior academics, and industrial project partners in London and Tokyo, who will be responsible for the theoretical and management aspects of the project. As a member of the Energy Technology Group within Mechanical Engineering at Southampton you will benefit from the extensive network of collaborations with members of the group. There will be an opportunity to guide PhD and Master students.  

Funding is available for three years starting from 1 October 2024.

For further information please contact Dr Monica Ratoi (

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.

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We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and welcome applicants who support our mission of inclusivity.

Apply by 11.59 pm GMT on the closing date. For assistance contact Recruitment on +44(0)2380 592750 or quoting the job number.

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