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Research Fellow

Bioengineering Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £29,301 to £32,004 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term (for 24 months in the first instance with the possibility of extending up to 33 months)
Closing Date:  Saturday 27 May 2017
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  822316BX-R

We are seeking to recruit a postdoctoral researcher to work on the mathematical modelling of plant-soil interactions on the project entitled “Real-time in situ sensing of soil nitrogen status to promote enhanced nitrogen use efficiency in agricultural systems” which is funded by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) under the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Innovation Club (SARIC) programme.

The successful candidate will be responsible for delivery of the mathematical modelling component of the project. The modelling for this project consist of analysis and numerical solutions of partial differential equations describing partially saturated water and solute flow in the soil.  The analysis techniques that will potentially be of use for addressing this problem are: asymptotic analysis, multiscale analysis and numerical solution of partial differential equations using methods of finite difference, finite element and/or spectral methods. The knowledge of statistical methods and how to use them in the context of modelling with partial differential equations will also be useful.

Candidates should be educated to PhD standard in a numerate subject (i.e. applied mathematics, computational engineering, computational civil engineering or any other computationally competent subject)*.  Willingness to travel will also be required (e.g. to the partner institutions, industrial partners and SARIC programme meetings). An essential part of the post will be to integrate within the existing research group of Professor Tiina Roose at the Faculty of Engineering and Environment, University of Southampton, present at conferences and publish results in peer-reviewed academic journals. 

The overall collaborative project focuses on developing and trialling new electrochemical sensors to determine the concentration of nitrate in soil in real-time. These sensors will be combined with crop canopy sensors to predict when to optimally apply nitrogen fertilisers to crops. Overall, the project aims to (i) demonstrate the use of novel N sensors for the real-time measurement of soil N status; (ii) use geo-statistical methods to optimise the deployment of these in situ sensors; (iii) produce new mechanistic mathematical models which allow accurate prediction of crop N demand; (iv) validate the benefits of these sensors and models in representative grassland and arable systems from a N use and economic standpoint; and (v) explore how these new technologies can improve current fertiliser management and guidelines through enhanced industry-focused decision support tools. Ultimately, this technology shift could result in substantial savings to the farmer by both reducing costs, maximising yields and minimising damage to the environment.

The project is being led by Bangor University (Prof. Davey Jones), but is in direct collaboration with the University of Southampton (Prof. Tiina Roose), the British Geological Survey (Prof. Murray Lark) and the John Innes Centre (Prof. Tony Miller). In addition, the project has a range of key industrial partners including: Delta-T Devices, AgSpace, Yara UK, Syngenta, Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), British Grassland Society and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

At the University of Southampton, we value diversity and equality. 

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 Georgie Warren (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 7749. Please quote reference 822316BX-R on all correspondence.

Informal enquiries to Professor Tiina Roose,

* 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 assigned.

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








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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