Heriot-Watt University

Postdoctoral Researcher in UAV or Sports Aerodynamics

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Directorate: School of Engineering & Physical Sciences 

Salary: Grade 7 (£36,023-£45,585)

Contract Type: Full Time (1FTE), Fixed Term (3 Years) 

Rewards and Benefits: 33 days annual leave, plus 9 buildings closed days (and Christmas Eve when it falls on a weekday) for all full time staff. Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University 

Personal invitation to view our brochure here https://indd.adobe.com/view/8d559023-1c2f-43e0-b0f0-21234ab83bc6

Detailed Description 

We are seeking to appoint one outstanding Postdoctoral Researcher with a passion for computational modelling and experimental validation in aerodynamics with aspirations of an academic career. The position will be aligned with advancing research in the new research group of Aerospace Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. The selected candidate will work under the supervision of Professor Bert Blocken. 

Applicants should hold a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (specialisation Fluid Mechanics), Civil Engineering (specialisation Fluid Mechanics) or the like. Proven excellent expertise in CFD modelling is a strict requirement, additional expertise in wind tunnel testing is a plus. Expertise in integrating Artificial Intelligence in aerodynamics is also a plus. 

The selected candidate should ideally have familiarity with and will work on one or several of the following topics: 

  • Autonomous flight systems, with focus on pushing the boundaries for unmanned aerial vehicles 
  • Sports aerodynamics, with focus on pushing the boundaries in cycling and athletics 

In these topics, a large focus will be placed on CFD modelling, wind tunnel tests in the new-to-be-built large wind tunnel of Heriot-Watt University (inauguration expected in 2025) and on-site testing. Integration of Artificial Intelligence in these topics will be expected. 

Applicants are expected to have excellent verbal and written communication skills, with a demonstrated ability to write refereed journal articles and present work at scientific/engineering conferences. 

This full-time position is based in the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot Watt University. It is funded for up to 3 years in the first instance. If the Postdoctoral Researcher can demonstrate strong research output and the ability to generate sufficient financial income, the position might transition into a permanent appointment as full member of the university’s academic staff (nominally Assistant Professor in the first instance). This will be dependent on achieving clear goals that will be set at the start of the appointment period in consultation with the corresponding Head of Research Institute and approved by Executive Dean. 

While the post is primarily research-focused, teaching experience is an important part of a post-holder’s professional development in order to transition into a member of the Academic Staff.  Accordingly, an appropriate contribution in support of teaching in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences will be expected. 

Key Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Manage projects in terms of the simulation methodology that is most applicable, running simulations and curating the data. 
  • Provide input for wind tunnel design and testing and using output for high-quality CFD validation. 
  • Be an innovator, by developing and expanding the research project over time, and presenting novel ideas. 
  • Collaborate in and/or lead in the preparation of scientific peer-reviewed articles and present papers, posters and talks. 
  • Act as a source of information and advice to other members of the group on CFD simulation techniques and wind tunnel testing. 
  • Represent the research group, Aerospace Engineering and Heriot-Watt University at meetings and conferences, either with other members of the group or alone. 
  • Mentor junior members of the group (PhD students or undergraduate project research students). 
  • Optional: Develop research proposals including for an Independent Fellowship 

Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post.  Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve. 

Education, Qualification and Experience 

Essential Criteria 

The candidate will: 

  • Hold a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (specialisation Fluid Mechanics), Civil Engineering (specialisation Fluid Mechanics) or a related field. 
  • Be able to demonstrate competence and success as achieved in the PhD research (and postdoctoral work if appropriate), e.g. as judged by publications in high quality peer-reviewed journals. Evidence will be sought of a deep understanding of the applicant's previous fields of research and evidence of independent intellectual and practical contributions to previous research projects. 
  • Be able to articulate a clear vision for development of their independent research activity. 
  • Demonstrate experience and regular use of/contribution to Ansys CFD, OpenFOAM or a similar CFD code. 
  • Possess excellent communication skills, including the ability to lead the writing of journal articles, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings. 
  • Show an ability to work supportively with other academicians and with technical staff in a laboratory environment, and to supervise and mentor junior co-workers. 
  • Have proven HPC skills. 

Desirable Criteria 

  • Familiarity with active and unique contributions to OpenFOAM, Ansys CFD, or the like 
  • Familiarity with advanced computer programming 
  • Experience in machine learning methods 

About our Team  

The School of Engineering & Physical Sciences (EPS) was created in August 2002. We are a community of over 340 staff and around 3,000 students across our three campuses in Scotland, Dubai and Malaysia. The School is recognised as an international leader in education, research and the application of knowledge to benefit society globally, committed to excellence with a purpose. We are striving to establish ourselves as partners of choice for world leading institutions, consistently delivering an environmentally and financially sustainable growth by aligning to the opportunities and requirements of our modern times to address local and global needs 

Our research ranges from fundamental sciences through to engineering applications, all of which are supported by strong external funding. We have over 150 full-time academic staff who drive this research activity and are based in 5 research institutes: the Institute of Chemical Sciences, the Institute of Photonics & Quantum Sciences, the Institute of Mechanical, Process & Energy Engineering, the Institute of Sensors, Signals & Systems and the Institute of Biological Chemistry, BioPhysics & BioEngineering. In REF2021, our Physics was top in the UK for world-leading research outputs. Our joint submission to Engineering with the University of Edinburgh was ranked 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the UK for quality and breadth of research (based upon the standard Research Power formula as used by the Times Higher Education). 

We provide world-class education to our students across six undergraduate programmes: Chemistry; Physics; Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering; Chemical & Process Engineering; Mechanical Engineering and Brewing & Distilling and will soon add Aerospace Engineering to our undergraduate programme portfolio. We also offer a range of postgraduate taught programmes. In the recent The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023, our Chemical Engineering is the 6th in the UK (the 2nd in Scotland), Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering is the 7th in the UK (the 1st in Scotland) and General Engineering is the 9th in the UK (the 1st in Scotland). In the 2022 National Student Survey (NSS), we are ranked the 4th in the UK for overall satisfaction in Chemical Engineering, the 2nd in Scotland in Electrical Engineering and Physics, and are the top ranked in the UK in Food & Beverage discipline (which includes our Brewing & Distilling discipline, where we have achieved a 100% students overall satisfaction).  

We are seeking an experienced and leading academic researcher to lead and develop research and teaching activities in areas related to advanced materials, aerospace or solid mechanics. 

The post holder will be line managed by the Head of the Institute for Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering (IMPEE) and assigned teaching responsibilities by the Mechanical Engineering Senior Programme Director. 

How to Apply 

Please submit via the Heriot-Watt on-line recruitment system (1) a cover letter describing their interest and suitability for the post; (2) a full CV; (3) A summary of their scholarship plans and ambitions (research statement) in line with the job description; and (4) a list of publications, with a distinction between peer-reviewed journal papers and papers in the proceedings of international conferences.

Applications submitted will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until a suitable candidate is appointed.

At Heriot Watt we are passionate about our values and look to them to connect our people globally and to help us collaborate and celebrate our success through working together. Our research programmes can deliver real world impact which is achieved through the diversity of our international community and the recognition of creative talent that connects our global team.

Our flourishing community will give you the freedom to challenge and to bring your enterprising mind and to help our partners with solutions that can be applied now and in the future. Join us and Heriot Watt will provide you with a platform to thrive and work in a way that also helps you live your life in balance with well-being and inclusiveness at the heart of our global community. 

Heriot-Watt University is committed to securing equality of opportunity in employment and to the creation of an environment in which individuals are selected, trained, promoted, appraised and otherwise treated on the sole basis of their relevant merits and abilities. Equality and diversity are all about maximising potential and creating a culture of inclusion for all. 

Heriot-Watt University values diversity across our University community and welcomes applications from all sectors of society, particularly from underrepresented groups. For more information, please see our website https://www.hw.ac.uk/uk/services/equality-diversity.htm and also our award-winning work in Disability Inclusive Science Careers https://disc.hw.ac.uk/ . 

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options. 

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

Détails de l'offre

Postdoctoral Researcher in UAV or Sports Aerodynamics
Édimbourg, Royaume-Uni
Date limite d'inscription
Type de poste
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