Postdoctoral Research Associate

Organization: University of Bath

Type: PhD and Postdoc Positions

More information: View details


We are seeking to appoint a postdoctoral Research Associate for a fixed-term period of up to 3 years. This is an exciting opportunity to develop and apply your skills in data science and analysis to support a transformation in the sustainability of manufacturing, through creating and using a new virtual “Physical Resources Observatory”.

The sustainability of a finite planet with a growing population of increasingly affluent people depends on Resource Efficiency: some resources may become scarce, disposal after use causes environmental issues, and their production drives a third of global energy/process GHG emissions. The importance of this topic is well recognised and technical solutions have been described, yet practical changes remain elusive, in part due to the difficulty of actually observing the whole-system impact of strategies for change. How can we create clarity about the environmental impact and benefits of new manufacturing strategies? By creating a Physical Resources Observatory, an Open system to collect, integrate and present data on how we produce and use physical resources, we aim to transform the availability and quality of global and local resource data.

The project is part of a 5-year interdisciplinary EPSRC Programme Grant UK FIRES, led by the University of Cambridge. The Programme aims to embed Resource Efficiency in UK Industrial Strategy, thereby achieving cuts in industrial carbon emissions at the same time as strengthening the UK construction and manufacturing sectors. It encompasses engineering design, process innovation, systems analysis, and decision-making processes, all underpinned by the information collected and presented through the Observatory. The research programme is tightly linked to industry through a Living Lab comprising companies throughout the UK materials supply chain.

In creating the Observatory, the role holder will develop and test new techniques for reconciling, interpolating and visualising imperfect data to give a coherent view of how resources flow through different systems. They will collaborate with the Knowledge Representation and Reasoning Group at the University of Oxford, applying semantic technologies to integrate relevant data sources into the Observatory. They will support applied research with the Living Lab through data analysis, modelling, visualisation and technical writing as appropriate. A track record in data science, programming, modelling, or similar experience is therefore essential. Experience of ontologies and semantic data, data visualisation, Bayesian inference or Open research practices would be an advantage. Since the project involves strong collaboration with industrial and academic partners, experience of working effectively in an interdisciplinary environment will be beneficial.

This role is available on a fixed-term contract basis for a period of up to 3 years, from an ideal start date of 2 September 2019. It is a full time role (36.5 hours) but flexible working can be considered. The successful candidate should hold a PhD degree by any agreed start date. The University of Bath is situated on a modern campus surrounded by attractive countryside overlooking the centre of Bath, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage City, famous for its Georgian architecture, and its annual literature and music festivals. It is a safe and friendly campus with strong student services and excellent sports facilities. The Department of Mechanical Engineering holds a Silver Award for Athena SWAN scheme, which promotes gender equality among all disciplines. We particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups.  

For more information please visit the job listing at the University of Bath (reference CT6745) or contact Dr Rick Lupton directly (+44 1225 386383 / R.C.Lupton@bath.ac.uk).

There is also a related position open for a Research Associate in Efficient Concrete Structures as part of the same research programme.

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