Research Associate/Senior Research Associate/Research Fellow, Nuclear Innovation Programme

Bristol, United Kingdom
Grade I £33,199 - £37,345, Grade J £37,345 - £42,036, Grade K £43,267-£48,677
28 Mar 2019
End of advertisement period
30 Apr 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Division/School School of Civil, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Contract type Fixed Term Contract
Working pattern Full time
Salary Grade I £33,199 - £37,345, Grade J £37,345 - £42,036, Grade K £43,267-£48,677
Closing date for applications 30-Apr-2019

Working on an important project in the UK’s Nuclear Innovation Programme (funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, BEIS) this is an exciting opportunity to carry out research and engagement with academic, regulatory and industrial organisations, on the topic of assurance and testing of Control and Instrumentation (C&I) systems. This role offers the potential to have significant influence on BEIS policy and research objectives in a field in which University of Bristol is already a leading contributor.

You will review the methods, their foundations and associated assurance claims associated with testing of nuclear and non-nuclear C&I systems. Involving reviewing relevant literature and engaging with numerous UK and international organisations with an interest in C&I and software reliability and testing. You will also carry out work to identify and review methods for substantiating the reliability of C&I systems.

Programmable systems are now an established part of nuclear power C&I solutions. Their design and justification are significant engineering challenges, but they offer functionality well in excess of the legacy hard wired systems they can replace. You will explore the options for justifying the use of programmable C&I for very high reliability, and whether this could support an argument for a nuclear reactor design having only programmable control and protection systems.

You will be expected to demonstrate research leadership across a portfolio of tasks associated with C&I testing and reliability substantiation. You will collaborate closely with a wide range of internal and external colleagues in order to define, plan, deliver and report on a variety of research projects. You will report and communicate your research outputs in project reports, journal papers, conferences and at workshops and meetings with academic organisations and industrial project partners.

A background in Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Software Engineering, or other relevant discipline in which programmable systems are studied is essential. Employment at Grade K will be considered for exceptional candidates who can demonstrate a substantial body of evidence of impact and track-record.

Experience in one or more of the following areas is desirable:

  • C&I: software and/or hardware.
  • C&I test facilities specification.
  • Interface of C&I and cyber-security.
  • Formal methods in computing.
  • Software reliability, testing and assurance.
  • Fault-tolerant computing.
  • Statistical testing methods.
  • Diversity assessment methods e.g., for substantiating protection against common cause failure in systems with redundant channels containing programmable elements.
  • Experience of relevant international standards such as IEC61508.

This post has funding for 1 year in the first instance; extension may be possible in the future, depending on project funding decisions. Up to two posts may be available, with the possibility of employment at Grades I, J or K, depending on the skills and experience of the successful candidate(s). It is anticipated that interviews will take place shortly after the closing date. Informal enquiries can be made to Dr John May, Reader in Safety Systems (

We appreciate and value difference, seeking to attract, develop and retain a diverse mix of talented people that will contribute to the overall success of Bristol and help maintain our position as one of the world’s leading universities.

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