Senior Research Fellow Theme Lead, Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation

Sydney, Australia
24 Jul 2019
End of advertisement period
25 Aug 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • The opportunity to lead world class field robotics research in automation of large-scale mining equipment within the Australian Centre for Field Robotics
  • Located at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation, within the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Engineering
  • Full-time fixed term for up to 2 years, with opportunities to extend project funding, Academic Level C: package $130,264 p.a –150,900 p.a. plus leave loading and up to 17% superannuation.

About the opportunity 

We are currently seeking an experienced, self-motivated and well-qualified researcher to lead a heavy equipment automation research program within Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation. The work will involve collaborating with industry and leading a research team to develop and deploy new capabilities for automation of mobile equipment in areas of sensing, perception, task and motion planning, control systems for multi-agent systems. In addition to technical expertise, the role will require leadership skills to direct the research team and develop this project into a long-term research program with real-world outcomes. This role will provide an exceptional opportunity to work closely with academia and Rio Tinto at the intersection of fundamental research into field-robotics and mine operations. You will work with the Centre’s team of software engineers to facilitate the real-world validation and operational deployment of your academic research. You will be expected to build research areas, engage in academic publication of research, supervise postdoc researchers and PhD students, and engage directly with the industry partner. This research-focused role does not require a teaching load, but opportunities may be available if desired.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. To be successful you will have a PhD in engineering, computer science, applied mathematics or a related discipline, be a team player with excellent communications skills and satisfy the following key requirements:

  • Demonstrated expert knowledge in robotics and automation, especially in areas of sensing and perception, data fusion, picture compilation and probabilistic estimation.
  • Additionally, demonstrated expert knowledge in one or more of the following: task-planning and scheduling, motion-planning of vehicles and/or robotic mechanisms, multi-agent motion planning, human machine interaction, control theory and hierarchical- or context-aware control systems.
  • Experience leading or working in a team-based research project, including supervision of students or academics at a postgraduate level
  • Experience working collaboratively with application domain experts
  • Proficiency with Python, Matlab and/or C++

In addition, the following will be advantageous:

  • Experience working on industry projects or with industry partners
  • Demonstrated ability of working closely with a hardware/software development team to transfer research outcomes into real-world-deployable systems
  • Work experience in a mining research environment; training or expertise in geophysics or material handling
  • Experience with Linux, QNX, ROS or similar for robotic deployments

About us

The  Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation (RTCMA) was established by The Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) at the University of Sydney in 2007. Since its launch, it has become a world-class research group of scientists and engineers, recognised for both fundamental research and delivering technology to industry. The Centre’s research spans automation of equipment, geological interpretation and optimisation of equipment and processes. Funded by the global mining company Rio Tinto, the aim of the Centre for Mining Automation is to develop and implement the vision of a fully autonomous, remotely operated mine.

Since our inception 160 years ago, the University of Sydney has led to improve the world around us. We believe in education for all and that effective leadership makes lives better. These same values are reflected in our approach to diversity and inclusion, and underpin our long-term strategy for growth. We’re Australia's first university and have an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. Across our campuses, we employ over 7600 academic and non-academic staff who support over 60,000 students.

We are undergoing significant transformative change which brings opportunity for innovation, progressive thinking, breaking with convention, challenging the status quo, and improving the world around us.

How to apply

For more information on the position and University, please view the candidate information pack available from the job’s listing on the University of Sydney careers website.

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website. Visit and search by the reference number No. 1404/0719F to apply.

Closing date: 11:30pm, Sunday 25 August 2019 (Sydney Time)

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

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The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.