Research Associate in Software Engineering

London (Greater)
Grade 6, £38,826 - £45,649 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
28 Jan 2022
End of advertisement period
24 Feb 2022
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description
Cardiovascular imaging has the potential for evaluating the progression of heart disease through detailed analysis of how heart shape and motion changes over time. At St Thomas’ Hospital, approximately 4500 patients have a cardiac MRI scan every year, and many receive multiple scans over time. We are seeking to appoint a software engineer to develop and apply state-of-the-art software tools to evaluate patient scans and simulate the contraction and relaxation of the heart. This project will develop and apply new tools to automatically analyse medical imaging scans and develop customized models of heart function, in order to provide doctors with detailed information on the changes in heart disease.  
The role will require the development and support of software tools for the evaluation of patients with heart disease using cardiovascular imaging. The applicant will be responsible for development and maintenance of technical software for use in biomedical engineering research projects. This will include analysis of the images to provide geometric models of heart shape and motion throughout the heartbeat, as well as analysis of wall motion.
The role will require the use of software development tools in python, C++, docker containers, github version control, and documentation tools. The successful applicant will support developers and users in multiple institutions worldwide. This role requires excellent software development skills, including requirement analysis, design, development, testing, and maintenance of different software components. In addition, the role provides the opportunity design specification in collaboration with cardiologists and other clinicians.
The role will be based at King’s College London, in collaboration with clinical cardiac MRI teams at St Thomas’ Hospital. The successful applicant will be responsible for developing and integrating tools for cardiac MRI analysis and reporting, including imaging and statistical modelling for analysing outcomes in relation to imaging biomarkers.
Strong communication skills are required to work with researchers from other disciplines, such as clinical end-users, and industry collaborators. Experience working with interdisciplinary teams of engineers and clinicians will be valued.  
This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 2 years (latest end date 27 April 2024)  
This is a full-time  post

Key responsibilities
•         Work in a highly agile research software and hardware development environment. 
•         Demonstrate autonomy. 
•         Liaise directly with internal and external colleagues in an independent manner.  
•         Use initiative, discretion, knowledge and experience in planning, coordination, organisation and problem solving. 
•         Manage any ad-hoc projects, as directed by the academic lead which may arise with respect to strategic and/or operational needs.  
•         To maintain an awareness and observation of ethical rules and legislation governing the storage and handling of medical data. 
•         To maintain an awareness and observation of confidentiality agreements with collaborators and external organizations. 
•         To maintain an awareness and observation of appropriate procedures for the disclosure and protection of inventions and other intellectual property generated as part of the post holder’s activities and those of other team members working within the project. 
•         To support the School’s commitment to the prosecution of internationally renowned research. 
•         Initiate and manage change successfully, as required. 
•         To attend regular project meetings and training courses for professional and personal development as required. 
Communication and networking
•         Communicate with a diverse team on a daily basis, understand the needs of researchers and clinicians. 
•         Develop and maintain effective working relationships with staff within the School as well as externally. 
•         Regularly communicate information in a clear and precise way.  
•         Initiate, build or lead internal networks within the School or externally. 
Decision making, planning and problem solving
•         Lead in decisions that have a significant impact on their own work, that of others and be party to collaborative decisions. 
•         Manage own workload and resources and that of others, prioritising these in order to achieve their objectives.  
•         Communicate to management any difficulties associated with carrying out work tasks. 
•         Responsible for the planning and leading of significant projects or work streams ensuring the effective use of resources, setting standards and monitoring procedures.  
•         Resolve problems where the optimal solution may not be immediately apparent and where there is a need to use judgement to resolve problems that are unpredictable and / or occur infrequently. 
•         Plan in advance for peaks in workload. 
•         Use own initiative and creativity to solve problems. 
Analysis and research
•         Provide documentation and produce reports as required. 
•         Lead or assist colleagues in the preparation of scientific papers as required. 
Pastoral Care
•         Work within a team on a day-to-day basis and provide mutual support. 
•         Mentoring of junior researchers including PhD students on good software practices. 
Physical Demands & Working Environment
•         Use of computers and time spent at monitors. 
•         Occasional travelling within the UK and abroad. 
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Skills, knowledge, and experience 
Essential criteria 

1.       Degree awarded in Software, Engineering or Computer Science  
2.       Higher language computer programming 
3.       Interest in medical imaging 
4.       Ability to work calmly under pressure 
5.       Ability to act on initiative 
Desirable criteria 

1.       Competence in machine learning, (medical) image analysis / computer vision  
2.       Ability to work effectively within a collaborative software development environment with people from a variety of background 
3.       Scientific / Medical Writing 
4.       Image processing libraries (ITK, VTK, MITK) 
5.       Machine learning libraries (Tensorflow, pytorch,…) 
6.       Knowledge of software development cycles 
7.       Independent and interdisciplinary researcher 
  Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.