Research Fellow in Reinforcement Learning and Laser Machining

Southampton, United Kingdom
£32,348 to £39,745 Per annum
11 Aug 2022
End of advertisement period
17 Aug 2022
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Fibre & Systems Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £32,348 to £39,745 Per annum
Full Time Fixed Term for 12 months
Closing Date:  Wednesday 17 August 2022
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1935222PN

The Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton is leading the way in the development of “smart” lasers for high precision manufacturing, in which the laser observes the workpiece in real-time and adapts and optimises parameters to perfect a chosen manufacturing task. This exciting area of research is positioned at the interface of deep learning and femtosecond laser machining.

This specific project is based on the application of deep reinforcement learning for solving and optimising a range of femtosecond laser machining and imaging challenges. To join this exciting project you will demonstrate a practical photonics and laser research background. However, whilst this is fundamentally a laser machining research position, it would be beneficial if you also have a publication history in the practical application of a range of modern deep learning techniques, including convolutional neural networks, generative adversarial networks, and reinforcement learning.

It is expected that you will hold a PhD* or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in optoelectronics or photonics, lasers or fibre lasers or a strong association with the aforementioned.

Due to funding, the post will be initially for 1 year, with the possibility of extension. 

*Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in the Zepler Institute. We particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic, LGBTQ and disabled applicants to apply for this position.  We value diversity and inclusion at the University and aspire for our staff population to be broadly representative of our community. In recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science we were awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze. Full consideration to flexible working including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy**, onsite childcare facilities along with other benefits such as the cycle to work scheme.

The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has recently been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.  Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities. 

**subject to qualifying criteria

To informally discuss the position, please contact Dr Ben Mills. Email:

Application Procedure 

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please contact Michelle (HR Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2750 or email Please quote reference 1935222PN on all correspondence.