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Postdoctoral Research Associate / Fellow in Planning and Optimisation

Darlington, Australia
$83,454 - $140,586 + 17% superannuation
Closing date
7 Dec 2023

Job Details

  • Full time, fixed term for 2 years with the potential for extension. Located on the Darlington Campus at the Australian Centre for Robotics (ACFR)
  • Develop robotics and automation technologies for optimising shipyard, dry-dock operations
  • Level A/B with base Salary $83,454 - $140,586 + 17% superannuation

About the opportunity

We are seeking an ambitious and talented Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow in Planning and Optimisation to undertake fundamental and applied research related to the development, design and deployment of novel robotics and automation technologies for the optimisation of shipyard dry-dock operations. As part of the Australian Robotic Inspection and Management Research Hub (ARIAM), this position involves working closely with Hub Industry Partner, Thales Australia. The research will focus on modelling, planning, and automated decision making.

In this role you will advance the modelling, optimisation, and planning technologies required for complex operations at Australia's largest dry-dock. Challenges arise from number of decisions to be made, the long planning horizons, and the need for resilience to uncertainties. Additional research activities may relate to sensing and estimation requirements for real-time situational awareness.

This project is part of an ambitious program to transform current approaches to shipyard and dry-dock operation.

ARIAM Research Hub is a collaboration between leading academic researchers and experts from the Australian robotics industry supported by the Australian Research Council to deliver research excellence in robotics for asset management. ARIAM spans 3 leading Australian universities: The University of Sydney, QUT and ANU. This position will be co-supervised by Professor Ian Manchester, Australian Centre for Robotics (ACFR) at the University of Sydney, and Professor Hanna Kurniawati, at the Australian National University. The ACFR is one of Australia's leading robotics research groups. In this role you will work as part of the ARIAM team and collaborate across multiple groups across the Hub.

You will;

  • collaborate closely with a team of project academics, engineers, and PhD students
  • work partially on-site at our industry partner's headquarters at Garden Island on Sydney Harbour
  • contribute to the ARIAM Hub's robotic systems demonstrator program that will showcase your research and that of other Hub projects
  • contribute as a researcher to project report preparation, presentation at internal workshops, and dissemination at top international conferences and journals as well as via internal workshops and presentations.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow in Planning and Optimisation who has:

  • a PhD (or near completion) in a relevant field, or equivalent research experience
  • a demonstrated research track record of international standing.
  • strong mathematical and computational skills.
  • demonstrated expertise and research experience in robotics, control, planning algorithms, optimisation, operations research, or a related field.
  • an ability to coordinate multiple project objectives to meet established targets and deadlines
  • excellent written and verbal communication and strong interpersonal skills.

Essential criteria (Level B)

  • a PhD in a relevant field

In your application include a Google Drive link to a 2-minute selfie video covering the following:

  • Your strongest research and engineering/computing skills
  • What do you enjoy most about research
  • A description of a project that you're proud of.

To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page.

Please also include a Google Drive link to a 2-minute selfie video covering the following:

  • Your strongest research and engineering/computing skills
  • What do you enjoy most about research
  • A description of a project that you're proud of

For employees of the University or contingent workers, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a confidential discussion about the role, please email

If you require reasonable adjustment or any documents in alternate formats, please contact Cherie Goodwin or Rebecca Astar at

Copyright The University of Sydney

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

Click to view the Position Description for this role.

Applications Close

Thursday 07 December 2023 11:59 PM


The University of Sydney was established in 1850 and is consistently recognised, both locally and internationally, for its outstanding teaching and research excellence. Sydney alumni include Prime Ministers, Governor Generals, Nobel Prize winners and leaders in every field of endeavour.

The University offers a comprehensive range of courses, including a number of disciplines unique in Australia. Teaching is spread across nine different state-of-the art campuses, located across New South Wales.

The University of Sydney’s commitment to excellence in research has resulted in an outstanding record in national competitive funding and underpins an approach to teaching which has won nominations for excellence and resulted in high student satisfaction ratings. The University has 78 research centres and institutes and is home to three ARC Centres of Excellence.

The teaching, research and cultural life of the University is supported by extensive facilities, including the largest library collection in the Southern Hemisphere, the world-class Nicholson Museum of archaeological antiquities, the Macleay Museum of natural history and ethnographic collections and the University Art Gallery. Its outstanding sporting and recreation facilities provide a training centre for students and Olympic athletes.

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The University of Sydney has nine official campuses.

1.         Camperdown/Darlington Campus.

2.         Cumberland Campus. Home to the Faculty of Health Sciences (based in Lidcombe).

3.         Mallett Street Campus. Home of the Sydney Nursing School.

4.         Sydney Conservatorium of Music Campus. In Macquarie Street, central Sydney.

5.         Rozelle Campus. Home to Sydney College of the Arts.

6.         Surry Hills Campus. Home to the Faculty of Dentistry.

7.         Camden Campus. Contains facilities connected to the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

8.         Burren Street Campus. Facilties are currently under development.

9.         Sydney Medical School campuses. These include the School of Rural Health (in Dubbo and Orange), the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Westmead Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Nepean Hospital, Northern Clinical School, Sydney Adventist Hospital, Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, and Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health.


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Number of Employees

Full-time employees: 7616

For more information, please visit:

Company info
+(61) 2 9351 2222

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