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Research Associate in Computational Mechanics

London (Greater) (GB)
£43,205 - £50,585 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.
Closing date
31 Mar 2024

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Job Details

The RADlab at King’s College London is seeking to recruit a Postdoctoral Researcher for the Neural-driven, Active, and Reconfigurable Mechanical Metamaterials (NARMM) project. The project aims at developing the first generation of reconfigurable and shape-shifting robotic matter for wearable robotics, with large potential for high impact publications and science advances. The Project is in collaboration with Harvard University, MIT, University of Luxemburg, Bristol University, City University of New York and five industrial partners, with the possibility to carry out exchange visits and secondments. The RADlab is a state-of-the-art facility in the centre of London (Strand Campus), based within the King’s Engineering Department.

The successful candidate will join a highly collaborative and vibrant team of 9 PhD students and 2 Post-Docs working on related topics.

Expected start date is June 2024 the post is initially fully funded for two years, with a possibly of an extension.

The research in this project at King’s will develop high resolution and reduce-order models of mechanical robotic matter to provide a tool that can be used to predict shape morphing capabilities and robotic tasks for wearable devices.

This project will lay the foundation to enable:

  1. Design of the first reconfigurable robotic matter in collaboration with world-leading universities and industrial partners
  2. Create datasets of solution to inform inverse shape morphing design via machine learning techniques
  3. Optimise specific designs for morphable wearable robotic devices

You will be part of an active research programme in the RADlab

PI website:

Candidates with a background in Mechanical Desing, Computational Mechanics, Finite Element Analysis and Mechanical Metamaterial Science are particularly encouraged to apply.

This post will be offered on an fixed-term contract for two years.

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities

  • Develop a Finite Element Model of inflatable metamaterial architecture 
  • Develop a reduce order model of the same architecture to produce large datasets of simulations for machine learning strategies
  • Evaluate model accuracy on experiments in collaboration with other members of the team
  • Close collaboration with our industry and academic partners to couple the model with existing data
  • You will be expected to additionally support the experimental lab safety management and supervision of lab users

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

You will be a high-calibre, research-excellent individual specialising in finite element modelling and reduce-order modelling with a background in computational mechanics. You will also have a track record, or keen interest, in collaborating with the robotics and manufacturing sectors, leading to both multidisciplinary research and impact. 

Essential criteria

  1. Hold (or near completion) a PhD in Mechanical Engineering or in an area related to computational mechanics
  2. Good knowledge and research experiences in mathematical modelling
  3. Proficiency in a Multiphysics software (COMSOL and/or Abaqus) and/or python/matlab coding
  4. Publications in mechanical metamaterials, soft robotics, or related area in peer-reviewed journals.
  5. Highly motivated and enthusiastic to deliver research within timeline
  6. Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write publications, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings

Desirable criteria

  1. Proficiency in reduce order modelling
  2. Experience with pneumatic robotic systems
  3. Experience of independently managing a discrete area of a research project

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.


King's College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world and among the oldest in England. King's has more than 27,600 students (of whom nearly 10,500 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 6,800 staff.

King's has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*). The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of more than £684 million.

King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.

King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit:

King’s £600 million campaign, World questions|KING’s answers, has delivered huge global impact in areas where King’s has particular expertise. Philanthropic support has funded new research to save young lives at Evelina London Children’s Hospital; established the King’s Dickson Poon School of Law as a worldwide leader in transnational law; built a new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital; allowed unique collaboration between leading neuroscientists to fast-track new treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, depression and schizophrenia at the new Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute; created the Cicely Saunders Institute: the first academic institution in the world dedicated to palliative care, and supported the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership in the Ebola crisis. Donations provide over 300 of the most promising students with scholarships and bursaries each year. More information about the campaign is available at

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