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Research Assistant / Research Fellow in Floating Energy Systems

Cranfield, United Kingdom
£34,450 - £37,337 per annum
Closing date
15 Jun 2024

Job Details

School/Department: School of Water, Energy and Environment
Based at: Cranfield Campus, Cranfield, Bedfordshire
Hours of work: 37 hours per week, normally worked Monday to Friday. Flexible working will be considered.
Contract type: Fixed term contract
Fixed Term Period: 12 Months, or project end date – whichever is sooner
Salary: Research Assistant (if close to completing PhD): Full time starting salary is normally £34,450 per annum. Research Fellow (if PhD obtained): Full time starting salary is normally in the range of £37,337 per annum
Apply by: 15/06/2024

Role Description

We are excited to announce a new opening for a postdoctoral research fellow position to work on floating energy systems, such as floating solar farms, wave/tidal energy converters, and offshore wind turbines.

About the Role

You will play a key role in a UKRI-funded project - Solar2Wave (

The project aspires to place floating solar panels in coastal and offshore regions thus saving scarce land and lake space, whilst addressing a key challenge - designing a novel solar farm that can remain intact in the destructive power of ocean waves. This innovation will then hopefully be provided as an affordable clean energy solution for Indonesian remote islands, where 1.5 million residents still don't have access to electricity. In particular, we will build a 25 kW system near a selected Indonesian island and test its operation with local communities, which is a pioneering effort in this field.

You will be joining a large, international consortium with over 30 academic and industrial members. We will look into many aspects of developing a substantial renewable energy project, including site study, structural design and analysis, energy system innovations, experiments, computational simulations, energy configuration and connection, sustainability, construction and deployment, demonstration of social benefits, cost optimisation, market and business model, gender equity and social inclusion, as well as data collection and analysis in Indonesia.

We believe this is a precious opportunity for a postdoctoral researcher to build up an impressive and well-rounded profile. The post will be 12 months in the first instance, whilst a renewal of the contract is possible.

About You

You should have a PhD (or nearly obtained) in the area of Mechanical Engineering, or related disciplines. You are expected to demonstrate knowledge and track record in some of the following aspects: ocean wave dynamics, computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, fluid-structure interactions, offshore structural design, wave-tank experiments, energy system design, mooring design, machine learning, floating solar technologies, and previous experience of working in large international collaborations.

Being independent and confident, having good planning and self-management skills, having great oral and written communication, and a passion for teamwork will be ideal.

About Us

As a specialist postgraduate university, Cranfield’s world-class expertise, large-scale facilities and unrivalled industry partnerships are creating leaders in technology and management globally. Learn more about Cranfield and our unique impact here.

Cranfield’s Energy and Sustainability theme is one on of eight industry-focussed research clusters at the University and aims to bring together interdisciplinary teams to tackle existing and rising challenges for a safe future.  In the Centre for Energy Engineering, our researchers, academics and students engage in projects with industry and government to tackle issues ranging from offshore placement of renewable energy systems, to structural and machinery lifting in existing power generation systems.

Mechanical Engineering of Cranfield University ranks 5th in the UK and 27th in the world (QS2022), although we only teach postgraduate. Based on excellent education and research, we have been awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize six times.

Our Values and Commitments

Our shared, stated values help to define who we are and underpin everything we do: Ambition; Impact; Respect; and Community. Find out more here.

We aim to create and maintain a culture in which everyone can work and study together and realise their full potential. We are a Disability Confident Employer and proud members of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme. We are committed to actively exploring flexible working options for each role and have been ranked in the Top 30 family friendly employers in the UK by the charity Working Families. Find out more about our key commitments to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Flexible Working here.

Working Arrangements

Collaborating and connecting are integral to so much of what we do. Our Working Arrangements Framework provides many staff with the opportunity to flexibly combine on-site and remote working, where job roles allow, balancing the needs of our community of staff, students, clients and partners.

How to apply

For an informal discussion about this opportunity, please contact Dr Luofeng Huang, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering:

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further details on E: Please quote reference number 4836.

Closing date for receipt of applications: 15 June 2024

Please note that we reserve the right to close this advert prior to the stated closing date should we receive sufficient numbers of applications. Therefore, we would encourage you to complete and submit your application as soon as possible.


Cranfield is world-leading in its contribution to global innovation. With our emphasis on the aerospace, agrifood, defence and security, environmental technology, leadership and management, manufacturing and transport systems sectors, we have changed the way society thinks, works and learns.

We generate and transform knowledge, translating it to the benefit of society. Our partners, from micro SMEs to the largest blue-chip multinationals, from governments across the world to NGOs and charities, tell us this is what they value about Cranfield.

Innovation is part of Cranfield’s ‘corporate DNA’, evolved over 60 years of commitment to this agenda.

Our work informs policy for governments and produces new technologies and products for the world of commerce. We draw on this pool of research and consultancy to provide our students with a distinctive ‘real-world’ learning environment, allowing them to develop as professionals and transfer their new knowledge to the global economy. This has always been the ‘Cranfield way’ but it has never been more important than in today’s world.

People are key to our competitive advantage and so we need to attract, develop and retain the best talent for our business. We aim to create a culture where you can flourish and succeed and, in turn, contribute towards Cranfield’s success.

Company info
+(44)01234 750111
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