Research Associate - Centre for Sustainable Road Freight

Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh (GB)
01 Jun 2018
End of advertisement period
04 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight was established in 2012 and is a research collaboration between Cambridge University, University of Westminster and Heriot Watt University. The Centre is sponsored by 20 Industrial organisations (including John Lewis Parnership, Tesco, Sainsbury, and Volvo) and has recently secured £9M (5 year) funding which builds on the original funding of £5M for the previous 5 years.

The Centre will be running a number of exciting projects aimed at reducing the CO2 emissions from logistics. Heriot Watt leads the fundamental research stream which is focused on the development of a living lab which draws on the teams experience of large scale, high fidelity computer modelling.

The Centre is now looking to appoint a number of Research Associates on short and long term contracts. Successful candidates will have proven track records in one or more of the following:

Each project will be supervised supervised by two academics (1 from Cambridge University and 1 from Heriot Watt University) and will have a number of specified Industrial sponsors. The RA will be responsible for the successful delivery of their project, and effective liaison with Industrial sponsors

The positions carry considerable responsibility. The RA will report directly to the senior management team (Principal investigator: Dr Phil Greening), therefore good presentation and communication skills are also highly desirable. All of the projects will involve working with companies and government departments.

Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post. Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve.

Education & Qualifications


A relevant PhD qualification (or close to completion) in Maths, computer science or Logistics with an emphasis on computer simulation or data science.


An understanding of and experience of logistics would be highly desirable.
The ability to bridge and work across the computer science and logistics domains, as well as an understanding of business processes.


Ability to condense complicated and scarce academic knowledge
Develop new business model, marketing solutions and performance metrics
Model development/ application and improvement based on the collection and analysis of data
Agent Based computer modelling and data analysis
Ability to work as part of a cross-disciplinary team communicating at all levels with enthusiasm

Ability to provide innovative solutions to support complex business processes

Competencies, Skills & Knowledge

Innovative and self-motivated
Good interpersonal skills with an ability to work at all levels
Excellent written and spoken English
Evidence of research ability in terms solving research problems
Ability to articulate research work, both in academic papers and by oral presentation


Knowledge/Understanding of logistics
Environmental legislation knowledge
Flexibility in working patterns, as necessitated by the project
Driving license

Essential Criteria – these are attributes without which a candidate would not be able to undertake the full remit of the role. Applicants who do not clearly demonstrate in their application that they possess the essential requirements will normally be eliminated at the short listing stage.
Desirable Criteria – these are attributes which would be useful for the candidate to hold. When short listing, these criteria will be considered when more than one applicant meets the essential criteria.

Applications can be submitted up to midnight on 4 July 2018

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and ethnic minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts at Heriot-Watt.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.