Research Associate - The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh (GB)
04 Jun 2018
End of advertisement period
18 Jun 2018
Contract Type

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 School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society is one of the UK’s leading institutions for multidisciplinary research and teaching in areas critical to economic development and societal equity. We aim to attain excellence in the teaching of the core disciplines that contribute to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society and are committed to undertaking high value, high impact research and knowledge transfer in topics of relevance to global challenges.

The School enjoys facilities consistent with its location in modern, purpose-built accommodation on the Edinburgh campus. The School is well equipped in respect of laboratories for materials, structures, engineering, building services and hydraulics research and teaching. Our research and teaching facilities in Dubai and Malaysia are contained within purpose-built campuses in Dubai Academic City and Putrajaya, respectively.


The School’s undergraduate teaching on our Edinburgh campus covers civil and structural engineering, architectural engineering, construction project management, quantity surveying, geography, urban studies, interior design and the biology suite. On our Dubai campus we teach civil & structural engineering, architectural engineering, architecture, construction management, quantity surveying and interior design. On our Malaysia campus we teach civil engineering, construction project management, quantity surveying and petroleum engineering. We offer a high quality educational experience underpinned by practical and laboratory teaching, and informed by contact with professional practice. Most of our degree programmes hold the appropriate accreditation from the relevant professional body. This educational philosophy ensures excellent employment prospects for all of our graduates.

Programmes of postgraduate study are aligned to the expertise contained in each of our research institutes. Our postgraduate students therefore benefit from state-of-the-art knowledge in their chosen study area. You can find further information about the School’s postgraduate programmes at https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/po...


The School is one of the leading research centres in the UK. It has sustained a high reputation for the international standing of its research over two decades.

Research within the School is organised into six Institutes: https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/re...

- Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES)

- The Urban Institute (TUI)

- Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE)

- Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE)

- Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design (CESBD)

- Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE)

All academic staff based on the Edinburgh and Dubai campuses contribute to the research activities of one of our Institutes.

These Institutes support a wide range of research activities of relevance to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society. Institute staff undertake research funded by research councils, charitable foundations, local and national government. Research outcomes are published in leading international and national journals and key findings are widely disseminated through other media and forms of output.

Detailed Description

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work with Prof Scott Arthur until October 2019 within the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment. The successful appointee will be involved in the delivery of research within the EPSRC project “Urban Flood and Water Resilience in an Uncertain Future” (EP/P003982/1). Specifically, the successful applicant will have the opportunity to contribute to the delivery of Work Package 1: “Resilience under Change”. This work package will focus on the co-optimisation traditional and green infrastructure systems and will build on existing and ongoing work at Heriot-Watt, Exeter, Newcastle and Cambridge Universities.

This work aims to deliver a versatile GIS-based toolbox with which to evaluate the potential for Blue/Green+Grey infrastructure and treatment trains to reduce flood risk at a range of scales. The applicant will be expected to:

1. Quantify performance of traditional and green infrastructure based on CityCAT: Urban flood model output.

2. 3 Work with Newcastle (Urban flood modelling), Exeter (future investment options) and Cambridge (decision trees) Universities to quantify the benefits of traditional and green infrastructure approaches under current and future climate scenarios.

A candidate is sought who can show leadership in developing a research methodology and managing its implementation. The main deliverables from the study will include:

1. A GIS-based tool to support comparative evaluation of the costs and benefits of alternative UFRM solutions.

2. A greater understanding of the potential for integrated Blue/Green+Grey systems to deliver affordable urban flood resilience at the city, regional and national scales.

The key responsibilities are to:

1. Develop research objectives with the assistance of the line manager and mentor.

2. Disseminate results of research through appropriate channels.

3. Produce research reports and publications and play a role in the development of research proposals.

4. Contribute to technical workshops and conferences, as appropriate.

5. Manage own research and administrative activities, with guidance if required.

6. Maintain and improve appropriate networks within and outside the institution.

7. The successful applicant will be expected to present the results of their research at conferences, verbally and in the form of written reports/papers.


1. A PhD in water management or environmental science.

2. A background in urban drainage, water management or environmental science

3. Experience of GIS.

4. Self-motivated with strong research abilities.

5. Demonstrably excellent communication skills.

6. A proven publication record.

7. Ability to identify, analyse and solve difficult problems.

8. Copes successfully with conflicting demands and pressures.

9. Good team player with good interpersonal skills.


1. A willingness to support PhD and MSc students within IIE.

2. Full UK driving licence.

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 18 June 2018.

This role does not meet the minimum requirements set by UKVI to enable sponsorship of migrant workers. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

Consideration will be given to applications on a part-time and/or job-share basis.

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.

Candidates can make informal enquiries to s.arthur@hw.ac.uk or 0131 451 3313

For more information on the benefits of working for Heriot-Watt, click on the following link: