Assistant/Associate/Full Professor in Photonics and Quantum Sciences

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
20 Jun 2018
End of advertisement period
20 Jul 2018
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
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 School of Engineering and Physical Sciences has an international research reputation and close connections to the professional and industrial world of science, engineering and technology. Our research ranges from fundamental chemical, physical and biological sciences through to engineering, with applications in biology, medicine, energy, photonics, chemical and biochemical process, and manufacturing amongst others, all of which are supported by strong external funding. We have around 180 full-time academic staff driving this research activity based in 5 research institutes: Institute of Photonics & Quantum Sciences; Institute of Mechanical, Process & Energy Engineering; Institute of Chemical Sciences; Institute of Sensors, Signals & Systems; and the Institute of Biological Chemistry, BioPhysics & BioEngineering. Together with the University of Edinburgh we represent the “most powerful” General Engineering unit in the UK, as measured by REF2014.

In addition we deliver teaching across 6 programmes: Chemistry; Physics; Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering; Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Biosciences. In the 2017 National Student Survey at least 80% of Heriot-Watt students are satisfied overall with their course in 14 of our 21 subject areas.

Mechanical Engineering was ranked in the UK top 10 and Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering were both ranked top in Scotland.

The Guardian University Guide 2018 ranked Heriot-Watt University 26th in the UK and 4th in Scotland.

The results come as the University is undertaking a significant programme of investment to enhance student-facing services. These include the alteration and refurbishment of the James Watt Centre into a modern state of the art learning and teaching facility, the modernisation of the Student Services Centre, the development of a training room for Assistive Technology and a £6m refurbishment project for the library.

IPaQS is one of the UK's largest photonics-oriented research institutes. Its 29 academic staff (including three ERC Fellowship holders) manage an active research portfolio of £26M, supported by 58 Research Associates and 135 doctoral students. Research is conducted across four thematic areas: Quantum Technology; Meta-/Nano-Materials; Ultrafast Photonics; and Applied Photonics. The Institute plays a prominent role in key national investments, including leading major work-packages in the UK National Quantum Technology Hubs in Quantum Enhanced Imaging and Quantum Communications, and hosting the EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing in Laser-based Production Processes and for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics.

Our broad research base promotes the regular exchange of ideas between experimentalists and theoreticians, making IPaQS a stimulating environment for contemporary collaborative research. World-class facilities, including a 275 m2 cleanroom and 2175m2 of high specification optics and laser laboratories, provide the infrastructure needed to conduct internationally leading investigations in photonics and quantum sciences.

Heriot-Watt's long tradition of engagement with industry is strongly reflected by our formal Strategic Alliances with Leonardo, Renishaw and AWE, and our high impact research has led to the formation of several successful spin-out companies including Edinburgh Instruments, Helia Photonics, Optoscribe, PowerPhotonic, Alba Photonics and Chromacity.

These roles are being recruited as part of Heriot-Watt’s Global Platform Initiative which aims to increase the number of Research Leaders in the University by creating new posts when we identify the best talent, in support of the University’s five year strategic plan to build on our position as a leading research and knowledge transfer institution.

Heriot-Watt has received the Bronze Award from the Athena SWAN Charter recognising excellence in championing employment of women in the fields of science and technology, engineering and mathematics.

The role will be to increase research and teaching capacity in the Photonics and Quantum Sciences fields.

Successful applicants will maintain a portfolio of high-quality research that complements the activities of IPaQS, from winning funding through to sharing relevant and impactful findings, while seeking opportunities to work collaboratively with other members of the Institute.

The appointees will also perform a teaching role, potentially teaching in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes as appropriate.

We are seeking to appoint experimentalists at up to Full Professor grade, whose research complements and enhances our existing thematic coverage and allows us to build capacity in priority areas such as integrated photonics, quantum technology and novel materials. In particular, we will prioritise applications from researchers who can demonstrate an ability to capitalize on the recent infrastructural and equipment investments in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences cleanroom. Applicants holding a nationally or internationally awarded fellowship, or preparing an application for such, are encouraged to apply.

Across the themes represented in the Institute we invite applications in two priority areas:

  • Quantum Technology, specifically with an emphasis on quantum devices for sensing, imaging, simulation, computation, communications or metrology. Experimentalists with expertise in solid-state quantum technologies would particularly complement existing activity. Reflecting recent priorities in the UK, quantum science and engineering with the potential for practical exploitation in the next 5 – 10 years are of particular interest.
  • Integrated Photonics, where we are interested in attracting researchers with expertise in silicon photonics, integrated nonlinear photonics or integrated quantum photonics who will complement existing IPaQS activities and make significant use of our new cleanroom capabilities.

The post holder is required to:

  • Work activities will vary according to the requirements of the job and individual areas of teaching and research responsibility; however, general responsibilities are typically, but not restricted to, the following:
  • Actively engaging in research and actively contributing to the University’s research profile;
  • Publicising research through the preparation and submission of journal and conference papers and participating in academic conferences;
  • Supervising undergraduate students, postgraduate students and research associates’ research work;
  • Actively pursuing research funding through the development of quality grant proposals;
  • Developing cross-Research Institute, School, University and external research links and networks with a view to maximising research funding opportunities and associated activities;
  • Carrying out general research administration as well as contributing to School, Institute and research group strategic planning where required;
  • Managing and supervising research-active staff where required;
  • Establishing collaborative research and teaching links outside the university via funding councils, EU, industry, business and other public bodies;
  • Using research to inform teaching;
  • Representing the institution in a professional capacity, particularly with regard to research dissemination and development e.g. conferences, meetings, with industrial partners, etc;
  • Teaching through the delivery of lectures, tutorials and laboratories, assessing the relevant students’ work as well as setting and marking examinations and coursework;
  • Carrying out general academic administration including student recruitment and admissions, participation on committees and exam boards, taking responsibility for key discipline-specific administration tasks and mentoring students;
  • Designing, preparing and developing teaching materials and actively developing and implementing new teaching methods;
  • Undertaking continuous professional development (CPD) and participating in staff development activities.

The above job description is indicative but 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.

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 20 July 2018


For further information and an informal discussion please contact Professor Derryck Reid, D.T.Reid@hw.ac.uk

Appointments may be made at: Assistant Professor: Grade 8 £39,991 - £47,722/Associate Professor: Grade 9 £49,149 – £56,950 or Professor: (minimum £58,655) - dependent on experience and qualifications)

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.