Research Associate in Robotics

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
03 Jul 2018
End of advertisement period
30 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About Heriot-Watt University

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

About our Team

The Smart Systems Group at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh is an interdisciplinary research group, with expertise ranging from electrical engineering, prognostics and health management, energy systems to computer science and artificial intelligence. We work with a variety of academic and industrial partners, in projects ranging from smart grids, asset reliability monitoring, integrated energy systems to robotics and AI in extreme environments. In particular, the team are currently collaborating withthe Edinburgh Centre of Robotics in Heriot-Watt University on the Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets (ORCA), see below.

The general engineering submission of Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh was ranked first in the UK in terms of research power in the general engineering category in the most recent UK REF assessment.

The ORCA project is an award winning consortium (Guardian 2018:https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2018/apr/24/business-collaboration-award-winner-and-runners-up ) and represents the world's largest research consortium in offshore robotics.

Detailed Description

Heriot-Watt is seeking a graduate with a strong interest in robotics, data analysis, prognostics and health management to work on an exciting new project that looks at the challenges faced in supporting self-certification of robotics. A critical element of self-certification is the ability of a robot to monitor in near to real-time its current state of health and to insure that safety, both of people and infrastructure, is safeguarded. The Offshore Robotics for the Certification of Assets (ORCA) project aims to develop strategies that supports semi-autonomous operations in the offshore energy sector.

ORCA is led by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, ORCA is an ambitious initiative that brings together internationally leading experts from 5 UK universities with over 33 industry partners (>£17.5M investment). Led by the Edinburgh Centre of Robotics in collaboration with Imperial College, Oxford and Liverpool Universities, this multi-disciplinary consortium brings its unique expertise in: Subsea (HWU), Ground (UoE, Oxf) and Aerial robotics (ICL); as well as human-machine interaction (HWU, UoE), innovative sensors for Non Destructive Evaluation and low-cost sensor networks (ICL, UoE); and asset management and certification (HWU, UoE, LIV).

The Hub aims to provide game-changing, remote solutions using robotics and AI that are readily integratable with existing and future assets and sensors, and that can operate and interact safely in autonomous or semi-autonomous modes in complex and cluttered environments. ORCA will develop robotics solutions enabling accurate mapping of, navigation around and interaction with offshore assets that support the deployment of sensors networks for asset monitoring. Human-machine systems will be able to cooperate with remotely located human operators through an intelligent interface that manages the cognitive load of users in these complex, high-risk situations. Robots and sensors will be integrated into a broad asset integrity information and planning platform that supports self-certification of the assets and robots.

Key duties and responsibilities

Some of the key duties of the Research Associate will include:

  • Coordinate the design and development of health management architectures for robotics.
  • Support the planning and testing of robots through Failure Mode Mechanism and Effect Analysis (FMMEA)
  • Support colleagues within the Robot and Asset Certification work package (lead by Professor Flynn), integrate their research into robot self-certification.
  • Investigate new optimisation methods for low power embedded intelligence in robots.
  • Design of control strategies that support adaptive measures in autonomous systems.
  • Disseminate results in scientific venues,including relevant journals and conferences.
  • Support the supervision of postdoctoral researchers e.g. masters students and PhD students

Education, qualifications and experience

Essential Criteria

  • Have a good MEng or MSc degree (with PhD strongly preferred) in either Robotics, Reliability Engineering, Computer Science/AI or Electrical Engineering programme
  • Original degree should have a strong reliability modelling and/or data analysis component
  • Capability to be self-directed and think innovatively
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm in the topic of the project, be a team player
  • Capability to present own research results

Desirable Criteria

  • A PhD in robotics. machine learning, artificial intelligence or another programme with a strong computational component is strongly preferred
  • Prior experience with prognostics and health management applications and/or research is a clear advantage
  • Prior publications in the topic areas of the project is a plus

How To Apply

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 17th August 2018

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

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.