Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Acoustic Materials
University of Exeter, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
United Kingdom

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Acoustic Materials


Job reference S60124

Date posted 24/09/2018

Application closing date 22/10/2018

Location Exeter


The starting salary will be from £35,211 up to £37,345 on Grade F, depending on qualifications and experience. Package Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable).

Job category/type Research


Job description

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (Department of Physics and Astronomy)


EPSRC Prosperity Partnership: Tailored Electromagnetic & Acoustic Materials Accelerator (TEAM-A). This post is funded by EPSRC.


The above full time post is available immediately on a fixed term basis until 29th July 2021 in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences.


The University of Exeter is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities. We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, and have achieved a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2017. The University of Exeter has over 22,000 students and 4600 staff from 180 different countries and has been rated the WhatUni2017 International Student Choice. Our research focuses on some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today, with 98% of our research rated as being of international quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. We encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students.


The post


The College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to support the work of Professor Alastair Hibbins and Professor Roy Sambles FRS in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. This post is available as soon as possible on a fixed term basis until 29th July 202. The successful applicant will join the highly successful Electromagnetic and Acoustic Materials group, and be part of the prestigious "TEAM-A: The tailored electromagnetic and acoustic materials accelerator", an EPSRC Prosperity Partnership programme based around a collaboration between QinetiQ Ltd and the University of Exeter . The aim of the programme as a whole is to develop advanced materials that can be used to control and manipulate the propagation of electromagnetic and acoustic energy, in novel and highly tailored ways, and to work with scientists at QinetiQ to push Exeter's fundamental research towards commercial exploitation.


The successful candidate will focus on the development of novel acoustic control materials to solve specific commercial challenges. This will require research into the physics and technology of acoustic metamaterials, coatings, surfaces and treatments, through analytical, modelling and experimental methodologies. The manipulation of the propagation of acoustic energy in air and underwater is key to the ambitions of the programme of work, and initial projects may include the study of: thin, lightweight acoustic absorbers; one-way propagation of sound; beaming or scattering of acoustic energy; imaging with sound; transformation acoustics; sound-field manipulation; the acoustics of ducts; flow-induced noise; phononic crystals; and acoustic surface waves. The role-holder will work with scientists and engineers at QinetiQ to take proof-of-concepts through to exploitation, for example as treatments for use in vehicles, machinery and packaging. The work will involve direct access to QinetiQ's manufacture and characterisation facilities, some of which are unique in the UK, and the chance to contribute to a team solving 'real-world' challenges that are set by QinetiQ's customers. The successful applicant will be able to: present information on research progress and outcomes; communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically; and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies. The publication of high-quality scientific papers will be a key metric in this project.


The role holder will be a member of the Electromagnetic and Acoustic Materials research group, seconded as part of a small team of researchers to QinetiQ's research laboratories at Farnborough in order to access their UK-unique research and development facilities. Most of the equipment is not typically available to academic researchers, providing the team with a chance to undertake a range of novel and publishable research topics. Overall supervision will be provided by Professor Hibbins and Sambles, but QinetiQ scientists will also provide day-to-day supervision and training to enable the successful candidate to make the best use of the equipment and expertise held at Farnborough. This role hence offers a fantastic opportunity for an early stage researcher to gain experience in a high technology company, with the opportunity to branch into either industry or academia as the project progresses.


It must be noted that access to the experimental facilities at QinetiQ is restricted to UK nationals, and that the role-holder will need to obtain a security clearance (to be arranged by QinetiQ). These requirements are non-negotiable so please make it clear on your application that you meet this requirement.


About you


Applicants will have experience of a research environment, possessing a PhD in physics or engineering, or being close to PhD thesis submission. While a background in acoustics is ideal, this is not essential, and applicants with a track record in electromagnetism, condensed matter physics, wave-matter interactions, photonics, fluid dynamics and other relevant topics are strongly encouraged to apply. The successful applicant: will have a successful publication record; will be able to demonstrate independent input into previous research projects; will be able to offer expertise in experimental methods (ideally also with numerical or analytical experience); and will have developed research programmes and methodologies. The ability to work collaboratively (with both industry and academia) is essential, and therefore all applicants are expected to have demonstrated excellence in written and verbal communication skills.


The successful candidate will be appointed at Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Grade F) depending on the skills and experience the individual can bring to the role. Candidates should demonstrate their achievement against the relevant criteria in the accompanying person specifications which will be used to make an appointment at an appropriate level.


To view the Job Description and Person Specification document please click here.


For further information please visit our website on or contact Professor Alastair Hibbins, e-mail, or telephone (01392 722100).


The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer. We are officially recognised as a Disability Confident employer and an Athena Swan accredited institution. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce.

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