Research Associate/Research Fellow in the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for Systems Control and Architecture

University of Sheffield - Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

Contract Type: Fixed term from 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering
Salary: Grade 7 (£30,175 - £38,183), Grade 8 (£39,324 - £46,924).


Automatic Control and Systems Engineering is one of the largest departments devoted to the subject in Europe, with 29 academic staff, 36 research staff, 25 professional and support staff and nearly 400 taught and research students.

We have a vibrant culture which supports collaborative research, and a strong programme of training and development for our researchers, from postgraduate research students through to our research leaders. Our high quality physical infrastructure facilitates excellent research, spanning all aspects of Systems and Control Engineering. 

We seek to appoint a Research Associate (RA) who will develop practical advanced control architectures and algorithms towards applying them to help optimise performance of the next generation of large civil gas turbine engines. This post is within the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC), a world-class research centre in Control and Monitoring Systems Engineering, housed in the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield.

Recent advances in technologies are being incorporated into Rolls-Royce’s engine designs leading to the next generation products being complex in their architecture and in the requirement for them to be controlled for safe, reliable and efficient operation. The control aspect of the work programme is to develop advanced control architectures and laws for implementation, guaranteeing real-time and enhanced performance and operability of aircraft engines and integrated power systems. The architecture aspect of the programme is to develop and evaluate technologies for novel system architectures and decision support for optimal architectures. Future plant concepts may require sophisticated new control methodologies. These solutions are required to be suitable for demonstrator physical systems delivering measurable system performance benefit.

The successful applicant will be a strong performer capable of developing practical novel control solutions and will work with the Centre’s research team to research and lead the development of advanced control algorithms, their architecture optimisation and their testing and validation. Applicants should hold a good first degree in a relevant area along with a PhD or equivalent experience in control and systems engineering. Above all we are seeking a highly motivated candidate with a strong interest in research and a thirst to explore new technologies, learn and apply their engineering skills to real-world control systems problems.

Candidates with research experience in novel practical control systems design, implementation and testing, as well as systems engineering are strongly invited to apply.

This post is available at Grade 7 or Grade 8, depending on the experience of the successful candidate. A candidate appointed at Grade 8 would be required to take leadership of the research, to carry out project-oriented management roles to meet the deliverables and reporting requirements, and to provide input to the research direction of the project including applying for appropriate funding. More extensive experience of the research fields covered by the project would be required to support this management role, and evidence of a significant role in previous projects would be expected

This post is funded initially until 31 December 2017. The research funders, Rolls-Royce, have an annual funding cycle for the UTC and the post is expected to be renewed annually.

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