Research Software Engineer: Optimisation and Decision-Making

University of Sheffield - Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

Contract Type: Fixed-term, from 1 September 2017 to 11 May 2018

Faculty: Engineering


Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE) is one of the largest departments devoted to the subject in Europe, with 24 academic staff, 28 research staff, 20 professional and support staff and nearly 400 taught and research students. We are an internationally leading research department with a vibrant culture spanning all aspects of Systems and Control Engineering.

We are seeking a research software engineer to work on a Jaguar Land Rover and EPSRC funded project, working closely with colleagues at Jaguar Land Rover.

The project forms part of the ambitious Programme for Simulation Innovation to develop the capability of the virtual simulation industry in the UK. The aim of the project is to develop state-of-the-art capabilities for robust full-vehicle design optimisation. These capabilities will leverage modelling, simulation and expert advice to facilitate the rapid integration of advanced technologies to provide new vehicle features and functionality.

This project has been underway since April 2014 and is receiving enthusiastic support from Jaguar Land Rover. One of the key research themes has been to create a methodology for realising distributed optimization, where the overall design optimization problem is partitioned into interacting, smaller design problems. This methodology introduces a network of optimization nodes and decision support. The post holder’s role will be to develop and maintain the framework that enables this network to operate asynchronously. This framework is prototyped in Liger, an open-source integrated optimization environment ( ).

You will have a PhD degree or equivalent experience in operations research, decision sciences or a related area. Fluency in C++ programming (including C++11 and the Standard Template Library) is essential, as is the ability to understand and implement multi-objective optimisation algorithms. A good understanding of object-oriented design principles is critical, whilst having experience of open-source software development, particularly for high performance computing platforms, would be an advantage. You will have effective communication skills, be able to analyse and solve problems with an appreciation of practical implications, and be able to plan work effectively to project timescales and produce project deliverables on time.

This post is full-time and fixed-term from 1 September 2017 to 11 May 2018. The Liger framework forms part of an on-going, wider, research programme within ACSE and we anticipate opportunities to extend the duration of the post.

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