Research Assistant/Research Officer

Swansea University - Engineering


£28,936 to £32,548 per annum Grade 7.
£33,518 to £38,833 per annum Grade 8.   

(pro rata if part time), together with USS pension benefits if required.

The salary will be on either the Grade 7 or 8 salary scale for Research Staff depending on the Academic Research profile which best matches your experience and achievements.

Zeal Innovation Limited is a Swansea-based company producing high security bicycle lock products, including LITELOK, which was the winner of the “Best cycling innovation” at the London Cycling Awards 2016. LITELOK is the lightest, flexible Gold standard bicycle lock on the market, harnessing the unique security properties of multiple innovative materials contained in the composite strap called BoaFlexicore®. Each layer provides additional security, meaning it can withstand sustained attack from tools like cable cutters, bolt croppers and hacksaws.

The patent protected material has unique qualities that make it light and super strong – ideal for many security applications, however these physical properties result in a slow manual manufacturing process, with difficulties cutting the composite material and joining this to the lock fastening. This presents a manufacturing challenge as the demand in the UK, Europe and ROW outstrips supply.

Zeal Innovation have been awarded Innovate UK funding for this project to work in partnership with Swansea University creating a more efficient automated manufacturing process. Innovative technologies such as hybrid joint bonding, targeted laser vaporization, robotic handling and machine vision are all in scope. These new processes will not only be applied to the bike lock range, but will enable the development of complementary innovative security products over the coming years. One of the driving forces of this work is to create efficiencies which will ensure continued manufacturing in the UK, creating highly skilled employment and further develop our position as a premium innovator in global markets.

Working within the College of Engineering at Swansea University the following position requires an enthusiastic individual who has a strong background in computational simulation (CAD and CAE) and engineering software development, additive manufacturing (3D printing/rapid prototyping) using both metals and plastic based systems, design and optimisation of parts using simulation driven design and prototyping iterations and coordinate measurement machines (CMM) for quality assurance. It is essential that the candidate works closely with engineers in the company as well as part of a University team, and is able to contribute to the work packages undertaking independent research adhering to project plans and timescales, and preparing professional reports and presentations. It is highly desirable that the candidate has a good knowledge of materials and mechanical property testing such as tensile and fatigue testing of metal/polymer composites, as well as a disposition to learn new practical skills in robotics and advanced automated manufacturing.

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