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Research Fellow

University of Birmingham - School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Location: Birmingham
Salary: £30,395 to £39,609 with potential progression once in post to £42,036 a year
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 11th February 2019
Closes: 13th March 2019
Job Ref: 80737

Full Time

Fixed Term – up to 16 months, with possibility of extension

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,395 to £39,609. With potential progression once in post to £42,036 a year.

Since 2011 the threat posed by space weather has been on the UK National Risk Register, and currently sits as the 5th most important risk to the UK. One approach for mitigating such risks is the use of mathematical models. The rising need for accurate and actionable forecasts has required the development of physics-based DA models.

The University of Birmingham Space Environment and Radio Engineering (SERENE) group is developing the Advanced Ensemble electron density (Ne) Assimilation System (AENeAS), a physics-based DA model of the coupled ionosphere-thermosphere system. One of the difficulties with such models is that measurements of the upper atmosphere are extremely sparse. A much broader range of information about molecular species, temperatures and winds in the upper atmosphere are necessary for the quality of forecasting required.

This project will continue the development of the model, through the assimilation of new types of data, and by developing probabilistic forecasting techniques which are necessary for operational use. Inherent in this development will be studies to quantify the forecasting performance. The project will also improve the software maturity of AENeAS to ensure its stability.

The post-holder will be responsible for publishing the findings as they emerge in leading international journals, will liaise closely with other researchers and gain extensive international, industrial and academic contacts and experience.

The successful applicant will undertake research on a physics-based data assimilation model of the upper atmosphere. The overall aim is to advance the model by assimilating new data types and develop probabilistic forecasting techniques which are necessary for operational use. The role includes developing routines (in Python) to assimilate new data types into the model, developing probabilistic forecasting methods for space weather events, liaison with the customer (Dstl / QinetiQ) and an Analysis and assessment of the model performance. They will work within specified research grants and projects, contribute to writing research proposals and analyse and interpret research findings and results. They will also contribute to licensing or spin out deals with demonstrated commercial success.

Applicants who wish to work part-time or on another flexible basis are encouraged to apply

Skills and Experience Required:

  • Hold, or be close to the completion of, a PhD in Physics, Engineering, Mathematics or related fields, or equivalent experience
  • Strong background in effects of the upper atmospheric modelling and/or data assimilation
  • Demonstrated capability in Python programming and developing software
  • Documented experience of working with international project teams
  • Demonstrable skills related to space weather modelling and/or data assimilation.
  • Experience of publishing research findings in international journals.
  • Demonstrable high level of analytical capability and ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes

Closing date: 13 March 2019                   Reference: 80737

To download the details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below, please quote the appropriate Job Ref in all enquiries, alternatively information can be obtained from

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