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Research Associate - Applying Machine Learning to the Continuous Manufacturer of High Value Films

University of Sheffield - Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Location: Sheffield
Salary: £32,344 to £34,304 per annum.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 3rd September 2021
Closes: 1st October 2021
Job Ref: UOS029949

We seek an experienced researcher to work on an EPSRC research project aiming to revolutionise the way in which thin films to thick films are manufactured. The project aims to deploy machine learning to the continuous manufacture of high value thin to thick film materials from solutions and slurries. Through research strands addressing theory, machine learning, sensors, and continuous manufacturing techniques we seek efficient and responsive manufacturing approaches for multiple material systems. This approach will develop energy and materials efficient manufacturing techniques, whilst also optimising film and device performance, for a range of applications (i.e. electronics, photovoltaics, optics, energy storage).  

We require someone to investigate wet film forming techniques, run small scale continuous manufacturing platforms, and develop various in-situ metrology/spectroscopic sensors. The successful candidate, will liaise with both theoretical modellers (Cambridge, Sheffield), Machine Learning specialists (Sheffield), and metrology experts (Huddersfield), to interface manufacturing platforms and data with optimisation algorithms based on machine learning and models in the partner organisations.  

Prior experience in at least one key project area: materials characterisation, instrumental development, or fabrication processes is essential. The candidate will hold a good honours degree, or equivalent qualification in a relevant discipline, and hold a PhD in a topic that demonstrates project relevant knowledge.  Additional relevant post-doctoral experience is desirable. In addition to local supervision, there will be interactions with all investigators providing a diverse multi-disciplinary experience.

The principal investigator (Dr Jonathan Howse), based in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, which has a strong research theme in the area of Materials and Products ( Co-supervisors, also in this department, include Dr. Stephen Ebbens (metrology) and Dr Alan Dunbar (solar cell materials). You will also liaise with Professor George Panoutsos (Computational Intelligence, Automatic Control and Systems Engineering). 

You will be given the opportunity to disseminate the output of this project at both national and international conferences, as well as regularly presenting your findings to industrial partners.  

We are committed to exploring flexible working opportunities which benefit the individual and University. 

We’re one of the best not-for-profit organisations to work for in the UK. The University’s Total Reward Package includes a competitive salary, a generous Pension Scheme and annual leave entitlement, as well as access to a range of learning and development courses to support your personal and professional development. 

We build teams of people from different heritages and lifestyles from across the world, whose talent and contributions complement each other to greatest effect. We believe diversity in all its forms delivers greater impact through research, teaching and student experience.

To find out what makes the University of Sheffield a remarkable place to work, watch this short film:, and follow @sheffielduni and @ShefUniJobs on Twitter for more information.

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