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Reader/Principal Lecturer in Robotics and Adaptive Systems

University of Hertfordshire - School of Physics Engineering and Computer Science/ Department of Computer Science

FTE: Full time position working 37 hours per week (1.0 FTE)

Duration of Contract: Permanent position

Salary: Principal Lecturer: (UH9) £51,799 - £61,818 pa dependent on relevant skills and experience

Location: University of Hertfordshire, College Lane Campus, Hatfield.

Applications are invited for one academic position as Reader/Principal Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, University of Hertfordshire. The Department has an international reputation for teaching and research, with 66 academic staff, 60 adjunct lecturer staff, and 65 research students and postdoctoral research staff. With a history going back to 1958, the Department teaches one of the largest cohorts of students in the UK, and also delivers a thriving online computer science degree programme.

Successful candidates will join our Adaptive Systems Research Group, which:

  • Undertakes highly multidisciplinary research at the intersection of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, with ramifications into Assistive Technology, Ambient Assisted Living, Cognitive Science, Psychology, Social Science, Biology, Artificial Life, as well as into Mathematics and Physics, esp. Information Theory of Cognitive Systems.
  • aims to study the principles that constitute the success of these systems and to harness the principles for a wide range of robotic and other applications. It strongly encourages activity aligned with existing interdisciplinary research as well as expansion into novel, ambitious and areas and collaboration with the Biocomputation and Cybersecurity groups as well as external collaborations. The KASPAR impact case study was selected as one of the REF 2014 exemplars for impact made by UK academic computer science research (
  • is home to the Robot House. It comprises of a 4-bedroom house in a residential neighbourhood, with an array of sensor and robotic technology in support of ambient assisted living research. The facility is designated as a National Research Infrastructure by EPSRC and supports research in human-robot interaction and trustworthy human companions.

Main duties and responsibilities

The person appointed will be expected to make a significant contribution to the development and leadership of research in Adaptive Systems with the goal of maintaining a strong focus on Robotics, including gaining research awards as Principal Investigator, the development of the research environment in the department and across the University, and publishing in peer reviewed journal articles and other internationally excellent or world-leading publications in education. To contribute to the development of, and supervise and teach on, doctoral programmes in the UK and internationally in relation to a wide spectrum of robotics and AI, especially emerging topics in AI.  Possible fields include, but are not limited to:

  • Robotics: embodied and/or cognitive robotics, soft robotics, adaptive or evolutionary robotic design, robot safety and ethics, sensorics and robotics, emotional/social robots, smart homes and sensors, sensor fusion, assistive robotics, human-robot interaction, agricultural robotics
  • Machine learning: reinforcement learning, Deep Methods, statistical methods, large scale data modelling/intelligent processing and high-performance learning algorithms
  • Biological and biophysical computation paradigms, systems biology, neural computation
  • Complex Systems: collective intelligence, adaptive, autonomous and multi-agent/robot systems, collective and swarm intelligence, social and market modelling, adaptive, evolutionary and unconventional computation
  • Mathematical Modelling: statistical modelling, information-theoretic methods, compressive sensing, intelligent data visualization, multiscale models, optimization; causality
  • Emerging Topics in AI: computer algebra and AI, topological methods (e.g. persistent homology), algebraic and category-theoretical methods in AI; modern topics in games and AI; quantum algorithms for AI
  • AI and applications: financial modelling, AI and biology/physics/cognitive sciences
  • Foundations: fundamental questions of intelligence and computation, emergence of life/intelligence, Artificial Life

The post holder will be expected to proactively participate in enterprise, knowledge transfer and/or research and scholarship in the school.  Readers/Principal lecturers are expected to contribute to the wider academic environment, through scholarly activity, support events, and projects, including open days, outreach, extra curricula initiatives, and potentially act as a representative of the School or University at national or international fora.

Skills and experience needed

Candidates must have an evidenced track record of published, and grant-funded research in Computer Science. 

With respect to teaching, the appointee will have prior experience of developing and delivering modules in Computer Science with a significant experience of operating in a UK HE Environment, or equivalent professional experience. Readers/Principal lecturers are expected to take on duties in the capacity of leader, and hence experience of academic leadership, programme leadership and line management is desirable.

Good interpersonal and presentation skills with proficiency in the English Language are essential along with the ability to manage conflicting demands and work to deadlines.

Qualifications required

Reader/Principal Lecturer applicants must hold a First Degree and a PhD in an appropriate area of Computer Science or an equivalent, relevant postgraduate professional qualification.

Appointment to a Readership at the University of Hertfordshire

Please read the ‘University Policy and Regulations – Readerships’ document to ensure you are fully aware of the requirements on, and for the appointment of, a Reader at the University.

As this is a readership appointment the names and contact details of three academic referees of appropriate standing in the field are required, who may be approached by the University prior to interview. Please provide these in your Personal Statement.

The Appointment Panel for the post will be constituted in such a way that if the successful candidate fulfils the University's Readership criteria, then the Panel may award a Reader title to the successful applicant.

The School of Physics Engineering and Computer Science is an Athena Swan Bronze award holder, and is committed to providing a supportive environment and flexible working arrangements. The university also provides an onsite childcare facility and child-centred holiday clubs. Staff work with the university values, which are: Friendly, Ambitious, Collegial, Enterprising, and Student focused.

Contact Details/Informal Enquiries: Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Simon Trainis, Head, Department of Computer Science by email: Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

Closing Date: 6 December 2021

Interview Date: 20 January 2022

Reference Number: 032595

Our vision is to transform lives and UH is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and building a diverse community. We welcome applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of their protected characteristics. We offer a range of employee benefits including generous annual leave and discounted Sports Village memberships, personal and professional development and family-friendly policies. #GoHerts

Apply online at

Location: Hatfield
Salary: £51,799 to £61,818 pa dependent on relevant skills and experience
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 1st November 2021
Closes: 6th December 2021
Job Ref: 032595
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