Heriot-Watt University

Assistant Professor in Aerospace

Heriot-Watt University – School of Engineering & Physical Sciences (EPS)

Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and leading-edge, relevant research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for innovation, business and industry. 

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages. Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort 

Shaping Tomorrow Together 

The university is running a campaign to identify key academic talent join us across our Edinburgh, Galashiels, and Dubai campuses and across multiple Schools and Disciplines. You will join as an Assistant Professor. This is an exciting campaign to kick off in late 2022 and into 2023. So, we are really interested in hearing from you as we look to you to help us shape tomorrow together.

About our Team  

The School of Engineering & Physical Sciences (EPS) was created in August 2002. We are a community of over 340 staff and around 3,000 students across our three campuses in Scotland, Dubai and Malaysia. The School is recognised as an international leader in education, research and the application of knowledge to benefit society globally, committed to excellence with a purpose. We are striving to establish ourselves as partners of choice for world leading institutions, consistently delivering an environmentally and financially sustainable growth by aligning to the opportunities and requirements of our modern times to address local and global needs 

Our research ranges from fundamental sciences through to engineering applications, all of which are supported by strong external funding.  We have over 150 full-time academic staff who drive this research activity and are based in 5 research institutes:  the Institute of Chemical Sciences, the Institute of Photonics & Quantum Sciences, the Institute of Mechanical, Process & Energy Engineering, the Institute of Sensors, Signals & Systems and the Institute of Biological Chemistry, BioPhysics & BioEngineering. In REF2021, our Physics was top in the UK for world-leading research outputs. Our joint submission to Engineering with the University of Edinburgh was ranked 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the UK for quality and breadth of research (based upon the standard Research Power formula as used by the Times Higher Education). 

We provide world-class education to our students across six undergraduate programmes: Chemistry; Physics; Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering; Chemical & Process Engineering; Mechanical Engineering and Brewing & Distilling, and will soon add Aerospace Engineering to our undergraduate programme portfolio. We also offer a range of postgraduate taught programmes. In the recent The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023, our Chemical Engineering is the 6th in the UK (the 2nd in Scotland), Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering is the 7th in the UK (the 1st in Scotland) and  General Engineering is the 9th in the UK (the 1st in Scotland). In the 2022 National Student Survey (NSS), we are ranked the 4th in the UK for overall satisfaction in Chemical Engineering, the 2nd in Scotland in Electrical Engineering and Physics, and are the top ranked in the UK in Food & Beverage discipline (which includes our Brewing & Distilling discipline, where we have achieved a 100% students overall satisfaction). 

We are seeking an experienced and leading academic researcher to lead and develop research and teaching activities in areas related to advanced materials, aerospace or solid mechanics. 

We are seeking a talented and highly motivated academic leader to join our interdisciplinary research activities (specifically in areas related to modelling and/or manufacturing of advanced novel materials, aerospace applications and solid mechanics) and working in collaboration with relevant colleagues across EPS; also to undertake teaching and learning activities in the Mechanical Engineering discipline of EPS. 

We are seeking candidates with a strong track record that demonstrates their research leadership capabilities in their areas of expertise.  You must have a PhD in a relevant discipline.  A proven ability to attract research funding and experience of teaching courses at undergraduate or postgraduate level are essential. 

The post will be an open-ended position within the School, based primarily at our Edinburgh Campus.  You will seek funding for, and undertake research activities in collaboration with colleagues as appropriate.  You will deliver and assess undergraduate, and postgraduate taught, courses in Mechanical Engineering (which will include the newly introduced Aerospace Engineering) at our Edinburgh campus and will collaborate with colleagues at our overseas campuses in Dubai and Malaysia. The role will also include academic administration, and course development and enhancement. 

Key Responsibilities 

Work activities will vary according to the requirements of the job and individual areas of teaching and research responsibility, however general responsibilities are typically, but not restricted to, the following: 

  • Leading and engaging in research and actively contributing to the university’s research profile, including managing, and supervising and mentoring research-active staff where appropriate. 

  • Actively pursuing research funding through the submission of high-quality grant proposals. 

  • Establishing collaborative research and teaching links outside the university via funding councils, industry, business, and public bodies. 

  • Developing cross-Research Institute, School, University, and external research links and networks, with a view to maximising research funding opportunities and associated activities. 

  • Contributing to School, Institute and research group strategic planning where required, as well as carrying out general research administration. 

  • Publicising research through the preparation and submission of journal and conference papers and participating in academic conferences. 

  • Representing the institution in a professional capacity, particularly with regard to research dissemination and development e.g. conferences, meetings, with industrial partners, etc.; 

  • Supervising and mentoring undergraduate students, postgraduate students and research associates’ research work. 

  • Teaching through the delivery of lectures, tutorials and laboratories, assessing the relevant students’ work as well as setting and marking examinations and coursework. 

  • Designing and developing teaching materials and new teaching methods, using personal research to inform teaching where appropriate. 

  • Carrying out general academic administration, including participation on committees and exam boards, taking responsibility for key discipline-specific administration tasks and mentoring students. 

  • Undertaking continuous professional development (CPD) and participating in staff development activities. 

Essential Criteria 

  • First degree in engineering or cognate subject. 

  • PhD in a relevant area or related discipline. 

  • Demonstrated initiative in obtaining research funding. 

  • Has an active research portfolio in one or more of the areas outlined above. 

  • Research portfolio complementary to our existing profile. 

  • Experience of playing a significant, and developing, role in collaborative academic-industrial research projects. 

  • Demonstrable track-record of high-quality research published in internationally renowned journals. 

  • Evidence of teaching and assessment of undergraduate and graduate engineering students  

  • Evidence of general academic research leadership (can be initiating joint proposals, influencing colleagues to work in teams, etc.) 

  • Effective and engaging communicator 

  • Good oral and written presentation skills. 

Desirable Criteria 

  • CEng or working towards CEng status 

  • Demonstrates evidence of willingness to be involved in collaborative research. 

  • Demonstrates willingness to participate in international delivery of programmes. 

  • Evidence of leadership of research teams, including successful supervision of PhD students and managing post-Docs. 

How to Apply 

Applications can be submitted up until midnight on 19th February 2023.  

Interested applicants must submit via the Heriot-Watt on-line recruitment system: (1) a cover letter describing their interest and suitability for the post; (2) a full CV; (3) A summary of their scholarship and teaching plans and ambitions; and (4) a  list of publications.  

Heriot-Watt University is committed to securing equality of opportunity in employment and to the creation of an environment in which individuals are selected, trained, promoted, appraised and otherwise treated on the sole basis of their relevant merits and abilities.  Equality and diversity are all about maximising potential and creating a culture of inclusion for all. 

Heriot-Watt University values diversity across our University community and welcomes applications from all sectors of society, particularly from underrepresented groups. For more information, please see our website https://www.hw.ac.uk/uk/services/equality-diversity.htm and also our award-winning work in Disability Inclusive Science Careers https://disc.hw.ac.uk/ . 

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options. 

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.