Loughborough University

Research Associate Aerospace Digitalization Digital-twins

Loughborough University

Full Time, Fixed Term 6 months

Here’s more about the role and what we’re looking for:

We are seeking a creative and enthusiastic post graduate student to become part of a research group with a view to them gaining research skills in one or more projects. This role is a perfect development role for a recent postgraduate looking to get experience in a research environment before considering undertaking a PhD or longer research.

The research will involve exploring several exciting areas of increasing importance to the engineering/manufacturing sectors. Two areas already identified are summarised below:

  1. Digital-twins have emerged from more traditional engineering modelling and simulation activities. However, the key difference is that the digital-twin interacts with its physical counterpart in a way that ensures the digital-twin mimics the behaviour and response as observed by the physical counterpart. Consequently, the digital-twin can be executed in non-real-time, for example running in slower or faster than real-time so critical analysis can explore unexpected or unanticipated behaviour that has yet to appear in the physical counterpart. The proposed research will investigate methods to couple multiple digital-twins as part of a co-simulation environment. The idea here is that several digital-twins will be required spanning different levels of fidelity from surrogate to high fidelity models. Understanding how these different digital-twins will communicate with each other and with certain aspects of the physical counterpart is of significant research interest.
  2. Mining tacit knowledge (the inherent skills experts have accumulated over many years) is regarded as a critical/urgent requirement as large companies are facing at least one third (or more) of their experienced work force leaving or retiring in the next three years. The tacit knowledge they hold in their heads is not currently captured and fundamental knowledge is simply lost for ever. This research will explore how such knowledge can be captured before vital experience is lost. Youtube videos have been considered as a possible way to capture certain task details but only touch the surface. Instead the research we are interested in is whether something like a ‘reversed engineered’ ChatGPT (or similar tool) could be trained on a series of questions that would interrogate experienced users before they leave and assemble a repository of expert knowledge that is searchable by less experienced people.

The successful applicant will support the research work of Professor Roy Kalawsky who has been funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Airbus. There will be opportunities to present the concepts to the regional aerospace supply chains and participate with regional STEM school ambassadors.

Key Requirements:

  • A minimum of 2:1 or Masters Engineering or Computer Science or a preferably a PhD Degree (or approaching completion of a PhD) in engineering, or relevant computing subject
  • Experience of programming in a modern computer language – Python preferred.
  • Demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills

Informal enquiries should be directed to Prof Roy S. Kalawsky, via email to r.s.kalawsky@lboro.ac.uk or by telephone to 01509 635678

Find out more about the Research opportunities we have on offer on our dedicated Microsite .

Closing date for applications: 17th April 2023

A copy of the job description and person specification is available here  

Our Benefits

  • Generous annual leave allowance up to 44 days p.a. (inclusive of Bank Holidays & University Closure Days)
  • Competitive pension schemes
  • A range of childcare support initiatives and benefits including childcare vouchers; on-site university nursery (with salary sacrifice scheme); and holiday play schemes.
  • We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies.
  • BUPA Cash Plan (100 scheme)
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Season ticker loan scheme
  • On campus parking with charging points for electric vehicles
  • Fantastic range of sports facilities and preferential membership packages available
  • Fantastic CPD, Linkedin learning and inclusive resources for development