Research Associate in Space Technology: Orbital Dynamics and Mission Analysis

University of Glassgow
February 12, 2024
Offerd Salary:£39,347 - £44,263
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Research Associate in Space Technology: Orbital Dynamics and Mission Analysis

Job Purpose

To make a leading contribution to the SOLSPACE project through the research theme on Orbital Dynamics and Mission Analysis , working with Professor Colin McInnes.

This is an exciting opportunity to join the SOLSPACE project, supported by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. The project is undertaking an adventurous programme of research to investigate the use of ultra- lightweight orbiting reflectors to enhance the output of future terrestrial solar power farms. This involves the integration of four research themes spanning orbital dynamics and mission analysis, attitude control and structural dynamics, reflector design and energy systems and economic modelling.

The successful candidate will lead the SOLSPACE project research theme on Orbital Dynamics and Mission Analysis. This will involve modelling, simulation and optimisation of the orbits of solar reflectors, modelling energy flows to future large-scale terrestrial solar power farms and investigating the use of solar radiation pressure perturbations to devise new families of reflector orbits. The successful candidate will also be required to work closely with the other theme leads to ensure integration of research outputs into the wider SOLSPACE project and deliver its top-level goals.

The SOLSPACE project will be embedded within the Space and Exploration Technology Group (SET) and will use the facilities of the Integrated Space and Exploration Technology Laboratory (I-SET). The SET group comprises a broad range of expertise across access to space, orbital dynamics, emerging space technologies, entry, descent and landing and planetary exploration technologies. The I-SET laboratory hosts a range of facilities for technology development and demonstration including a vacuum chamber, Helmholtz cage, 3D printers and a clean assembly area.

Candidates should have a successful record of research accomplishment in orbital dynamics.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

1. Take a leading role in the planning and conduct of assigned research individually or jointly in accordance with the project deliverables and project/group/School/College research strategy.

2. Document research output including analysis and interpretation of all data, maintaining records and databases, drafting technical/progress reports and papers as appropriate.

3. Establish and maintain your research profile and reputation and that of The University of Glasgow/ School/ Research Group, including establishing and sustaining a track record of independent and joint publications of international quality in high profile/quality refereed journals, enhancing the research impact in terms of economic/societal benefit, and gathering indicators of esteem.

4. Survey the research literature and environment, understand the research challenges associated with the project & subject area, & develop/implement a suitable research strategy.

5. Presentation of work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance our research profile.

6. Take a leading role in the identification of potential funding sources and to assist in the development of proposals to secure funding from internal and external bodies to support future research.

7. Take a leading role in developing and maintaining collaborations with colleagues across the research group/School/College/University and wider community (e.g. Academic and Industrial Partners).

8. Take a leading role in team/group meetings/seminars/workshops and School research group activities to enhance the wider knowledge, outputs and culture of the School/College.

9. Take the lead in the organisation, supervision, mentoring and training of undergraduate and/or postgraduate students and less experienced members of the project team to ensure their effective development.

10. Perform administrative tasks related to the activities of the research group and School, including Budgets/Expenditure.

11. Make a leading contribution, as permitted by the funding body, to Teaching activities (e.g. demonstrating etc) and associated admin assigned by the Head of School and in consultation with Principal Investigator.

12. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline.

13. Engage in personal, professional and career development, to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.

14. Undertake any other reasonable duties as required by the Head of School/Director of Research Institute.

15. Contribute to the enhancement of the University's international profile in line with the University's Strategic Plan, World Changers Welcome.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Knowledge and Qualifications


A1 Normally Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 12 (PhD) or alternatively possess the equivalent in professional qualifications and experience, with experience of personal development in a similar or related role(s)

A2 A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of current issues and future directions within the field of orbital dynamics

A3 Knowledge of project-specific technical models and techniques (e.g. orbit propagation, perturbation methods, numerical optimisation)



C1. Research creativity and strong cross-discipline collaborative ability as appropriate.

C2. Highly motivated, ability to use initiative and quick to learn new techniques.

C3. Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex/specialist concepts clearly and concisely.

C4. Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach.

C5. Willingness and aptitude to work in a multidisciplinary environment, across partner institutions.

C6. Appropriate workload and time management skills.

C7. Extensive IT and statistical data analysis/interpretation skills.

C8. Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach.

C9. Good team leadership skills including demonstrable supervisory skills.



E1 Sufficient depth of relevant research experience, normally including sufficient postdoctoral experience in a related field, appropriate to an early career researcher

E1 Track record of developing mathematical models in orbital dynamics and associated numerical tools for orbit propagation and analysis

E2 Experience of relevant software development in standard programming language (e.g. Matlab, Mathemaica, C++)

E3 Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner

E4 A track record of presentation and publication of research results in quality journals/conferences

E5 Experience of making a leading contribution in academic activities

E6 Ability to demonstrate a degree of independence as illustrated by identification of project objectives from assessment of the literature and drafting of papers.

E7 Experience in undertaking independent research

Closing date: 12 February 2024

Terms and Conditions

Salary will be Grade 7, £39,347 - £44,263 per annum.

This post is full time, and has funding until 30 November 2025

As part of Team UofG you will be a member of a world changing, inclusive community, which values ambition, excellence, integrity and curiosity.

As a valued member of our team, you can expect:

1 A warm welcoming and engaging organisational culture, where your talents are developed and nurtured, and success is celebrated and shared.

2 An excellent employment package with generous terms and conditions including 41 days of leave for full time staff, pension - pensions handbook https: // www., benefits and discount packages.

3 A flexible approach to working.

4 A commitment to support your health and wellbeing, including a free 6-month UofG Sport membership for all new staff joining the University https: // www.

We believe that we can only reach our full potential through the talents of all. Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our values. Applications are particularly welcome from across our communities and in particular people from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community, and other protected characteristics who are under-represented within the University. Read more on how the University promotes and embeds all aspects of equality and diversity within our community https: // www.

We endorse the principles of Athena Swan https: // www. and hold bronze, silver and gold awards across the University.

We are investing in our organisation, and we will invest in you too. Please visit our website https: // www. for more information.

Vacancy Ref : 137451 Close Date : 12-Feb-2024 23:45

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