Technical Research Officer - School of Engineering - 80462 - Grade 7

University of Birmingham

United Kingdom

February 6, 2022


Technical Research Officer - School of Engineering - 80462 - Grade 7 - (2200001H)


Position Details

School of Engineering

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range of £31,406 to £40,927 with potential progression once in post to £43,434

Grade 7

Full Time, Fixed Term Contract, up to June 2023

Closing Date: 6th February 2022

Role Summary

The University of Birmingham has been awarded funding from ESIF and its partners to form a Smart Factory Hub (SmartFub). The Hub is led by Professor Stefan Dimov and has state-of-the-art facilities in the Schools of Engineering and Metallurgy and Materials on Birmingham's Edgbaston campus.

There is a need for a highly qualified Technical Research Officer at the University to support the establishment of industrially relevant SmartFub Demonstrators and the take up of digital technologies to enable high-value and sustainable manufacturing via a range of technology transfer channels and collaborations within Project. Working closely with researchers and industry partners at the University of Birmingham and beyond, the successful applicant will assist businesses in developing new products and processes by conducting technology audits, feasibility studies and industry-focused R&D projects. The successful applicant will be using state-of-art advanced manufacturing facilities already available at the University and will also be involved in the development of the Smart Factory Physical Demonstrator that will complement and extend the existing capabilities in digital technologies for additive/subtractive manufacturing, surface engineering and Industry 4.0 enabled smart factories.

The post will be based in the School of Metallurgy & Materials at Birmingham although the post holder will be expected to work on locations from time to time. The role will also involve collaboration with SMEs in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry & Warwickshire, Black Country and Stoke & Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership areas. Therefore, the ability to interact with external commercial organisations is a prerequisite for this position.

Main Duties

  • To conduct technology audits, scoping studies and demonstration projects on characterisation and development of Additive Manufacturing (AM) solutions to address specific industry requirements;

  • To design, implement and validate hybrid processing solutions that integrate AM with complementary manufacturing technologies.

  • Demonstration and application of these solutions to manufacturing issues and challenges relevant to the SmartFub stakeholders, notably partner companies and SMEs in all LEP areas supported by the project.

  • To carry out a quantitative analysis of parameters affecting laser- material interactions, e.g. materials' microstructure, built rates, residual stresses, quality, etc., in AM;

  • To develop new applications for the AM technology by working closely with colleagues within the SmatFub partnership.

  • Working with the Business Engagement Manager, Project Manager and Academic Theme Leaders in the delivery of business assists and knowledge transfer activities through:

  • Identifying new manufacturing and automation methods and techniques arising from their work or that of co-workers which may provide sources of new intellectual property;

  • Contributing to the writing of bids for future work in the SmartFub themes and delivery of resulting collaborative projects;

  • Providing appropriate training to beneficiaries of SmartFub to enable them to implement and apply the digital manufacturing technologies, techniques and methodologies developed and demonstrated by the project;

  • Preparation of reports, publications, training material, presentations and web content suitable for both academic and end user SME users;

  • Dissemination of the results produced by the project using appropriate and effective media such as publication, seminars etc.

  • To support the project management and leadership by:

  • Contributing to the planning and execution of feasibility studies and technology development programme and/or specific research activities;

  • Preparing papers and presentations for management groups and other bodies;

  • Undertaking related management/administration required to deliver the research and development objectives;

  • Analysing and interpreting the results of own research and generating ideas based on outcomes of benefit to the sustainability of SmartFub;

  • Providing guidance to other staff and partners on laser processing and its integration with other manufacturing technologies;

  • Maintaining accurate and auditable time recording assigned to specific project work packages.

  • Undertaking other duties, as necessary and when these arise, as directed by Team leaders within the project.

  • Person Specification

  • High level of competence and experience in laser-based additive manufacturing technologies (laser powder bed or direct laser deposition), finite element modelling of laser-material interactions, topology optimisation, designing laser-based manufacturing solutions, powder characterisation, the use of different microstructural and mechanical properties characterisation techniques.

  • High level of competence in planning and conducting complex empirical studies

  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly

  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones

  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively

  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes

  • Ability to summarise complex issues/concepts and present them appropriately for a range of audiences.

  • Ability to plan, manage and prioritise own workload, respond to changing priorities and deliver innovative solutions to deadlines maintaining a consistently high standard of service and meeting client needs.

  • Ability to work effectively as part of a multi-functional team across partner organisations.

  • Good client relationship management and interpersonal skills and an ability to work closely with other people at all levels of seniority, both within and outside the University.

  • Good communication skills: oral, written and presentational.

  • Understanding of the higher education research environment, its research functions and markets.

  • Understanding of academic research and knowledge transfer practices, funding streams and motivations.

  • To hold a relevant first degree or masters in Mechanical, Materials, Physics, or Manufacturing Engineering or related disciplines or equivalent experience.

  • To hold a PhD or EngD in Mechanical, Materials or Manufacturing Engineering or related disciplines.

  • Post graduate practitioner experience in laser processing, inspection and materials characterisation methods, CAD/CAM tools, and finite element- based process modelling through either industrial or postdoctoral academic positions.

  • Experience of supervision and management of research students and projects.

  • Informal enquiries to Moataz Mahmoud Attallah, email:

    Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

    We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

    Primary Location

    : GB-GB-Birmingham


    : Academic Non-clinical


    : Engineering


    : Temporary


    Job Posting

    : 27.01.2022, 7:00:00 AM

    Grade (for job description): Grade 7

    Salary (Pay Basis)

    : 31,406.00

    Maximum Salary

    : 43,434.00

    Advert Close Date

    : 07.02.2022, 6:59:00 AM

    Fixed Term Contract End Date 30.06.2023

    About the employer

    Established in 1900, Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact...