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Institute of Technology Sligo

Post Doctoral Researcher - Investigate Optimal Parameters for the Laser Welding of Polymers

Institute of Technology Sligo

Sligo, Ireland

Summary Description of Post

The Institute's Centre for Precision Engineering, Materials and Manufacturing research (PEM Research Centre) is a partner in a successful Interreg 1.1 application that is developing an Advanced Manufacturing Research programme specifically for the Health and Life Science Sector. The other main academic partners include Catalyst, University of Ulster, LyIT, and University of Glasgow in addition to a number of manufacturing companies. The programme will fund a number of PhD and Post-doctoral projects that are industrially focused. The areas that the proposed research programme include are, sustainable manufacturing, with the PEM Research Centre leading out on, advanced polymer products, nano-manufacturing and also polymeric and metallic Additive Manufacturing. The PEM Research Centre is collaborating with Abbott Diagnostics based in Sligo on one of the Industrial research projects within the programme and now has an opportunity to recruit a postdoctoral researcher to work specifically on this project.

Job Purpose

The postdoctoral researcher will contribute to the Abbott project “Investigate optimal parameters for the laser welding of polymers” working with Principal Investigators Dr. David Tormey and Dr. Richard Sherlock. Specifically, the job requires specific knowledge, ideally in one or more of the following areas: laser physics, laser characterization and control, polymer science, numerical modeling methods relevant to heat dissipation. The successful candidate will also be expected to contribute to the formulation and submission of research publications and research proposals as well as help manage and direct this complex and challenging project as opportunities allow.

Essential Qualifications/Skills

  • A PhD qualification (or near completion) in a cognate area of one of the following, Physics, Engineering, Polymer Science, where semi conductor lasers and/or optics was a major topic;
  • Specialist theoretical and practical knowledge in more than one of the following areas:
    • Industrial laser applications;
    • Welding and joining of polymer materials;
    • Development of integrated automated systems using LabView or related hardware/software;
    • Process monitoring and control;
    • Mechanical testing and materials characterization;
    • Numerical modelling of heat-transfer using software tools such as Matlab, Comsol, ABAQUS, ANSYS.
  • A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of the wider subject area as well as the candidates own subject specialism;
  • Evidence of hands-on problem-solving ability;
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines and complete tasks within the timescales demanded by industrial partners;
  • Demonstrable ability to work effectively and flexibly as part of a cross-disciplinary team;
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex data/concepts clearly and concisely;
  • Track record of significant academic outputs including peer review publications, and conference papers;
  • Knowledge of specialist software and numerical FEA modeling tools (eg. Matlab, LabView, Comsol, ABAQUS, ANSYS) as appropriate;
  • General knowledge of laser process development for polymer welding.

Desirable Qualifications/Skills

  • The ability to design and build a customizable laser welding demonstrator with integral control appropriate for conducting experimental trials;
  • The ability to undertake detailed characterisation of laser welding processes;
  • Knowledge of appropriate microscopy techniques for polymer characterization;
  • Research creativity and cross-discipline collaborative ability as appropriate;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach;
  • Appropriate workload/time/project/budget/people management skills;
  • Extensive IT and statistical data analysis/interpretation skills as appropriate;
  • Self-motivation, initiative and independent thought/working;
  • Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach;
  • Good Team Leadership skills;
  • Ability to work creatively and diligently with little supervision;
  • Ability for independent thought and initiative in progressing research;
  • Demonstrable ability in mentoring and supporting postgraduate students;
  • Ability to demonstrate a degree of independence as illustrated by identification of project objectives from assessment of the literature, design & analysis of experiments & drafting of papers.

Desirable Experience:

  • Industrial/Manufacturing Experience preferably in a medical device or GMP manufacturing environment;
  • Sufficient breadth and/or depth of knowledge in specialist subject/discipline and of research/teaching methods and techniques to work with semiconductor lasers for welding polymer materials;
  • Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner;
  • Evidence of an emerging track record of publications in a relevant field;
  • A track record of presentation and publication of research results in quality journals/conferences;
  • Experience of making a leading contribution in academic activities;
  • Experience in undertaking independent research;
  • An emerging national or international reputation.

Duties

Perform the following activities in conjunction with and under the guidance of the Principal/Co Investigator and Industry partner:

  1. Plan and conduct assigned research individually or jointly in accordance with the project deliverables and PEM Centre’s 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. Participate in communication with Abbott diagnostics;
  4. Develop and enhance research profile and reputation and that of the Institute of Technology Sligo,/ PEM Research Centre/School of Engineering and Design, including contributing to 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;
  5. Contribute to the presentation of work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance the PEM Centre’s research profile;
  6. Contribute to 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. Collaborate with academic colleagues and participate in team/group meetings/seminars/workshops across the Institute’s Research community and wider regional shareholder community (e.g Academic and Industrial Partners);
  8. Contribute to the PEM Research Centre’s, supervision, mentoring and training of postgraduate students of the project team to ensure their effective development;
  9. Perform administrative tasks related to the activities of the PEM Research Centre reporting responsibilities to the project Coordinator, including, procurement compliance, Budgets/Expenditure and time keeping records;
  10. Be responsible for safety management related to the organisation and running of Laboratory and/or Experimental techniques, equipment and processes as appropriate;
  11. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline;
  12. Engage in personal, professional and career development to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory;
  13. Undertake any other duties of equivalent standing as assigned by the Lead PI/Co-PI;
  14. Perform the above duties with a higher degree of independence, leadership and responsibility, particularly in relation to planning, funding, collaborating and publishing research, and mentoring PhD postgraduates;
  15. Establish and sustain a track record of independent and joint published research to establish and maintain PEM Centre’s research reputation in the subject area;
  16. Survey the research literature and environment, understand the research challenges associated with the project & subject area, & develop/implement a suitable research strategy.

Contact

For informal enquires please contact Dr. David Tormey, dtormey@itsligo.ie, +353+71-91-55496

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