Postdoctoral Research Associate in Aerospace Engineering: UAV or Sports Aerodynamics

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Aerospace Engineering: UAV or Sports Aerodynamics

Heriot-Watt University - School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Detailed Description

We are seeking to appoint one outstanding Postdoctoral Researcher with a passion for computational modelling and experimental validation in aerodynamics with aspirations of an academic career. The position will be aligned with advancing research in the new research group of Aerospace Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. The selected candidate will work under the supervision of Professor Bert Blocken.

Applicants should hold a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (specialisation Fluid Mechanics), Civil Engineering (specialisation Fluid Mechanics) or the like. Proven excellent expertise in CFD modelling is a strict requirement, additional expertise in wind tunnel testing is a plus. Expertise in integrating Artificial Intelligence in aerodynamics is also a plus.

The selected candidate should ideally have familiarity with and will work on one or several of the following topics:

  • Autonomous flight systems, with focus on pushing the boundaries for unmanned aerial vehicles;
  • Sports aerodynamics, with focus on pushing the boundaries in cycling and athletics.

In these topics, a large focus will be placed on CFD modelling, wind tunnel tests in the new-to-be-built large wind tunnel of Heriot-Watt University (inauguration expected in 2025) and on-site testing. Integration of Artificial Intelligence in these topics will be expected.

Applicants are expected to have excellent verbal and written communication skills, with a demonstrated ability to write refereed journal articles and present work at scientific/engineering conferences.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage projects in terms of the simulation methodology that is most applicable, running simulations and curating the data;
  • Provide input for wind tunnel design and testing and using output for high-quality CFD validation;
  • Be an innovator, by developing and expanding the research project over time, and presenting novel ideas;
  • Collaborate in and/or lead in the preparation of scientific peer-reviewed articles and present papers, posters and talks;
  • Act as a source of information and advice to other members of the group on CFD simulation techniques and wind tunnel testing;
  • Represent the research group, Aerospace Engineering and Heriot-Watt University at meetings and conferences, either with other members of the group or alone;
  • Mentor junior members of the group (PhD students or undergraduate project research students);
  • Optional: Develop research proposals including for an Independent Fellowship.

Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post. Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve.

Education, Qualification and Experience

Essential Criteria:

The candidate will:

  • Hold a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (specialisation Fluid Mechanics), Civil Engineering (specialisation Fluid Mechanics) or a related field;
  • Be able to demonstrate competence and success as achieved in the PhD research (and postdoctoral work if appropriate), e.g. as judged by publications in high quality peer-reviewed journals. Evidence will be sought of a deep understanding of the applicant's previous fields of research and evidence of independent intellectual and practical contributions to previous research projects;
  • Be able to articulate a clear vision for development of their independent research activity;
  • Demonstrate experience and regular use of/contribution to Ansys CFD, OpenFOAM or a similar CFD code;
  • Possess excellent communication skills, including the ability to lead the writing of journal articles, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings;
  • Show an ability to work supportively with other academicians and with technical staff in a laboratory environment, and to supervise and mentor junior co-workers.
  • Have proven HPC skills.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Familiarity with active and unique contributions to OpenFOAM, Ansys CFD, or the like;
  • Familiarity with advanced computer programming;
  • Experience in machine learning methods.

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