Research Fellow – Sustainable and Resilient Structures

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time fixed term position as Research Fellow within the Sustainable and Resilient Structures Research Group in the SFI MaREI Centre based in the School of Engineering and Ryan Institute at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway.

This position is funded by the European Commission through the METABUILDING Labs project, as well as Science Foundation Ireland through the MaREI Centre and Enterprise Ireland through the Construction Technology Centre, and is available from July 2022 for a period of 2 years initially (subject to extension if additional funding becomes available).

Research Area:

The Sustainable and Resilient Structures Research Group (www.nuigalway.ie/structures) in the SFI MaREI Centre (www.marei.ie) have expertise in developing sustainable and resilient structures for buildings and energy infrastructure. The team applies leading-edge scientific and engineering methods to develop the improved infrastructure and built environment required for sustainable social and economic development. The research group have a strong history of collaboration with industry and international research institutes. The Sustainable and Resilient Structures Research Group is part of the SFI MaREI Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine and lead the Materials & Structures research area within that national research centre. We have developed a world-leading large structures test cell in the Alice Perry Engineering building at NUI Galway. In this state-of-the-art testing facility the team are collaborating with and testing novel structures for world-leading leading marine renewable energy companies, testing large aerospace structures and testing various construction technologies. The Alice Perry Engineering building itself is a living laboratory used in teaching and research, as well as hosting a range of state-of-the-art laboratories, such as additive manufacturing/3D printing, material testing, timber engineering, concrete technology, hydraulics and thermodynamics laboratories. Furthermore, during the H2020 METABUILDING Labs project (https://metabuilding-labs.eu/) we are developing open innovation test beds for building envelopes, which will be installed in 13 leading research performing organisations in Europe, including in NUI Galway.

 

Job Description:

The successful candidate will work in the Sustainable and Resilient Structures Research Group (www.nuigalway.ie/structures) under the supervision of Prof Jamie Goggins and Dr Magdalena Hajdukiewicz to investigate modern methods of construction. There will be a specific focus on building envelopes and sustainable structures, which will include design, analysis and laboratory testing. 

Duties:

Research

  • Research into modern methods of construction, which will include design, analysis and laboratory testing. This will be done under the supervision and direction of your principal investigator (PI).
  • The successful candidate is expected to define research objectives and proposals for own (or joint) research in line with research strategy whilst contributing to the research programme of the Sustainable and Resilient Structures Research group (nuigalway.ie/structures) in the MaREI Centre (www.marei.ie) at NUI Galway (www.nuigalway.ie). This will be under general guidance of the PIs/ project leaders.
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the research area(s) both nationally and internationally.
  • Develop methods and techniques appropriate to the type of research pursued that add to the intellectual understanding of the field.
  • Develop a growing reputation within their field of research.
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of the policy, practices and procedures, relevant to the role, the research fellow will provide advice to junior colleagues on policy and standards, which may include broader University/ sector/ external sponsor or funder (e.g. Commercial Awareness, Research Ethics, Knowledge Transfer, Patents, Intellectual Property Rights, Health and Safety, Equal Opportunities & Diversity).
  • Decide on research programmes and methodologies, often in collaboration with colleagues and sometimes subject to the approval of the head of the research programme on fundamental issues.

 

Dissemination

  • The successful candidate is expected to lead at least two publications in high quality peer-reviewed journals per year.
  • Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which you are engaged as directed by and with the support of and under the supervision of your PI.
  • Contribute to the dissemination of research findings as appropriate to the discipline in high quality/impact peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations, knowledge share events.
  • Present on research progress and outcomes e.g. to bodies supervising research; steering groups; other team members, as agreed with the PI/project leader.
  • Attend and contribute to relevant meetings/conferences.

 

Management

  • Successfully managing research projects.
  • Support the Principal Investigator and research group in the design and development of the research programme.
  • Complete administrative and management work associated with your programme of research.
  • To identify potential funding sources and to prepare and write bids for funding proposals. To contribute and support the development of research grant funding applications.
  • Where appropriate, act as project leader and as a line manager of research teams.
  • Co-ordinate the work of research staff. Organise and conduct meetings with research staff to clarify objectives, develop work plans/timetables for research and support staff and communicate progress.
  • Participate in the selection of staff working on their own projects.
  • Develop and implement quality assurance measures.
  • Deal with contract negotiation and financial allocation with other collaborators for research projects.
  • Plan and implement commercial and consultancy activities.
  • To carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

 

Support

  • Support and, where appropriate, co-supervise the work of undergraduate students e.g. final year project students. At Research Fellow, co-supervision, tutoring, mentoring and training of research graduate students associated with your research group is expected.
  • Contribute to teaching that shall normally be no more than 50 hours per annum in an associated school and under the supervision of an academic faculty member.
  • Take responsibility as requested for day-to-day advice and support of graduate research students associated with your research group.
  • Play a leadership role for junior colleagues.
  • Peer-review manuscripts for publication and/or research bids.
  • Provide expert advice on research issues to research fellows and other colleagues.

 

Other

  • Expected to make a sustained contribution to the Sustainable and Resilient Structures Research Group’s research reputation and income.
  • Continue to update knowledge and develop skills.
  • Develop internal and external contacts with researchers in related areas.
  • Contribute to work of the College/School/Research Unit through activities such as student Open Days, education and public engagement activities and other promotion activities as appropriate.
  • To carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

Qualifications/ Skills required:

The ideal candidate should hold a PhD in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science or equivalent, have a strong background in construction technology and structures and is expected to have performed original scientific research on sustainable and resilient buildings. Candidates should have excellent communication and organisational skills; be highly motivated and passionate about sustainable and resilient buildings; and have strong documentation, oral and interpersonal skills. The position requires communication with the different partners of the consortium; thus, excellent communication skills are mandatory.

Essential Requirements:

  • Honours degree (at least 2.1 or equivalent) in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science or equivalent.
  • PhD in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics or Materials Science on the topic of sustainable and resilient buildings and/or have 10+ years research experience in sustainable and resilient buildings.
  • Evidence of experience in design, manufacturing and/or testing of buildings or building components.
  • Evidence of leading novel sustainable buildings research and developing project teams.
  • Demonstrable experience in both independent and collaborative research.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills (English language).
  • Evidence of scientific publication and dissemination of results in peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Desirable Requirements:

  • Experience in laboratory testing, especially thermal, mechanical and/or structural testing.
  • Evidence of commercial development of novel construction technologies.
  • Evidence of innovative thinking, able to work both independently and in cross-disciplinary teams.
  • Appropriate supervisory or teaching experience may be an advantage.

Salary:

€56,933 to €62,037 per annum pro rata for shorter and/or part-time contracts (public sector pay policy rules pertaining to new entrants will apply). 

Start date: Position is available from earliest possible start date July 2022

Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to Prof Jamie Goggins  (Jamie.goggins@nuigalway.ie) and/or Dr Magdalena Hajdukiewicz (magdalena.hajdukiewicz@nuigalway.ie)

To Apply:

Applications to include a covering letter, CV, and the contact details of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (in Word or PDF formats only) to Ms Gráinne Morahan: grainne.morahan@nuigalway.ie.

Please put reference number NUIG RES 118-22 in subject line of e-mail application.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 17:00 pm Sunday, 5th June 2022.

 Interviews are planned to be held during the week of 13th June 2022, which will be held virtually using MS Teams.