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Research Associate

School of Engineering
Salary:   £30,619 to £35,308
Closing Date:   Sunday 18 June 2023
Interview Date:   Wednesday 28 June 2023
Reference:  0519-23

We wish to appoint a talented researcher to undertake advanced research in the field of process monitoring and optimisation of pipe welding, part of the collaborative project “DIGItal platform for defect-free plastic PIPEs WELDing: DIGIPIPEWELD” with multiple industrial partners funded under Innovate UK. This is a 18-month full-time appointment.

The technology to be developed is a digitally intelligent controlled Pinweld plastic pipe welding system. The system will be designed to join polymer pipes without defects and will be coupled with sophisticated machine-learning algorithms, enabling the joints to be optimised and recorded, whatever the application and climate. The system will be developed with advanced sensing, data processing, and machine learning to achieve accurate process monitoring, autonomous quality inspection after welding, and real-time leakage detection. This would bring a level of control to plastic pipe installation never before available.

Lancaster University as one partner of the entire project, will focus on online process optimisation, quality evaluation and control integration in different WPs. Your required main tasks include: 

i) Develop AI-based process monitoring module using various sensors 

ii) Build effective process optimisation algorithms to optimise process parameters

iii) Integration of monitoring data, optimisation techniques and control module.

iv) Develop autonomous quality evaluation algorithms.

v) Performance verification and final customisation of DIGIPIPEWLED system.

vi) Writing reports for related tasks and publications 

The School of Engineering at Lancaster University has excellent research laboratories and associated research facilities. To support the experimental results and modelling requirements of this technology development project, the department also has available a comprehensive range of software tools, in addition to central computing services support. 

You must hold a MSc or PhD in a relevant discipline, and related academic or industrial experience at post-doctoral or commensurate level is highly desirable; excellent team-working and communication skills are also required. 

The position is available to engineers / data scientists with experience of implementing data analytics in a manufacturing environment.

You will join us on an indefinite contract however, the role remains contingent on external funding which, at this time is for 18 months

Lancaster University is campus-based, and located close to the Lake district in the north-west of England; the University also enjoys excellent public transport and national rail links. Lancaster is just one hour from international airports at Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. The town and the region are home to a variety of excellent schools and enjoy excellent public transport and national rail links. A wide selection of facilities is available on campus including a large variety of social facilities, eateries, a new sports centre, and a highly regarded pre-school centre.

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups; we are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis, as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research.

Informal enquiries can be made to: Dr Min Xia E-mail: or Prof Darren Williams, email:

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Please note: Unless specified otherwise in the advert wording, all advertised roles are UK based.

The University provides an environment that strongly supports the individual needs of each employee, whilst promoting the importance of wellbeing for all our colleagues. We have a range of support networks available for our employees, and more information on these can be found on the ‘Working at Lancaster’ information page.


We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The University recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address all inequality in higher education.


We warmly welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of their age, religion, gender identity or expression, race, disability or sexual orientation, and are committed to promoting diversity, and equality of opportunity.

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