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Senior Research Associate - Radiation hardened robotics for remote inspection (RHINO)

School of Engineering
Salary:   £36,386 to £42,155
Closing Date:   Monday 28 November 2022
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1227-22

Applications are invited for an EPSRC funded post-doctoral position, situated within the School of Engineering at Lancaster University, to work on the Radiation hardened robotics for remote inspection (RHINO) project (EP/X022331/1).  The project is funded through the UK Japan Civil Nuclear Research Programme Phase 9 and involves the University of Manchester and Okayama University, Japan. Some international travel to Japan is expected.

 The RHINO project aims to develop and deploy a simplified robot that prioritises radiation hardness and reliability over functional complexity. The hypothesis is, ‘can such robots be more effective than the sophisticated alternatives tried to date?’. The ground-based rad-hard robot will be equipped with non-destructive sensors for remote inspection. A rad-hard payload consisting of radiation sensors and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) will afford 3-dimensional (3D) spatial mapping of highly radioactive environments superimposed with located radiation intensities and radioisotope identities.

 The successful applicant will join a research team led by Dr Michael Aspinall, studying novel detector systems and real-time analysis applicable to nuclear science and engineering.  The position is available to engineers and scientists with a PhD in physics, nuclear engineering or electronic engineering.  Post-doctoral experience is not essential.

 Specifically, the applicant will design, test and orchestrate the fabrication of a neutron detector with enhanced radiation tolerance.  They will lead on the design, implementation and testing of machine learning algorithms, and acquire relevant datasets; synthetic, open data and real data.  They will work closely with the University of Manchester and Japanese partner PDRAs to perform systems integration, on-site evaluation and validation tests.

 This is a full-time appointed for 23 months. This position is based at Lancaster University, in a well-supported Nuclear Science and Engineering Research Group consisting of experts across a broad range of disciplines.

 Lancaster University is committed to the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research.

 The position is effective from 3rd April 2023 or as soon as possible following stipulated notice period and is available until 28th February 2025.

 Informal enquiries to Dr Michael Aspinall, 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.


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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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