Research Fellow, School of Natural and Built Environment

 

JOB PURPOSE:

To carry out experimental and theoretical research to promote new technological solutions to harness silicon dioxide rich and alkali
waste streams for the complete replacement of cement for the production of ‘green’ precast concrete products, and assess both the
environmental and socio-economic impacts of using these products in construction. This approach, developed by Prof Marios Soutsos
and his colleagues, is supported by Innovate UK - Newton-Ungku Omar Coordination Fund.

This project will develop technology that aims to create low carbon footprint precast cementless concrete products using waste
streams readily available in Malaysia; demonstrate commercially competitive design concepts and building elements produced from
cementless concrete and consider prospective socio-economic and environmental issues for market uptake of the developed
solutions. The experimental activities will be supported by environmental and socio-economic assessment, certification and
standardisation procedures, demonstration activities, professional training, dissemination, commercialisation and exploitation strategy
definition, business modelling and business plans. The overarching purpose is to develop a prefabricated energy-efficient building
concept that will deliver climate-resilient infrastructure for a Malaysian context.

The successful candidate will be an active member of the research project/team assisting in the development of research proposals
and the planning and delivery of the research activity so that the overall research objectives of the project/school are met. This fixed
term position is available to 31 August 2019, with the possibility of extension subject to availability of funding, and will be based
predominantly at Queen’s University in Belfast, but will require secondments to partner organisations in the UK and Malaysia.

MAJOR DUTIES:

1. Develop and plan an area of personal research and expertise, and/or undertake research under supervision within a specific
research project or as a member of a research team.
2. Design, develop and refine experimental apparatus, field research or experiments in order to obtain reliable data.
3. Carry out analyses, critical evaluations, and interpretations using methodologies and other techniques appropriate to area of research.
4. Undertake basic research activities including: assisting with research planning and preparation; contributing to interviews,
including managing interview process and transcribing selected interview material; co-ordinating dissemination of research and
publicising research outputs; contributing to visual design of publications, including securing image rights, graphic design,
printing; conducting library research in consultation with the research supervisors.
5. Present regular progress reports on research to members of the research group or to external audiences to disseminate and
publicise research findings.
6. Prepare, often in consultation with supervisor, material for publication in national and international journals and presentations at
international conferences.
7. Assist grant holder in the preparation of funding proposals and applications to external bodies.
8. Carry out routine administrative tasks associated with the research project/s to ensure that project/s are completed on time and
within budget. These might include organisation of project meetings and documentation, financial control, risk assessment of
research activities.
9. Carry out occasional undergraduate supervision, demonstrating or lecturing duties within the post holder’s area of expertise and
under the direct guidance of a member of academic staff.
10. Read academic papers, journals and textbooks to keep abreast of developments in own specialism and related disciplines.

Planning and Organising:

1. Plan for specific aspects of research programmes. Timescales range from 1-6 months in advance and contribute to research group planning.
2. Plan for the use of research resources, laboratories and workshops where appropriate.
3. Plan own day-to day activity within framework of the agreed research programme.
4. Plan up to a year in advance to meet deadlines for reporting, journal publications and to prepare presentations and papers for conferences.
5. Coordinate and liaise with other members of the research group over work progress.

Resource Management Responsibilities:

1. Ensure research resources are used in an effective and efficient manner.
2. Provide guidance as required to support staff and any students who may be assisting with research.

Internal and External Relationships:

1. Liaise on a regular basis with colleagues and students.
2. Build internal contacts and participate in internal networks for the exchange of information and to form relationships for future collaboration.
3. Join external networks to share information and ideas.
4. Contribute to the School’s outreach programme by establishing links with local community groups, industries etc.

ESSENTIAL CRITERIA:

1. 2.1 degree or higher (or equivalent) in Civil Engineering or a physical science.
2. A PhD (or about to complete, i.e. about to submit thesis, having already written the full draft) in concrete technology, chemistry,
geology, materials science, or building physics.
3. At least 3 years’ relevant research experience, e.g., experience in working in a research institution, and, experience in concrete
technology and building physics.
4. Experience of undertaking environmental assessments including life cycle assessment.
5. Ability to contribute to teaching in UG and PG programmes related to the subject of research.
6. Ability to contribute to broader management and administrative processes.
7. Contribute to the School’s outreach programme by links with industry, community groups etc.
8. Sufficient breadth and depth of specialist knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within
established research programmes.
9. Ability to communicate complex information clearly.
10. Ability to build contacts and participate in internal and external networks.
11. Ability to deal professionally with partners from industry.
12. Demonstrable intellectual ability.
13. Ability to work as part of a team.
14. Ability to assess and organise resources.
15. Ability to report weekly to Principal Investigator and agree programme of work.
16. Ability to work to tight deadlines and schedules agreed with Principal Investigator.
17. Willing to travel abroad to attend project meetings and carry out joint research activities.

DESIRABLE CRITERIA:

1. Good publication record commensurate with stage of career.
2. Evidence of working in industry or collaborating with industrial partners.
3. Ability to start by 1 February 2017.
4. Evidence of taking lead role in some investigations.
5. Evidence of being open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.