Principal Experimental Officer

The Large Structures Testing Laboratory (LSTL) is part of the National Infrastructure Laboratory (N|I|L - which is currently under construction with expected commissioning in early 2019. N|I|L is being developed as part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC - and will comprise a multi-scale materials and structures testing centre that will be unique internationally, combining advanced materials and full structural scale testing facilities applicable to a broad range of engineering disciplines.

The LSTL comprises a 30m by 15m strong floor facility for multi-axial testing of large structures, with multiple hydraulic actuators and controllers enabling both static and dynamic loading. The N|I|L and LSTL will have a crucial role in further developing and strengthening research across disciplines utilising the University of Southampton’s internationally leading competences and facilities for advanced experimental mechanics including data-rich full field imaging, computational structural mechanics and materials engineering.

The Faculty of Engineering and the Environment is seeking a highly skilled person to provide technical support for research, teaching and enterprise activities in structural testing. You will have a PhD (or equivalent professional qualification) in structural mechanics or a similar area, as well as significant knowledge of computational and experimental structural mechanics, experience of mechanical testing including optical systems for strain measurement, and proven experience of using standard and specialist computer software such as MATLAB and LABVIEW.

You will be primarily responsible for supervision and development of experiments and delivering support consistent with high quality research, teaching and enterprise activities in experimental structural mechanics. You will be responsible for overseeing relevant training and health and safety aspects for students, academic staff and visiting researchers in support of UKCRIC collaborations using the facilities, as well as engaging in consultancy and teaching activities.

A key part of the activities in the LSTL is the use of by high power hydraulics to generate loads that may involve several simultaneous actuators mounted in reconfigurable and bespoke testing rigs mounted on a strong floor. In conjunction with the research staff, students and external researchers using the laboratory, you would be responsible for the design and construction of complex test rigs and other experimental items. You would be responsible for maintaining the strong floor and the associated hydraulic systems, testing frames and actuators, as well as managing the usage of the strong floor facility generally.  

For informal enquiries, please contact Mr. Andy Giles or Professor Ole Thomsen (


The University

In recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science and engineering we were awarded an Athena SWAN bronze award in September 2013. Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break.

The University has generous maternity/paternity/adoption leave policies and onsite childcare facilities; employees are able to participate in the childcare vouchers scheme.  Other benefits include state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.

The University of Southampton is the top one per cent of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities, and is a proud member of the Russel group. 

The University of Southampton has regained its place amongst the world’s top 100 universities after placing 96th overall in the QS World University Rankings 2019, published today. The global top 100 ranking is based on performance indicators focused on excellence in research as well as the University’s global reputation amongst fellow Academics and Employers, where Southampton’s academics have particularly made important strides through their increased visibility and engagement around the world.

Southampton has retained its 11th overall place for the second successive year in the 2018 Times Higher Education’s (THE) table of ‘Golden Age’ universities.


Application procedure

You should submit your completed online application form. The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Georgie Warren (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0)23 8059 7749. Please quote reference 1030518AT on all correspondence.

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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