Share this Job

Research Assistant/Associate (Research Engineer)

Requisition ID:  5232

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date: 


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: Research Assistant: £28,331 -  £30,046 per annum

            Research Associate: £30, 942 - £40,322 per annum


Closing Date:  28 October 2020


The role

This is an exciting opportunity for a talented Research Assistant/Associate in research engineer to work on a project delivering a new low-carbon hydrogen production system at small demonstration scale. Prof Metcalfe has developed a new chemical looping process that produces low-carbon hydrogen, as explained in this short video . The method has secured for Prof Metcalfe a prestigious RAEng Chair in Emerging Technology, with allocated funding for the equipment and personnel to develop the process.


Your role will be to scale up the process from the existing laboratory scale equipment to a small demonstration reactor unit, with the aim of exploiting the technology commercially. The route to the demonstration scale unit has been mapped out, and over a period of two years, you will work with a dedicated team and be responsible for all aspects of the development, with the aim of installing a reactor system at an operational industrial gas-processing facility.  You will work closely with the programme manager, School of Engineering PhD students and industrial collaborators.


We are looking for an individual who is committed, motivated and with decision making ability together with an aptitude for independent working as well as working as part of a diverse, interdisciplinary team. As a representative of the School, you will be an excellent communicator with demonstrable interpersonal skills and the ability to engage with non-academic stakeholders (e.g. industry, government and the general public).

This position is available on a full time, fixed term basis. Available immediately and tenable for 18 months (in the first instance) or until project end date (30th June 2022), whichever is soonest.


For more information about the Process Intensification Group, please click here   

For more information about the School of Engineering, please click here


For any informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Ian Metcalfe, Professor of Chemical Engineering via email: ian.metcalfe@ncl.ac.uk OR Dr Richard Court, Research Programme Manager via email: richard.court@ncl.ac.uk


We will consider applications to work flexibly or from a location other than Newcastle wherever possible.  


Key Accountabilities


  • Reporting to Prof Ian Metcalfe, recipient of Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Chair in Emerging Technologies (CiET)
  • Responsible for scaling-up activities for novel hydrogen production system, from existing lab-scale to small demonstration scale


The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Experience of chemical/process engineering with a couple of years post-degree experience in industry or academia
  • Previous experience of scale-up design and/or operations in chemical or industrial systems
  • The ability to perform chemical engineering design calculations
  • A high level of technical competency
  • Materials selection
  • Awareness of relevant safety regulations
  • Control of chemical reactor systems
  • Experience of Labview software, or equivalent
  • Willingness to supervise Undergraduate, Masters, and PGR students (Desirable)


Attributes and Behaviour


  • Ability to work under supervision, in a collaborative manner with team colleagues at all levels. Demonstrable experience of working as part of a diverse, interdisciplinary team
  • An ability to work independently under the leadership of the PI and make decisions within the remit of the role and take responsibility for the outcomes
  • Committed to embedding the values of equality and diversity in all aspects of your work
  • Ability to prioritise, plan and execute tasks within a work plan
  • Excellent time management ability, organisational skills and initiative in planning research and balancing competing priorities
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly, both orally and through the written word
  • Good inter-personal skills with the ability to converse with local and international stakeholders (project partners, industry, general public) as a representative of the School
  • Willingness to travel locally and internationally and a readiness to work flexibly by mutual arrangement




  • Minimum 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in chemical engineering, or closely related discipline (Assistant level).
  • PhD awarded (or nearing completion) in chemical engineering or closely related discipline, or significant, relevant industrial experience as evidenced e.g. by C.Eng. status (Associate level)




Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Please be advised that due to the minimum salary thresholds imposed by the UKVI, this post may not qualify for University sponsorship under Tier 2 of the points based system.


Requisition ID: 5232