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Research Assistant/Associate in High Performance Electrical Drives and Power Electronics

Requisition ID:  24754

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  25-Nov-2022


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.


What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Newcastle is an inclusive global University community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues 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.



Research Assistant: £29,619 to £31,411 per annum

Research Associate: £32,348 to £34,308 per annum


Closing Date: 04 December 2022


The Role


Do you have a prior research background in electrical drives and power electronics for future consumer products? 


The School of Engineering at Newcastle University, and our partner Dyson, are seeking to appoint an experienced research professional to join a team of dedicated engineers on a live ESPRC project. The project will examine electrical drives and the control of novel, high-speed, high-efficiency motors, with research outputs directly feeding into the next generation of Dyson consumer products. 


As a Research Assistant/Associate, you will be a central member of the team, focusing on research, simulation, hardware design and embedded control of electric drives and power electronic converters. 


The successful candidate will have extensive experience of academic research and collaborative projects. You will demonstrate your knowledge of the critical aspects of electrical machines.


You will be based at Newcastle University, but will regularly visit Dyson, with short work spells based in their UK offices and secondment opportunities to overseas research institutions. 


You should hold a PhD (or nearing completion) in the field of electric drives or a closely related discipline. Additionally, evidence of continued professional development and industry experience is highly desirable. 


We are the UK’s largest academic research group in Electrical Power, involved in activities from Nano Watts to Giga Watts. Through our state-of-the-art research laboratory facilities, our activities are highly cross-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary. We are known for our high level of industrial engagement. 


For more information about the School of Engineering, and our research, please click here.


We’re celebrating 150 years of Science, Agriculture and Engineering. Although a huge amount has changed over the last 150 years, one thing has stayed the same: our commitment to making a difference. We’re educating the next generation of experts and tackling the biggest challenges facing our planet. Our innovative work has always focused on making a difference to people’s lives and you can be part of it.


We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment and we would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working.


The appointment is fixed-term, tenable for 32 months in the first instance until September 2025. The position is available on a full-time basis (37 hours per week). 


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and cover letter. Your cover letter is a supporting statement, and you should outline how you meet the essential criteria of the role and evidence this with examples.


For informal queries regarding the role or the project, please contact Barrie Mecrow, Professor of Electrical Power, at:


Key Accountabilities

  • Work on the different tasks in the research project to generate project deliverables in a timely manner and meet the project objectives 
  • Writing and using embedded controller software 
  • The simulation, design, construction, and test of power electronic circuits
  • Utilising wide band-gap devices in fast switching converters and drives
  • The commissioning and testing of advanced electric drives
  • Coordinating, writing, and presenting of industrial reports and professional papers for publication and to our industrial partners


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Knowledge of power electronic converters and variable speed drives
  • Knowledge of electric drive simulation packages
  • Knowledge of advanced drive control strategies and how to implement them
  • Knowledge of wide band-gap power electronic circuits, hardware layout and PCB design
  • The ability to design, construct and test complex power electronic circuits and embedded controllers
  • Experience in the system level dynamic simulation of motor drives (including electronics and software aspects of the drive), preferably using Matlab/Simulink
  • Experience of various motor control techniques for low and high speed, multi-phase permanent magnet and switched reluctance motors 
  • Extensive experience in testing and validation of electric motor drives, primarily permanent magnet and switched reluctance types
  • A strong publication portfolio showing evidence of work with an increasing impact in your field and/or discipline, evidence of high-quality journal publications and internationally recognised papers 


  • Knowledge of the special challenges associated with very high speed machine drives
  • Knowledge of electrical machines
  • Experience teaching and demonstrating to undergraduate and postgradaute research students
  • Experience working in large multi-institutional projects
  • Experience of high-speed electric machines and drives 


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Strong interpersonal and team-working skills
  • High level of analytical and problem-solving capacity
  • Evidence of development effective working relationships and exhibiting strong networking skills to support collaboration
  • Demonstrable experience of working in a multidisciplinary team environment and actively supporting the development of a collaborative research culture
  • Communicates complex information clearly and adapts communication styles to suit the audience
  • Professional approach with a commitment to equality, diversity, dignity, and respect in the workplace



  • PhD awarded (or nearing completion) within the area of electrical drives or a closely related field


  • Evidence of Continued Professional Development (CPD)



The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University is also a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 24754