Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  25903

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  9 Sep 2023



Research Assistant: £31,396 to £32,982 per annum

Research Associate: £33,966 to £34,980 per annum


 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.


 Closing Date: 20 October 2023



The Role

To work with Dr Elizabeth Heidrich, Dr Toby Wood, Dr Richard Law and Dr Chris O’Malley on the EPSRC-funded project “METzero – Bringing the water sector towards Net-Zero using Microbial Electrochemical Technologies (METs)”. The goal of this project is to unlock the resource potential of wastewater by developing microbial electrochemical technologies capable of treating wastewater whilst recovering resource. It will combine pilot scale research in reactor design and optimisation, electronics engineering, and mathematical modelling.


We are looking for an excellent and enthusiastic Research Associate/ Assistant who will use mathematical modelling techniques to support the design and optimisation of large-scale microbial electrolysis cells for wastewater treatment. You will be required to develop code and use existing code written in Python that combines computational fluid dynamics with an electrogenic biofilm model. You will work alongside experimentalists to validate the model and then use it to optimise flow and performance of these systems.  The successful applicant will design and execute research into the operation and design on these units in order to optimise their performance for wastewater treatment and energy recovery. 


You will have a PhD in Mathematics, Engineering or related field and will have experience in developing code, ideally for fluid-based systems. 


You must be able to work in a systematic and rigorous way and be capable of managing day to day elements of the research. You will be required to write scientifically rigorous research papers and to present your work to non-specialist audiences.


For informal enquiries please contact


Key Accountabilities

  • Developing and using combined biofilm and computational fluid dynamic models to simulate dynamics inside reactors.
  • Participation in the research activities of the Environmental Engineering  group at Newcastle University.
  • Publication of high-quality research papers in journals of international standing.
  • Presentation of results at external meetings and seminars.
  • Minor involvement in the teaching activities of the School, as mutually agreed.
  • Any other duties that may be required from time to time, commensurate with the grade of the post.


The Person 


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Strong theoretical and/or computational background in fluid dynamics.
  • Track record of high-quality research, including publication in journals of international standing.
  • Excellent programming and numerical skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, evidenced through contribution to national or international conferences.
  • At least one peer-reviewed publication in a relevant research field.


  • Knowledge or background in microbiological or biofilm models
  • Experience of developing laboratory experiments to validate computational models 


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Ability to communicate scientific results to a broad or non-specialist audience.
  • Ability to work independently using own initiative and to meet deadlines. 
  • Demonstrable ability to work collaboratively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings and working on joint research projects.
  • Ability to set own research goals, be self-motivated and proactive.
  • Commitment to the values of equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of your work.


  • An interest in or experience of working with industrial stakeholders 
  • Experience of working in a trans-disciplinary project



  • A PhD (or be close to obtaining) in Applied Mathematics, Physics, Engineering or a related subject.

Newcastle University is a global University 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.

 We are committed to being a fully inclusive 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 of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.

 At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.

 In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 
Requisition ID: 25903