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Research Associate/Senior Research Associate

Requisition ID:  8603

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  07-Oct-2021


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: £31,406 - £40,927 per annum (Research Associate)

            £42,146 - £50,296 per annum (Senior Research Associate) 

Closing Date: 27 October 2021


The Role

The Newcastle University School of Engineering and our partner Dyson are excited to offer an opportunity for an experienced research professional to join a team of dedicated engineers on a five-year EPSRC 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.


You will be a central member of the team, focussing on research, simulation, hardware design and embedded control of electric drives and power electronic converters. You will have extensive experience of academic research, large collaborative projects and strategic leadership. You will also be able to demonstrate knowledge of the critical aspect of electrical machines. You will hold a PhD in the field of electric drives or power electronics, may have Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy or an equivalent level of experience. 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.

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 well known for our high level of industrial engagement.



This is a full time, fixed term post available immediately until 22.09.2025


For informal queries please contact Prof. Barrie Mecrow Barrie.Mecrow@ncl.ac.uk,

Key Accountabilities


Candidates applying for the Research Associate post (Grade F) would be expected to meet the requirements of the Research Role Profiles (see above), meet all the essential criteria, and may meet some of the desirable criteria described below.

Candidates applying for the Senior Research Associate post (Grade G) would be expected to meet the requirements of the Research Role Profiles (see above), meet all the essential criteria, and have experience relevant to many of the desirable criteria described below.

  • Co-supervision of postgraduate researchers
  • Strategic leadership of the drives research element of a large project
  • Coordinating, writing and presenting of industrial reports and professional papers for publication and to our industrial partners
  • Contribution to the teaching of undergraduates and postgraduates.
  • The simulation, design, construction and test of power electronic circuits
  • The use and programming of embedded controllers
  • The use of wide band-gap devices in fast switching converters and drives
  • The commissioning and testing of advanced electric drives.


For a candidates appointed at Senior Research Associate level there will also be:

  • The day to day management of research associates


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
  • Knowledge of hardware layout and PCB design.


  • Knowledge of the special challenges associated with very high speed machine drives.
  • Knowledge of electrical machines. 


Skills (professional, technical, managerial, practical)

  • The ability to motivate, organise and show leadership in the management of other research staff within the research team.
  • The ability to design, construct and test complex power electronic circuits and embedded controllers.
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly and adapt communication styles to suit the audience 



  • The ability to work at times independently and make leadership / project management decisions as delegated by the PI. 
  • Experience teaching and demonstrating to undergraduate and postgraduate research students 
  • Experience supervising undergraduate and postgraduate research students 


Experience and Achievements

  • 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.
  • Wide bandgap power electronic circuits and controller hardware design, manufacture and test
  • Writing and use of embedded controller software
  • A strong publication portfolio showing evidence of work with an increasing impact in your field and/or discipline. 
  • Track record of presenting at conferences and evidence of high-quality journal publications in internationally recognised papers. 


  • Experience of working in large multi-institutional projects
  • Experience of high speed electrical machines and drives
  • Exposure to, or experience in preparing applications for funding including working with colleagues to identify funding opportunities, designing project proposals and writing bids.
  • Exposure to, or experience in managing research projects, identifying targets and proactively addressing risks.


Attributes and Behaviour


  • Strong interpersonal and team-working skills
  • High level of analytical and problem-solving capacity. 
  • Evidence of developing 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 award within the research area of electrical drives or closely related field
  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy or work leading to such a qualification or equivalent.


  • Evidence of Continued Professional Development (CPD) 






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.


Requisition ID: 8603