Research Fellow in Applied Observational Oceanography – Bangor University

Applications are invited for a Research Fellow to undertake observational research into coastal ocean processes at shallow tidally energetic and wave exposed sites around Wales, UK, to support ocean renewable and offshore wind energy exploitation.

This 41 month fixed term post is based in the School of Ocean Sciences and duties will include: managing the operation of a suite of real-time observational data platforms collecting hydro- and sediment dynamics data; the analysis of data to address contemporary scientific questions pertaining to the fluxes of momentum and materials; and the publication of findings at an international level. The post holder will also be expected to develop research proposals relating to coastal ocean processes.

Candidates should be educated to PhD standard (or equivalent) in an area of physical science e.g. oceanography, physics, engineering and have previous experience of actively using and managing the operation of electronic instrumentation to collect oceanographic data. Candidates should have a strong track record of publication in peer reviewed journals and the development of grant applications.

The scheme has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. EU Funds: Investing in Wales.

The candidate will also be expected to work within a multidisciplinary team to facilitate the further development of the cyberinfrastructure between real-time sensor networks and data applications.

The successful candidate will be expected to commence 01 November 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter and the post is available until 30th March 2023.

Informal enquiries can be made by contacting Dr Simon Neill (SEEC Director), email s.p.neill@bangor.ac.uk, or Dr Martin Austin, email m.austin@bangor.ac.uk

Committed to Equal Opportunities

Overview

The College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Bangor University consists of three academic schools: the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, the School of Natural Sciences, and the School of Ocean Sciences. The college has a wide range of research and teaching facilities including: large, modern, well equipped teaching and research laboratories; a £3.5 million seagoing research vessel and three smaller inshore vessels; a Natural History Museum with extensive invertebrate and vertebrate collections; a research farm; the BioComposites Centre; Treborth Botanic Garden; Environment Centre for Wales, and extensive marine and freshwater aquaria.

The School of Ocean Sciences (SOS) is one of the largest university marine science departments in Europe. It is a multi-disciplinary department located on the shores of the Menai Strait, North Wales, UK. SOS has a rich history and international reputation for measuring and simulating oceanographic conditions, with expertise on turbulence, waves and tidal flows, including the application of 3D dynamically coupled wave-tide modelling. SOS has excellent new research laboratories (Marine Centre Wales), access to high performance computing facilities, and runs its own shelf sea research vessel (the 35 m RV Prince Madog), which is fully supported by a range of seagoing equipment (e.g. multibeam, wave buoys and acoustic Doppler current profilers) and a dedicated team of seagoing technicians. SOS has strong links with the ocean renewable energy industry through several structural fund and UK research council projects.

The Project

The Smart Efficient Energy Centre (SEEC) is a £7M European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project administered through the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO). The key objective of SEEC is to increase the success of Bangor University in attracting competitive and private research funding in low carbon energy research, thereby enhancing specialist research capacity.

The scheme has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. EU Funds: Investing in Wales.

SEEC is an interdisciplinary data, modelling, and knowledge resource that utilises a new cyberinfrastructure to develop new smart sensor networks, data design and control, and diagnostic/prognostic models, to reduce engineering uncertainties and increase resource efficiencies in low carbon electricity generation (nuclear, ocean renewable, offshore wind) and utilisation (building materials and structures).

The cyberinfrastructure will facilitate advanced data analytics and improved modelling that will be applied to several areas of the energy sector: (i) increasing the efficiency of energy conversion in the nuclear, ocean renewable and offshore wind sectors, (ii) improving the use of energy-efficient materials for more efficient energy utilisation in buildings.

By addressing priorities in big data science in low carbon energy that are identified at European, UK and Wales levels, the SEEC cyberinfrastructure will provide researchers with a resource and capability that will significantly enhance opportunities for building research networks and for future funding.

The SEEC cyberinfrastructure will be an innovative resource that:

  • improves the connectivity of big data for the energy sectors
  • optimises the value of expensive, multi-parameter, multi-sensor data
  • facilitates rapid analysis of large multi-parameter energy datasets to develop diagnostic operational models to reduce risk and uncertainty
  • develops prognostic models to generate insights and solutions for increased energy efficiency and improved strategic planning.

SEEC’s cyberinfrastructure will address big data issues that are generic across the low carbon energy sector. The core research will address challenges that are common to many areas of the energy sector, while developing solutions that will then be applied to specific sectors – nuclear, ocean/offshore wind energy, energy utilisation. SEEC will deliver a step-change in energy big data science, add value to a Sustainable Energy Catapult in North Wales, and further the ambition to make Wales a world-leader in the science needed to underpin improved energy efficiency in a low carbon economy.

Purpose of the Job

To manage the operation and data analysis of real-time in-situ and remote sensing marine observational instrumentation at sites suitable for ocean renewable (wave and tidal) and offshore wind energy exploitation, and facilitate the ingest of data to the iMarDIS data and information system.

The post holder will be responsible for planning, conducting, and analysing a series of on-going field-based studies focusing on the hydro- and sediment dynamics in shallow tidally energetic and wave exposed waters. They will be expected to conduct data analysis and facilitate the assimilation of observational data into numerical models and to improve on model implementation. They will be expected to publish and present high impact findings at an international level. As this is Grade 8 position, the post holder will be expected to lead the development of grant applications, and to perform management duties in relation to the project.

Main Duties and Responsibilities
  • Maintain and manage the existing network of real-time observational wave, current and benthic data buoy systems operated by the School of Ocean Sciences.
  • Collect and analyse oceanographic data to address the scientific challenges faced by the marine renewable energy sector.
  • Work with fellow scientists to assimilate observational data to improve the performance of numerical ocean models.
  • Work with the interdisciplinary research team to develop the shared cloud-based infrastructure between the real-time sensor network and the methodologies and tools for assessing, analysing, monitoring and forecasting the state of the natural and man-made environments.
  • Delivering research outcomes through relevant international scientific peer-review publications and conferences.
  • Lead the development of research grant applications to attract further research funding.
  • Administration of the research project.  Participate in project meetings, coordinate observational aspects of the project to meet aims and objectives and liaise with stakeholders (external and internal).
  • As this is a grade 8 position, you will be expected to undertake various management and leadership roles in relation to the post.
Other Duties and Responsibilities
  • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Scheme.
  • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions.  The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
  • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their post.
Person Specification
Qualifications/Training  

Essential

  • Educated to PhD standard (or equivalent) in an area of physical science e.g. oceanography, physics and Engineering.

Desirable

  •  A research reputation in a relevant field commensurate with career stage.

 

Experience/Knowledge  

Essential

  • Experience of actively using and managing the operation of electronic instrumentation (e.g. ADCPs, ADVs, CTDs) to collect oceanographic data.
  • Strong track record of peer-reviewed journal publications.
  • Evidence of submitting or active participation in the development of research grant applications.

Desirable

  • Experience of working at sea aboard large and small research vessels.
  • Experience of interdisciplinary working with a diverse range of science communities (e.g., mathematicians and engineers, to modellers, data scientists, software engineers and sensor specialists).
  • An understanding of the potential for cloud-based frameworks to deliver solutions to a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Evidence of successful research grant capture.
  • Experience of X-Band or HF-radar systems.

 

Skills/Abilities  

Essential

  • Demonstrably numerate and able to work with large datasets using a range of programming languages (e.g. FORTRAN, MATLAB, Python, R, etc).
  • Demonstrate good analytical skills, ability to analyse numerical data and present results appropriately.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prioritise work load and work to deadlines.

Desirable

  • Evidence of successful involvement in research grants as either PI or CoI.
  • Demonstrate ability to work as part of a team.
  • Demonstrate proven project management skills.
  • Demonstrate good verbal and written skills.

 

Other  

Essential

  • Ability to work flexibly to tight deadlines and on occasions at unsociable hours to mitigate the operational limitations of work within the marine environment.
  • Willingness to travel occasionally.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and region and the ensuing responsibilities

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