[Closes 22 Aug 2017] Research Associate position on open hardware for science (University of Bath)

From University of Bath:

Open source hardware could bring about a step change in science and medicine, by making high quality instruments more widely available and easier to customise. We are looking for a talented researcher with (or soon to be awarded) a PhD in Physics, Engineering, or a related discipline, to work as part of the "Open Lab Instrumentation" project that includes the Universities of Bath and Cambridge as well as our partners STICLab in Tanzania.

Salary: Starting from £32,004, rising to £38,183
Placed On: Monday 24 July 2017
Closing Date: Tuesday 22 August 2017
Interview Date: To be confirmed
Reference: SF5079

This project will enable high quality open-source instrumentation, by characterising and improving the mechanical properties of 3D printed mechanisms, then using these optimised structures, together with readily available electronic and optical components, as building blocks for microscopes, spectrometers, micromanipulators and more. Our first open instrument, the OpenFlexure Microscope, has already been reproduced by a number of groups, and tested in applications from malaria diagnostics to water quality monitoring.

You will build an understanding of how the small-scale structure of 3D printed parts (the "toolpath") affects their properties, then use this understanding to create improved toolpaths that result in stronger or more flexible parts.  This will involve both simulations and lab-based measurements, as well as adapting open-source software tools to generate the optimised toolpaths.  You will then go on to create designs for instrumentation using those optimisations, as well as contributing to software tools that allow others to do the same.  Good programming skills are essential, and experience in instrumentation design, mechanical simulation, and/or 3D printing is highly desirable.   As our goal is open-source hardware, we will contribute to various open source projects as well as starting new ones, and experience of open or collaborative development of either software or hardware would be particularly valuable.

You will be based within the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials in the Department of Physics.  This post is funded by an EPSRC project that is part of the Global Challenges Research Fund, announced by the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.  In keeping with the international remit of this funding, there will be opportunities to travel to meet our Tanzanian partners, and to work with the end-users of our new instruments. 

Physics at the University of Bath is a research-led Department, ranked highly in the UK in the latest Research Excellence Framework, and the University recently attained a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Both the Department and the University are committed to providing a supportive and inclusive working environment, with an active Athena Swan programme and opportunities for researchers to receive training, mentorship, and career development.

Informal enquiries are encouraged, and should be directed to Dr. Richard Bowman (r.w.bowman@bath.ac.uk). 

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