Postdoctoral Research Associate

County of Durham, United Kingdom
£33,797 - £35,845
Jun 05, 2020
Jul 01, 2020
Medicine, Medical
Contract Type
Full Time
Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and the University's Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

The Department

The Department of Engineering is one of the very best UK engineering department with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. The Department is ranked 5th in the Guardian and 7th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 in the UK for General Engineering. Ranked in the top 5 in the UK for Research impact at REF 2014, this dynamic department is an excellent place in which to join our leading research group in the field of Radio Propagation Studies, in particular for future 5G wireless systems operating in the higher frequency bands from 24 - 100GHz. The strategic vision for the department includes a growth plan of over 50% over the next five years, with a significant enhancement of the depth and breadth of the research challenge portfolio. It is an exciting time to join this expanding Department and make your mark.

The Role

The PDRA will work with Professor Sana Salous on a research project that aims to enhance Durham University radio measurement capability in the millimetre wave band (30-90 GHz)
and to perform long term measurements to assess interference between links and weather effects on propagation of mm waves in the 24-100 GHz band.

The job entails writing C code to programme the data acquisition card and conduct measurements in typical indoor and outdoor scenarios for both fixed and mobile applications. The data following processing are to be used in the ray tracing tool Remcom. It also involves to continue the long- term measurements which commenced in December 2017 along over a short link with a second link to monitor interference. The collected data are to be analysed in conjunction with the data from the state-of-the art weather station set up at Durham University. The analysis aims to study the effect of weather on propagation of mm waves including polarisation effects and to evaluate possible interference between links. The data are to be analysed to extract suitable channel parameters and propagation models to either extend existing International Telecommunication Union Recommendations (ITU-R) or to propose new ITU-R recommendations. This will also involve a review of ITU-R recommendations, the preparation of intermediate reports, publications and submissions to the UK Study Group 3 for submission to the ITU. Other mm wave studies include point to area, clutter loss and building entry loss in various frequency bands using the multiple band channel sounding capability at Durham University.

The post-holder will have specific responsibility for the following areas of research:
1. Upgrading of the sounder capability for remote programming and data acquisition;
2. Performing system calibration, measurements and data analysis
3. Derive suitable channel models from the measurements
4. Use Remcom for channel modelling in typical scenarios
The post-holder will report to Prof. Salous as PI and collaborate with other researchers in the Centre for Communication Systems.

Responsibilities :
• To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that leads to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications.
• To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
• To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
• To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
• To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
• To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
• To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions.
• To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
• To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
• To deliver training in research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate.
• To be involved in student supervision, as appropriate, and assist with the assessment of the knowledge of students.
• To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
• To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
• To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.
• Communicate with suppliers of components and hardware to identify suitable components/boards for procurement to realise any necessary hardware.
• Test and calibrate the assembled units in the Centre for Communication Systems to verify their performance.
• Write suitable code for the remote programming of the data acquisition units and the remote operation of the links.
• Identify suitable scenarios to measure, organise and conduct the measurements in suitable scenarios.
• Process the collected data to extract the relevant channel model.
• Prepare interim reports and deliver presentations on research activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
• Prepare technical documents for updating or new ITU-R recommendations
• Work both independently and collaboratively in order to produce original research on the topic of the project.
• Concisely present the results of his/her research at technical meetings.
• Towards the end of the project the candidate is expected to contribute to writing high quality journal papers.
• Conduct research independently, and plan and prioritise your own daily work and forward plan for the medium to longer term.
This post is fixed term for a period of 20 months only from April 1 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. Funding is available for this fixed period only.

The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 1 July/August 2020.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Sana Salous at All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. As part of the application process, you should provide details of 3 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University .

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

• A CV and covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;

Next Steps

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview and assessment on a date to be confirmed.The Requirements


1. Qualifications

• A good first degree in electronics/communications engineering.
• An awarded PhD or a submitted PhD thesis in Experimental Radio Communications Engineering.

2. Experience

• Experience in RF components, circuits and systems
• Experience in the use of RF equipment such as spectrum analysers, vector network analysers and radio channel sounders.
• Demonstrable ability to set up RF experiments.
• Have knowledge of radio communication concepts in the higher frequency band.
• Demonstrable ability to present research papers at conferences and communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.
• Demonstrable experience of Matlab, Labview, and programming in C.

3. Skills

• Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
• Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.


1. Experience

• Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
• A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.
• Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.
• Experience of overseeing students with respect to the development of their practical/research skills e.g. acting as a demonstrator; supervising student projects/practicals.

2. Skills

• Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.