PDRA in Micromagnetic Modelling an Paleomagnetic Recording Fidelity

Edinburgh, UK
Nov 06, 2018
Dec 05, 2018
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type
Other job types
Applications are invited for a PDRA with extensive computational experience to join the mineral magnetism group at the School of GeoSciences, The University of Edinburgh.

Using the finite-element micromagnetic modelling software MERRILL Rockmag Website you will develop detailed models of magnetic recording characteristics of particles of iron oxides and sulphides. These models will be compiled into a relational data-base and used to simulate 'whole-sample' magnetic recording properties of standard and single crystal paleomagetic samples. The numerical models will be validated using high-resolution magnetic, mineralogical and tomographic experimental observations from project partners at Imperial College and University of Rochester.

You will have a PhD (or near completion) in a physical or computational science with extensive experience of numerical modelling, preferably finite-element modelling and ideally micromagnetic modelling. You should have knowledge of FORTRAN and Python or similar. Experience in parallel programming and database management would be useful but not essential.
You should also have a track-record of publishing peer-reviewed research articles in international journals and demonstrate enthusiasm to contribute to the aims of the overall project as part of a wider team. You will also have excellent communication, planning, and team working skills.

The position is open from January 2019 with a latest possible start date of April 2019.

The School aims to ensure equality of opportunity and holds an Athena SWAN Silver award. We welcome applications from everyone irrespective of gender or ethnic group. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

The post is fixed term for 30 months.

1. Job Details

Job title: Postdoctoral Research Assistant Micromagnetic Modelling and Paleomagnetic Recording Fidelity.

School/Support Department: GeoSciences

Unit (if applicable): Earth and Planetary Sciences

Line manager: Professor Wyn Williams

2. Job Purpose

To work on the NERC funded project "Determining ancient magnetic field strengths from the Earth and Solar System" You will use the finite-element micromagnetic modelling software MERRILL Rockmag Website .and develop detailed models of magnetic recording characteristics of particles of iron oxides and sulphides. These models will be compiled into a relational data-base and used to simulate 'whole-sample' magnetic recording properties of standard and single crystal paleomagnetic samples. The numerical models will be validated using high-resolution magnetic, mineralogical and tomographic experimental observations from project partners at Imperial College and University of Rochester.

3. Main Responsibilities (Approx % of time)
  • Carry out research into micromagnetic modelling and recording fidelity in magnetic minerals, using and modifying our Finite-Element (FE) model MERRILL to determine the paleomagnetic stability of fine particles as a function of garin size, morphology, temperature andapplied field. You will publish results in international peer reviewed literature (60%)
  • Maintain and develop the MERRILL software and a database of model results, to quality as determined by PI. MERRILL is a roubust FE micromagnetic model developed at Edinburgh and used by the rock magnetic community. You will be expected to modify the code to enable new functionality as the research develops, and also help maintain the code and the database in response to occasional user query (25%)
  • Develop collaborations with UK and USA collaborators to satisfaction of PI (15%)

  • 4. Planning and Organising

    • Interact with partners in Imperial College, and Universities of Rochester and California (San Diego) to plan research and share ideas, approaches and results.
    • Plan research to meet project goals under guidance of PI Williams engaging others as needed.

    5.Problem Solving

    • The Job holder will be responsible for setting up and analysing results from micromagnetic models.
    • The job-holder will carry out data mining techniques to build up simulations of magnetic characteristics to compare with experimental observations of our collaborators.
    • The job-holder will be expected to identify and solve problems they find seeking guidance when necessary.

    6. Decision Making

    The researcher will be responsible for decisions about their research but larger decisions will be made with guidance from the PI and other members of the project team. She or he will need to show judgement about which issues are solvable without further guidance and which need more expertise.

    7. Key Contacts/Relationships

    The Job-holder will interact with others in the project team based in the UK, and Universities of Rochester and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD. The post holder will also interact with researchers in the immediate research group and more broadly in the School of Geosciences.

    8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

  • Awarded PhD, or near completion of PhD, in a Physical or Computational Science or a closely related area.
  • Ability to use complex models and analyse the results in comparison with observations.
  • Experience in computer programming
  • Ability to write scientific peer-reviewed papers.
  • Good written and oral English communication skills
  • Strong numerate skills.

  • Desirable
  • Experience FORTRAN with python or C++
  • Experience with a finite-element modelling, particularly micromagnetic modelling.
  • Some experience of using relational databases.
  • Experience of working in international collaborations.

  • 9. Dimensions

    There are no line management responsibility but the job-holder will be expected to develop collaborations with project partners in UK and the USA and students and colleagues in Edinburgh.

    10.Job Context and any other relevant information

    The position is funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council award "Determining ancient magnetic field strengths from the Earth and Solar System", which is a collaborative project between Prof Wyn Williams (Edinburgh Univ.), Dr. Adrian Muxworthy (Imperial College), Prof. John Tarduno (Univ. Rochester). The aim of the project is to better understand the magnetic recording fidelity of 'non-ideal' magnetic domain states and their ability to hold accurate recordings over periods of billions of years.

    Informal enquires

    For more information please contact the Principal Investigator: Prof Wyn Williams (wyn.williams@ed.ac.uk)

    Application Procedure

    All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page and submitting an up to date CV. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

    We anticipate interviews will be held in the week commencing 14th January 2019. You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

    The closing date is 5pm on 3rd January 2019

    Eligibility to Work

    In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
    To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

    For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work webpage

    If you are from outside the EEA and not currently eligible to work in the UK, there are visa routes that may be available to you, for example:
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent): If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. This route requires you to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK). However, if you are applying for a senior academic role, e.g. Professor/Reader there is an accelerated route to endorsement. Further information can be found on the UKVI website
  • Tier 2: The University is a UKVI licensed sponsor and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who are offered highly skilled roles and meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa).

  • Further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes can be found at: www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

    Conditions of Employment

    Pension Scheme

    This role is grade UE07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

    For further information please visit our Pensions website .


    The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £33,199 to £39,609 for 35hours, [part each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

    The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.
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