Applications are invited for an 18-month Research Associate position, supported by the School of Engineering and Applied Science through ESIF project grant "Enabling Technologies and Innovation Competences Challenge" (ETICC), to be undertaken within the Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR) http://www.aston.ac.uk/eas/research/groups/aimr/ at Aston University. AIMR undertakes cutting-edge multidisciplinary materials-based research with real impact. AIMR comprises academics and researchers from across the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Aston University. Based in the heart of Birmingham, Aston has a long history of materials-based research, and this institute brings together that research in one place.
The successful applicant will join an established group working on solving industrial challenges faced by SMEs (small and medium enterprises). The group works on a one-to-one basis with companies providing advice on site and through the analyses of company data. Businesses will be assisted to scope out their project ideas in response to ETICC Calls. A PhD in a relevant subject (or submitted thesis) is essential for this role.
Background of the Project
Aston University has been partly funded by the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) and Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the delivery of a project Enabling Technologies and Innovation Competencies Challenge (ETICC). The project will provide a combination of short and long term collaborations led by Aston academics to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull and Black Country LEP areas to address business challenges that can be resolved using key enabling technologies (KETs) and innovation competencies, including, for instance, micro- and nano-technology, bio-technology, advanced materials, photonics, and advanced manufacturing technologies. KETs have applications in multiple industrial sectors and help tackle societal challenges.
The project will select SME participants onto the programme via a number of ETICC Calls. For selected companies, blended academic teams will work with company managers to address the challenges in order to assist SMEs to bring new products to market and improve the competitiveness of existing processes and systems.
The role of the ETICC Research Associate
The ETICC RA will be responsible for business assists and collaborations with SMEs and will help to facilitate the workshops and other project events with SMEs. Key tasks include:
- assisting in engagement of SMEs and in selecting SMEs from ETICC Calls
- assist the Business Engagement Manager to market the project by attending events
- lead and undertake collaborative projects with SMEs
- contributing to project delivery as will be required by the ETICC project manager
Skills, experience and qualifications required
- Experience in developing materials solutions from molecular design to characterisation.
- Knowledge of polymers and functional materials.
- Knowledge of materials characterisation/testing.
- Experience in the interaction with industrial units, in particular - relevant to polymers and other functional materials.
- Experience in publishing outcomes of the research in high-rated general/topical journals (polymers, materials, etc.).
- Experience working on a one-to-one basis with companies providing advice on site and through the analyses of company data.
- Experience on assisting businesses to scope out their project ideas in response to the ETICC Calls.
- Support networking and business engagement activities.
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