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Research Associate in resource analysis methods and industrial decarbonisation (Fixed Term)

Job title Research Associate in resource analysis methods and industrial decarbonisation (Fixed Term)

Department Mechanical Engineering

Salary Starting from £34,304, rising to £40,927 per annum

Grade Grade 7

SOC Code - Visa Requirements 2119

Placed on Friday 18 March 2022

Closing date Tuesday 19 April 2022

Interview date Friday 13 May 2022

Reference CF9218


Are you interested in the creation of new methods for modelling large-scale resource flows, and deliver useful outputs based on these analyses, focusing on the decarbonisation of the food and drink sector?

As part of the UK FIRES project, you will be developing the analysis tools and outputs needed to identify opportunities for UK industry to reach zero emissions.

About the role

We have been developing modelling tools to support our large-scale analysis of the UK production system, forming a virtual ‘Physical Resources Observatory’. In the UK FIRES project, we are applying these, and other tools, to assess and highlight the opportunities for ‘Absolute Zero’ industrial decarbonisation, assuming realistic rates of technological development and deployment. In this role you will:

  • take the lead on the analysis and dissemination of our final report on the Food and Drink sector, including analysis of material and energy flows within the sector;
  • review existing literature on decarbonisation opportunities in the sector, and engage with industrial partners to validate identified opportunities; and
  • support the development, dissemination and application of new modelling approaches created within the project.

About you

You will ideally have a PhD, or equivalent relevant experience, in a field related to life cycle assessment, material flow analysis, or industrial decarbonisation. Our ideal applicant will also be:

  • good at finding and reviewing relevant data and information
  • using data to analyse the operation of a system or process
  • an excellent communicator with good oral and written communication skills

Experience of working with research code and knowledge of aspects of the food and drink system would be ideal.

More information

This role is fixed term for an expected duration of 12 months (36.5 hours per week), but with the potential flexibility of a part time equivalent. The start date is somewhat flexible (early 2022 preferred), but the post must be completed by the end of the UK FIRES project (31st March 2024).

For informal discussion please contact Dr Rick Lupton on

About us

Our research group develops methods and open-source tools for data-driven analysis and systems modelling of industrial systems and processes, aiming to understand how materials and products are used throughout the economy and how greenhouse gas emissions can be eliminated. We are part of the Centre for Circular and Sustainable Technologies, which is a wider community of sustainability research at the University.

The UK FIRES project is led by the University of Cambridge alongside Bath, Imperial, Nottingham, Oxford, Strathclyde and a diverse consortium of industrial partners. UK FIRES has carved out a unique position in the conversation on UK decarbonisation, by assuming realistic rates of technological development and deployment to articulate a clear vision for ‘Absolute Zero’ emissions.

What we can offer you:

We are an equal opportunities employer and have an excellent international reputation with staff from over 60 different nations. We have made a positive commitment towards gender equality and intersectionality receiving a Silver Athena SWAN award

A family-friendly University with an increasingly agile workforce, we are open to flexible working arrangements. We’re also proud to be a disability confident leader and are happy to discuss any reasonable adjustments you may require. 

We offer:

  • a very generous employer contributory pension scheme;
  • generous annual leave allowance with an additional 5 discretionary days so that you can enjoy a positive work life balance;
  • an excellent reward package that recognises the talents of our diverse workforce; 
  • a wide range of personal and professional development opportunities.

We aim to be an inclusive university, where difference is celebrated, respected and encouraged. We truly believe that diversity of experience, perspectives, and backgrounds leads to a better environment for our employees and students, creating a learning environment and organisational culture that enhances health and wellbeing across our community. We are very proud to have recently received Ambassadors for Autism certification and are an accredited Disability Confident Leader; committed to building disability confidence and supporting disabled staff.

Further details:

Visa information

If you think you may require a visa to work in the UK, you should refer to our guidance on the Skilled Worker Visa before embarking on a job application to ensure you understand the requirements for sponsorship. You may be eligible to work in the UK via other alternative visa routes such as the Global Talent Visa or by having Settlement / Indefinite Leave to Remain − please refer to our Staff Immigration webpages for further details.

Update to our application process

We are constantly seeking to reduce the unconscious bias that enters any assessment process, with the goal of creating an inclusive and equal assessment process. To support this, personal details will be removed from application forms at the initial shortlisting stage.