Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Job title Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Department Physics

Salary Starting from £32,004, rising to £38,183

Grade Grade 7

Placed on Monday 24 July 2017

Closing date Tuesday 22 August 2017

Interview date Thursday 07 September 2017

Reference SF5079

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.  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 (  

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:
The University of Bath is an equal opportunities employer and has an excellent international reputation with staff from over 60 different nations. To achieve our global aspirations, we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.