Research Assistant – Mountain Goat Inspired Robotic Leg Design, Modelling, and Testing

Dyson School of Design Engineering

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Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London, UK


  • Posted on: 15th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £36,045 - £39,183
  • REF: ENG01572
  • Closes: 14th March 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

Job summary

Purpose of the Post A research assistant is required to work on an exciting research project on mountain goat inspired robotic leg design, modelling, and testing, to work as part of the EU H2020 funded Natural Intelligence project:
The successful candidate can choose to register for a PhD studentship. The candidate will conduct research to understand how passive dynamics in the compliant joints in a mountain goat inspired robotic hoof together with the knee joint lead to efficient locomotion and slip resistance.
The candidate will use finite element (FEM) and multi-body dynamics (MBD) simulations to model the bioinspired robotic leg. Experiments will be conducted to validate the model-based predictions in a laboratory setting and in outdoor experiments. The candidate is expected to closely collaborate with partners in other EU partner institutes of the Natural Intelligence Consortium to conduct experiments and to integrate results. The candidate will work under the supervision of Dr Thrishantha Nanayakkara (Director of Morph Lab:, email: or Dr Mazdak Ghajari (Director of HEAD lab:, email:

Duties and responsibilities

• To design a mountain goat inspired robotic leg with a hoof and a knee joint.
• To build a finite element (FEM) and multi-body dynamics (MBD) simulations to model the bioinspired robotic leg.
• To conduct analytical and experimental studies to understand the key design parameters to improve efficiency, stability, and slip resistance during locomotion with these legs.
• To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings.
• To attend relevant workshops and conferences as necessary.
• To closely collaborate with the rest of the consortium to meet deliverable deadlines.

Essential requirements

• A first class honours Meng/Masters degree with distinction in areas related with biomechanics, robotics, or mechanical engineering or equivalent
• Designing and building robotic hardware
• Scientific writing
• Biomechanics
•. Interfacing sensors and actuators
• Programming in Python, MATLAB, C++

Further information

This is a fixed term post for 36 months. For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Thrishantha Nanayakkara For queries regarding the application process, please contact

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations:

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

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