Research Associate

Dyson School of Design Engineering

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Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London, UK


  • Posted on: 11th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £40,858 - £46,345
  • REF: ENG01573
  • Closes: 14th March 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

Job summary

A research associate is required to work on an exciting research project on Finite Elements and multibody dynamics based Modelling of a Robotic Hoof, to work as part of the EU H2020 funded Natural Intelligence project: The successful candidate will lead the design and development of the Finite Elements and multibody dynamics-based modelling of a robotic hoof inspired by a mountain goat hoof. The scientific objective is to establish an analytical framework to design a hoofed robotic leg that maximises its passive dynamic contribution for stable locomotion on a mountain slope. To further this ambition, we will use detailed kinematics, dynamics and contact modelling through using novel combined finite element (FEM) and multi-body dynamics (MBD) simulations to map temporal and spacial propagation patterns of vibration and shape change across the hoofed leg mechanism at collision and stance phase including slippage. 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 PhD degree in areas related with biomechanics, robotics, or mechanical engineering or equivalent experience
• Designing and building robotic hardware
• Using finite element software, preferably LS-DYNA, for nonlinear and transient analyses
• Scientific writing
• Biomechanics
• Interfacing sensors and actuators
• Programming in Python, MATLAB, C++

Further information

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £36,045 – £39,183 per annum.

This is a full time, fixed term position for 20 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.

For technical issues when applying online please email .

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