Research Assistant in MEMS Technologies

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 14th Jun 2021
  • Salary: £28,331.00  per annum
  • REF: 8901
  • Closes: 01st January 1970
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £28,331.00per annum

Closing Date:21 June 2021

The Role

The Fluid Dynamics and Thermal Systems research group in the School of Engineering at Newcastle University are delighted to have an opening for a Research Assistant. You will have access to cutting-edge expertise and state-of-the-art research facilities.

You will be working on the Project ‘SPECTRA’: Super-miniature micro sensors for wall-turbulence measurements, which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) via an Impact Acceleration Award. Project SPECTRA aims to further develop and exploit our recently patented MEMS sensors which measure instantaneous wall-shear stresses in turbulent flows. You will develop the patented MEMS sensors further towards commercialisation, which will include the design of innovate sensor packaging for professional prototyping, and further rounds of sensor microfabrication to develop two industrial demonstrators to showcase the potential of the new MEMS technology for aerospace applications. You will work as part of a larger team to implement the sensors in a series of advanced wind tunnel experiments and will work closely with SPECTRA’s industrial project supporters. You will also contribute to on-going research funded by the US Air Force, EPSRC and a NATO project on micro-sensing for air and space propulsion.

This position is full time (37 hours per week) on a fixed term basis, available immediately for 10 months with scope for extended employment.

Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr Richard Whalley via email:

To find out more about the School of Engineering can be found here.

Key Accountabilities

• Develop existing patented MEMS sensing technology towards commercialisation.

• Develop professional prototypes and industrial demonstrators.
• Design experiments, calibrate and test the MEMS sensors to expand the specification range of the sensor technology with specific focus on aerospace applications.
• Write progress reports and prepare results for publication and dissemination via presentations, scientific papers, outreach activities and public/industrial engagement.

The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

• Practical experience in the design and development of MEMS technologies
• Practical experience in the design of packaging for MEMS technologies
• Demonstratable experience of microfabrication techniques and microfabrication processes
• Practical experience in analysing data sets with Matlab or equivalent
• Practical experience in control and instrumentation including LabView programming
• Strong background in Mathematics
• Ability to conduct a detailed review of recent literature
• Creative approach to problem-solving
• Excellent written communication skills and the ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication

• Practical experience in conducting wind tunnel experiments
• Sound knowledge of wall-turbulence
• Previous experience with interacting with industrial project partners

Attributes and Behaviour

• Excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to deal with a wide range of people
• Ability to organise own work with minimal supervision
• Ability to prioritise own work in response to deadlines
• Willingness to work as part of a team and to be open-minded and cooperative
• Flexible attitude towards work
• Discipline and regard for confidentiality and security at all times
• Willingness to undertake any necessary training for the role
• Willingness to travel both within the United Kingdom and abroad to conduct research and attend conferences
• Willingness to work out of normal working hours (including weekends) if the requirements of the project demand


• Hold or be near completion Assistantof a PhD (or equivalent) in MEMS technologies, or have equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience
• First class honours degree in engineering, applied physics or a related discipline

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

Requisition ID: 8901

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