Westley Plastics are an SME specialising in the design, casting and machining of polyamides and thermoplastics for the steel, construction, material handling, defence/security industries. Most relevant to this project are products known as run-flat systems (RFS) which are inserted inside tyres enabling heavy vehicles to remain mobile following a puncture.
Westley Plastics in conjunction with the University of Birmingham are exploring new materials, new processes and new designs to reduce the mass, improve the performance of, and to enhance the compatibility of, their Run Flat Systems with their wheels and with tyres.
This role will involve the need to characterise the microstructure and mechanical properties of nylon mouldings used in run-flat tyre technology. There is a need to establish relationships between processing parameters, structure and properties in order to optimise the current production process. There is also a need to propose new material selections and additives that will increase product performance, while at the same time yielding cost savings.
The successful applicant will be employed by the University of Birmingham but will be based at Westley Plastics’s premises in Cradley Heath.
Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications & Experience
- First degree in chemistry or Materials Science/Engineering and a higher degree relevant to research area or equivalent qualifications
- High level analytical capability
- Ability to communicate complex information clearly
- The candidate must have completed a PhD in a polymer related field and have developed robust capabilities in the area of thermal analysis and mechanical testing. The candidate must have the ability to relate microstructure, processing and properties in a complex polymeric system.
- Experience of liaising with academic and industrial partners (reports, presentations, during testing) is essential.
Planning & Organisation
- Contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project
- Co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
- Decide in consultation with the principal investigator as appropriate, on the most appropriate way of undertaking the specified research activities
- Decide in consultation with the principal investigator as appropriate how to analyse and interpret the data from the specified research activities
- Decide in consultation with the principal investigator as appropriate what knowledge to draw on and how to apply it to develop new intellectual understanding
- Contribute to deciding what information to include in a bid for research funding and how to present the bid to maximise the likelihood of securing the funding
- Decide in collaboration with co-authors which aspects of the research findings to include in a presentation or a publication and how to convey the findings
- Liaise with research staff and support staff on research-related matters
- Liaise with external collaborators on the research, where appropriate
- Give presentations and/or contribute to presentations at national and/or international conferences
- Referee articles for peer-reviewed academic journals
- Liaise with the relevant external research community via seminars and conferences