Research Fellow in Mechatronic Systems for Railways – BCRRE, School of Engineering

University of Birmingham

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Position type:

Full time


£31,406 - £43,434

01 Aug 2022
16 Aug 2022

Full details:

Reference number: BIR-220001IW

Position Details

BCRRE, School of Engineering, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £31,406 to £40,927. With potential progression once in post to £43,434 a year.

Please note that as this post is externally funded, the maximum available salary is £31,406 per annum

Grade 7

Full time

Fixed term contract to 31st October 2023

Closing date: 16 August 2022


Job Summary

The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) is Europe’s largest academic-based group delivering railway science and education. With over 130 academics, researchers and professional support staff, BCRRE provides world class research and thought leadership within railways and offers an expanding portfolio of high-quality education programmes. BCRRE is the lead partner in the £92m UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) and the University of Birmingham is also home to one of UKRRIN’s four Centres of Excellence, the Centre of Excellence in Digital Systems (CEDS).

More information can be found on our website:

This role will undertake a range of activities within BCRRE, the role will create and contribute to the creation of knowledge in the areas of: railway systems design, modelling, control systems design and monitoring. There will be a particular focus on designing and developing concepts for mechatronic infrastructure (including track switches). The postholder will work within a specified research grant and projects, operating primarily within the areas of simulation, modelling, control and applied mechatronic engineering. They will develop test-rigs, undertake tests and experiments, and analyse and interpret research findings and results. They will produce reports and journal papers based on the research and contribute to writing research proposals and generating funding.


Main Duties

The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below:

  • Assessment of practical and operational issues in order to develop new mechatronic concepts – particularly, but not exclusively, applied to track switches,
  • Development of dynamic models of the system in MATLAB/Simulink and/or multi-body simulations in Simpack,
  • Development of control and monitoring systems and algorithms,
  • Research, development, and detail design of new mechatronic systems
  • Test planning, systems integration planning and logistics planning for live test,
  • Empirical evaluation of system wide benefits,
  • Working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders,
  • To travel to partners/test locations in order to carry out the research, and to report on the progress of the project,
  • To assist in the dissemination of results arising out of the project,
  • To prepare project reports,
  • To make presentations to industry and academia,
  • To publish the outcomes of research in international journals and conferences,
  • Undertake management/administration arising from research.
  • Contribute to BCRRE/Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration, including project consortiums.
  • Contribute to enterprise, business development and/or public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the College and the University, often under supervision of a project leader.
  • To undertake other such duties as may be reasonably requested, and that are commensurate within the nature and grade of the post


Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience Required

  • Hold, or close to completion of, a higher degree in a subject relevant to BCRRE’s research area, or equivalent qualifications/research experience.
  • First degree in relevant area of specialism (usually mechanical or electronic & electrical engineering)
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of research on mechatronics and control systems, ideally in mechatronic track switches and similar rail applications.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of designing, developing and carrying out research in electronics, mechatronics and robotics/control.
  • Previous practical experience of working in multidisciplinary groups, on multiple projects.
  • Proven experience in an experimental/lab environment.
  • Demonstrably high level analytical capability.
  • Fluency in Matlab/Simulink (and ideally packages such as Simpack and LabVIEW).
  • Demonstrable ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Proven experience of authoring original work for academic journal papers, conference papers or technical reports for industry.
  • Demonstrable ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively.
  • Demonstrable understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/ administration processes.
  • Demonstrable ability to contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project.

Informal enquiries to Professor Roger Dixon,       

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment 

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