The appointed Research Fellow (Academic Level B) will conduct research in the newly funded $3 Million CRC-P project to develop polymer composite railway sleepers and transom decks as part of an industry lead program. The project objectives are:
• Establish constitutive properties of polymers and fibre reinforcements most suitable for composite transom decks; • Develop new composite transom deck systems with optimised material distribution that can safely carry expected static and dynamic loads, and satisfy the serviceability requirements; • Investigate the behaviour of composite transom decks under static, dynamic and fatigue loadings; • Evaluate in-service performance of the developed composite transom decks; and • Develop efficient and cost-effective manufacturing processes for large scale composite production. The main focus of the role will be on research and development of particulate-filled resin (PFR) materials and will also include an analytical component focusing on the interaction of PFR with polymer sandwich structures. You will be part of a team of researchers within the world leading “Centre for Future Materials” at USQ, carrying out relevant materials development, characterisation and mix-design optimisation. Experience in the design and use of polymers in civil engineering and construction is highly desirable.
USQ is a young, dynamic university dedicated to providing quality programs and degrees in a flexible and supportive environment. In less than 50 years, USQ has become a prominent teaching and research institution providing education worldwide from three locations – Toowoomba, Springfield and Ipswich. We also have a number of outreach hubs, and national and international education partners.
USQ supports its staff to reach their full potential, both personally and professionally, and offers access to an extensive range of career development, health and wellbeing, and reward and recognition programs. We have a strong commitment to diversity, celebrate inclusion and provide equal opportunity for all in a flexible, positive and friendly workplace.
The Research and Innovation Division incorporates Research Institutes, Research Centres, the Office of Research, the Office of Research Graduate Studies and the Office of Research Development. The Division drives the University’s research performance and innovation in areas of strength and priority and builds relationships with industry and business through local, national and international research networks to leverage research outcomes and opportunities.
The Centre for Future Materials (CFM) delivers world class research in the design and development of innovative materials for diverse engineering applications. With a strong focus on polymer and concrete composites, CFM drives the development of low cost, sustainable, automated production technologies, servicing the aerospace, automotive, marine, wind energy, defence and civil sectors. You will be part of the Civil Composites group at CFM to work on leading edge research and development projects necessary to advance the use of fibre reinforced polymer composites in civil engineering and construction. In collaboration with various industries and asset owners, this group develop and apply novel composite technologies in new construction and repair of bridges, roads, railways, and marine to future-proof Australian infrastructure.
Your Key Responsibilities
1. Responsibilities of a Research Fellow (Academic Level B) may include:
• The initiation, planning and conduct of research. • Significant role in research projects including, where appropriate, leadership of a research team. • Perform materials design, characterisation and modelling, and be responsible for achieving outcomes relevant to the industry partners and to communicate this information to the Chief Investigators and collaborators. • Regularly write technical reports on the outputs of the experiments conducted, and maintain accurate and detailed records of all experiments conducted. • Involvement in professional activity. • Consultation with students. • Undertake Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Health and Safety responsibilities. • Broad administrative functions. • Attendance at Centre and/or group meetings and a major role in planning or committee work. 2. As a member of the University community, demonstrate the highest possible standards of professional and personal conduct, both as an individual and as part of a team, commit to regular engagement in personal, professional and team development, and demonstrate behaviour consistent with the key capabilities outlined in the USQ People Capability Framework. 3. To provide a high level of expertise in the qualification and optimisation of particulate-filled resin materials. 4. To attract and supervise postgraduate research students in polymer composites. 5. To generate, in collaboration with other team members and external research partners, novel research proposals for submission to external funding providers. 6. The publication of research findings in world class refereed journals and the presentation of results at appropriate forums. 7. To establish and build collaborative research partnerships with organisations such as State and Commonwealth Government Departments, Universities, CSIRO, industry, R&D Corporations and other national and international research agencies. 8. To promote research activities and outputs within the broader community.
Is This The Role For You?
Within the context of the University’s purpose, vision, and core values, and in direct connection to the key responsibilities described above, it is expected that you will possess the following:
1. Possession of a PhD in a relevant area of polymer chemistry and/or materials engineering. 2. A demonstrated high level of research expertise in polymer chemistry. In particular, expertise in developing, handling, characterisation, and optimisation of particulate-filled resin in civil engineering and construction will be highly regarded. 3. Excellent, practical laboratory skills. 4. Demonstrated ability to prepare grant proposals and attract external competitive grants. 5. Demonstrated ability to supervise research staff and postgraduate research students. 6. Excellent scientific communication skills, as demonstrated by a strong publication record and engagement in national and international conferences. 7. Demonstrated ability to engage effectively with the composites community and other external stakeholders. 8. Possession of energy and initiative together with a high level of interpersonal skills including a demonstrated ability to: • Work in a team • Establish strong student rapport/empathy • Communicate effectively in written and oral modes • Actively contribute to the maintenance of a collegial work environment 9. Alignment with the core University values of Respect, Integrity, and Excellence.