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Research Associate

Job Title: Research Associate
Department/Division/Faculty: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Campus location: South Kensington
Job Family/Level: Level B
Responsible to: Dr. Adrian Callaghan
Line Management responsibility for: N/A
Key Working Relationships (internal): Dr. Adrian Callaghan
Key Working Relationships (external): Dr. Jean-Raymond Bidlot (European Centre for Medium Range Forecasts, ECMWF); Dr. Alvise Benetazzo (Italian Institute of Marine Sciences, ISMAR)
Contract type:
Fixed Term for 24 months, extendable to 36 months.

Purpose of the Post

The aim of the project is to quantify energy dissipation and air entrainment of individual short-crested breaking waver waves, and to apply this knowledge to provide better constraints on bubble-mediated fluxes of gas, mass and energy across the air-sea interface. The role includes laboratory, field and numerical modelling components: (i) The laboratory component involves undertaking experiments to quantify air entrainment rates in short-crested breaking water waves, working with Dr. Callaghan to develop an underwater imaging system; (ii) The field component involves collecting and analysing digital sea surface images from a site in the Adriatic Sea working with Project Partner Dr. Benetazzo; (iii) The numerical modelling component involves using the results from the laboratory and field components to assess wave breaking energy dissipation parameterisations in a spectral wave model working together with Project Partner Dr. Bidlot. Output from the wave model will then be used to calculate bubble-mediated fluxes of gas and aerosol particles. The work is funded by the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Key Responsibilities
• To help plan and carry out laboratory, field and numerical modelling research in accordance with the project aims.
• To generate results and interpret their implications.
• To perform high fidelity laboratory breaking wave experiments and help develop an underwater optical imaging system.
• To gather, process and interpret digital images of breaking ocean waves.
• To assess wave breaking parameterisations used in spectral wave models and estimate globally-distributed bubble-mediated fluxes of key air-sea interaction processes.
• To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings to be shared with project personnel.
• To participate in meetings with the project partners to present progress and results.
• To write progress reports when needed.
• To present and publish research findings at national and international conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.
• To perform other reasonable tasks related to the furtherance of the project aims.
• To assist with GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant) work and M.Sc research projects.

Person Specification Requirements
Candidates/post holders will be expected to demonstrate the following Essential (E)/Desirable (D)

You will hold a Ph.D. (or equivalent) in Physical Oceanography, Engineering, Earth Sciences or in a very closely-related and numerate subject area. E

• Laboratory Water Wave Generation. D
• Scientific Digital Image Acquisition and Processing. D
Spectral Wave Modelling. D
LabView Programming. D

A strong background in water wave mechanics.E
A strong background in computer programming (e.g. Matlab, C, Python,……) E
A background in oceanography. D
Development of computer vision applications and/or scientific digital image processing. D

Skills & Abilities
• To be a curious, motivated researcher with a proven ability for independent problem-solving. E
• Ability to carry out experimental laboratory work, develop novel data acquisition systems with digital cameras, and use data from numerical wave models. E
• Ability to relate to other researchers, project partners, students and technical staff in an academic context. E
• Ability to present at meetings, conferences and seminars with authority and coherence. E
• Willingness to work as part of a team and to be open-minded and cooperative. E
• Flexible attitude towards work. E
• Discipline and regard for confidentiality and security at all times. E
• Willingness to undertake any necessary training for the role. E
• Willingness to travel both within the United Kingdom and abroad to conduct research and attend conferences. E
• Willingness to work out of normal working hours (including weekends) if the requirements of the project demand. E.g. Participation in ocean-going research campaigns. E

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.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.

Committed to equality and valuing diversity, we are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

September 2019

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Recipient: Briony Webb
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