Postdoctoral Research Associate in Advanced Laser Diagnostics

1. Job Details

Job title: Postdoctoral Research Associate in advanced laser diagnostics for near-wall heat transfer and flame quenching studies at high pressures 
School: School of Engineering 
Unit: Institute for Multiscale Thermofluids 
Line manager: Dr. Brian Peterson

2. Job Purpose

This Postdoctoral Research Associate position will contribute to the project entitled ‘Energy Transfer Processes at Gas/Wall Interfaces under Extreme Conditions’ within the Institute of Multiscale Thermofluids at the University of Edinburgh, which is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) in collaboration with colleagues at Sandia National Laboratories in California (USA) and Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany).

3. Main Responsibilities

  1. Undertake research related to laser diagnostics in reacting flows. Specifically this project will focus on the following (60% of time): 
    • Development of fs/ps rotational CARS measurements to resolve gas-phase temperature in systems under pressure (1-20 bar) 
    • Utilization of fs/ps rotational CARS to measure spatially the transient thermal-boundary layer at gas/wall interfaces under a transient pressure rise. 
    • Applications of fs/ps rotational CARS and particle image velocimetry to measure the thermal and momentum boundary layer near surfaces. 
    • Simultaneous application of fs/ps rotational CARS and thermographic phosphors to study convective / conductive heat transfer at gas wall interfaces. 
    • Utilization of fs/ps rotational CARS measurements to study dynamics of flame-wall quenching and gas-phase heat loss for single- and two-wall passages. 
    • Simultaneous application of laser-induced fluorescence and thermographic phosphors to further study flame quenching dynamics for single- and two-wall engine passages. 
    To this end, the candidate should be able to contribute in at least two of these measurement areas. The candidate should already demonstrate the ability to work with the relevant diagnostics listed above.

  2. Dissemination of research findings through internal reports, conference proceedings, and journal publications (15% of time)

  3. Liaison with and support of colleagues on the ERC funded project “Energy transfer Processes at gas/wall Interfaces under extreme Conditions (EPIC)”, possibly including domestic and international travel and support of meetings at the University of Edinburgh, TU Darmstadt and Sandia Labs. (10% of time)

  4. Develop plans for personal research and contribute to wider development of group strategy to identify and agree priorities for current and future work. (5% of time)

  5. Contribute to writing bids to win ongoing research grants. Provide guidance to other staff and students interested in integrating methods/results from this work into their own activity to ensure most effective use, particularly within the University of Edinburgh (10% of time)

4. Planning and Organising

• Work with the line manager to define and plan a programme of relevant research work and then to produce publishable results within appropriate timescales 
• Work independently to plan the schedule of tasks to ensure that work of the projects progresses according to agreed overall timetable 
• Organise own time so that different aspects of the project can proceed in parallel giving due consideration to the needs of other members of the team 
• Be proactive in interacting with project partners to share data and ideas 
• Take a leadership role in regular project meetings to report and review progress, and to generate new ideas and lines of research 
• Determine the aims, objectives and deadlines for short to medium term work plan, in discussion with the Line Manager (particularly for medium term planning). 
• Contribute to long-term strategic planning and development of group activities, in discussion with the Line Manager and other researchers.

5. Problem Solving

• Be resourceful in overcoming problems encountered in the development of new approaches and the implementation of existing techniques in the normal course of the research. 
• Define the methodology to solve the problems in the project. 
• Work in close cooperation with the other project investigators, project partners, technical staff, and PhD students working on the project to resolve problems, as required.

6. Decision Making

• The post-holder should be able to organise his/her work schedule to ensure satisfactory progress and to meet the demands (where realistic) of other project partners, PhD students, etc. The successful candidate will play an important role as a member of the team in making daily decisions about their own plan of work and the allocation of time and resources. 
• Manage day-to-day work load, making independent decisions about immediate priorities to meet short and medium term targets that have been agreed with Line Manager.

7. Key Contacts/Relationships

Frequent (daily to weekly) contact with other researchers in the project team and relevant research groups including academic staff, other postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.

Regular (weekly to monthly) contact with other researchers working on relevant problems in the University of Edinburgh.

Regular (typically monthly) contact with key stakeholders, likely to include industry.

8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

• A good undergraduate degree and a PhD in Engineering, Physical Chemistry or a clearly related area, with a focus on advanced laser diagnostics in reacting flows. 
• Proven track record of research in the application of laser diagnostics to study thermo-chemical or thermo-fluid processes 
• Experience in delivering research project results in an interdisciplinary context; i.e. a record of peer-reviewed journal and conference papers in a relevant area. 
• Capable of working collaboratively with researchers from different disciplines or technical background.

• Experience working with non-linear optic measurement technologies to measure gas phase temperature measurements. 
• Experience working with fs/ps CARS for thermometry 
• Experience working with thermographic phosphors to study topics related to heat transfer. 
• Experience working with laser-induced fluorescence or particle image velocimetry. 
• Is willing to learn and use laser diagnostic methodologies, which the candidate has not used. 
• Experience working with high pressure, optically accessible chambers (e.g. static optically accessible chambers, optically accessible engines). 
• Knowledgeable background on flame dynamics / combustion theory. 
• Knowledgeable background on convection / conduction heat transfer.

9. Dimensions

• Potential to help supervise up to 2 PhD students and 2-4 Masters project students 
• Work collaboratively with other PDRAs, industrial and academic partners, PhD students from the participating and related groups and researchers from other universities 
• Responsibility for regular progress reporting to project partners 
• Keep line manager up-to-date with progress 
• Contribute to interactions between immediate group and broader communities working in the fields of transient heat transfer and laser diagnostics for near-wall reacting flows.

UoE Vacancy Ref: 


Closing Date: 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Contact Name: 

Brian Peterson

Contact Email: 

Contact Telephone: 

+44 (0)131 650 5572