1. Job Details
Job title: Research Associate in Marine Energy
School/Support Department: School of Engineering
Unit: Institute for Energy Systems
Line manager: Henry Jeffrey
2. Job Purpose
The Policy and Innovation Group of the Institute for Energy Systems is seeking to appoint a Research Associate who will participate in a number of marine energy projects. The candidate must have excellent engineering, economics, analytical and communication skills and be able to work in a diverse team of European academic and industrial partners. With a good first degree in engineering, economics or related, the candidate must also have appropriate energy sector professional experience including techno-economics, policy, strategy and coordination, and demonstrable analytical writing experience. The ability to work independently as well as within diverse national and European project teams will be essential.
3. Main Responsibilities
Engaging and building relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders in the UK, Europe and beyond and working as part of a team to coordinate input into technology strategy and policy projects. (Approx % of time [10 %])
Undertaking analytical research in contribution to a number of national, European and international marine energy R&D projects such as WaveBoost, ETIP Ocean, MaRINET2 and Wave Energy Scotland funded cost of energy assessment projects. This work may include, but is not limited to: technology analysis; development & deployment roadmap studies; investigation of commercialisation pathways; and techno-economic analysis.
(Approx % of time [60 %])
Supporting the production of high quality publications that synthesize technical and policy information for specialist and general audiences. (Approx % of time [10%])
Co-supervising a range of undergraduate and postgraduate students who undertake research projects in the field of marine energy policy, innovation and strategy. (Approx % of time [10 %])
Working within a team to develop proposals for R&D project funding at national, European and international levels. (Approx % of time [10 %])
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 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
• Good first degree in engineering, economics or a related discipline.
• Firm understanding of the energy sector.
• Appropriate relevant professional experience
• Excellent communication and writing skills.
• Good interpersonal skills
• Ability to work independently as well as in a team.
• Proven analytical capabilities demonstrated through the production of reports.
• Experience in renewable energy, policy, innovation and strategy
• Experience in renewable energy cost analysis, particularly Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE)
• Experience working with and coordinating national and multinational teams
9. Job Context and any other relevant information
This Research Associate will work on a wide variety of marine energy projects. This will include supporting the preparation and coordination of a range of research activities and meetings. Additionally, this role will carry out general day to day tasks including consultation work on national and international projects, and report writing.
The Policy and Innovation group contributes to a great many national, European and international projects involving stakeholders from research, academia, industry and governments. This Research Associate will work on many of these projects, examples of which include:
• ETIP Ocean
• EERA Ocean Energy Joint Programme
• Techno-economic studies and analysis
Background to ETIP Ocean
ETIP Ocean is the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy and is funded by the European Commission. It will provide a hub for knowledge sharing and collaboration across a diverse group of stakeholders in the marine energy sector. Through targeted knowledge sharing workshops, educational programmes, engagement activities and dissemination routes, ETIP Ocean will arrive at a thoroughly consulted and agreed upon multi-stakeholder vision for the ocean energy sector in Europe. This will include an examination of the priority barriers and challenges faced by the sector and guidance as to how these may be overcome on the path to commercialisation.
Background to the EERA Ocean Energy JP
The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) Ocean Energy Joint Programme (JP) is a network of the leading research institutions in the European ocean energy sector. Coordinated by the University of Edinburgh, the Ocean Energy JP works to align research objectives in the sector, thus encouraging multinational collaboration and ensuring that effort and resources are spent in the most efficient and effective manner.
Background to WaveBoost
WaveBoost aims to provide a step-change improvement in the reliability and performance of power take-offs by developing and validating an innovative braking module with a Cyclic Energy Recovery System (CERS). This project, led by CorPower Ocean, will deliver a system that is expected to significantly reduce shock loads on wave energy converters, increase AEP by 25% and reduce LCOE by over 30% as compared to the state of the art.
Background to MaRINET2
MaRINET2, the Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network, is composed of 39 organisations who collaborate to progress offshore renewable energy technologies in Europe. It aims to accelerate the development of wave, tidal and offshore wind energy technologies and infrastructure by opening up access to 57 test facilities across 13 European countries. The project is now in its second iteration, and it is supported by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
Background to TIPA
Coordinated by Nova Innovation, the TIPA project will design, build and test an innovative direct drive power take-off solution for tidal turbines. The aim of the project is to reduce the lifetime cost of tidal power by 20%, demonstrated by accelerated life testing of this next generation power take-off.
Background to Clearwater
As part of the MeyGen array, this project will design, build, install and operate an open ocean 4.5MW tidal energy farm in the Inner Sound in the Pentland Firth, off the Northern coast of Scotland. Clearwater will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of a multi-turbine tidal energy array, an essential step to catalyse development of commercial projects in the EU ocean energy industry.
Background to techno-economic studies and analysis
The Policy and Innovation Group provides techno-economic modeling and analysis services to a number of R&D projects. These include several ongoing device and subsystem development projects and several upcoming novel materials and disruptive technologies projects.