Research Associate in Molecular Dynamics of Gas Flows in Porous Media

1. Job Details

Job title: Research Associate in Molecular Dynamics of Gas Flows in Porous Media

School: School of Engineering

Unit: Institute for Multiscale Thermofluids

Line manager: Prof. Jason Reese

2. Job Purpose

This Research Associate position will contribute to research on gas flows in porous media using molecular dynamics within the Institute for Multiscale Thermofluids at the University of Edinburgh, which is funded by King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) and in collaboration with colleagues at KFUPM and the University of Strathclyde.

3. Main Responsibilities (Approx. % of time)

  1. Undertake research related to gas flows in porous media using molecular dynamics. This will entail both independent research work and working in collaboration with other researchers on multiscale fluid dynamics. The successful candidate will proactively engage with collaborating researchers to identify fruitful lines of research in this area, with a view to understanding, defining, and quantifying gas flows in porous media using molecular dynamics. (60%)

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

  3. Liaison with and support of colleagues on the KFUPM-funded programme on gas flows in porous media, possibly including domestic and international travel and support of meetings at the University of Edinburgh and other venues as appropriate. (10%)

  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%)

  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 and other external collaborators, as appropriate. (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


• PhD OR relevant primary degree plus significant research experience in the areas of engineering science, physics, applied mathematics, computational science, or other related fields. 
• Proven track record of research in gas dynamics or other fluid dynamics, with a specific focus on molecular dynamics, or other particle methods, or closely related areas. 
• Experience in running simulations on high performance (parallel) computers. 
• Experience in delivering research project results in an academic and/or industrial research 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 backgrounds. 
• Capable of working independently, exercising a high degree of initiative and demonstrating a pro-active and flexible approach to work. 
• Ability to work under pressure and meet agreed milestones. 
• Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships. 
• Good time-keeping and time-management, with associated effective prioritisation of tasks. 
• Good communication skills; oral, writing and presentation of data. 
• Ability to contribute ideas and initiate new ways of working.


• Experience in computational gas/solid interface dynamics. 
• Experience in using the molecular dynamics solvers LAMMPS or OpenFOAM (mdFOAM+). 
• Familiarity with Unix/Linux operating systems, and of writing shell/perl scripts. 
• Fluency in C++, with experience of writing software in this language. 
• An understanding of hybrid multiscale methods for fluid dynamics. 
• Ability to be adaptive and accepting of new ideas and a willingness to approach new challenges and adjust plans to meet new priorities.

9. Dimensions

• Potential to help supervise up to 2 PhD students and 2-4 Masters project students 
• Work collaboratively with other research associates, 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 field of multiscale fluid dynamics.

UoE Vacancy Ref: 


Closing Date: 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Contact Name: 

Contact Email: 

Contact Telephone: 

+44(0)131 6517081