Research Assistant / Associate in Experimental Mechanics of Liquid Crystal Elastomers and Glasses
University of Cambridge Department of Engineering
United Kingdom

A position exists, for a Research Assistant/Associate in the Department of Engineering, to work on mechanical instabilities and devices involving liquid crystal elastomers and glasses.

Dr John Biggins is establishing a new experimental and theoretical research activity in the area of liquid crystalline elastomers and glasses (LCE/Gs). These remarkable soft-solids can undergo large reversible and programmed shape changes upon heating or illumination, and the group will target novel mechanics and "artificial-muscle" applications in shape-changing devices. This research associate will be the group's second experimentalist with a focus on experimental mechanics and applications.

The key responsibilities and duties are to continue fabrication of LCE/Gs and deploy them in studies of mechanical instabilities, and prototype soft mechanical devices. Areas of immediate interest include snapping in active shells, patterned layer-substrate wrinkling, and the use of mechanical bi-stabiity to create microfluidic valves and haptic pixels. The post holder will also engage effectively and productively with a growing mechano-centric research team, including members with a theoretical and computational focus.

The skills, qualifications and experience required to perform the role will include experimental soft solid mechanics (ideally including mechanical instabilities) and fabrication of soft solids such as gels, elastomers, liquid crystals elastomers or other polymer systems. Experience with microfluids or soft lithography would be advantageous. Applicants must also have an interest in mechanics and have (or be close to obtaining) a PhD in Science or Engineering.

Appointment at Research Associate level is dependent on having a PhD. Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD will be appointed at Research Assistant level, which will be amended to Research Associate once the PhD has been awarded.

Salary Ranges: Research Assistant: £26,715 - £30,942 Research Associate: £32,816 - £40,322

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 24 months in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a covering letter the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application. Please submit your application by midnight on the closing date.

If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact Dr John Biggins (jsb56@cam.ac.uk) for queries of a technical nature or Ms Hilde Hambro, (Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1PZ, Tel +44 01223 748243, email hh463@cam.ac.uk) for queries related to the application process.

Please quote reference NM24616 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


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