Research Fellow in Development of a High-Altitude Unmanned Aerial System for Persistent Fire Detection and Monitoring
RMIT University School of Engineering

Research Fellow in Development of a High-Altitude Unmanned Aerial System for Persistent Fire Detection and Monitoring

Job no: 590955

Work type: Full time - Fixed term/Contract

Categories: Engineering, Research

  • Full-time, 1-year fixed-term contract; based at RMIT Bundoora East campus but may be required to work and/or based at other campuses of the University
  • Be part of research activities funded by Defence working with Dr Matthew Marino in the RMIT Unmanned Aerial Systems Research Team
  • Utilise and develop your software coding experience in conducting high-quality research contributing to the development of a high-altitude unmanned aerial system using Balloons to provide persistent and high-bandwidth sensor monitoring of spot fires for early detection and immediate response
  • Report directly to Professor Nic Connelly, Associate Dean, Aerospace Engineering & Aviation
  • Remuneration at Academic Level B ($98,495 - $116,965) + 17% superannuation

About us

RMIT is a multi-sector university of technology, design and enterprise with more than 91,000 students and 11,000 staff globally. RMIT offers postgraduate, undergraduate, vocational education and online programs to provide students with a variety of work-relevant pathways.

Our purpose is to offer life-changing experiences for our students, and to help shape the world with research, innovation, teaching and industry engagement. With strong industry connections forged over 130 years, collaboration with industry remains integral to RMIT’s leadership in education, applied and innovative research, and to the development of highly skilled, globally focused graduates.


Our Values inspire us, wherever we are in the world, and guide how we live and work together.

Imagination. Agility. Courage. Passion. Impact. Inclusion.

What unites us is our purpose and our values; they are at the heart of who we are, what we stand for, how we make decisions and connect with each other.

Our people make everything at the University possible. We encourage new approaches to work and learning, stimulating change to drive positive impact. RMIT exists to create transformative experiences for our students, getting them ready for life and work. You will be a part of a productive and collaborative team, who values working relationships and outcomes through open and inclusive planning, continuous information sharing and transparent work practices.

About the College

The College comprises three Schools delivering a broad range of programs in science, engineering, health and technology at higher education certificate, bachelor, masters and PhD levels. There is a vibrant research community attracting funding from a range of government and industry sources. The College has an annual income of approximately $500 million (with over $50 million in external research income p/a) and employs around 1,400 staff providing on and offshore programs to approximately 30,000 students (including 1,200 PhD students).

The School of Engineering comprises a diverse range of disciplines: Aerospace Engineering & Aviation; Chemical & Environmental Engineering; Civil & Infrastructure Engineering; Electrical & Biomedical Engineering; Electronic & Telecommunication Engineering; Manufacturing, Materials & Mechatronic Engineering; Mechanical & Automotive Engineering.

As a top 100 university in the world for engineering (2015 QS Rankings by Faculty; Engineering and Technology), RMIT Engineering provides students with work-relevant education programs, access to excellent research facilities and opportunities to engage in creative real-world project work through robust relations with local and international industry leaders.

More details on the School of Engineering in this link.

About You & the Role

  • Work collaboratively as well as independently with multidisciplinary researchers contributing to quality research in the development of a high-altitude unmanned aerial system using Balloons to provide persistent and high-bandwidth sensor monitoring of spot fires for early detection and immediate response
  • Prepare and submit competitive research grant proposals and applications in particularly targeting Category 1 outcomes
  • Produce and deliver impactful research publications and research outcomes either as lead or co-author
  • Play a pivotal role in collaborating and building effective long-term working relationships with national international researchers, particularly focusing on linkages between defence, civil commercial industry and academia.
  • Pro-actively participate in communicating and presenting research outcomes and concepts through high quality papers/journal articles, seminars and conference
  • Contribute 10% of your time to mentor & co- supervise postgraduate students and participate in learning program activities appropriate to areas of expertise as well as administrative functions related to the research project
  • Support and involve in the annual work planning and performance management processes related to project and team; but not limited to the other duties leading to the efficient operation of the research team

You will have:

  • Excellent track record of published research work in aircraft flight modelling, software development (in either MATLAB, PYTHON, C or C++ codes), wireless communications, robotics in top journals & conferences either as a lead or co-author
  • Proven capability to experimentally realize and characterize systems in an unmanned platform for high-altitude flight is desirable
  • Experience in undertaking and producing high-quality scientific research and development; equipped with sound problem-solving and analytical skills in solving complex issues
  • Evidence of grant submissions and applications in research areas relevant to this project is highly advantageous
  • Good working ethics with strong organizational skills to manage and plan time effectively & efficiently to conduct innovative research independently and collaboratively as a team member in meeting project outcomes and milestones
  • Demonstrated experience co-supervising postgraduate by research students and the ability to teach in the relevant areas of expertise


Mandatory: PhD qualified in Aerospace Engineering or in a closely related subject in Aerospace Engineering & Aviation domain.

Note: Appointment to this position is subject to passing a Working with Children check.

Bring your whole self to work

We are better for our diversity. When we listen to those who are different to us, or challenge us, we grow stronger together. When we feel like we belong, we can achieve so much more. We respect each other, embrace our differences and build a sense of belonging in our team and beyond.

We are proud that our dedication to diversity has been recognized by a broad spectrum of external organizations. Visit our Linkedin Life pages to learn more and see some of our most recent wins.

To Apply

Please submit your updated resume and cover letter outlining your experience & achievements by clicking on the ‘Apply now’ link. Please note that a separate response to Key Selection Criteria as stated on the Position Description is required. For further information about this position, please see Position Description below. For any enquiries, please contact Dr Matthew Marino (

Download File PD - 590955 - Research Fellow.pdf

We are also happy to make adjustments to the recruitment process for your accessibility requirements. Please contact us via your preferred type of communication: email or call Kassie on +61399252442 with your request(s).

Applications close Thursday 12th November 2020.

RMIT is an equal opportunity employer committed to being a child safe organisation. We are dedicated to attracting, retaining and developing our people regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and age. Applications are encouraged from all sectors of the community and we strongly encourage applications from the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community.

Please note that whilst we still accept applications from any persons interested in our roles, due to the impacts of COVID-19, we are currently prioritising applications from those with current working rights in Australia and who are not affected by travel restrictions. Please see the latest updates to Australia’s immigration and border arrangements during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak:

Application close: 12 Nov 2020 11:55 PM AUS Eastern Daylight Time

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Engineeroxy


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