Senior Research Fellow in Simulation for Safety Assurance
University of the West of England Bristol
United Kingdom


Location: Frenchay Campus


About you: Working with Robotics and Autonomous Systems, you will develop new concepts and conduct research individually or by leading a part of the large team working in this area to achieve the laboratory objectives expressed above, including programming the simulation and associated Virtual Reality facilities, identifying sources of funding and contributing to the process of securing funds. To achieve this, you will extend, transform and apply knowledge acquired from scholarship to research and development activities in the context of externally and internally funded projects in the RAS domain.


You will make two main, safety related, contributions to a range of safety-critical RAS projects operating now and in the future at BRL. You will do this by making your own technical contributions, leading the activities of other more junior researchers, and by collaborating with the related local communities, such as the Bristol VR Laboratory and the South West Creative Network.


First, you will build on expertise developed in collaboration with researchers at the University of Bristol during previous RAS projects, to develop and implement simulations of a RAS device operating in a selected set of environmental conditions, which may need to include hardware and/or humans 'in the loop'. Using such a simulation, you will design and implement scenarios that stretch the sensor and/or control systems of the chosen RAS device and, where it is important to do so, test human participants' reactions to selected scenarios. Clearly, using simulation, these situations can be much more easily varied in a known way so as to achieve more critical settings than those which can safely be tested in the real world.


Thus, you will develop and utilise simulation platforms, each tailored to an application domain, to discover and then investigate the most safety-critical situations, also known as the 'corner cases'. Often, these are the cases that need to be tested in the real-world. Thus, simulation will be used to guide the nature of expensive and risky real-world testing so as to minimise their number and to maximise their benefit in validating the RAS.


Second, having established the nature and detail of the real-world test environments and requirements of the real-world experiments themselves, you will carry out risk assessments that build towards safety cases for the identified real-world experiments to be conducted.


Thus, the safety and appropriateness of the sensor-perception pipeline and control system of the RAS device under test will be verified and validated. Where relevant, this will also help to evaluate its overall acceptability to any human interactants.


About the role: This is a permanent and full time vacancy. In some Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) application domains, research and development is maturing rapidly. In such environments, the ability to bring about assurances for maintaining safety whilst providing useful service is becoming paramount. Critically, these assurances must be accepted by regulators as underpinning a legally governable process, without which, they will never get to market. Bristol Robotics Laboratory is engaged in a number of projects with exactly this primary aim, currently focused on the introduction of Connected Autonomous Vehicle technology, one of the most rapidly maturing domains. However, this is widely regarded as being just the beginning of a much wider future engagement in RAS technology development, i.e., it seems extremely likely that these issues will be shared by a very wide range of RAS device applications, ranging from robot surgery, through home assistance, to human-robot manufacturing teams.


About us: Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) is the most comprehensive academic centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research in the UK. It is a collaborative partnership between the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the University of Bristol, and home to a vibrant community of over 250 academics, researchers and industry practitioners. Together, they are world leaders in current thinking on service robotics, intelligent autonomous systems and bio-engineering. The state-of-the-art facilities covers an area of over 3,500 sq. metres (over 37,000 sq. feet) and BRL is an internationally recognised Centre of Excellence in Robotics.


This post not available on a job share basis, due to the tight interlinked nature of the project's goals and inter-partner schedule.


Interviews will be arranged around the last week of July or the first week of August. Actual date to be confirmed.


In addition to progressive pay rates, UWE Bristol offers a wide range of staff benefits including:

- a generous holiday allowance of 35 Days
- up to 12.5 bank holiday/closure days per year in addition
- flexible working
- excellent defined benefit pension schemes
- option to participate in the cycle to work scheme
- family friendly policies
- onsite nursery at our Frenchay Campus.


This post is based in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory that is situated at our lively Frenchay campus where we have invested in the latest facilities and resources to give our students access to everything they need to succeed - with GBP 300m having been spent recently on new state-of-the-art learning spaces and accommodation to enhance our offer even further. Frenchay campus is within close proximity to excellent motorway links and within walking distance of two train stations, making UWE Frenchay Campus the ideal place to work for those wishing to commute to Bristol.


Please click here for the full Job Description and information for information for applicants for applicants
If you would like an informal discussion, please contact Prof. Tony Pipe on 0117 328 6330 or email:

UWE is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity to create an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who share our ambition to be a university recognised for the success and impact of our practice-oriented programmes; our strong industry networks and our inclusive global outlook.


Closing date is Wednesday 26th June at 11.59pm.

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