School of Natural and Built Environment

Research Assistant/Research Fellow

Ref: 18/106144

This post is part of the Seismic imaging for improving flood defence management project which is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme.

Our project partners, NI Water, the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust, collectively own over 10,000km of water retaining earthworks (embankments/dams) that support water resources and protect large areas of the UK from flooding. Considerable lengths of these geotechnical assets were constructed decades ago and are often poorly engineered compared to modern standards. In order to meet their social and economic needs, these assets require sustainable, cost-effective management, yet they are vulnerable to environmental changes which may cause stability and serviceability issues. Early identification of poor/deteriorating earthwork condition is essential for cost effective and pro-active maintenance and prevention of hazardous and expensive failures. This project will develop and demonstrate an innovative, low-cost geophysical approach, using seismic surface waves, for non-invasively assessing internal earthwork condition, while also adapting the outputs to ensure compatibility with our partner's asset management systems.

The successful candidate will be based at Queen's but will be required to travel to research sites and project partner institutions on a regular basis over the 12 month project. You will be expected to carry out both field and laboratory geophysical research. You will have strong support from an interdisciplinary team, dedicated supervision and technical support. As a successful candidate you are focused on delivering in a timely manner, whilst keeping all parties informed about project risks and possible delays, you are conscious and proactive about health and safety aspects and will support a professional and collegial working environment. You are keen to publish your work as part of a team to make the findings available to a larger audience and have a relevant track record commensurate with your stage in career and previous field of work.

The successful candidate must:

Research Assistant

  • Have an honours degree or equivalent in Geoscience, Civil Engineering or a related discipline.
  • Have at least 1 year's relevant research experience in either geophysics, engineering geology or geotechnical engineering.

Research Fellow

  • Have or be about to obtain a PhD in a relevant area.
  • Have at least 3 years' relevant research experience in either geophysics, engineering geology or geotechnical engineering.

At both levels

  • Have a track record of strong report writing or publication skills commensurate with stage in career.

Full criteria can be found online at

Further information about the School can be found at

Anticipated interview date: Friday 2 February 2018
Salary scale: Research Assistant: 27,285 - 31,604 per annum
Research Fellow: 32,548 per annum
Closing date: Thursday 18 January 2018

Apply online at For further information or assistance contact Human Resources, Queen's University Belfast, BT7 1NN. Telephone (028) 9097 3044 or email on

The University is committed to equality of opportunity and to selection on merit. It therefore welcomes applications from all sections of society and particularly welcomes applications from people with a disability.

Fixed term contract posts are available for the stated period in the first instance but in particular circumstances may be renewed or made permanent subject to availability of funding.

posted: 21 December 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.