North Highland College UHI

Research Fellow – Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment

Thurso, Highland, Scotland
£30,066 – £32,641 (Post-doctoral Researcher) or £35,467 – £38,420 (Research Fellow)
20 Aug 2021
20 Sep 2021
Subject Area
Engineering, Science
Job Level
Senior Lecturer
Contract Type
Full Time

+ 45 days holiday in a full year (inclusive of 14 public/general holidays)

Appointment will be open-ended (subject to probationary period).

This is an exciting opportunity to join a multidisciplinary research group working with Ørsted, the world’s largest offshore-windfarm developer. The successful candidate will contribute to the design of novel environmental monitoring technologies, platforms and analysis techniques to inform ecological understanding and future management priorities, as offshore wind continues to contribute to fulfilling increasing global demand for clean energy.

This research fellowship, part of the PREDICT project, offers a unique opportunity for a talented marine sensing and/or hydroacoustic researcher with strong practical & analytical skills and an interest in mobile marine species and oceanographic variation in habitats, to work directly with a world-renowned multi-disciplinary research group based at the Environmental Research Institute (ERI). This post will build upon and validate ecological modelling being performed by colleagues at the University of Aberdeen and directly inform Ørsted’s future and next-generation environmental monitoring.

The Research Fellow will investigate the optimal combinations of innovative technologies and novel sensor platforms to simultaneously collect data on environmental drivers, as well as prey (fish), which will be used to reduce variance and uncertainty in assessment of seabird and marine mammal distributions. In addition to using hydroacoustic mobile and stationary platforms, this project will investigate next-generation platforms for coordinated measurement (underwater AUVs/gliders, USV/ASVs to bridge the air-water interface, and coordinated networks of distributed low-cost sensor platforms). The project will also contribute to design and development of analysis techniques required for in-situ empirical hydroacoustic measurement. This will enable investigation of temporal and spatial relationships between fish distributions at predicted top-predator foraging locations, in relation to relevant environmental factors.

PREDICT will support and accelerate the development of strategic methods that will allow identification of areas with high likelihood of overlap with important feeding areas for seabirds and marine mammals, which can then be considered during future rounds of offshore windfarm development. This is an exciting and career-boosting opportunity for a Research Fellow to work across disciplines and contribute to research that has directly applicable industry and policy outputs.

Applicants should have a PhD or equivalent, and experience in relevant fields, including:

  • Knowledge of the offshore renewable energy sector.
  • Engineering or equivalent technical field, including sensors – marine sensing is an advantage.
  • Programming experience, especially dealing with big datasets (e.g., MATLAB, Python, C++, R).

Desirable skills and experience include:

  • Electronics, microcontrollers, low-power computing.
  • Novel sensor platforms (USV/ASV/AUVs).
  • Sensor integration – marine data acquisition is a plus (ADCP, LiDAR, echosounder, multibeam, etc.).
  • Hydroacoustics, oceanography, hydrodynamics.
  • Knowledge of marine ecosystems.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Benjamin Williamson, leader of the ERI’s ‘Renewable Energy and the Environment’ team:

Closing date Monday 20 September 2021.

Interviews planned for week starting 27 September 2021.

Please apply via the 'apply' link