Product Development Engineer (KTP Associate)

Inverness, Highland
Up to £32,000 per annum plus training budget of £5,500
24 Aug 2022
16 Oct 2022
Subject Area
Job Level
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

This Knowledge Transfer Partnership role is an opportunity to work at the interface between engineering and conservation in the heart of the world renowned Cairngorms National Park. The Associate will be tackling a historic issue that impacts current political and conservation agendas around woodland expansion, conservation management and wildlife management. The position will be based at Mar Lodge Estate, owned by the National Trust for Scotland and the UKs largest National Nature Reserve The project provides a rare opportunity to develop technical, practical, academic and business skills simultaneously and provides a training and development budget of £5,500 for the Associate to build their skill set, ready for the emerging solutions-based working environment.

In collaboration with National Trust Scotland (NTS), Mar Lodge Estate, we have an exciting opportunity at the University of Highlands and Islands (UHI), in Inverness College’s Research Department for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate. The KTP Associate will lead the delivery of a project that will continue to develop, pilot and implement an innovative herbivore deterrent to protect young trees from animal damage. In contrast to current practices, the deterrent continual design must include low landscape impact, low cost to produce and maintain and easily deployed in remote areas under challenging environmental conditions. This deterrent has the potential to be ground-breaking for woodland conservation in Scotland. The KTP Associate will be instrumental in developing this innovative conservation tool, with applications beyond forestry, and deliver a product that will be competitive in the current and future market. We are looking for someone with expertise in electronics and electrical engineering and/or computer/software science, a keen interest in upland conservation, wildlife management and/or forestry would be beneficial, with an inquisitive and pro-active mind-set, capable of innovative-led and agile thinking. 

A key aspect of the role will be to employ the latest science-based research in electronics to identify, implement and embed new technologies, practices and processes into the company for commercial delivery. You will engage with the company’s and university’s staff, as well as key stakeholders throughout the project to ensure that the technologies implemented are aligned with NTS and industry requirements (see further information).

This 16-month, fixed term post will be based primarily at Mar Lodge Estate and other rural sites for field trials with contact time at UHI Inverness for supervision and engagement with the engineering department. The post is funded by a government grant through Innovate UK and is supported by three co-funders (Scottish Funding Council, Natural Environment Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council). The KTP programme supports partnerships between business and universities, placing graduates (KTP Associates) to work on innovative high-profile projects. To find out how KTP works and the vital role you will play if you successfully secure this KTP Associate position please visit:

Through the KTP, you will be given the support and mentoring you need to nurture your talent and professional development. You will have your own budget for training and CPD to help you develop your current skillset and reach your personal and professional career goals.

UHI Inverness is committed to providing competitive employment packages whilst supporting the well-being of our staff to help them reach their full potential. As a UHI Inverness employee, you will have access to the resources of the University of the Highlands and Islands as well as a range of benefits and rewards, including staff discounts, travel schemes and a highly attractive pension scheme.

Skills required: To be a successful applicant, you will have a BSc/BEng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Control and Instrumentation Engineering, Computer Science or similar discipline. Candidates with highly relevant industry experience will also be considered. Having an MSc or PhD in one of the above subject areas is desirable but not essential for this role.

You should have experience with embedded systems and programming in a high-level language, as well as with analogue and/or digital electronics design, building and testing. We particularly welcome candidates with an interest in transducers and transducer interfacing, knowledge of small-scale renewable energy systems, and experience in design of low-cost, reliable manufacture.

You will have the ability to take ownership over the project, working with the academic supervisors and NTS ecologists to set and deliver ambitious targets. You must have high levels of communication and team working skills as well as the ability to independently conduct industrial, market and academic research, and to turn fundamental research solutions to applied industrial solutions and demonstrable creativity to solve problems.

The post holder will be based at Mar Lodge with periodic visits to UHI Inverness to engage with engineering expertise and to complete a range of knowledge transfer activities, the costs of which will be funded by the grant. Due to the remote location of the field test sites and lack of public transport connectivity, it is a requirement that the successful candidate will have a driving license and access to their own vehicle.

See attached job profile document for:

  • Job description
  • Person specification
  • Research Terms and conditions
  • Further Information

Please note the post holder will be subject to a PVG scheme membership through Disclosure Scotland prior to commencing employment.

Contact: Dr Euan Bowditch, UHI Inverness

1 Inverness Campus

Inverness, IV2 5NA

Application closing date: 16 October 2022

Interviews will be held at Mar Lodge on 26 October 2022

If you have any queries about the application process please contact the Human Resources Department on or on 01463 273210.

For further information about the role including job description and application form please visit the vacancies section of our website via the apply link.