ASTUTE 2020 Project Officer (Research Associate)

Updated: 4 days ago
Location: Cardiff, WALES


Cardiff School of Engineering



ASTUTE 2020 Project Officer (Research Associate) – Industrial Automation & Mechatronics
Cardiff School of Engineering  

The successful applicant will be joining Cardiff University, one of the UK’s leading research led universities, as an ASTUTE 2020 Project Officer  (PO) ( Research Associate)  for the Cardiff element of the Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies 2020 (ASTUTE 2020) operation, a ca. £15m consortium of five Welsh Universities (Swansea, Cardiff, Aberystwyth, University of South Wales & University of Wales Trinity St David). The ASTUTE 2020 (Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies) operation has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and the participating Higher Education Institutions.

Working across all three of Cardiff University’s Colleges, the successful candidate will take a key role within the ASTUTE 2020 team, providing project based support to Professor Rossi Setchi, the lead investigator for Cardiff University’s elements of the ASTUTE 2020 operation, around 20 academic co-investigators, the Technical Delivery Manager (TDM) and Senior Project Officers, as well as taking an active role in project delivery in order to ensure the delivery of technical outputs in line with ASTUTE 2020 targets. The successful candidate will support the successful delivery of all technical outputs in order to meet the targets assigned to the ASTUTE 2020 team at Cardiff University. These activities will include the provision of substantive, quantifiable, practical assistance to manufacturing enterprises through high quality applied Research and Development projects in collaboration with industry partners within Wales. The successful candidate will also take a key role in developing ASTUTE 2020 related activities both within Cardiff University and across the wider consortium. 

This post is full time 35 hours per week and fixed term until 30th September 2022.

Salary: £34,304 - £40,927 per annum (Grade 6 ).

Job ref: 12312BR

For informal enquiries about the post please contact Mr Andrew Hopkins (

For further details about working at Cardiff School of Engineering please contact Karen Baldwin

Date advert posted: Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Closing date: Wednesday, 13 October 2021

This post has previously been advertised to employees of Cardiff University only.  We now invite external applications.

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

The School of Engineering holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award that recognises good employment practice and a commitment to develop the careers of women working in science. Cardiff University is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity. For this vacancy we actively encourage women to apply. We will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share opportunities. 

“Cardiff University is a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions we will evaluate applicants on the quality of their research, not publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which the research is published. More information is available at:”

Job Description

Research Project Delivery  

•To conduct research within the field of Industrial Automation and Mechatronics and contribute to the overall performance of the School and University while ensuring successful delivery of medium to long term collaborative Research and Development (R&D) projects with industry partners for the ASTUTE 2020 team at Cardiff University (ASTUTE 2020-Cardiff). 

•To develop collaborative research objectives and proposals through the ASTUTE 2020 programme for your own or joint research and to identify opportunities for the development of further research funding proposals for the long term sustainability of the operation beyond 2020. 

•To undertake, where appropriate, administrative tasks associated with ASTUTE 2020 collaborative R&D projects, including the planning and organisation of such projects and the implementation of procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting.

•To prepare research ethics and research governance applications as appropriate.

•To review and synthesise existing research literature within the field to support the development of high quality collaborative research project proposals.

•To develop from your research findings both academic and practitioner oriented publications to inform a range of stakeholders of the key outputs and results of ASTUTE 2020 projects.

Internal & External Interaction

•To ensure that the Local Management Team (LMT), Technical Delivery Manager (TDM) and Senior Project Officers (SPO) and all other relevant colleagues within ASTUTE 2020-Cardiff are kept fully appraised of developments, undertakings and issues with respect to project activities and to be fully acquainted with activities across the ASTUTE 2020-Cardiff portfolio. 

•To take an active role in the on-going programme of ASTUTE 2020-Cardiff and ASTUTE 2020 integration activities, including; team meetings, seminars, dissemination activities and cross-consortium team building events.

•To participate wherever appropriate in School research activities.

•To build and create networks both internally and externally to the university, to influence decisions, explore future research requirements, and share research ideas for the benefit of ASTUTE 2020 and associated collaborative research projects.

•To engage effectively with industrial, commercial and public sector organisations, professional institutions, other academic institutions etc., regionally and nationally  to raise awareness and the profile both of the ASTUTE 2020 Operation the School to cultivate strategically valuable alliances, and to pursue opportunities for collaboration across a range of relevant activities. These activities are expected to contribute to the ASTUTE 2020 Operation and the School to enhance their regional and national profiles. 


•To liaise with the TDM or your Project/Activity Leader to ensure that appropriate agreements and contracts have been put in place over the lifetime of projects / activities involved and  interactions on such projects/activities are formally recorded in compliance with Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) requirements. To liaise with appropriate contacts within the businesses working with, ensuring that they deliver on agreed commitments with respect to provision of evidence of inputs and results and to ensure that the ASTUTE 2020-Cardiff Operation Support Team receive such information in a timely manner

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Qualifications & Education
1. Postgraduate degree at PhD level in a related subject area or holding a Masters Degree together with significant industrial experience in a manufacturing or industrial engineering related discipline.

Knowledge Skills and Experience
2. An established expertise and proven portfolio of research and/or relevant industrial experience within Industrial Automation and Mechatronics including several of the following areas: automation, control, robotics, industrial process simulation, sensors and instrumentation, human-computer interaction, computer vision and/or manufacturing informatics.

3. Knowledge of current status of research in Industrial Automation and Mechatronics and a good understanding of the issues facing the United Kingdom (UK)/Welsh manufacturing sector and the wider commercial and legislative environments within which it operates.

4. Proven ability to publish in national journals and/or practitioner orientated publications and proven ability to be successful in competitive research funding

5. Excellent organisational skills with an ability to achieve challenging objectives and to meet tight deadlines on budget and to an appropriate quality threshold. 

6.The ability to supervise the work of others to focus team efforts and motivate individuals 

7. Proven ability in effective and persuasive communication, having well-developed interpersonal, communication and presentation skills, both oral and written, including a demonstrable ability to interface in an effective and professional manner with academics, industrialists and non-technical specialists.

8. Experience of undertaking research, development and/or knowledge transfer activities in an industrial and/or academic environment. This should ideally include previous experience of working on EU/WEFO funded projects, ideally those involving multiple academic and industry partners.

Specific Qualities 
9. Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and team-working within work. The successful candidate will be a strongly self-motivated individual who can work independently, under his/her own initiative, but who can also operate effectively and enthusiastically as part of a team.

10. A flexible approach to working hours, with a willingness and ability to attend occasional evening functions and spend occasional nights away from home. This should also include a willingness and ability to travel regularly and extensively within Wales in order to liaise with potential and current collaborative partners in delivering the ASTUTE 2020 objectives. (There is however an expectation that the successful candidates will be based in Cardiff University when not travelling on business) 

Desirable Criteria

1. Relevant professional qualifications.
2. Proven ability to work without close supervision.
3. Knowledge and experience related to sustainability and sustainable manufacturing.
4. Experience of operating as part of a multidisciplinary research team.
5. Evidence of collaborations with industry and/or of working within industry, ideally in an advanced/high value manufacturing environment.
6. Experience of working in/with Manufacturing Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME)s, particularly in Wales or the wider UK.
7. Proven ability to adapt to the changing requirements of the Higher Education community.
8. Evidence of ability to participate in and develop both internal and external networks and utilise them to enhance the research activities of the ASTUTE 2020 Operation and the School.
9. A willingness to take responsibility for academically related administration, where appropriate to your role on the ASTUTE 2020 Operation.
10. A current, full UK driving licence.
11. Welsh language skills.

Additional Information

Additional Requirements for Job Description 


•To prepare internal progress reports on activities for the ASTUTE 2020-Cardiff Local Management Team, providing information such that they are in an informed position to make decisions on quality, resource and timing matters.  

•To prepare appropriate source material on your activities for use in progress reports to WEFO and/or industrial partners as well as for other publicity raising mechanisms and materials.  

•To take an active role in translating project outputs into case studies and high quality academic and practitioner orientated publications.  


•To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance. 

•To participate in School administration and activities to promote the School and its work to the wider University and the outside world 

•Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.
IMPORTANT: Evidencing Criteria
Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the essential criteria as well as, where relevant, the desirable criteria.
As part of the application process you will be asked to provide this evidence via a supporting statement. Please ensure when submitting this document / attaching it to your application profile you name it with the vacancy reference number, in this instance, 12312BR.  

Job Category

Academic - Research

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