Job: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Nuclear Co-Generation

Applications are invited for this full-time, fixed-term post, working in Bangor University’s Nuclear Futures Institute as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Nuclear Co-Generation. The post is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. EU Funds: Investing in Wales.

Duties will include identifying energy intensive industries that could be paired with nuclear power (electricity or process heat) to reduce their emissions, studying the implications of integrating a nuclear plant with industrial processes and examining financial and operational models for industrial plants paired with nuclear installations.

Candidates should possess a PhD (or be near completion) in nuclear or chemical-engineering or relevant related subject and have a good track record of academic writing and contributing to publications for peer-reviewed journals.

The successful candidate will be expected to commence as soon as possible the post is available until 31/12/2022.

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed towards Dr Michael Rushton: m.rushton@bangor.ac.uk

Applications will only be accepted via our on-line recruitment website, jobs.bangor.ac.uk. However, in cases of access issues due to disability, paper application forms are available by telephoning 01248 383865.

Committed to Equal Opportunities

Closing Date

02-12-2020

Salary

£33,797-40,322 (Grade 7) p.a.

Contract Duration

31-12-2022

Ref: BU02265

Overview

Nuclear reactors are typically used to generate electricity however this isn’t all they can do. Reactors can be used to generate useful heat and isotopes to support diverse industrial applications ranging from smelting metal, synthetic fuel manufacture to the production of medical isotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The UK has ambitious plans to decarbonise the economy by 2050 – the low carbon nature of nuclear power means it could have an important part to play in this transition. This research project aims to establish how nuclear co-generation can be used to achieve net-zero by 2050. The successful candidate will develop a roadmap showing how nuclear technology should be deployed in the short and medium and long term.

The Project

The post is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. EU Funds: Investing in Wales.

The aim of the project is to conduct research into the opportunities that exist for coupling nuclear technology to industrial processes and for other applications. The UK Government has ambitious plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. A large number of sectors will reduce their carbon emissions via electrification which will place an increased burden on power generation. As a source of baseload low carbon generation, nuclear power has an important part to play in matching this increased demand for electricity. Electrification is not applicable to all processes, meaning that it will not be possible to achieve net-zero solely through this route. Here too, nuclear technology may have its part to play by providing process heat to aligned industries. Finally, nuclear radiation and radioisotopes represent a unique facet of nuclear technology which can be harnessed to enable applications that would not be possible without them. Consequently, co-generation is defined as the coupling of nuclear power, process heat, radiation and isotopes to industrial processes and will be considered during this project.

The aims of the project are as follows:

  • To assess historical examples of historical co-generation.
  • Understand the implications of integrating a nuclear plant with industrial processes. By considering the safety, security, operational and financial risks.
  • Guide policy making and conduct scenario planning. Demonstrate the possibilities for co-generation with existing nuclear reactor systems. By extension, suggest what will be required in future reactors to fully exploit the opportunities provided by co-generation.
  • Consider the co-ownership, finance and operation of nuclear and industrial plants.
  • Review large energy consumers and critically assess their current plans for decarbonisation. Work with them to identify processes that would be most likely to benefit from partnership with nuclear technology.

Purpose of the Job

This role will support the Nuclear Futures Institute and help in achieving its aim to establish “A world leading capability in Nuclear Engineering, which establishes North Wales as a global centre, delivering international partnerships and opportunity from a rich mix of existing and new talent. Leading the UK nuclear agenda and rejuvenating the UK and Welsh nuclear sector.”

Person Specification

Qualifications/Training

Essential
  • A PhD (or be near completion) in nuclear or chemical-engineering or relevant related subject.

Experience/Knowledge

Essential
  • Experience of conducting high quality research by publication in well-respected scientific journals and talks at significant conferences.
  • Knowledge of energy intensive industries.
  • An understanding of the implications of integrating a nuclear plant with industrial processes.
  • An awareness of financial and operational models of industrial plants.
Desirable
  • Experience in the economic analysis of industrial systems.
  • Analytical skills in energy systems, energy economics and policy.
  • Technical knowledge of nuclear reactor systems, their operation and associated fuel cycles.
  • Experience with life-cycle analysis and associated databases and software tools (e.g. SimaPro).
  • Active links with industry and academic networks.

Skills/Abilities

Essential
  • A willingness to work closely with specialists across multiple academic disciplines such as materials, reactor design, nuclear medicine and finance/economics.
  • A willingness to initiate and develop links with industrialists in order to better understand the needs of their businesses.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and area.
Desirable
  • Desire and competence to communicate results to wide variety of stakeholders.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • To identify energy intensive industries that could be paired with nuclear power (electricity or process heat) to reduce their emissions. This will involve identifying the electricity and heat requirements of foundational industries including metal, concrete, brick, paper, glass and chemical manufacture. The ability of present and future nuclear reactor systems to deliver these requirements will then be assessed.
  • Study the implications of integrating a nuclear plant with industrial processes. By identifying the safety, security, operational and financial risks.
  • Examine financial and operational models for industrial plants paired with nuclear installations.
  • Acquire and maintain a thorough and up to date knowledge of the scientific literature related to the research aims of the project. Actively support the principal investigator in developing new techniques. Scheduling and testing research. Collecting and analysing data. As required by project, be prepared to visit other institutions to use their facilities.
  • Delivering research outcomes. The post-holder will be required to produce articles for publication in high quality journals on a regular basis. To contribute to the dissemination of research outputs through relevant scientific technical and public press and conferences.
  • Deliver regular presentations to the research group to allow progress to be monitored and research results to be discussed.
  • To collaborate with co-researchers and write up the results in scientific articles. If required for a programme of work with a collaborating organisation produce progress and final reports. Discussing and sharing results with grant holders.
  • Seek to establish and reinforce collaborative research links both within the university and with other organisations.
  • Identify and develop commercial opportunities stemming from research work. Including submitting patent applications and pursuing innovation funding.
    • Administration of the research project. Participate in project meetings. Coordinate project to meet aims and objectives. Liaise with stakeholders (external and internal). Ensure appropriate time management controls are implemented.
  • Monitoring of financial controls associated with the research project. Behave in financially responsible manner. Ensure that spending on the project is conducted with due diligence and in a prudent manner. Quotes for products and services should be discussed with principal investigator.
  • Oversee the ordering, delivery and installation of equipment related to the project.
  • The post-holder will be responsible working in a safe and responsible manner in the laboratory and will be expected to undertake any necessary training or induction procedures before starting their practical work. They will also be asked to help monitor laboratory access and may be required to train other lab users to ensure that high standards of safety and scientific practice are maintained. Maintaining a tidy and safe working environment by ensuring equipment is regularly maintained and reporting failures to allow timely replacement or repair.
  • Advise and collaborate with undergraduate, post-graduate and placement students. As required, prepare and give lectures, perform lab demonstrations and tutorials.
  • Attend training courses as appropriate to ensure continuing skills development.• Assist in organising and contributing to seminars, conferences and other events organised by the research group.
  • Contribute to proposals and funding/research applications.

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Scheme.
  • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions. The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
  • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their post.

General

The University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds. We strive to develop a workforce from all sections of the community regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age. We promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language through our progressive Welsh Language Policy. We comply with the Welsh Language Standards and are committed to equality of opportunity. You are welcome to apply for any job in English or Welsh and all applications submitted will be treated equally.

We are a member of Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Gender Equality charter and hold a Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to and progress towards gender equality within the University’s policies, practices, and culture. We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer.

All members of staff have a duty to ensure their actions are in line with the overall environmental aims of the University and minimise their environmental impact.

All offers are made subject to proof of eligibility to work in the UK and receipt of satisfactory references.

All candidates must meet the requirements of UK ‘right to work’ requirements. If you require Home Office permission to work in the UK, or need to switch your visa status in order to take this job, please note that following the introduction by the Government of immigration limits on skilled workers we recommend you use the following link to information about the routes into employment and to check eligibility requirements: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/

Please note that, in the event of applications being received from candidates on the University’s Redeployment Register with a reasonable skills match to the post specification, these applicants will be given prior consideration.