Research Leader in Smart Grids
School of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Applicant Information – Reference No. EPS/SG1
The School of Engineering and Physical Sciences has an international research reputation and close connection with the
professional and industrial world of science, engineering and technology.
The School has 5 research institutes - the Institute of Chemical Sciences; the Institute of Photonics & Quantum Sciences;
the Institute of Mechanical, Process & Energy Engineering; the Institute of Sensors, Signals & Systems and the Institute
of Biological Chemistry, BioPhysics & BioEngineering. The institutes conduct research on a range from fundamental
sciences through to engineering applications, all of which are supported by strong external funding.
Heriot-Watt has received the Bronze Award from the Athena SWAN Charter recognising excellence in championing
employment of women in the fields of science and technology, engineering and mathematics. We continue to
welcome applications from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic
posts at Heriot-Watt.
Job Description
As part on the Universities strategy for growth, the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences is seeking to make one
academic appointment to extend and enhance our programmes in smart grids across the Institute of Mechanical,
Process and Energy Engineering (IMPEE) and the Institute of Sensors, Signals and Systems (ISSS).
Applications are welcomed from enthusiastic individuals who are highly motivated with a strong research track record
in one of the following areas: smart grids; power electronics; high voltage engineering or power system, which are all
essential for smart grid systems. This will include the modelling and testing of elements of smart grids with interests in
some of the following fields: distributed power systems; power management systems; machines and drives; energy
generation systems; advanced power conversion topologies; power electronics for generator interface; and DC
transmission systems.
We are seeking candidates with a record that will demonstrate they can become a leading national and international
researcher in their chosen field and build synergies across the IMPEE and ISSS Research Institutes. The appointee will
be involved in collaborative projects supported by existing colleagues within the School and be able to work in
multidisciplinary teams through the pan-university Energy Academy.
The candidate is expected to have a first degree in electrical/electronic/mechanical engineering or closely related
discipline, a PhD in one of the areas of interest to us and a track record of publications in internationally recognised
journals. It is desirable, but not essential, to have a track record of securing external research funding. A proven ability
to attract research funding and experience of teaching courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels are highly
desirable, and essential for promoted posts.
Key responsibilities of the post will be to contribute to the research, and also teaching and delivery of course material
in energy and electrical and electronic engineering. Typical courses to be taught include: high voltage systems, power
systems, smart grid modelling and design, analogue electronics, sustainable engineering, distributed generation,
demand management.
A key part of the Universities strategy is internationalisation and we would therefore expect that successful applicants
to contribute to the development of material at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, for delivery to one our
international sites.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
Work activities will vary according to the requirements of the job and individual areas of teaching and research
responsibility; however, general responsibilities are typically, but not restricted to, the following:
 actively engaging in research and actively contributing to the university’s research profile;
 publicising research through the preparation and submission of journal and conference papers and
participating in academic conferences;
 supervising students and research associates’ research work;
 actively pursuing research funding through the development of quality grant proposals;
 contributing to teaching through the delivery of lectures, tutorials and laboratories;
 assessing students’ work;
 carrying out general academic administration including student recruitment and admissions, participation on
committees and exam boards, taking responsibility for key administration tasks;
 designing, preparing and developing teaching materials, assessment material and methods;
 actively developing and implementing new teaching methods;
 mentoring students;
 undertaking continuous professional development (CPD) and participating in staff development activities;
 managing and supervising staff;
 representing the institution in a professional capacity, e.g. conferences, meetings, with industrial partners,
 establishing collaborative research and teaching links outside the university via funding councils, industry,
business and public bodies.
The successful applicants will participate in the research, teaching and administration of EPS as directed by the Head
of School at an appropriate level.
Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant
duties commensurate with the grading of the post. Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role
develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve.
Contractual Information
Job Title: Notified on appointment
School/Service: Engineering and Physical Science
Reporting to: Head of the Institute of
Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering
Grade/Salary Range:
• Assistant Professor (Grade 8) £37,756 - £45,053 or
(Grade 7) £29,837 - £36,661 DOE
 Associate Professor (Grade 9) £46,440 - £53,765;
 Professorial (Grade 10) minimum £55,375
Pension Scheme: USS
Duration of Post: Open ended
Annual leave: 33 days plus 9 Buildings Closed Days
Working Hours: Full time
Disclosure Scotland Requirement: n/a
Sickness benefits: up to 6 Months Full Pay, 6 Months Half
Start Date: August 2014 or as agreed
Person Specification
This section details the attributes e.g. skills, knowledge/qualifications and competencies which are required in order to
undertake the full remit of the role.
Education & Qualifications
(technical, professional,
academic qualifications and
training required)
CEng or working towards
CEng status
Certificates, CV
(Examples of specific
experience sought. For
Academic posts state type of
publications expected as well
as teaching, research,
professional / industrial /
commercial, consultancy,
managerial and administrative
experience )
Good range of quality
journal publications in
their chosen interest
Experience of
collaborative academicindustrial research
Application form
and interview
Demonstrates in-depth
knowledge of
Evidence of teaching
engineering students
modules in energy or
electrical and
electronic engineering.
Research funding and
making applications.
Evidence of funding –
achieved and applied for.
Has future research
plans in one or more of
the stated areas.
Competencies, Skills&
(e.g. effective communication
skills, initiative, flexibility,
leadership etc)
Good, lucid, clear
Good presentation
Means of
Lecturing and
assessment experience.
Has acquired background
knowledge of the
University and the
Demonstrates evidence
of willingness to be
involved in collaborative
Team player.
Interview and
Feedback from
academic staff.
Has teaching and
research experience in
core engineering areas.
Demonstrates willingness
to participate in
international delivery of
Shows leadership.
Explains concepts well.
initiative in teaching,
and obtaining research
Other Attributes/Abilities
(if applicable)
Special Factors (if applicable)
Essential Criteria – these are attributes without which a candidate would not be able to undertake the full remit of the
role. Applicants who do not clearly demonstrate in their application that they possess the essential requirements will
normally be eliminated at the short listing stage.
Desirable Criteria – these are attributes which would be useful for the candidate to hold. When short listing, these
criteria will be considered when more than one applicant meets the essential criteria.
Application Process
If you would like to be considered for this opportunity, please submit your CV, publication list and a 1 page statement
of how you meet the criteria in the person specification, to [email protected] no later than1st of July 2014.
For informal enquiries contact Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Head of the Institute of Mechanical, Process & Energy
Engineering at [email protected] .
For all applications and correspondence about your application, please quote ref: EPS/SG1
The University is committed to equality of opportunity.
Other Relevant Information
The School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University was founded in 2002, bringing together the
disciplines of mechanical engineering; chemical engineering; electronic, electrical and computer engineering; physics;
and chemistry. Professor Steve McLaughlin is the current Head of School. The School comprises around 120 academic
staff, 80 research associates, 80 support staff, 230 postgraduate research students, 135 students on taught postgraduate courses and approximately 1600 undergraduate students in Edinburgh, 600 students in Dubai and 120 in
Baku. The School has a turnover of around £43M, approximately one-quarter of that of the University, divided roughly
equally between research and teaching.
We pride ourselves on the student experience we offer and were ranked UK University of the Year for Student
Experience 2012/13 in the Sunday Times University Guide, as well as Scottish University of the Year 2012/13 and
2011/2012. In the 2013 National Student Survey Heriot-Watt University was ranked as the second top university in
Scotland. Chemical Engineering was ranked top in the UK for the fourth year running, Chemistry was ranked top in the
UK, and Mechanical Engineering was ranked top in Scotland. Electrical Engineering received in 2013 the National
Microelectronics Institute Award for the best UK Department in Electrical Systems and was ranked second in Scotland
for Electrical Engineering. Heriot-Watt had the highest response rate in Scotland from students confirming the
continued support and recognition by our students.
The School is active in a wide range of research areas, supported by strong external funding. The appointee will be
based in the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering (IMPEE) and with close collaborations with the
Institute of Sensors, Signals and Systems (ISSS). IMPEE is a dynamic, multidisciplinary research Institute focused on
promoting excellence across our main research themes: Energy Harvesting and Conversion, Biomedical Engineering
and Multiphase Flow. Much of our work involves strong industrial links across a range of sectors and through our
expertise, skills and experience we work together with industry to identify new areas of interest.
We offer a stimulating environment for study and research, and a lively community of over 25 academics and around
75 postgraduates and research staff. We have extensive laboratory and workshop facilities and our staff are actively
engaged in a range of high-profile research initiatives which also allow us to identify and grow new areas of interest.
ISSS is an Institute with key research topics centred in micro engineering, microwave and antenna engineering,
robotics and autonomous systems, energy and signal & Image processing. ISSS has around 23 members of staff, over
70 research staff and supports around £8M of active research projects, 90% of them having industrial partners.
The Institute was recently awarded the best UK department in Electrical Systems by the National Microelectronic
Institute. ISSS has extensive laboratories centred on high voltage engineering with the only high voltage laboratory left
in Scotland.
Energy research is a core activity at Heriot-Watt University. Through the pan-university Energy Academy, research
excellence ranges from solar energy and energy-focused materials through to energy economics, use, policy and logistics.
The perspective of energy research at the University and our interaction with the international agenda of climate change,
sustainability and security of supply has informed a 'big picture' vision of how best to match our skills base to the
emerging research and knowledge exchange challenges. Secure electricity supply is essential for all countries and smart
grids systems are at the heart of the next generation of supply and control of electrical energy. This is going to be of
increasing importance with increase electricity demand and the diversification of electricity generation. The
internationally agreed targets for emission reduction, the emerging technologies for generation of electricity from
renewable resources and the development of electrical vehicles require smart grids as a key tool for enabling these
ambitious activities.
The School is a full partner in three Scottish Higher Education Funding Council ‘research pooling initiatives’, in
chemistry (‘ScotCHEM’), physics (the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, SUPA) and in engineering and mathematics
(with the University of Edinburgh, the ‘Edinburgh Research Partnership’, ERP). The School is organised into a number
of research institutes to promote interdisciplinary research collaboration and teaching disciplines to delivery our
Undergraduate programmes.
The School’s undergraduate portfolio comprises 26 distinct accredited degree titles in our main disciplines and in
interdisciplinary topics (plus degrees in Combined Studies) offered at the bachelor and undergraduate masters level.
Recently, the EPS taught postgraduate activities have been brought together to form a graduate school which
oversees the development of new MSc programmes utilising expertise within the School. In addition to the
development and expansion of their research interests, successful applicants will contribute to the development and
delivery of new taught programmes. An appointee without appropriate teaching experience would be expected to
complete the Heriot-Watt University PG Certificate in Academic Practice.
Heriot-Watt has a strong reputation with industry for our graduates and our practical research. We are especially
pleased that Heriot-Watt is part of the world wide Chevron University Partnership Programme. There are currently 12
institutions across the world supported in this way by Chevron, and Heriot-Watt is the only institution in the UK with
support for two undergraduate programmes, namely Chemical and Mechanical Engineering. Electrical and Electronic
Engineering has a cohort of 200 undergraduate students and 50 taught postgraduate students.
We offer a range of postgraduate taught programmes in the field of energy drawing on our research activities and
exploiting synergies across the School and with other University Schools. Of particular relevance for this post are our
MSc programmes in Smart Grid and Demand Management, Renewable Energy and Distributed Generation, Energy,
Renewable Energy Engineering and Oil and Gas Technology.
These programmes along with our undergraduate programmes are to be developed for delivery to students at our
campuses in Edinburgh, Dubai and Malaysia. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to be involved with
development and delivery of material on these new programmes.
Heriot-Watt University and Values
With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and
practical, leading-edge research, which has made us one of the top UK universities for business and industry.
We’re a vibrant, forward-looking university, well known for the quality of our degrees with employers actively seeking
out our graduates.
Heriot-Watt is also Scotland’s most international university with an unsurpassed international in-country presence.
We deliver degree programmes to 11,800 students in 150 countries around the world, have campuses in Dubai and
Malaysia and boast the largest international student cohort in Scotland.
At Heriot-Watt we’ve created an environment that nurtures innovation and leadership - where our researchers, staff
and students can realise their potential and develop their ambitions.
We’re proud of our collegiate atmosphere and integrated teaching and research approach which has helped to build a
community of committed academics and highly motivated students. Our focus on careers delivers results and we’ve
an excellent reputation for graduate employability.
We have campuses in Edinburgh, the Borders, Orkney, Dubai and Malaysia where we aim to provide stimulating,
supportive environments conducive to effective learning and research, and where staff and students can excel.
At Heriot-Watt, we have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our
commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.
Our values describe our deeply held beliefs and our community spirit. They characterise not only how we are as a
higher education institution but also frame how we want to be.
Our values are:
Valuing and respecting everyone
Pursuing excellence
Pride and belonging
Shaping the future
Outward looking
As a learning, living and working institution, we use our values as the building blocks of how we go about doing our
work and how we conduct ourselves as part of Heriot-Watt University. They represent what binds us together as a
University community and help us to become the best at what we do.
It's key that all our staff feel part of our achievements, and our values provide your link to our success.
For full details on our University please view our website,
Heriot-Watt University is a charity registered in Scotland (SC000278).