Research Fellow (Resilient Robotics and Autonomous Systems for Space)

University of Warwick

Postdoctorate Position Permanent Coventry, UK

Uploaded 8 May 2019

Job Description

Would you like to join WMG’s thriving Cyber Security Centre at the University of Warwick and work with world-leading experts, improving your research portfolio? The Centre is rapidly expanding and has a wide-ranging portfolio of exciting and innovative projects requiring collaboration between academics and practitioners across a range of disciplines. 

The post holder will work on a project FAIRSPACE - Future AI and Robotics for Space, which has been funded by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) to establish a national hub in space Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) that ensures the UK is perceived internationally as a leading nation in the field. The scope of FAIRSPACE will involve all types of robotics used on orbit or planet surfaces, to allow: 

  1. future orbital robots capable of repairing satellites, assembling large space telescopes, manufacturing assets in space, capturing and removing space junk: 
  2. future planetary robots capable of close examination of extra-terrestrial bodies, mining resources in situ, and constructing infrastructures for human arrival and permanent habitation. 

The Cyber Security Centre is a rapidly expanding multi-disciplinary centre with a wide range of projects from funders including Research Councils, Innovate UK, EC, Government, and industry. The Centre leads the cyber activity across the University of Warwick, which is an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, as recognised by EPSRC and GCHQ. The Cyber Security Centre draws on experience from academics and practitioners working across a number of disciplines to address significant challenges faced in protecting digitally-controlled physical systems and the people using and inhabiting them. 

You will undertake research on the project FAIRSPACE - Future AI and Robotics for Space, which has been funded by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) As project lead within the Cyber Security Centre at WMG, you will assist the Principal Investigator and Project Collaborators in the successful execution of the project. 



To support the mapping out of a library of key components and architectural designs for space RAS. 

To undertake an analysis of the cyber security landscape for space RAS. 

To work within a team that will generate high fidelity HPC-based modelling, visualisation and simulation of three use-case scenarios, incorporating AR/VR and human interaction.

To research into formalisation and logical properties for the key verification dimensions for space and their contribution into a scalable, flexible and applicable range of verification tools. 


  1. To establish a sound research base within the Department in order to pursue individual and collaborative research of high quality consistent with making a full active research contribution to the Department in line with its research strategy. 
  2. To secure, in collaboration with colleagues as appropriate, external funding through research grants or contracts to support a developing research agenda. 
  3. To manage research projects within the University, which includes supervising post-doctoral research assistant, research students, technical and other support staff engaged in research. 
  4. To consider the value of research achievements within their potential commercial context and where appropriate and with the assistance of the Research Support Services, take appropriate action to protect such research results by patent application or copyright to the potential benefit of the University. 
  5. To publish research outcomes in appropriate journals of international standing and to publish and disseminate the result of research and scholarship in other reputable outlets, and attend and present research findings and papers at academic and professional conferences. 
  6. Where appropriate and expedient, to secure contract work to the benefit of (your) research activity and to provide resources to underpin this activity. 
  7. To attend and present research findings and papers at academic and professional conferences, and to contribute to the external visibility of the department. 
  8. To contribute to the research plans developed by the Department, including providing such information as may be required by the Department to monitor the progress of each member of staff’s research programme and to support the Department fully in the preparation of material required for the REF or similar activities. 

Administration and Other Activities 

  1. To undertake such specific departmental roles and management functions as may be reasonably required by the Head of Department. 
  2. To attend departmental meetings and to participate (where necessary) in other committees and working groups within the department, the faculty and the University. 
  3. To participate in relevant professional activities. 
  4. To engage in continuous professional development. 
  5. To undertake external commitments, which reflects well and enhance the reputation of the University. 
  6. To ensure compliance with health and safety in all aspects of work. 

The duties and responsibilities outlined are not intended to be an exhaustive list but provide guidance on the main aspects of the job. The postholder will be required to be flexible in their duties.

Person Specification

The Person Specification focuses on the knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications required to undertake the role effectively. This is measured by (a) Application Form, (b) Test/Exercise, (c) Interview, (d) Presentation.

Essential Criteria 1 Honours degree, 2.1 or above in a cyber security related discipline (eg Maths, Physics, Computer Science) (a)

Essential Criteria 2 PhD in a relevant discipline (a)

Essential Criteria 3 Knowledge and understanding of Space Systems and their operation (a) (c) (d)

Essential Criteria 4 Good effective communication (oral and written) skills, presentation and training skills (a) (c) (d)

Essential Criteria 5 Good interpersonal skills (c)

Essential Criteria 6 Ability or potential to publish excellent work in relevant fields (a) (c)

Essential Criteria 7 Ability to work independently and as part of a team on research programmes to tight deadlines (a) (c)

Essential Criteria 8 Ability to initiate, plan organise, implement and deliver programmes of work (a) (c)

Essential Criteria 9 A range of Quantitative and/or Qualitative research skills (a) (c)

Desirable Criteria 1 Proven ability to initiate, develop and deliver high quality research in relevant fields and to publish in peer reviewed journals related to space systems (a) (c)

Desirable Criteria 2 Knowledge of cyber security, including trustworthy artificial intelligence for anomaly detection (a) (c)

Desirable Criteria 3 Proven ability to support the generation of external funding (grants, contracts etc) to support research projects (a) (c)

Desirable Criteria 4 A developing track record in producing high quality academic publications (a) (c)

Desirable Criteria 5 Ability to write research reports and papers in styles accessible to both academic and policy audiences (a) (c)