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University Academic Fellow in Simulation Solutions for Vehicle Automation

Are you an academic with proven abilities to carry out teaching and research in computer science, vehicle simulation or engineering, with a particular emphasis on automated vehicles? Do you have an excellent research record and proven success obtaining funding? Are you passionate about delivering an exceptional student experience in a research-intensive Russell Group University? Do you aspire to become an academic leader in your field?

In a bid to improve road safety, reliability, energy efficiency and productivity, while reducing infrastructure costs, vehicle manufacturers are increasing the degree of automation in cars. These systems reduce the driver’s involvement in the actual operation of the vehicle, and increasing their potential to engage in other tasks, such as reading emails, texting etc.

As automation penetration increases, it is not clear how humans will interact with these systems and what the real consequences of vehicle and road automation are. With its world leading Virtuocity centre, incorporating an immersive simulation suite which includes a motion-based driving simulator and state-of-the-art, EPSRC-funded, pedestrian-in-the-loop simulator, the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) is at the forefront of understanding the human factors challenges these automated systems pose.

Members of the Human Factors and Safety group at ITS are partners in a number of leading projects in this area, including HumanDrive, funded by Innovate UK, and the EU-sponsored interAct and L3Pilot projects, which are investigating solutions for a human-centred design of these systems, as well as their verification and validation. Driverless cars have stimulated a new set of research needs relating to the redesign of traffic systems, legal frameworks, business models and environmental performance and the University of Leeds provides the perfect environment to leverage the multidisciplinary interaction between data analytics, artificial intelligence and immersive simulation, while ensuring the needs of the driver and other, more vulnerable, road users are taken into account.

This fellowship position is available in a vibrant research market, with over £500M of funding opportunities in the driverless car research area supported by multiple funding paths, including the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Meridian Mobility Technology, UKRI, Innovate UK, and the European Commission, as well as through direct collaboration with a wide range of industrial partners. You will be expected to develop your own research portfolio in this area, contributing to the University’s ambition to excel at the UK’s next Research Excellence Framework (REF2020), with a sustained record of internationally excellent (and some world-leading) publications, and a strong record of presentations at international conferences.

In partnership with colleagues at ITS, you will be encouraged to develop research proposals in this field, as well as working closely with our internal and external collaborators. The post holder will be able to apply knowledge from Engineering, Computer Science, or other relevant disciplines to understand developments in simulation, sensors, Artificial Intelligence, and control technologies, and have an appreciation of how humans will interact with the next generation of automated vehicles.

A key role of the post-holder will be to strengthen the link between the engineering and human factors aspects of this work, and you will be expected to play a key part in bringing together interests in automation research across the University of Leeds, working closely with colleagues from Virtuocity, Psychology, Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, the School of Computing, and Leeds Robotics, with an aim to build critical mass for contribution to a cross-disciplinary PhD training programme in automation, simulation and immersive technologies. You will contribute to current and future Masters teaching at ITS, and to the recruitment and supervision of doctoral students in the area.

This University Academic Fellowship (UAF) is for future academic leaders providing an excellent opportunity to establish an academic career at a research intensive university and play a key role in our ambitious plans for the future. You will embark on a structured five year development programme, successful completion of which will lead to your appointment as a grade 9 Associate Professor.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Prof Natasha Merat, Research Group Leader for Human Factors and Safety

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 6614, email:


Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Environment
School/Institute:  Institute for Transport Studies
Category:  Academic
Grade:  Grade 8
Salary:  £40,792 to £48,677 p.a.
Successful completion of a five-year probationary period leading to confirmation as a Grade 9 Associate Professor
Working Time:  100%
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Ongoing
Release Date:  Thursday 18 October 2018
Closing Date:  Sunday 18 November 2018
Reference:  ENVTR1078
Downloads:  Candidate Brief  

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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