Post-Doctoral Research Assistant ( Robotics)

 Post-Doctoral Research Assistant ( Robotics) , Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS), National Marine Facilities (NMF), National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOC)

About the role:

A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a Robotic Systems and Software Engineer to join the Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS) group at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. The National Oceanography Centre is the United Kingdom’s centre of excellence for oceanographic sciences, with the remit to provide national capability and leadership for big ocean science.

You will be joining a team of enthusiastic engineers who are designing and operating the NOC fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and are developing new concepts in marine autonomous systems (MAS).

The MARS group at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK is seeking to recruit postdoctoral research fellows that will have a key research role for the development of smart networks and AI Based Navigation for dynamic underwater environments.

The successful candidates will conduct their research within the MARS group working on the Innovate UK project “Enabling low cost AUV technology: Development of smart networks & AI based navigation for dynamic underwater environments” with the goal of leading the development of acoustic, network-based, localisation and navigation algorithms for robotic platforms.

We are looking for highly-motivated young scientist/engineer with a background and PhD in automatic control and/or robotics and a well-established publication record among these respective areas:

  • UUV modelling and simulation
  • robotic localisation and navigation
  • acoustic-based localisation means such as Long-Base Line and Ultra-Short Base Line
  • underwater communication systems.

Strong competencies in C/C++/Python programming and MATLAB are essential.

This is a Fixed Term Appointment, available for one year offered on NERC terms and conditions and is open to internal and external candidates.


This is a Band 6 position and the starting salary will be £28,200 - £32,000 per annum. Depending upon skills and experience, a salary uplift and/or additional allowances may be available for exceptional candidates.

Hours of Work: 

The hours of working are full time, 37 hours per week, Monday to Friday.

About you:

Applicants should have a PhD in Software Engineering, Robotics or a related area. Excellent software implementation skills (C++/Python) are essential. Desirable skills include practical experience in robotics, expertise in UUV modelling, simulation and navigation. Experience in acoustic-based localisation means such as Long-Base Line or Ultra-Short Base Line is also desirable, as well as familiarity with robotics middleware (e.g. ROS) and other relevant software packages. Additional desirable requirements include a good publication record, strong written and verbal English communication skills, organisation and teamwork.

The successful applicant will to be part of a team developing a cutting edge next generation robotic software, command and control systems for autonomous platforms. A commitment to producing quality solutions, ensuring a high degree of accuracy and close attention to detail and a disciplined approach to analysing and resolving problems is required. The successful candidate will be self-motivated, pro-active, flexible and innovative with the ability to work within a team and able to communicate complex engineering concepts to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

What we can offer you:

Here at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) we know that the quality of our science and the impact that we want it to have depends entirely on the knowledge, skills and engagement of our people. The NOC is committed to being recognised as a flexible employer to support employees’ work and personal commitments where possible. Our flexi-time system and flexible working policy contribute to this important aim.

In return for your talents, we offer a competitive remuneration package, including a RCUK pension scheme, 30 days annual leave with a further 14 Public/local days off and free car-parking. NOC supports opportunities for further training and development.

For more information visit Working at NOC

About us:

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is a national research organisation, delivering integrated marine science and technology from the coast to the deep ocean and is one of the top five institutions of its kind in the world. With sites in Liverpool and Southampton, it is the UK’s leading centre for sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development.     

From April 2018, the NOC, a component part of the Natural Environment Research Council, will be part of UK Research and Innovation.  UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England.  The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world.  More information can be found online at  From April 2018, you will be employed by UK Research and Innovation.

The Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS) group at National Oceanography Centre develops, operates and maintains the UK’s marine science robotic fleet. The fleet is housed in a new state of the art facility which is ranked as one of the best in Europe. The fleet consists of large propeller driven AUVs, subsea gliders, unmanned surface vehicles and ROVs. This fleet, amongst the largest of its kind, is used by the UK science community and wider stakeholders to address global marine science questions. It operates worldwide from the coast to the deep oceans and the vehicles have been deployed beneath glacial ice tongues in Antarctica, under sea ice in the Arctic and have operated in every ocean in between. 

The MARS group is working on UK and EU-funded projects with other partners in the UK and Europe, both research institutes and commercial companies.

Informal enquiries relating to the post should be directed to Dr Alex Phillips ( or 02380 591855).

Our Commitment as an Employer:

The NOC is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. There is a guaranteed interview scheme for suitable candidates with disabilities and we welcome applications from ethnic minorities currently under-represented. The NOC is an Investors in People organisation, is a member of Athena SWAN and has signed up to the Athena SWAN principles to recognise work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly.

How to apply:

All internal and external applications are handled by the UK Shared Business Services Ltd (UK SBS). For further information about the role and to apply, please visit our website at quoting reference number IRC244075. To apply, please submit an up-to-date CV (including covering letter explaining how your skills and experience meet the requirements of the role). If you are unable to apply online, please contact us by telephone on 00 44 (0) 1793 867003.

Closing date: 
Sunday 11 March 2018