Research Assistant/Associate in Spacecraft Propulsion

Job summary

This project will involve the design, development and testing of a novel spacecraft micro-propulsion system based on water propellant called the Iridium Catalysed Electrolysis (ICE) propulsion system. The ICE propulsion system is a MEMS-based thruster that uses a novel Iridium catalyser to chemically react hydrogen and oxygen at relatively low temperatures. The propellants produced in-situ using water electrolysis. If successful, this...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG01650
  • Date posted 15 April 2021
  • Closing date 30 April 2021

Job description

Job summary

This project will involve the design, development and testing of a novel spacecraft micro-propulsion system based on water propellant called the Iridium Catalysed Electrolysis (ICE) propulsion system. The ICE propulsion system is a MEMS-based thruster that uses a novel Iridium catalyser to chemically react hydrogen and oxygen at relatively low temperatures. The propellants produced in-situ using water electrolysis. If successful, this technology would be the first electrolysis propulsion system capable of generating thrust continuously. This capability would avoid pulsed mode performance losses and lead to a significantly more compact design. The focus of this activity will be on the manufacture and laboratory demonstration of the MEMS thruster chip within the Imperial Aeronautics large space simulation vacuum facility (Boltzmann chamber). Further aims of this post will be to support parallel activities within the group toward the development of a multi-mode chemical + electric propulsion architecture using water propellant.

Duties and responsibilities


  • Design and construct the experimental setup with the Boltzmann vacuum chamber

  • Conduct thermal profile measurements of the ICE thruster using a thermal imaging camera

  • Conduct direct thrust measurements of the ICE thruster using a pendulum thrust balance

  • To present findings to colleagues

  • To attend relevant workshops and conferences as necessary



  • Publishing research in leading journals



  • To develop contacts within the College and the wider community

  • To promote the reputation of the Group, the Department and the College



  • Engaging with industrial project partners

Essential requirements

Research Associate – Must hold a PhD (or equivalent) specializing in spacecraft propulsion or a closely related discipline, or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience

Research Assistant – Should be near completion of a PhD (or equivalent) specializing in spacecraft propulsion or a closely related discipline, or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience

 

Further information

* This post is available until the 28th February 2022

 

Applications will be considered as they are received. Informal enquiries regarding the position can be made to Dr Aaron Knoll (a.knoll@imperial.ac.uk)

Should you have any queries relating to the recruitment process please contact: Lisa Kelly (l.kelly@imperial.ac.uk)

For technical issues when applying online, please contact: recruitment@imperial.ac.uk

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level. http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research/

 

Documents

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations: 

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way 

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

For technical issues when applying online please email support.jobs@imperial.ac.uk.