Job offer in Ireland Post Doctoral Researcher – Investigate Optimal Parameters for the Laser Welding of Polymers at IT (Institute of Technology), Sligo

Length of Contract: 18 months from the start date
Closing Date: Friday, 30th August 2019 at 12 Noon
Grade: Post Doctoral Researcher


The Institute’s Centre for Precision Engineering, Materials and Manufacturing research (PEM Research Centre) is a partner in a successful Interreg 1.1 application that is developing an Advanced Manufacturing Research programme specifically for the Health and Life Science Sector. The other main academic partners include Catalyst, University of Ulster, LyIT, and University of Glasgow in addition to a number of manufacturing companies. The programme will fund a number of PhD and Post-doctoral projects that are industrially focused. The areas that the proposed research programme include are, sustainable manufacturing, with the PEM Research Centre leading out on, advanced polymer products, nano-manufacturing and also polymeric and metallic Additive Manufacturing. The PEM Research Centre is collaborating with Abbott Diagnostics based in Sligo on one of the Industrial research projects within the programme and now has an opportunity to recruit a Research & Development Engineer/Scientist to work specifically on this project.

Description of Post 

The postdoctoral researcher will contribute to the Abbott project “Investigate optimal parameters for the laser welding of polymers” working with Principal Investigators Dr. David Tormey and Dr. Richard Sherlock. Specifically, the job requires specific knowledge, ideally in the following areas: laser physics, laser characterization and control, polymer science, numerical modeling methods relevant to heat dissipation. The successful candidate will also be expected to contribute to the formulation and submission of research publications and research proposals as well as help manage and direct this complex and challenging project as opportunities allow.

Essential Qualifications/Skills

  • PhD qualification (or equivalent research experience – 4 year full time research after primary degree) in one of the following, Physics, Manufacturing Engineering, Polymer Science, or a cognate discipline associated with these areas.
  • Science, where semi conductor lasers and/or optics was a major topic.
  • Experience of working in a research and/or development project desirable. This experience may have been gained in a work environment or during the course of postgraduate study.
  • Specialist theoretical and practical knowledge in more than one of the following areas:
    • The use of lasers as manufacturing tools
    • Welding and joining of polymer materials
    • Development of integrated automated systems using LabView or related hardware/software
    • Process monitoring and control
    • Mechanical testing
    • Polymer materials characterization
    • Numerical modelling using software tools such as Comsol, ABAQUS, ANSYS or MatLab, preferably in areas related laser welding of polymers.
  • A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of the wider subject area as well as the candidate’s own subject specialism.
  • Evidence of hands-on problem-solving ability.
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines and complete tasks within the timescales demanded by industrial partners.
  • Demonstrable ability to work effectively and flexibly as part of a cross-disciplinary team.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex data/concepts clearly and concisely.
  • Track record of significant academic outputs including peer review publications, and conference papers.                    

Essential Skills:

  • The ability to design and build a customizable laser welding demonstrator with integral control appropriate for conducting experimental trials.
  • The ability to undertake detailed characterisation of laser welding processes.
  • Knowledge of appropriate microscopy techniques for polymer characterization.
  • Research creativity and cross-discipline collaborative ability as appropriate.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach
  • Appropriate workload/time/project/budget/people management skills.
  • Extensive IT and statistical data analysis/interpretation skills as appropriate.
  • Self-motivation, initiative and independent thought/working.
  • Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach.
  • Good Team Leadership skills.
  • Ability to work creatively and diligently with little supervision.
  • Ability for independent thought and initiative in progressing research.
  • Demonstrable ability in mentoring and supporting postgraduate students.
  • Ability to demonstrate a degree of independence as illustrated by identification of project objectives from assessment of the literature, design & analysis of experiments & drafting of papers.

Desirable Experience

  • Industrial/Manufacturing Experience preferably in a medical device or GMP manufacturing environment.
  • Sufficient breadth and/or depth of knowledge in specialist subject/discipline and of research/teaching methods and techniques to work with lasers for welding polymer materials.
  • Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner.
  • A track record of presentation and publication of research results in quality journals/conferences.
  • Experience of making a leading contribution in academic activities.
  • Experience in undertaking independent research.
  • An emerging national or international reputation.  


Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Perform the following activities in conjunction with and under the guidance of the Principal/Co Investigator and Industry partner:

  1. Plan and conduct assigned research individually or jointly in accordance with the project deliverables and PEM Centre’s research strategy.
  2. Document research output including analysis and interpretation of all data, maintaining records and databases, drafting technical/progress reports and papers as appropriate.
  3. Participate in communication with Abbott diagnostics.
  4. Develop and enhance research profile and reputation and that of the Institute of Technology, Sligo/PEM Research Centre/School of Engineering and Design, including contributing to publications of international quality in high profile/quality refereed journals, enhancing the research impact in terms of economic/societal benefit, and gathering indicators of esteem.
  5. Contribute to the presentation of work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance the PEM Centre’s research profile.
  6. Contribute to the identification of potential funding sources and to assist in the development of proposals to secure funding from internal and external bodies to support future research.
  7. Collaborate with academic colleagues and participate in team/group meetings/seminars/workshops across the Institute’s Research community and wider regional shareholder community (e.g. Academic and Industrial Partners).
  8. Contribute to the PEM Research Centre’s, supervision, mentoring and training of postgraduate students of the project team to ensure their effective development.
  9. Perform administrative tasks related to the activities of the PEM Research Centre reporting responsibilities to the project Coordinator, including, procurement compliance, Budgets/Expenditure and time keeping records.
  10. Be responsible for safety management related to the organisation and running of Laboratory and/or Experimental techniques, equipment and processes as appropriate.
  11. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline.
  12. Engage in personal, professional and career development to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.
  13. Undertake any other duties of equivalent standing as assigned by the Lead PI/Co-PI.
  14. Perform the above duties with a higher degree of independence, leadership and responsibility, particularly in relation to planning, funding, collaborating and publishing research, and mentoring PhD postgraduates.
  15. Establish and sustain a track record of independent and joint published research to establish and maintain PEM Centre’s research reputation in the subject area.
  16. Survey the research literature and environment, understand the research challenges associated with the project & subject area, & develop/implement a suitable research strategy.

These key tasks are not intended to be exhaustive but simply highlight a number of major tasks which the staff member may be reasonably expected to perform.


€37,223 to €48,205 (10 Points) with all new appointees starting on point 1.

(4 years full time research after primary degree) 

Return of Applications

On-line Applications: Applications must be submitted on-line by the advertised closing date and time. If you commence the online application process and the closing time is approaching you will receive a message letting you know that the competition is closing in X minutes. You will have to complete your application and submit same within the time advised, otherwise your application will be deemed to be late and will not be considered. 

Informal enquires contact Dr. David Tormey,, +353+71-91-55496


This project is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).


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