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Professor Autonomous Vehicle Systems

  • Job Reference: REQ006052
  • Date Posted: Wednesday, 6 October 2021
  • Application Closing Date: Wednesday, 3 November 2021
  • Location: Preston Campus
  • Grade/Salary: Management Contract (competitive salary)
  • Basis: Indefinite
  • Job Category / Type: Academic Research
  • School/Service: School of Psychology and Computer Science
  • Hours: Full time (37 hours per week - 1.0 FTE)
  • Interview Date: To be confirmed

This is an exciting opportunity to join a thriving Faculty of Science and Technology to enhance the research leadership in the School of Psychology and Computer Science. This post has been created to help consolidate and build on existing research excellence around drone technology. We are especially keen to strengthen our research on the following priority topics, although relevant research expertise in any area of autonomous vehicle systems will be considered:

  • Intelligent systems for control, vision or contextual awareness
  • Systems integration and engineering
  • Vehicle communications and security
  • Drone simulation environments

This is a key leadership role where you will have the opportunity to drive forward the future development of autonomous vehicle research and innovation within the university, as well as the region more widely. This work is integrated into our flagship £35m Engineering Innovation Centre which provides a fantastic environment for research and skills development. You will work in partnership with experts from across the University including colleagues in the Faculty’s established Drone Centre with multi-million pound research and innovation projects under management. There will be opportunities to contribute to the Future Mobility programme, which encompasses leading research on the development of drones, autonomous systems and AI in traffic management and smart cities. You will also be able to engage with advanced engineering research conducted in the Centre for Engineering.

We offer staff a supportive, inclusive and collegiate environment. We are well resourced, with an extensive range of state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment and teaching facilities. The School has a thriving community of PhD and MSc students and has strong links with international universities, regional industrial partners, community bodies and professional bodies.

Essential criteria for the post in terms of qualifications and work experience include having: a PhD (or equivalent) in a specific topic relevant to the post; a significant track record of research leadership, including the management of research teams; a sustained output of world-class research and publications in the area of autonomous vehicle systems; a proven track record of successfully supervising research students at doctoral level; a background of securing research funding from a variety of grant awarding bodies and sponsors; and a significant contribution by scholarship, research, consultancy or practice in the area of autonomous vehicle systems.

In terms of skills and abilities, the essential criteria include: excellent communication skills across a wide range of media; negotiation and influencing skills and a flexible approach which responds to the challenges of change; strategic thinking and project management skills, including excellent time management; and an ability to deal with complex situations.

Applicants need to meet all essential criteria on the person specification to be considered for interview. Please provide a CV in with your application with details of your track record.

For informal enquiries please contact the Faculty Director of Research, Professor Linden J Ball (

This position is based in Preston.

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