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Research Associate: Satellite Payload Testing and Flight Operations
Sackville Street, Manchester

Job reference: S&E-14418

Location: Sackville Street, Manchester

Closing date (DD/MM/YYYY): 16/09/2019

Salary: £32,236 to £39,609 per annum (according to relevant experience)

Employment type: Fixed Term

Faculty/Organisation: Science and Engineering

Division: Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering

Hours per week: Full Time

Contract Duration: 12 Months From Start Date

DISCOVERER is a Horizon 2020 funded programme in the Future and Emerging Technologies theme. It envisions a radical redesign of Earth observation platforms for sustained operation at significantly lower altitudes than the current state of the art, using a combination of new aerodynamic materials, aerodynamic control and atmosphere-breathing electric propulsion for drag-compensation, for a variety of observation methods with the aim of creating a new platform paradigm.

This vision requires foundational research in spacecraft aerodynamic characterisation, in material aerodynamics and atomic oxygen resistance, in electric propulsion, and control methods.

The 4¼ year programme, led by the University of Manchester, involves the development, build and use of a new rarified-flow, atomic oxygen wind tunnel for materials testing, and will culminate in the launch of CubeSat to test aerodynamic materials and control strategies which will be operated from the University.

Under the guidance of Dr Peter Roberts, the PI for the DISCOVERER programme, you’ll be working with a variety of consortium members in the development of the aerodynamics and materials test satellite, a CubeSat being developed in collaboration with GomSpace and UCL.

The University of Manchester is responsible for the experimental design, the aerodynamics and materials test payload, launch and operations, and finally the scientific exploitation of the flight data. One of several research positions at the University funded by DISCOVERER, this role will support the design, development, test, qualification and operation of the University’s payload, be responsible for the implementation and operation of the University’s new ground station, and support operations of the satellite.

The School is committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for promoting women’s careers in STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) in higher education. The School holds a Bronze Award for their commitment to the representation of women in the workplace and we particularly welcome applications from women for this post. All appointments will be made on merit. For further information, please visit:

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies

Enquiries about vacancy shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Dr. Peter Roberts


Tel: 0161 306 4636

General enquiries:


Tel:  0161 275 4499

Technical support:


Tel:  0161 850 2004

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date

Further Particulars



The closing date for this job has now passed.