Seeking a Research Fellow in Robotic Mapping

[job opportunity] Research Fellow in Robotic Mapping of Soil Moisture for Sustainable Water Management

School of Computer Science

Location:  Brayford
Salary:   From £31,656 per annum
This post is fixed term for 2 years
Closing Date:   Wednesday 31 August 2016
Interview Date:   Monday 26 September 2016
Reference:  COS301

The University of Lincoln is seeking to appoint a new Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Robotic Mapping of Soil Moisture for Sustainable Water Management to join the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems (L-CAS). The centre is internationally recognised for its research in sensing, mapping, and control for autonomous systems, and currently comprises 9 academic staff and more than 25 postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers. The successful candidate will be employed as part of an international collaborative project, involving academic institutes from UK and China, bringing together expertise in earth observation modelling, soil moisture monitoring, agricultural technology and autonomous robots. The project is funded by UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

The project seeks to develop agri-tech solutions to help alleviate the issue of water management in agriculture through development of a system for accurately measuring soil moisture distribution across a field. The project will deploy new soil moisture sensors based on measuring properties of fast neutrons (cosmic-ray sensors). A mesh of static sensors will be deployed to provide large scale measurements whilst a mobile sensor will be deployed on a bespoke autonomous vehicle to measure soil moisture variation within a field.

This Postdoctoral Research Fellowship is focussed on the area of robotic mapping for outdoor environments. Primary tasks include integration of the mobile soil moisture sensor with a new outdoor mobile robot platform and development of high-definition soil moisture mapping techniques. The project will further investigate cutting-edge research topics including semantic mapping, long-term adaptation and probabilistic modelling to accommodate seasonal variations and changing weather conditions.

The fellowship offers the opportunity to engage in international collaboration within an ambitious team, to work with state-of-the-art robotic hardware and software, and to benefit from excellent support to produce and disseminate original research contributions. The successful candidate should possess a PhD or equivalent in Computer Science, Engineering or related subjects. They will have excellent skills in robot programming and systems integration (C++, ROS). Hands-on practical experience in areas including (but not limited to) robot perception, sensor fusion, artificial intelligence and robotics middleware would also be an advantage. They will design, conduct and manage original research in the above subject areas, as well as contribute to the wider activities of L-CAS. Evidence of authorship of research outputs of international standing is essential, as is the ability to work collaboratively as part of a team, including excellent communication skills.

The University of Lincoln is a forward-thinking, ambitious institution and you will be working in the heart of a thriving, beautiful, safe and friendly city. L-CAS provides a stimulating environment for academic research, and is based in high quality, newly developed facilities.

It is anticipated that the post holder will start in Autumn 2016.

Informal enquiries about the post can be made to Dr Grzegorz Cielniak (, Prof. Tom Duckett (email: or Prof. Simon Pearson (email:

As a member of the Athena SWAN Charter we are committed to advancing gender equality in STEM, therefore female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

For further details and to apply online: