Research Assistant in Mechanics of Biological Chiral Structures

RMIT University School of Engineering


Research Assistant in Mechanics of Biological Chiral Structures

Job no: 588516

Work type: Part time - Fixed term/Contract

Categories: Engineering, Research

  • Part-time, fixed-term 3-year contract based at RMIT City campus
  • Be part of a multidisciplinary research team involve in this ARC DECRA project which aims to understand the mechanics of biological chiral structures to create novel engineering designs
  • Report directly to the Professor Jie Li, Discipline Leader, Civil & Structural Engineering and Dr Zi-Long Zhao, Research Fellow
  • Remuneration at Academic Level A ($67,630 - $91,734) + 17% superannuation

About us

RMIT is a multi-sector university of technology, design and enterprise with more than 91,000 students and 11,000 staff globally. RMIT offers postgraduate, undergraduate, vocational education and online programs to provide students with a variety of work-relevant pathways.

Our purpose is to offer life-changing experiences for our students, and to help shape the world with research, innovation, teaching and industry engagement. With strong industry connections forged over 130 years, collaboration with industry remains integral to RMIT’s leadership in education, applied and innovative research, and to the development of highly skilled, globally focused graduates.


Our Values inspire us, wherever we are in the world, and guide how we live and work together.

Imagination. Agility. Courage. Passion. Impact. Inclusion.

What unites us is our purpose and our values; they are at the heart of who we are, what we stand for, how we make decisions and connect with each other.

Our people make everything at the University possible. We encourage new approaches to work and learning, stimulating change to drive positive impact. RMIT exists to create transformative experiences for our students, getting them ready for life and work. You will be a part of a productive and collaborative team, who values working relationships and outcomes through open and inclusive planning, continuous information sharing and transparent work practices.

About the College

The School of Engineering is renowned for world-class research outcomes, excellent research facilities and robust partnerships with local and international industry leaders. It comprises of seven Research focus: Aerospace Engineering and Aviation, Chemical and Environment Engineering, Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, Manufacturing, Materials and Mechatronics engineering and Mechanical and Automotive Engineering. School of Engineering is based in both, the Melbourne City campus and Bundoora campus.

Further details relating to the School/College Office may be found on at:

About You and the Role

In this position, you will play a pivotal role in contributing to

  1. devising highly efficient algorithms for identifying the length scale control and the structural complexity and connectivity control in the form-finding process (Year 1, i.e., 2020),
  2. implementing parallel strategies for ultrahigh-resolution computational morphogenesis (Year 2)
  3. performing biomechanical morphogenesis and conducting parameter analysis (Years 2 and 3), and
  4. fabricating and testing physical prototypes of the wind turbine blades and the hypodermic needles (Years 2 and 3)

Lastly, you will contribute your time to the academic output of the School, to mentor higher degree by research students and working in partnership with fellow researchers in line with the University research strategies.

You will have:

  • Proven excellent research track record in solid mechanics and structural optimisation
  • Accumulated extensive experience in computer programming and advanced manufacturing
  • Evidence of research output including publications, conference contributions and/or technical reports in the field
  • Proven ability to work effectively both as a member of a research team and independently when required, to meet project outcomes and milestones
  • Ability & capability to supervise higher degree by research students
  • Demonstrated ability to build effective networks with colleagues and generate research funding through effective liaison with industry and government
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills appropriate for interacting with research students, staff and external stakeholders, together with a strong commitment to teamwork and multidisciplinary collaboration


PhD qualified in engineering related fields (e.g., engineering mechanics and mechanical engineering), with an expertise in solid mechanics and structural optimization or have submitted thesis in the engineering related fields.

Note: Appointment to this position is subject to passing a Working with Children check.

Bring your whole self to work

We are better for our diversity. When we listen to those who are different to us, or challenge us, we grow stronger together. When we feel like we belong, we can achieve so much more.We respect each other, embrace our differences and build a sense of belonging in our team and beyond.

We’re proud to share with you some of our wins:

  • RMIT University is an Athena SWAN member with Bronze Award accreditation and the College of Science, Engineering and Health is central to driving improvements in gender equality, diversity and inclusion, particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) disciplines.
  • We are ranked #1 in the world for our efforts to reduce inequality in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2020.
  • RMIT University is placed 10th in overall Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2020, rocketing up from 82nd place in 2019.
  • We placed 11th in the 2019 Talent Board APAC Candidate Experience Awards.
  • RMIT was placed 10th in the 2019 Randstad Employer Brand Research Awards, up five spots from 2018.
  • We were named as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in 2019. 
  • We achieved Gold Employer status for LGBTIQ inclusion in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) in 2018 and now in 2019.
  • We were recognised as a top five employer in 2018 for workplace accessibility with the Australian Network on Disability.
  • The launch of our second Reconciliation Plan, Dhumbah Goorowa– a “commitment to share” - an important step in our reconciliation journey. 

To apply, please submit your CV and cover letter outlining your interest in this role. Candidates are requested to separately address the key selection criteria outlined in the position description. For any enquires please contact Professor Jie Li (  and Dr. Zi- Long Zhao (   

Download File PD - 588516 - Research Assistant - Mechanics of biological chiral structures.pdf

We are also happy to make adjustments to the recruitment process for your accessibility requirements. Please contact us via your preferred type of communication: email or call Kassie on +61399252442 with your request(s).

Applications close Friday 19th June 2020.

RMIT is an equal opportunity employer committed to being a child safe organisation. We are dedicated to attracting, retaining and developing our people regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and age. Applications are encouraged from all sectors of the community and we strongly encourage applications from the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community.

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Application close: 19 Jun 2020 11:55 PM AUS Eastern Standard Time

In your application, please refer to