Research Associate in Integrated Revision Control and Management of Digital and Physical Prototypes

University of Bristol

United Kingdom

Job number: ACAD104183
Division/School: School of Civil, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Contract type: Open Ended
Working pattern: Full time
Salary£33,199 - £37,345
Closing date for applications: 30-Sep-2019


Please note we are also recruiting for another position ACAD104182.

You will join a large, diverse and dynamic research group in one of the UK's top engineering faculties. In addition to being part of the Design and Manufacturing Futures Laboratory ( you will fulfil a key role in a large interdisciplinary research team working on a four-year EPSRC-funded project.

The project, Prototwinning, is concerned with the creation of tools and methods to enable seamless integration between the digital and physical domains in engineering prototyping and design. The research challenges include: twinning of prototypes; development of tools, technologies, and prototyping platforms; integrated revision control and automatic learning, and data-driven design. The project has been running for 9 months and with the addition of the two Post-Doctoral Research Associates being advertised there will be a team of 4 PDRAs and 4 PhDs on the project.


Current workstreams include:

Digital / physical prototyping hardware and advanced prototype technologies.
Digital / physical model twinning, including rapid digitisation and automatic manufacturing / prototype modification.
Technologies and processes that enable seamless workflow using augmented and virtual realities.
Data-driven design and artificial intelligence in prototyping, and how learning and designs can be integrated into workflow and physical prototypes

You will work closely with members of the project team leading a focused programme of research and supporting related areas of work. Your research focus will be mainly concerned with the digital capture, creation, monitoring, measurement, and control of virtual prototypes and models. Specifically, this programme is concerned with:

Researching and implementing methods for capturing and managing records/collections of physical and digital prototypes. This includes, for example, cardboard models, 3D printed models and sketches, CAD models and numerical models respectively.
Developing the principles of version, control and management in combined digital/physical prototyping and seamless digital/physical workflow. This will include tracking and managing changes to prototype models, capture of lessons learned and rationale, and increase of traceability and best practice in physical/digital workflow.
Methods for automatically learning from collections of prototypes. This will include automatic learning from analysis of design collections, as well as exploration of data-driven design strategies and integration into prototyping.


This post is offered on a full time for two years. It is anticipated that interviews will take place shortly after the closing date.

Informal enquiries can be made to Professor Ben Hicks ( or Dr Chris Snider (

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

In your application, please refer to