Research Laboratory Technician Position
Computational and Biological Learning Lab
, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
The official advert for this position can be found here together with further information with details of terms and conditions.
We seek to recruit a highly-motivated research technician to support the work of Professor Daniel Wolpert’s research laboratory which uses virtual reality and robotic interfaces to study how humans control their movements. The group runs experiments on participants (undergraduate volunteers) who are typically required to make movements in a situation in which we control the visual environment (with virtual reality) and forces the subject experiences (with the robot).
Details of our research can be viewed in the following TED talk
Professor Wolpert's laboratory is designed for the study of arm and hand movements. The laboratory is currently equipped with
- Multiple custom-built and commercial two and three degrees-of-freedom robotic systems
Motion analysis systems
- Optotrak infrared motion tracking system
- Electromagnetic Polhemus tracking systems
- Eyelink eye tracker
- 6-axis force transducers
Visual display systems
- Stereoscopic visual display systems.
- Virtual reality systems
- Muscle Electromyography (EMG)
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
For some further details see here
Examples of completed construction projects
A typical experiment in which a participant grasps the handle of a vBOT, a custom-built robotic manipulandum, and tries to place her hand (represented by the red circle) in the white target. The participant has to learn a control strategy to keep their hand within the target despite the vBOT generating destabilising forces by simulating an inverse spring (force that increases with error and acts to exacerbate the error). The vBOT also generates random step perturbations during the task which allows the limb impedance and reflex responses (recorded by electrodes placed over the muscles) to be measured.
A custom build wearable robotic device and a participant wearing the device having their movements tracked and perturbed during a block stacking task.
The group consists of between 6 and 10 researchers at various levels of training, from MSc and PhD students to postdoctoral fellows.
The Research Technician will assist in
- Construction of equipment, including new and existing virtual reality and robotic technologies. For example, this will include assisting in the construction of new robotic arms to be used to track and perturb human movements, as well as the associated electronic control circuitry.
- Maintenance of current laboratory equipment.
- Sourcing and ordering equipment
Applicants must have strong practical skills and experience. The post would best suit someone who particularly enjoys working on electronic and mechanical construction projects and problem solving and enjoys learning new skills.
Mechanical and workshop skills
- Mechanical assembly (e.g. Robotic devices, aluminium frames)
- Maintenance of laboratory apparatus
- Maintenance of workshop facilities and stock items
- Experience with basic electronics:
- Fault finding
- Familiarity with instrumentation (e.g. oscilloscopes, multi-meters)
Must have permission to work in the UK
- Ability to work well as part of a team.
- Good communication skills
- Good documentation skills
- Basic machining skills- drilling, milling and turning
- Ability to interpret mechanical drawings
- Ability to read and interpret circuit diagrams
- Experience of electronic construction:
- High quality PCB and prototype board soldering
- Instrument panel wiring
- Circuit testing and fault finding
- Knowledge of PCB design
- Basic computer programming.
- Hardware and fault finding
- Nationally recognized qualification/apprenticeship in relevant area
There will be opportunities for the postholder to receive training in new techniques in electro-mechanical fabrication.
Salary and tenure
The post is available now, for 2 years in the first instance. Starting salary will be in the range £24,049 to 27,047 pa depending on qualifications and experience.
Pre-employment Check Requirements
The University has a legal responsibility to ensure that all new employees evidence eligibility to work in the UK before commencing their employment. Any offer of employment we make to you will be conditional upon you gaining legal permission to work in the UK if you do not have this already. Please see the Right to Work page within the ‘Applying for a job’ section of the University’s Job Opportunities pages (found at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/hr/jobs/
) for further information.
Further particulars of this vacancy may be obtained from here
or from Ms Diane Unwin (email@example.com
), Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1PZ, (tel: +44 (0)1223 748529). Applications should be sent to this address no later than Monday 25th March 2013 and should include a cover letter, a completed CHRIS/5 application form (available [[http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/hr/forms/][here]) and a current CV.
The Department of Engineering
The Department of Engineering has a world-wide reputation for first-class academic research with a 5* RAE rating. It is the largest department in the University (accounting for 10% of the University) and encompasses a huge diversity and variety of activities. The Department has six academic divisions (each equivalent to a small or medium sized department).
Benefits of Working at the University
The University of Cambridge comprises more than 150 departments, faculties, schools and other institutions, plus a central administration and 31 independent and autonomous colleges. It is one of the world’s oldest and most successful Universities, with an outstanding reputation for academic achievement and research. With excellent benefits, extensive learning opportunities and a stimulating and attractive environment, the University of Cambridge is a great place to work. Our employees are eligible for a wide range of competitive benefits and services. We give them access to numerous discounts on shopping, health care, financial services and public transport. We also offer final salary pensions and tax-efficient bicycle and car lease schemes. We have two nurseries and a holiday play scheme to help support those with childcare responsibilities and we offer various types of family-friendly leave to aid employees’ work-life balance. In addition, our staff have generous annual leave entitlement and we operate a number of initiatives to promote career development, health and well-being.
Equality of Opportunity at the University
The University of Cambridge is committed to a proactive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture and values diversity. Entry into employment with the University is determined by personal merit and by the application of criteria required for the post. No applicant for an appointment or member of staff will be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability (including HIV status), sexual orientation, religion, age or socio-economic factors. The University has various diversity networks which help it to progress equality; these include the Women’s Staff Network, the Disabled Staff Network, the Black and Minority Ethnic Staff Network and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Staff Network. In addition, the University was ranked in the top 100 employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) staff in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2011.
Information if you have a Disability
The University welcomes applications from individuals with disabilities and is committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. Adjustments will be made, wherever reasonable to do so, to enable applicants to compete to the best of their ability and, if successful, to assist them during their employment. We encourage applicants to declare their disabilities in order that any special arrangements, particularly for the selection process, can be accommodated. Applicants or employees can declare a disability at any time. Applicants wishing to discuss any special arrangements connected with their disability can, at any point in the recruitment process, contact The HR Office who are responsible for recruitment to this position, on 01223 748225 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, applicants can contact the HR Business Manager responsible for the department they are applying to via email@example.com.