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Research Associate in Artificial Intelligence / Robotics – Multi-Agent Path Finding

Department of Computer Science

Location:  Egham
Salary:  £36,438 to £43,061 per annum - including London Allowance
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours GMT on Monday 03 January 2022
Reference:  1121-457

Full Time, Fixed Term

Outstanding candidates in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are invited to apply for a post of Research Associate in the Department of Computer Science at Royal Holloway University of London. 

The Department, established in 1968 (one of the oldest Computer Science departments in the world), is one of the top departments of Computer Science in the UK. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), it scored 11th for the quality of the research output, with a third of the publications recognised as world-leading and a further half internationally excellent (87% in total). The Department is home to outstanding researchers in algorithms and complexity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, bioinformatics, and distributed and global computing. Over the past five years, the department has undertaken an ambitious plan of expansion: fifteen new academic members of staff were appointed, new undergraduate and integrated-master programmes were created, and five new postgraduate-taught programmes were launched. The department is involved in multiple inter/multidisciplinary activities, from electrical engineering to psychology and social sciences.

The position is funded by the two-year Innovate UK grant “VersaTile – Transforming warehousing and distribution with industry leading AI planning and system controls”, held by Prof Sara Bernardini. The project will be undertaken jointly with the companies Tharsus, one of the UK's most advanced robotics companies, and JR Dynamics, an SME based in North-East England. The project stems from the significant pressure currently faced by warehousing and distribution operations to transform their systems and processes in response to increasing market demand and throughput, intense competition, and consumer preference for more variety, quicker delivery at a lower cost. The project will tackle this problem by creating and integrating an industry-leading AI-planning capability and a critical infrastructure-scale control system. The project spans service robotics, high-frequency logistics, and AI-based control system development.

The successful candidates will hold a PhD or equivalent, have a strong research record in Artificial Intelligence and/or Robotics and a strong interest in practice-driven research. Experts in AI Planning, Path Planning, Multi-Agent Systems, Autonomous Navigation, and, in general, Autonomous Systems, and Cognitive Robotics are particularly encouraged to apply. Experience in engaging with industry or contributing to outreach activities would also be valuable. The duties and responsibilities of this post include conducting individual and collaborative research on the themes of the project, developing software based on the needs of the project, writing reports on the advancement of the project, and producing high-quality outputs for publication in high-profile journals or conference proceedings.

This is a full-time and fixed term post (extensions are possible), available from January 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. We offer close interaction with industry via secondments and collaborations with world-leading research institutions in the UK and abroad

We also offer a highly competitive rewards and benefits package including:

  • Generous annual leave entitlement 
  • Training and Development opportunities
  • Pension Scheme with generous employer contribution 
  • Various schemes including Cycle to Work, Season Ticket Loans and help with the cost of Eyesight testing. 
  • Free parking 

The post is based in Egham, Surrey where the College is situated in a beautiful, leafy campus near to Windsor Great Park and within commuting distance from London.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Prof Sara Bernardini on sara.bernardini@rhul.ac.uk or +44-1784-276792.

To view further details of this post and to apply please visit https://jobs.royalholloway.ac.uk. For queries on the application process the Human Resources Department can be contacted by email at: recruitment@rhul.ac.uk 

Royal Holloway recognises the importance of helping its employees balance their work and home life by offering flexible working arrangements.   We are happy to consider a request for flexible working for this post including part time, job share or compressed working hours. 

Please quote the reference: 1121-457

Closing Date:   Midnight, 3rd January 2022

Interview Date: TBC 

We particularly welcome female applicants as they are under-represented at this level in the Department of Computer Science within Royal Holloway, University of London.

Further details:    Job Description & Person Specification    
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Royal Holloway is committed to equality and diversity, and encourages applications from all sections of the community. Read here about structures and initiatives around equality and diversity, including information on staff diversity networks.


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