Research Associate / Fellow in Computer Science

University of York Department of Computer Science

Research Associate / Research Fellow (MARCH Project)

Department:Computer Science
Based at:University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work:Full-time
Contract status:Fixed term
Salary:32,817 - 49,553 a year
Interview Date:To be confirmed
Posted Date:29/09/2020
Apply by:28/10/2020
Job Reference:8838

Role Description


A cross-disciplinary team of researchers from the Universities of York and Sheffield are working together on an exciting new EPSRC-funded project, MARCH (Magnetic Architectures for Reservoir Computing Hardware), to design and use magnetic materials as embodied reservoir computers, developing novel multi-reservoir architectures, and applying them to real world tasks including robot control.

Such devices have been demonstrated in the individual small scale.  Now is the time for these systems to be scaled up to provide sufficient and appropriate computational power for real world tasks, and combined in diverse configurations to perform together complex tasks.

Our aim is to develop this scalable embodied Reservoir Computing (RC), including a new design methodology and hardware platform for multi-reservoir devices, that can be exploited to design low power, robust, flexible, and efficient smart sensing and other ‘edge-computing’ devices in a diverse range of materials.

To achieve this, we will develop new multi-RC design tools, and will design, test and manufacture combinations of nanomagnetic RCs. This toolset and manufacture will provide a robust and reliable testbed on which we will develop and evaluate scalable RC architectures that can be configured for a range of practical computing tasks.  We will demonstrate the resulting multi-reservoir architecture in an audio-controlled robot: a `turtle' following simple spoken LOGO-like commands, controlled purely by magnetic reservoirs, with no onboard digital computers.

We are recruiting a team of outstanding postdoctoral researchers in Unconventional Computing, Analogue Electronic Engineering, and Magnetic Materials Science, to work with us on the leading-edge research needed to achieve the MARCH project’s ambitious objectives.


In this role,

  1. Exploiting simulations developed by the Material Science RA, you will design and evaluate magnetic hardware configurations that can exhibit a wide range of reservoir properties
  2. You will design and evaluate novel reservoir computer architectures; in particular, you will design and evaluate a range of multi-reservoir architectures, and evaluate their performances across a range of simulated and physical tasks
  3. You will collaborate with the other project researchers to develop the demonstrator applications
  4. You will co-supervise summer intern students developing small demonstrator applications

Skills, Experience & Qualifications needed

Grade 6

  • PhD, or equivalent research experience, in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, or similar technical area
  • Excellent research software development skills, including testing, versioning, and integration with other tools
  • Desire to work in a cross-disciplinary team
  • An interest in unconventional computing
  • Knowledge of Artificial Neural Networks and/or Reservoir Computing
  • Knowledge of robotics applications
  • Experience of carrying out both independent and collaborative research
  • Knowledge of a range of research techniques and methodologies

Grade 7

  • Essential – PhD, or equivalent research experience, in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, or similar technical area
  • Essential – excellent research software development skills, including testing, versioning, and integration with other tools
  • Essential – desire to work in a cross-disciplinary team
  • Essential – an interest in unconventional computing
  • Desirable – knowledge of Artificial Neural Networks and/or Reservoir Computing
  • Desirable – knowledge of robotics applications
  • Has research expertise in an area that will complement and enhance the department's research strategy and goals
  • Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide-ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media
  • Experience of undertaking publicly evidenced high quality research
  • Collaborative ethos
  • Willingness to work proactively with colleagues in other work areas/institutions

By applying, you are agreeing that we can share your information with The University of Sheffield. In your cover letter, please list examples of how you fulfil each of the role requirements.

Interview date:  To be confirmed

For informal enquiries: please contact Professor Susan Stepney on

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