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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

Principal Researcher – Thermoelectric Materials and Nanostructures

SF-02 Principal Researcher – Theory of Thermoelectric Materials and Nanostructures

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

Tyndall National Institute is a leading European research centre in integrated ICT (Information and Communications Technology) hardware and systems. Specialising in both electronics and photonics – materials, devices, circuits and systems – we are globally leading in our core research areas of:

•            Nano materials and device processing

•            Smart sensors and systems

•            Optical communication systems

•            Microelectronic and photonic integration

•            Mixed signal and analog circuit design

•            Semiconductor wafer fabrication

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork has an established Thermoelectric materials modelling team who have been developing new concepts and computational methods in thermoelectric transport and investigating the design and properties of promising thermoelectric materials and devices with potential applications in the areas of power generation for smart sensors in the ambient environment and of active cooling and temperature control for photonic and electronic devices. An active interaction exists with related academic schools in the University and research staff are encouraged to participate in graduate and undergraduate teaching in relevant areas. The team specializes primarily in the development and application of methods to calculate the thermal and electrical transport properties of homogeneous materials and of composite nanoscale structures (e.g. grain boundaries, domain walls, nanoscale inclusions, alloy fluctuations and point defects), using first-principles electronic structure theory, classical interatomic force and quantum electron-phonon coupling models.  The team has worked mainly with IV-IV and V-VI materials that have high thermoelectric figures of merit, investigating how alloying, strain and nanoscale structure may be used to further enhance thermoelectric efficiency. The primary goal is to further develop predictive methods for the design of new nano-engineered materials and devices with enhanced capabilities and to apply these developments with experimental groups at the Tyndall National Institute and international groups worldwide to guide the fabrication of new materials, devices and systems with improved thermoelectric performance.

Funding for this work has been provided by global industry players, Science Foundation Ireland and the EU H2020 programme

The Group now wishes to hire a Principal Researcher in the Theory of Thermoelectric Materials and Nanoscale Structures. This position will report to the Head of Group.

Responsible for the management and delivery of all aspects of background theory, large-scale computational analysis and modelling of thermoelectric materials and novel, nanoscale structures, as well as interfacing with experimental efforts to realize and apply new concepts and materials in devices for use in smart sensors and active temperature control of devices.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage and sustain a growing research team in thermoelectric technology and applications, generating world-beating, high impact, research outputs that will deliver highly trained graduate students, innovative technology platforms, commercialisable intellectual property and key publications and presentations in leading journals and international conferences.
  • Provide leadership, management, coaching, mentoring and career development for an experienced team of professional research staff, and postgraduate students.
  • Secure sustainable funding from both industry and public organisations such as SFI, EI and EU Horizon Europe in order to increase the scale of the team and to ensure its long term sustainability.
  • Lead the definition and implementation of the Team’s strategic research agenda and roadmap in line with Tyndall’s strategic research plans and in conjunction with Tyndall senior management.
  • Attract and recruit world-class research staff and post-graduate students in order to build a world-leading research team.
  • Manage liaison with other Tyndall teams including Tyndall IT, Fab, Business Development, Test and Characterisation.
  • Lead, define, manage and deliver project tasks, deliverables including reports, process documentation, intellectual property capture (both know-how and patents), technical publications and presentations for both internal and external customers.
  • Build high impact, collaborative relationships with world-leading researchers, in Tyndall, University College Cork, and with other national and international academia and industry.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post i.e. procurement, training, risk assessments, equipment qualifications.
  • Flexibility and adaptability in provision of technical support including a willingness to work flexible hours maybe required.
  • Ensure compliance with Tyndall’s Health and Safety standards and with Tyndall’s Quality Management System with a focus on continuous improvement.
  • Participate in Education and Public Engagement activities, including involvement with Academic schools as appropriate.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

Essential Criteria

  • PhD Qualified, in Engineering, Science, Physics or related discipline.
  • Typically, with 10 years of experience in the development and application of computational methods to the analysis of thermal and electrical transport in materials and nano-scale structures and their role in devices and applications
  • Demonstrated experience in leading high performing, cross-functional teams (including researchers, engineers and graduate students) to collaboratively develop novel concepts in thermoelectric material design, including successful post-graduate/PhD and postdoctoral supervision
  • Experience of successful project completion and a focus on delivery of projects on schedule and within budget
  • Track record of publications in journals, conferences and/or patents on the theory of thermoelectric materials.
  • Demonstrated success in acquiring research funding from competitive National/ International/ Industry sources in the area of thermoelectric materials.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience in teaching at University level
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills including successful negotiation with a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of idea-generation and problem solving techniques.
  • Experience of technology transfer, IP and patent processes.
  • Proven ability in report writing, process documentation, operating procedures, publications and presentations.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Stephen Fahy at

Appointment may be made on the Grade 7 (Admin I) Scale B (new entrants) salary scale €71,465 - €93,302.  Salary placement on appointment will be in accordance with public sector pay policy.

Closing date for application is 1st July, 2021.

Application Instructions

Step 1 - click here to download and complete the application form and indicate Job Reference SF-02

Step 2 - return the completed application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to

Handwritten forms will not be accepted.  No late applications will be accepted.

A full candidate information pack is available to download by clicking here.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.