University of Bath

University of Bath

Mathematical Innovation Research Assistant (fixed-term) (ED11146)

Job title Mathematical Innovation Research Assistant (fixed-term)

Department Institute for Mathematical Innovation

Salary Starting from £29,605, rising to £36,024

Grade Grade 6

SOC Code - Visa Requirements 2119

This role is potentially sponsorable subject to candidates meeting the tradeable points criteria

Placed on Thursday 16 November 2023

Closing date Thursday 23 November 2023

Interview date To be confirmed

Reference ED11146


Project overview:

We are developing an advanced mathematical tool tailored for enhancing soil moisture forecasting across various depths at the monitoring stations of Cemaden, Brazil's Natural Disaster Prediction Centre.

This unique opportunity grants hands-on experience in manipulating real-world data, applying intricate mathematical modelling, and delivering impactful, real-world results, pivotal for disaster prediction in São Paulo.


Cemaden's monitoring stations (known as PCDs Geo) come equipped with rain gauges and six moisture sensors, registering soil moisture at intervals of 50cm, spanning from 50cm to 3m in depth.

Harnessing historical data from these apparatuses, our methodology involves data inversion via a straightforward infiltration programme.

This process can be used to infer geotechnical parameters. However, given that direct calculations hinge on a homogeneous medium assumption, tailored inversions for every individual sensor at each station are important.

Our goal is to effectively combine these parameters with rainfall forecasts to yield precise soil moisture predictions.

Our preliminary outcomes, recently showcased in Sousa et al. (2023), show the potential of this research.

Key responsibilities of the role:

  • Develop the automated system development for retrieving rainfall and soil moisture data from Cemaden's platform.
  • Explore and test different infiltration models, leaning towards models considering distinct soil layers as opposed to purely homogeneous ones.
  • Create an inversion programme able to handle data from a multitude of stations, either autonomously or semi supervised.
  • Formulate mathematical algorithms in Python able to:
  • Ascertain real-time rainfall data.
  • Acquire rainfall forecasts.
  • Predict imminent soil moisture for each PCD (with 105 stations presently operational).
  • Transmit the data back into Cemaden's system, destined for integration into São Paulo's public alert disaster prediction software.
  • Desired qualifications:

    Enrolled as a PhD student in Mathematics or equivalent, preferably in advanced stages. A solid foundation in mathematical modelling and data inversion. Fluent in Python programming. Prior exposure or a keen interest in geotechnical or environmental data would be advantageous.

    Additional perks:

    Potential opportunity to visit Cemaden's facilities and interact directly with experts in the field. Direct contributions to be integrated into the core disaster prediction software, enhancing safety measures for São Paulo's populace.

    This position provides the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working in industry and will enhance your CV.

    What we can offer you:

  • a very generous employer contributory pension scheme
  • generous annual leave allowance with an additional 5 discretionary days so that you can enjoy a positive work life balance
  • we are a family-friendly University and with an increasingly agile workforce, are open to flexible working arrangements
  • an excellent reward package that recognises the talents of our diverse workforce
  • a wide range of personal and professional development opportunities
  • a number of support options available for new and existing staff to help with the cost of some immigration expenses which you may be eligible for: Relocation allowance, Visa Reimbursement, Interest-Free Loan.
  • We aim to be an inclusive university, where difference is celebrated, respected and encouraged. We have an excellent international reputation with staff from over 60 different nations and have made a positive commitment towards gender equality and intersectionality receiving a Silver Athena SWAN award. We truly believe that diversity of experience, perspectives, and backgrounds will lead to a better environment for our employees and students, so we encourage applications from all genders, backgrounds, and communities, particularly from under-represented groups, and value the positive impact that will have on our teams.

    We are very proud to be an autism friendly university and are an accredited Disability Confident Leader; committed to building disability confidence and supporting disabled staff.

    Find out from our staff what makes the University of Bath a great place to work. Follow us @UniofBath and @UniofBathJobs on Twitter for more information.

    Further details:
  • Job Description & Person Specification

  • Terms and Conditions of Employment

  • We are constantly seeking to reduce the unconscious bias that enters any assessment process, with the goal of creating an inclusive and equal assessment process. To support this, personal details will be removed from application forms at the initial shortlisting stage.

    Job details


    Mathematical Innovation Research Assistant (fixed-term) (ED11146)


    University of Bath


    United Kingdom


    November 17, 2023

    Application deadline

    November 23, 2023

    Job type



    Computer Science,Mathematics,Physics

    About the employer

    Situated in Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom, University of Bath is a public university that received its royal charter in 1966. The University of Bath has been consistently ranked amongst the top universities in the UK and is known for its expertise in research and teaching. In 2004, the university launched the SET squared Partnership with the universities of Bristol, Southampton, and Surrey. This is the largest partnership ever, comprises of a combined staff of 6,400 researchers, and has a research budget of £266 million.

    The university is known for its four faculties: management, science, humanities and social science, and engineering and design. The university has been recognized for its excellence in research facilities and according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 87 percent of the university's research has been defined as world-leading. Notably, the university's research into child poverty and support for vulnerable people won a Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011. The university's research grants and contracts portfolio is worth around £150 million.

    The university constantly finishes at the top of student satisfaction rankings and excelling in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Psychology. It was also awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Because of its high-quality teaching, Bath's graduates are highly sought after by the UK's top employers.

    In 2004, Bath University invested in creating a sports training village, which has emerged as one of the best training centers for athletes in Europe. In 2013, the University became a founder member of GW4, an alliance of universities sharing intellectual and physical resources. Also, in the same year, the university opened a block of 75 flats for students living on campus. In 2012, the university began a three-year campus improvement project to improvise and expand student accommodation, teaching space, and a £10million arts centre. The university has invested over £450 million on its campus over the last decade.

    In 2015, the university inaugurated a specialized area for arts, education, and events. The University of Bath has a well-built infrastructure with all the essential facilities and amenities a student will require. The university gives equal focus on sports and offers one of the best sports facilities in the UK. The university-based athletes won six medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    Almost one-fourth of the students enrolled are from outside the UK, so, the university offers a perfect internationally diverse experience. Airbus, World Bank, Nike, Ford, and Rolls Royce are some of the industry leaders, which collaborate with the university.

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