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Research Software Engineer (RSE) position

Llion Evans's picture

Inline virtual qualification from 3D X-ray imaging for high-value manufacturing


2.5-year Research Software Engineer (RSE) opportunity, Closing date: 18 June 2020.

This research opportunity is a joint project with partners Diamond Light Source and UK Atomic Energy Authority (aka CCFE).

‘Inline virtual qualification from 3D X-ray imaging for high-value manufacturing’ is a £1.2M 5-year project funded by EPSRC. The programme, led by Dr Llion Evans, is a collaboration between Swansea University, Diamond Light Source, UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Airbus Defence and Space, Nikon Metrology, TWI, Synopsys Simpleware Software, CCPi Tomographic Imaging and the University of Manchester. This is an industry sector facing initiative which aims to apply state-of-the-art 3D image processing and machine learning methods to deliver a process to perform industrial production line 'virtual qualification' using part-specific simulations from 3D X-ray imaging in high-value manufacturing (HVM).

Previous to this project, creating part-specific simulations from 3D images (e.g. X-ray tomography) has been possible but time consuming and manually intensive. To scale-up the technique for the high-value manufacturing sector (HVM) the process is being automated by using CAD drawings of the components to ‘train’ machine learning algorithms which will replace the manually intensive steps.

Central to this 5-year project is the development of software tools to realise this capability. This will be achieved by creating a workflow which auto-generates 3D image datasets from CAD drawings and the associated annotations (classifiers) for inputs to the image processing software SuRVoS ( This open-source code currently uses a semi-automated machine learning approach. This project will create plugins and contribute to SuRVoS’s development for full automation in HVM applications.

We are seeking an ambitious research software engineer to lead this research software development work-package. This will entail working closely with our project partner, Diamond Light Source, to bring new capabilities to SuRVoS. Wider activities will include engaging with the industrial X-ray imaging community to accurately capture the software requirements. This work will feed into the wider project and be used in an exemplary case-study being carried out with UKAEA at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) to demonstrate the potential of image-based simulations on a batch of heat exchanger components which will be verified experimentally under fusion-like conditions.

The role will be based primarily at Swansea University Bay Campus but will also provide opportunities for placements at Diamond Light Source and our other industrial project partners. Funding has also been secured for attendance at one international conference per year (performance dependent) and participation in an annual STEM outreach event.

Essential criteria:

  • A Degree in computer science, engineering, physical sciences or equivalent.
  • Have or be near completing PhD or equivalent in computer science, engineering, physical sciences or a related subject.
  • Demonstrable experience or understanding of the Machine Learning field, specifically Machine Vision and Image Analysis.
  • Experience of modern programming languages such as Java, C++ and Python.
  • Evidence of the ability to actively engage in and contribute to writing and publishing research papers, particularly for refereed journals.
  • Demonstrable planning skills and ability to conduct research in line with the objectives of the project.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • A practical and self-motivated individual with the ability to apply knowledge and skills across a variety of activities.
  • A commitment to continuous professional development.
  • Willingness to travel to a range of events (adjustments in line with DDA will be considered where appropriate).

Desirable Criteria:

  • Masters in computer science, engineering, physical sciences or a related subject.
  • Experience or understanding of imaging (e.g. microscopy or radiography) and associated image processing.
  • Programming skills specific to GPU acceleration of machine learning, e.g. CUDA.
  • Background in using advanced mathematics and software engineering techniques for application development.
  • Experience of software development frameworks.
  • Contribution to the application for external funding and the development of research programs.
  • Evidence of working constructively and collaboratively with external research organisations.

Further details & to apply:

Salary:- £30,046 per annum together with USS pension benefits

Hours of work: 35 Hours per week

Contract: This fixed term post has been funded for the period 01.08.2020 – 31.01.2023 by EPSRC.

Location: This position will be based at Swansea University, Bay Campus

Informal enquiries: Dr Llion Evans,


The current situation with COVID-19 is being monitored by Swansea University. The university is following Welsh and UK government social distancing guidance and the majority of staff are working from home. Consequently, it is likely that the interview stage will be conducted via video conferencing (Zoom or similar). Furthermore, depending on government advice at the start date of this post (01 Aug 20), remote working may be required initially with the successful applicant commencing at Swansea University Bay Campus when guidelines allow.

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