NUIG 191-18, Research Assistant (Wastewater Process and Energy Systems), College of Engineering & Informatics

NUIG 191-18, Research Assistant (Wastewater Process and Energy Systems), College of Engineering & Informatics

NUI Galway

Galway, Ireland

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time 6.5 month fixed-term contract position as a Research Assistant (Wastewater Process Engineering and Control) with the College of Engineering and Informatics (Civil Engineering), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway).

About the post:

The current project is funded by the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation fund to investigate novel aeration systems in the context of municipal and industrial wastewater treatment. The wastewater treatment process is known to account for up to 2 to 3 % of a developed nations total electricity bill, and up to 25 % of a city’s total energy usage. Currently, the majority of this energy is being wasted due to inefficient technology and process control techniques in the biological treatment process.

The researcher will join a highly dynamic research team who are developing novel technologies and process control methods for the reduction of energy usage in the aeration process of biological treatment.

 Job Description

The position will focus on wastewater process control in the activated sludge aeration process using a novel aeration technology. The researcher will be required to manage a pilot scale reactor test rig and develop and integrate a test matrix for monitoring the performance of the overall system with regards energy usage and treatment capacity. This work will first involve benchmarking the aeration system energy usage in a completely mixed activated sludge process under basic dissolved oxygen profiles. This will subsequently progress onto investigating more advanced methods of dissolved oxygen control by regulating the aeration and mixing system with dissolved oxygen set points through a local programmable logic controller (PLC). A second phase of the project will involve integration of the developed techniques in a full-scale aeration system. The key duties of this post include:

Undertaking necessary research into advanced activated sludge process control techniques and energy systems.

  • Managing a pilot scale activated sludge system consisting of primary settlement, aeration tank reactor, final clarifier and effluent channel.

  • Perform model simulations of the overall treatment process using GPS-X

  • Develop, pivot and implement a performance testing matrix on the aeration system to monitor KPIs such as influent and effluent BOD, COD, Ammonia-N, TSS etc and aeration process parameters such as MLSS, SSVI, microbial conditions.

  • Necessary laboratory analysis and reporting on the above KPIs

  • Calibration of equipment (DO, ORP probes etc)

  • PLC programming and communication via DO (SC1000) set points

  • Other related duties as required. 

Essential criteria:

  • Should have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or science with a minimum of a 2.1 honours degree
  • Strong background in wastewater engineering, control systems engineering and energy systems engineering
  • Strong background in biochemistry and microbiology
  • Should be able to demonstrate a clear technical and practical understanding of aeration system control in applications for general control (DO setpoint regulation) and advanced systems (e.g. intermittent aeration)
  • ·         Must hold a full Irish driving licence
  • ·         Strong communication and technical writing.

 Desirable criteria:

  • Capable of using initiative and a strong ability for critical thinking
  • Have a previous practical experience in wastewater treatment process optimisation
  • Strong background in statistical modelling, data analysis
  • Experience in the use of the GPS-X software
  • Knowledge in PLC systems, coding (MATLAB etc)

 Salary: €23,079 per annum pro-rata (Employment permit restrictions apply for this category of post)

Start date: As soon as possible

 Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway. For information on moving to Ireland please see

 Informal enquiries about this post can be made to Dr. Sean Mulligan:

 To Apply:

Applicants should send a covering letter, detailed CV and the names and addresses of at least three referees via e-mail (in Word or PDF format only) to: and

 Applicants must put Ref. No. NUIG 191-18 in subject line of e-mail application.

                                                                                              The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday 23rd November 2018.

                                                                                                                National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunities employer



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NUIG 191-18, Research Assistant (Wastewater Process and Energy Systems), College of Engineering & Informatics