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  • Ref no: RGU02957
  • Published: 23/6/2020
  • Closes: 4/8/2020
  • Location: RGU Garthdee, AB10 7GJ
  • Salary: £25,000.00 - £34,000.00 per year
  • Contract Type: Fixed Term
  • Position Type: Full Time
  • Hours: 35 hours per week

Job Summary

As part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Aberdeen Harbour Board (AHB), we are seeking a Knowledge Transfer Associate.  The Associate will take a leading role in the development of advanced staff and operational optimal scheduling software aimed at improving efficiencies by facilitating the real-time price-management of demand. The Associate will also have the opportunity to register for a research degree based on the work carried out on the project.

The post holder will be employed by the School of Computing Science and Digital Media at Robert Gordon University and will be based predominantly at the premises of Aberdeen Harbour, supported and supervised by staff from both the company and the University.

AHB is one of the UK’s busiest ports and a world leading marine support centre with links to more than 40 countries. AHB serves several industries as the main commercial port in the North-East of Scotland and has a strong focus on Oil & Gas supply vessels. The Smart Data Technologies Research Centre at RGU, which the post-holder will join, specialises in the application of advanced data science and artificial intelligence to real-world industrial problems.

The project has the following key objectives:

·     Develop staff and operational optimal scheduling software to assist AHB in delivering real-time price management solutions

·     Transfer knowledge of advanced simulation and software development techniques to AHB

·     Work as part of the Smart Data Technologies Centre at RGU

·     Develop technical skills, potentially to PhD level, in a fast-paced technical environment and as part of a multi-disciplinary team

·     Develop personal skills (verbal and written) to meet the requirements of an increasing responsibility and experience level

A KTP is a three-way project between an associate, a business and a university (see The associates are recruited to manage strategic projects within the company, whist being supported by a dedicated academic supervisor. Founded in 1975, KTP is one of Europe’s largest recruitment programmes. This position is funded for a period of 34 months by the KTP Programme. This is an opportunity to join a project which will offer challenging business analysis and process improvement work within a supportive, well managed and motivated team environment. In addition to a dedicated personal development budget of £5,600 and a travel budget, it is also anticipated that following the 34 month period, the company will continue the employment of the Associate.

You will be driving the development of a complex software component that will underpin efficiency gains for the Company and open up new markets for them. It requires the assimilation of knowledge from 3 different disciplines: logistics, operations research and computing science. It is expected that the post holder will require to develop skills in some of these areas. Extensive knowledge and experience exists within AHB and RGU to support this.

You should have as a minimum a good honours degree in Computing or a strongly related discipline. Strong interpersonal skills, the ability to self-direct, strong problem solving and analytical skills are essential for this post. Good report writing and presentation skills are also required. you will be self-driven but comfortable working in an interdisciplinary team.

Informal enquiries to Prof. John McCall, email or tel 01224 262780

Closing Date: 04 August 2020

Job Description


RESPONSIBLE FOR: No supervisory responsibility

PURPOSE OF POST: To specify and develop software for the modelling and optimization of harbour operations as a KTP Associate within an Aberdeen Harbour Board (AHB) Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).


  • Develop data science and combinatorial optimization techniques to model and improve key performance indicators related to staff rostering and harbour throughout
  • Develop and simulate strategies for data-driven real-time price-management of demand
  • Transfer knowledge of advanced data science and optimization techniques to AHB
  • Work as part of the Smart Data Technologies Centre (SDTC) at RGU
  • Develop technical skills, potentially to PhD level, in a fast-paced technical environment and as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Develop personal skills (verbal and written) to meet the requirements of an increasing responsibility and experience level
  • Gain expertise on harbour operations, available on-site and external data sources
  • Requirements analysis and software component design
  • Software development, testing and implementation
  • Software packaging and delivery
  • Manage the project and organise the meetings of the joint AHB-SDTC steering panel.
  • Liaise with industry experts, university and company supervisors.
  • Deliver presentations to immediate project team members and technical experts.
  • Organise seminars and training for company personnel on developed software.

Person Specification


Qualifications & Professional Memberships:
2.1 Honours degree or better commercial software development experience in Computing or strongly related discipline.
Willingness to actively engage with professional bodies and agencies.

Strong OO-programming background (C++/Java), at least H Mathematics.

Strong interpersonal skills.
Ability to self-direct.
Strong problem solving and analytical skills.
Good report writing and presentation skills
Happy to work in an interdisciplinary team.
Excellent prioritisation and time management skills.


Qualifications & Professional Memberships
Masters degree in Computing or strongly related discipline
Membership of IEEE / ACM / BCS

Combinatorial optimization, metaheuristic optimization, probability and statistics, time series analysis

Industrial programming experience.
Project experience in data science, analytical modelling, combinatorial optimization.



Behaviour 1:  Communication - Ability to receive, understand and convey information requiring careful explanation and information of a complex or conceptual nature, in a clear and accurate manner

Behaviour 2:  Service Delivery - Experience of exploring and adapting a service to meet customers’ expectations and also identifying ways of improving standards 

Behaviour 3:  Decision Making - Experience of using own judgement to make decisions, making collaborative decisions with others to reach conclusions and providing advice or information that will influence the decisions of others

Behaviour 4:  Analysis and Research - Experience of identifying or designing data gathering and analytical methods appropriate for each investigation, and producing reports that identify key issues and findings



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