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Dorset, UK
Architectural robotics developer
at Architectural Association

The Architectural Association is seeking an architectural robotics developer to join its team in Dorset, UK.

Salary: £30,000
Contract type: one year fixed-term
Department: AA Hooke Park
Reports to: Hooke Park warden and head of digital prototyping lab
Hours: full-time (negotiable); 9am-5pm

The Architectural Association was founded in 1847, opening as a day school in 1901. The AA is committed to public benefit attained by the learning, teaching, discussion and promotion of architecture. The school is recognised as a worldwide leader in architectural education, with graduates that include many of the world’s leading architects, scholars, critics and educators. The academic and professional programmes of study at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, up to and including doctoral level, are validated by external professional and academic bodies.

The AA is made up of countless projects, personalities and audiences. The AA is unique in that we are more than just a school but a worldwide association, made up of members and visitors and an unrivalled public programme of lectures, exhibitions, publications and special events, all of which set the backdrop for full-time foundation, undergraduate – and graduate-level study at our campuses in London and Dorset. In addition, each year short courses and global schools in the AA Visiting School bring together students and teachers in more than 50 locations across five continents. Whether at Bedford Square or abroad the AA’s teachers and staff provide students with expertise, encouragement and support across all levels of education. Given the fact that 85 per cent of our students (and a similar percentage of tutors) come to London from abroad every autumn, we really are a school unlike any other.

Role overview

The AA seeks interesting and interested candidates for the architectural robotics developer position at Hooke Park – its satellite woodland campus in Dorset, southwest England. Operating in the unique environment of an active woodland with significant timber fabrication resources, Hooke Park’s robotic facilities (based around a Kuka KR-150) are used for experimental research by the school’s students and staff.

The architectural robotics developer’s role is to manage, develop and operate Hooke Park’s robotic fabrication facilities. This includes day-to-day operation of the robotic cell, planning and implementing improvements to the facility with the staff, and engaging with resident (MArch/MSc Design + Make) and visiting (AA London and Visiting School) students to support use of the facilities. The robotics developer will play a central role in enabling the continued development of courses and research agendas at Hooke Park associated particularly with the application of robotic technologies to timber fabrication.

The robotics developer is required to have experience of running an industrial robotic arm, ideally within architectural education. Knowledge of timber fabrication is desired, and the ability to work with students and academic staff to formulate research projects is essential.

The robotics developer will report to the head of AA’s digital prototyping lab in London, Hooke Park warden and work closely with Hooke Park workshop manager.

Main duties and responsibilities

Robotic fabrication facilities:

  • management of Hooke Park’s robotic fabrication facilities including technical operation of the KUKA KR-150 and its surrounding enclosure
  • software specification, sourcing and maintenance, including the development of bespoke toolpath and user-interface programming where required
  • working with the workshop manager to develop the robotics facilities including the procurement of new equipment and/or the development of custom-made end effectors (hardware and software) based on the requirements of ongoing and upcoming projects
  • maintaining the health and safety regime for the robotics facility, including writing risk assessments and method statements for relevant activities (seeking advice if needed) and maintaining H&S documentation in coordination with the Hooke Park administrator and warden
  • day-to-day maintenance of the robot facility, and commissioning cleaning, maintenance and safety checks as required

Tutoring to AA students:

  • providing instruction to AA students in the safe operation of the KUKA KR-150
  • tutoring throughout the year to students of the Hooke Park based Design + Make programme and London-based visiting units/programmes including focussed workshops, software teaching and technical support

Research and development:

  • advance with unit/programme staff research agendas for the robotics facility including seeking opportunities for research collaborations and funding/grants
  • disseminate with colleagues the research output of the robotics facility through academic papers and other publications
  • liaise with digital prototyping lab staff in London to support the parallel development of the AA’s robotic facilities

Qualifications and training

AA’s staff is encouraged to grow and develop their research agendas as part of their positions. Successful candidates will have a relevant agenda that encompasses some of the most pressing challenges facing architecture and society, including but not limited to automation and sustainability.

Required:

  • masters level degree in architecture, computer science or robotics or an equivalent/relevant qualification

Desired:

  • KUKA certification
  • training in workshop health and safety

Knowledge, skills and experience

Required:

  • experience in robotic fabrication for architectural applications
  • advanced skills in computer aided design and manufacture
  • experience of managing or supervising a workshop/making facility
  • skill in robotic programming
  • ability to develop methodologies for robotic fabrication processes
  • extensive knowledge of and ability to teach Rhino, Grasshopper and Adobe Suite
  • excellent communications skills

Desired:

  • experience of wood fabrication and construction
  • experience of working in an academic environment
  • familiar with KRC2 Kuka controller
  • experience in the operation of and file preparation for digital fabrication tools such as CNCs and 3D printers
  • skill in programming languages C#, Python, Kuka Robotic Language
  • experience of creating bespoke tools/jigs for digital and physical making processes
  • understanding of architectural design and execution
  • experience in project planning and management

How to apply

Please apply by email by the closing date of 22 April 2019 using the ‘apply’ link below.

Please include in your application:

  • full CV
  • covering letter/email highlighting why you feel you are the right person for the role
  • portfolio of works (PDF/website)
  • current salary
  • notice period
  • contact details for two referees (who will not be contacted without your prior permission)

Invitations to first interview will be issued by email after the closing date. Please note only successful candidates will be contacted.

Thank you for your interest in the AA and this role.

The Architectural Association School of Architecture aims to create conditions that ensure staff and students are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of their gender, race, religious/political beliefs, ethnic or national origin, disability, family background, age, sexual orientation, or other irrelevant distinction.

www.aaschool.ac.uk