Research Associate - Biomechanical Design and Prototyping - Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Date: Jan 29, 2024

Title: Research Associate

Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

School: Case School of Engineering

Location: Case Western Reserve University (Building/Room: TBD)

Supervisor Name and Title: Ozan Akkus, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.



Working under limited supervision and in close collaboration with the principal investigator and senior staff the Research Associate will carry out complex research assignments to design and prototype components of an artificial knee joint, as well as surgical jigs and fixtures to implant the joint. These activities will take place as part of a federally funded, fast-paced and milestone stone driven project that has dimensions in manufacturing, biomaterials, medical devices, and musculoskeletal tissue engineering. The Research Associate will work with the principal investigator, a fabrication engineer, a biomechanical test engineer and a technician along with on campus and off-campus partners. The Research Associate is expected to participate in a supportive lab culture and to contribute to oral and written communication of project findings such as progress reports, publications, and presentations. 



  1. CAD design of components and component assemblies. (30%) 
  2. Coordinate the prototyping of the artificial joint and associated surgical kits with other engineers and collaborators. Perform machining, prototyping and fabrication of designed components. Identify internal or external service providers and communicate the fabrication needs with them for certain parts as needed. (27%)
  3. Participate in and support the testing and validation of designed prototypes, inspect specimens to identify and mitigate failures modes, and provide cost estimates for design production. (10%)
  4. Identify solutions to improve production efficiency, and assess/troubleshoot risks associated with engineering prototypes. (6%)
  5. Survey literature to identify best practices, and develop protocols informed by past experience in the field. (6%)
  6. Generate, organize, and analyze collected data, and create tables and figures for discussion. Draft and maintain design records and documents. Draft technical progress reports, and standard operating procedure documents. (10%)
  7. Monitor the laboratory budget. Oversee lab inventory and supply orders as needed. (6%)



  1. Assist with day-to day lab operations and maintenance (2%)
  2. Train new staff and direct work of technicians when needed (2%).
  3. Perform other duties as assigned. (1%) 



Department: Daily contact with supervisor, biomechanical engineer, fabrication engineer, or the technician to maintain workflow.

University: Continuous contact with faculty, staff and research personnel at other departments for joint collaborative lab work and to share information.

External: Weekly contact with vendors or external collaborators to exchange information and for experimental planning.

Students: No contact with students



May supervise Research Assistants and Technicians in the group.



Experience: Mechanical or Biomedical Engineering background. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in medical device design and prototyping experience. Also see required skills, below.

Education/Licensing: A PhD or equivalent (in Mechanical or Biomedical Engineering or related fields)



  1. Ability to work in a collaborative team environment, meet deadlines, manage and follow-through work from multiple individuals, manage and perform multiple tasks. 
  2. Demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy, and flexibility to conform to shifting priorities, demands and timeline.
  3. Demonstrated expertise in biomedical/biomechanical design using software, such as SolidWorks.
  4. Demonstrated expertise in biomedical/biomechanical prototyping. Experience in at least some of the fabrication methods such as laser cutting, 3D printing, milling, turning, CNC, CAD/CAM. 
  5. Ability to analyze and interpret data sets & communicate data in a clear and concise manner.
  6. Ability to operate laboratory equipment.
  7. Ability to effectively perform and train others in fabrication, manufacturing, testing and data processing.  
  8. Excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills; must demonstrate the ability to effectively and professionally communicate and work with various individuals within and external to the University.



University safety training is required. Working conditions includes the use of personal protective equipment, i.e., appropriate gloves, protective eyewear, laboratory coat, appropriate footwear. The individual should be able to perform the following activities, bend, stoop, kneel, push, pull, reach above shoulder, repetitive motion, type, use a computer (mouse and keyboard). Be able to work in a confined space. Be able to frequently transit between the lab and other University facilities carrying research supplies. Working in an indoor laboratory/office setting and with common laboratory apparatus and chemicals. Hands-on participation in applying designed devices to animal and human tissues will be required which is classified as blood-borne pathogens. Working outside standard working days or hours may be occasionally required when performing certain activities. Occasional travel to attend conferences or to work with outside collaborators. 

Qualified candidates should send their CV and a letter of interest to Dr. Ozan Akkus at