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Experimental Scientist for High Power Laser (HPL) Facilities

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Employer Description

Experimental Scientist for High Power Laser (HPL) Facilities

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory


Band D £30,782 - £33,459 Band E £38,318 - £42,576

Full Time/Part Time (minimum 30 hours per week)

Candidates will be appointed at Band D or Band E, depending skills and experience

Fixed term for 3 years


About the Central Laser Facility

The Central Laser Facility (CLF) is one of the world’s leading laser centres, providing scientists mainly from the UK and continental Europe with access to an unparalleled range of state-of-the-art laser technology.  The CLF has around 180 staff and its function - user facility, international research – makes it a very friendly, outgoing, externally facing sort of place.  It has a welcoming and inclusive culture, and you will find that people will naturally help and support you.

The CLF is building a new laser centre - the Extreme Photonics Applications Centre (EPAC) and is seeking new team members to help to build this and to contribute to our existing facilities. EPAC is an £81M facility that will use lasers developed by our team to drive new types of novel particle and radiation beams that can be applied to a wide range of problems in science and industry. We are looking for people like you, scientists and engineers at all stages of their careers to be a part of our friendly and enthusiastic team in the following areas (details are below):

As part of UK Research and Innovation, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations and operates at a number of sites within the UK, including RAL and many more around the world. RAL is home to about 1,200 staff that work with a community of more than 10,000 scientists and engineers mainly from the research sector, which spans the scientific spectrum including energy, security, materials healthcare, life-sciences and the environment to address important challenges facing society. 

STFC is an award-winning employer and RAL is a superb place to work – there is pioneering work going on all around the site and the environment, facilities and conditions are excellent.  RAL has a real buzz and the people working here have a profound sense of pride in what they achieve.  Alongside an excellent working environment and comprehensive continued professional development STFC offer’s a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance. This includes 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas shut down, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, an exceptional career average defined benefit pension scheme, and social and sporting activities and societies. Full details can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

Job Description

About the Role

As an Experimental Scientist for High Power Laser facilities you will join the CLF high power experimental teams (Vulcan and/or Gemini) to support the Scientists from around the world that conduct experiments in the CLF (Vulcan and Gemini), these experiments include a broad range of applications - from accelerating particles to near-light speeds and creating astrophysical conditions on earth to investigating laser fusion as a future energy source.

We are looking for experimental scientists with excellent hands-on skills to work as a team to enable cutting-edge science at these laser facilities.

Your responsibilities will be to:

  • Design, plan and deliver the experiments taking on responsibility for experimental delivery as your experience of the facility grows
  • Collaborate with external users of the facility in the delivery of experiments providing technical advice as required
  • Take responsibility for the alignment of beamlines and running of diagnostics during experiments
  • To work with engineers and users to coordinate engineering requirements for experiments
  • Depending on experience you will lead the development of new facility capabilities
  • Present your work research findings at conferences and seminars and publish in appropriate journals.
Job Requirements

About You

To be considered for this role you will need to have a degree (or equivalent) in Physics of a closely related subject and basic knowledge of optics, computers and scientific instruments.

To be considered for the Band D opportunity you will also have a completed or close to completion PhD in experimental Physics and a good understanding of the science underlying laser-plasma experiments.

To be considered at Band E it is essential that you also have Post-Doctoral research experience and expertise in physics laser-plasma experiments.

The full person specification can be found on our website.

To Apply

Applicants are required to include a cover letter outlining their suitability for this role. Please also state where you saw this role advertised. 

Applications are handled by UK SBS; to apply please click the apply button. Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on +44 (0)1793 867000. 

The closing date for applications is 29th February 2019.

10 February 2020
11 March 2020
Bachelor's Degree
30782 – 42576
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors