Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

High-Power Laser Development Scientist Industrial Placement - STFC

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Early Careers
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210000SI Requisition #

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The Centre for Advanced Laser Technology and Applications (CALTA) is a group within STFC’s Central Laser Facility (CLF). CALTA is responsible for the development of the record-breaking, high-energy laser amplifier technology known as DiPOLE. DiPOLE technology has allowed CALTA to build the world’s first kilowatt-level, high-energy, diode-pumped, solid-state laser. The outstanding performance of this laser is achieved through the production of pulses at an energies in excess of 100 J at a repetition rate of 10 Hz.

Two kilowatt-level DiPOLE laser systems have now been built and are installed at European facilities as well as a prototype 10 J at 10 Hz DiPOLE system which is based at the CLF. This prototype system provides a valuable experimental platform with which new technologies can be tested both in terms of improving laser systems and exploring new applications for DiPOLE systems. Meanwhile, two more exciting projects are currently underway to develop new state-of-the-art DiPOLE systems. 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities:  

The industrial placement offered is within a small, diverse team environment working directly with CALTA scientists and CLF engineers. You will have the opportunity to be involved in a variety of different activities such as: 

  • Leading your own assigned project, under the mentorship of a technical manager, where you will be able to direct and influence outcomes
  • Supporting world-renowned scientists and playing an active role in ground breaking experiments by helping to identify and seek problems as they occur
  • Developing techniques to improve DiPOLE laser systems for safe operation at higher energies and higher repetition rates
  • Learning how to operate lasers and cryogenic systems
  • Learning and developing computer modelling software skills
  • Running experiments, analysing data and reporting your findings to the team, and other placement students, via written reports and presentations. 

In the laser laboratories, you will operate, adjust, and control lasers and associated electrical and mechanical equipment. Therefore, you are required to stand, often for several hours over the course of the working day, as sitting is not permitted in the laser laboratories for safety reasons. 

Please speak to us about any adjustments you may require.  

Mechanical precision is a significant element of the role and you will need to see and adjust the position of laser beams, fiducials, pinholes, and other mechanical elements to sub-millimetre accuracy. 

Please also be aware that lighting is variable and will flash repetitively as a direct consequence of the laser operation.  

In order to apply for this role you must have:  

Essential:  

  • At university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry  
  • Right to live and work in the UK  
  • First two years of degree course (or three years of an integrated master's course) in physics (or natural sciences with a high physics content) or a closely related subject (e.g. engineering), including an experimental laboratory course 
  • Predicted grades corresponding to a 2:1 or higher 
  • Experience with standard computer packages, e.g. Microsoft Office  
  • Enthusiastic with an interest in lasers 
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team as the need arises  
  • Highly motivated  
  • Good problem solving skills  
  • Responsible approach to health and safety 

Desirable: 

  • Experience working in a laboratory environment 
  • Computer programming skills, e.g. Python, MATLAB or LabVIEW  
  • Experience working with lasers  
  • Have, or will have completed by the placement start date, relevant modules in areas such as optics/lasers and/or programming/data analysis  

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

The STFC is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we’re trusted to support, enable and undertake ground-breaking projects in an outstanding diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving progressive advances in science, engineering, computing and technology. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale. 

For more information about STFC please visit https://stfc.ukri.org/ 

You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/ 

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation. 

More information can be found at www.ukri.org.  

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community.

For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. 

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