Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

Target Fabrication Robotics Industrial Placement - STFC

Early Careers
210000VZ Requisition #

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Target Fabrication is a group at the Central Laser Facility responsible for providing complex objects for use in high-power laser experiments. These objects are at the focal point of high-intensity laser interactions and are made into complex geometries from novel materials. Target requirements are dependent on experimental requirements and vary broadly from one experimental campaign to the next; the experiments topics span plasma physics and particle acceleration, laboratory astrophysics, and industrial applications opportunities.  

In order to create extreme environments the laser is focused to an interaction point comparable to the width of a human hair, the targets that are required have features of the same magnitude. On this scale manufacture and quality control is extremely challenging! Target Fabrication requires a wide capability of physical and chemical processes, together with sophisticated characterisation techniques to deliver targets that meet the experiment’s requirements.  

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities  

Are you studying a Robotics, Engineering, or a closely related degree? If so, we are looking for a placement student to join Target Fabrication.  

This opportunity will be tasked with the ongoing project in automating Target Fabrication’s micro-component assembly. Target Fabrication has a key result in the next 5-10 years of supporting high-repetition rate laser experiments; delivering thousands of batched produced targets to operations. To achieve this key capability the student will use robotic pick and place, automated glue dispensing and automated storage solutions to manufacture laser targets. The ultimate goal is to have these three automated operations integrated seamlessly. 

Overall, responsibilities will also include: 

  • Support the more general engineering requirements of the group such as 3D design work using CAD software 
  • 3D printing objects for the group and wider facility 
  • Demonstrate rapid manufacture of targets using automated assembly using existing technologies 
  • Program control systems responsible for the pick and place of a variety of objects 
  • Improve yield of picked and placed objects by implementing engineering solutions and testing outcomes 
  • Integrate the CLF Tape drive system into the robotic assembly project 
  • Work in a clean-room laboratory environment 
  • Complete project documentation by tracking progress against milestones 
  • Run 3D printing technology for the benefit of the wider group 
  • Use CAD skills to assist the wider group with 3d design 

In order to apply for this role you must have:  


  • 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 
  • Subject of degree to be Robotics, Engineering, or closely related  
  • Good knowledge on the basics of physics, A-level Physics (or equivalent) minimum  
  • Knowledge of robotics or automation (university project or individual interest)  
  • Working experience with 3D CAD design software  
  • Good knowledge of how different materials are suited to different applications in an engineering context  
  • Familiarity with Windows operating system 
  • Good understanding of the terms repeatability, accuracy and tolerance in an engineering context 
  • The ability to work individually on a project, plan effectively and write reports  


  • Some relevant programming experience with control systems for robotics  
  • Experience using a 3D printer  
  • Has used Solid Edge or Autodesk Inventor  
  • Basic knowledge of the type of experiment that could take place with a high-power laser  
  • Proven examples of working in a team to complete a technical or scientific project 
  • Has presented project work to their academic supervisors or peers 
  • Can identify hazards and work safely in a challenging environment 

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 

You can also visit our careers site 

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  

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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