Research Associate for Radiation Damage in High Temperature Superconductors

Lancaster University - Engineering

Applications are invited for a Tokamak Energy and EPSRC co-funded post-doctoral position, situated within the Engineering Department at Lancaster University, to work on project entitled “Radiation damage in high temperature superconductors”. 

Nuclear fusion is one of the most promising options for generating large amounts of carbon-free energy in the future. The development of nuclear fusion faces substantial technological challenges, in particular containing a fusion plasma many times hotter than the sun. Currently, fusion research is undergoing a revolution as dynamic private enterprises, such as Tokamak Energy, enter the race to deliver the world’s first commercial fusion power station.

Tokamak Energy aims to accelerate the development of fusion energy by combining two emerging technologies – spherical tokamaks and high-temperature superconductors (HTS). During operation the superconductivity of the magnets will be gradually degraded by the radiation produced in the nuclear fusion reaction occurring in the machine, therefore the radiation tolerance of the superconducting REBCO material is a key design parameter for a future reactor. Experimental studies of neutron damage of HTS have all been conducted at ambient temperatures and as yet no studies have been performed at the operating temperature of 20 K due to a paucity of experimental facilities. Therefore, this project will use atomistic simulation to study neutron induced cascade evolution in a wide range of HTS materials at low temperatures to understand how these materials will evolve during operation and enable the development of magnets with greater longevity. 

You will have, or expect to obtain soon, a PhD in Materials Science, Physics or a closely related area. Experience of molecular dynamics simulations (preferably related to radiation damage), development of empirical potentials and high performance computing are essential. As is competence in programming/scripting. The successful candidate will be expected to undertake, under the guidance of Dr. Murphy, high quality research in support of Tokamak Energy’s ambitious fusion development programme and prepare results for publication in leading academic journals and presentation at international conferences.

This post is full time and is being offered on a fixed term contract for up to 12 months.

Informal enquiries to Dr Samuel Murphy, email: or Telephone 01524 592671.

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

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Northern England