Laser Scientist

STFC - The Science and Technology Facilities Council - STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

About Us

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and technology.

STFC’s Central Laser Facility (CLF) is a world-class centre for research in physical and life sciences. CLF houses some of the most intense lasers in the world, capable of generating some of the most extreme conditions on earth.

Vulcan is a versatile eight beam Nd: Glass laser facility delivering long and short pulse beams into its two operational areas: TAP and TAW. A high contrast short pulse beam line delivering a peak power 1PW (500J/500fs) and 1021Wcm-2 intensities is delivered in Target area Petawatt. While TAW is a flexible area that can combine all eight beams providing 200 TW in two short pulses with 1.2KJ in 6 long pulses (ns).

About The Role

The CLF is now seeking an individual with a background in laser science to work as a Short Pulse Laser Scientist. Working as part of a team of scientists and engineers, the Laser Scientist will contribute to the ongoing development of the Vulcan laser facility with specific emphasis in the short and long pulse laser systems. This will involve working on a variety of OPCPA systems and working with diode pumped laser sources.

Depending on experience duties will include:

  • Daily operation of the Vulcan laser facility carrying out the necessary changes to the laser configuration as per the demands of the user programme
  • Maintaining the laser systems and rectifying faults as they arise
  • Align and operate and commercial laser systems part of the facility
  • Align and develop stretcher and compressors for high power lasers
  • Be responsible for the operation and develop diagnostics to characterise the performance of the laser.

About You

It is essential that you have a degree in physics or a closely related subject and a PhD in physics (or equivalent relevant experience).

Experience with aligning and working with short pulse lasers and their diagnostics as well as designing and commissioning experimental apparatus and scientific instrument development and design is essential.

You must have knowledge in the field of short pulse laser generation and a track record of publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Post-Doctoral research experience (or equivalent relevant experience) and experience in ultrafast laser, diagnostics and OPA development is preferred but not essential.

It is desired that you have a track record of scientific publication and/or presentations at international conferences as well as proficiency with LabVIEW, MATLAB or C++ programming.

It is preferred that you have experience in CPA schemes and their alignment and extended knowledge in the field of laser physics and opto-electronics.

You must be physically able to work in a high-power laser laboratory and should be prepared to work flexible hours.


An exceptional index linked pension scheme, 30 days leave allowance and flexible working are offered.

STFC holds the Investor in People Gold accreditation and offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, exceptional pension scheme, social and sporting activities and societies, a subsidised restaurant and good public transport links.

Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages (

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 visit our job board at Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on +44 (0)1793 867000.

The closing date for applications is 14th March 2018.