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Laser Scientist (Pulse Compressor and Diagnostics) - Vulcan

STFC - The Science and Technology Facilities Council

Location: Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire

Come and discover the kind of impact you can make when you work with some of the best facilities and brightest scientists in the world.

An exciting opportunity exists to join the Central Laser Facility (CLF), at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, to work in a new project called Vulcan 20-20. The Vulcan high power laser facility sits at the heart of the CLF, and for decades has been internationally recognised as a globally leading laser facility, providing access for UK and international researchers working on a wide range of topics in high energy density and plasma science. 

The CLF has recently secured funding for an ambitious £82M upgrade to the Vulcan facility (termed Vulcan 20-20) to increase its power to 20 PW, and its energy to 20 kJ. It will be the highest power laser in the world. We are looking for a wide range of scientists with excellent technical skills to help design, build and deliver Vulcan 20-20.

As part of the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC), the CLF contains many state-of-the-art laser systems and experimental stations, along with expert scientists, engineers and technicians that work with academic and industry users to deliver science across a broad range of fields. The CLF has around 200 staff and it is a very friendly, outgoing, externally facing sort of place.

About The Role

You will join the Vulcan 20-20 laser team and contribute to many aspects of the design of the new high peak power beam line with particular focus on the pulse compressor to achieve the 20 PW peak power requirement. You will be working closely with a team of laser scientists and following a period of training you will be expected to perform optical design and design short pulse diagnostics.  

The key areas of the role include:

  • contributing significantly to the design of the short pulse compressor for the 20 PW beam and associated diagnostics 
  • performing optical modelling of subsystems to ensure project meets specification
  • working as part of a larger team collaborating with engineers to design key mechanical equipment and with large optics manufacturers to ensure the optics meet the required performance
  • contributing significantly to the installation and commissioning of specialist equipment including alignment of large optics and diagnostics
  • contributing to the characterisation of the short pulse

This is an excellent opportunity for you to gain experience of laser science with the newest generation of technology.

About You

You will have a PhD or equivalent experience in a relevant field, as well having postdoctoral experience in a relevant scientific area with a record of independent research or autonomous thinking. 

You should have good knowledge of laser science and nonlinear optics. You will ideally be familiar with short pulse generation and have experience laser amplification, in addition you will have experience of using optical design software.

You will also have experience in scientific instrument development.

What we offer

We are offering a permanent position with a whole host of benefits including:

  • 30 days holiday annually (in addition to 10.5 bank holidays and privilege days)
  • flexible working hours
  • an excellent defined average salary pension scheme
  • employee shopping/travel discounts
  • excellent learning and development opportunities
  • visa Sponsorship for candidates applying outside of the UK

Plus many more benefits and wellbeing initiatives that enable our employees to have a great work life balance!

UKRI is an Equal Opportunity & Disability Confident Employer.

We ask some of the biggest questions in the universe, to answer some of the biggest challenges in the world. Together, our scientists, technologists, engineers and business support team explore the unknown across every field you could think of. And they turn what they find into work that changes the world around us.

What could you achieve with the world-leading facilities and experts of one of Europe's largest research organisations by your side? Join us and discover what's possible.

To apply, please click on the ‘Apply’ button above

Location: Didcot, Oxfordshire
Salary: £48,802 to £53,682 per annum (dependent on skills and experience)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 2nd February 2024
Closes: 3rd March 2024
Job Ref: 2400004V
   
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