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Graduate working at STFC

Gemini Laser Target Areas (Physics) - Year-Long Placement

Background 

STFC offers you an opportunity to gain paid practical experience as part of your degree. Each year STFC recruit up to 45 sandwich students who are able to use and develop the skills they have acquired at university in a working environment, providing learning on the job and participating in research projects alongside expert scientists and engineers. You will learn a set of new skills to help you in your further studies and future career. 

The Central Laser Facility based at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is a world leading research department containing two high power lasers (Vulcan and Gemini) and several medium and lower power lasers. Researchers from the UK, EU and around the world come to use our facilities to carry out a wide range of cutting edge experiments in the physical sciences, materials research and life science. The high power lasers are focussed to very high intensities to create extreme conditions comparable to the centre of a star. This incredible environment allows users to carry out fundamental experiments exploring relativistic plasmas, fusion mechanisms for energy production and laboratory astrophysics. In the near future we expect to be able to utilise radiation and accelerated particles from the plasma for application to societal issues such as ion and electron oncology, medical radiography and security screening.

The Gemini facility invite applicants for this position working within our Target Area team alongside our visiting scientists. During this placement there will be opportunities to participate in and support the variety of high power laser-plasma interactions experiments that are performed with Gemini. In addition there will be several short and long term projects based on both diagnostic development and implementation, to maintain Gemini’s world leading capabilities.

Welcome to STFC

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is one of Europe's largest multidisciplinary research organisations supporting scientists and engineers world-wide.

List of Duties/ Responsibilites 

The work undertaken in the target areas change with each experiment and can vary from sourcing equipment to the design and running of plasma diagnostics and data analysis from experiments. The candidate would be expected to undertake several projects during the year that improve diagnosis of experiments, or the facilities that deliver them, in order to help Gemini maintain its world-leading capabilities. Project ideas from the candidate are always welcomed. The work is fast paced and can be very demanding at times, but a friendly, informal working environment is maintained throughout.

A placement within HPL Target Areas offers an excellent opportunity to participate in an exciting research environment pushing the boundaries of science, as well as honing your personal skills and knowledge in science education and self-management.

Contacts and Communication

The position is in a team environment working directly with staff in the Gemini Target Area team as well as alongside external researchers (PhD students up to Professors) from mostly UK/EU universities.

Personal Skills and Attributes 

Candidates must have a good grasp of basic physics concepts (eg optics, electromagnetism), be able to apply their knowledge to new topics and be adept in the lab. An interest and previous experience in programming is useful, but not essential. Good communications skills are essential, the ability to work autonomously and in a team. Drive and an enthusiasm for science are definitely a positive attribute. Previous experience in a customer facing environment and the ability to manage self and others would be beneficial.

Qualifications 

Desirable:

programming skills/interest in programming
have customer facing experience
management and people skills from hobbies or previous work experience.

Knowledge/Skills and Experience 

Essential:

  • good understanding of basic physics concepts (optics, electromagnetism, lasers)
  • excellent practical laboratory skills.

Desirable:

  • appreciation /awareness of Health and Safety.

Personal Skills & Qualities 

Essential:

  • good communication skills
  • the willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical
  • demonstrate good team working capabilities
  • open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them.

Personal Skills/Qualities 

Essential:

  • good communication skills
  • ability to listen
  • ability to apply knowledge
  • the willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical
  • ability to work in a team or on your own
  • open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them
  • drive and enthusiasm.

Knowledge/Skills and Experience 

Essential:

  • good understanding of basic physics concepts (optics, electromagnetism, lasers)
  • excellent practical laboratory skills (this will be tested by a simple exercise).

Desirable

  • appreciation /awareness of Health and Safety.

Special Requirements 

Essential:

  • appreciation of the correct handling of expensive and delicate equipment
  • have the ability and mobility to work in a laboratory environment
  • able to wear PPE (laser goggles, gloves, mask etc).

Remember to mention TARGETjobs when contacting employers!

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