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Artemis Ultra 100kHz upgrade sandwich student

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, technology and Engineering.

STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. To find out more about STFC please see one of our videos:

Each year we offer opportunities to undergraduate sandwich students to gain practical experience, working alongside technical experts at the forefront of scientific research. We offer an invaluable experience with exposure to world class science and technology, and the opportunity to develop working relationships that continue well after your placement has finished.

The Central Laser Facility (CLF) at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) is one of the world’s leading laser facilities, providing scientists from the UK and Europe with an unparalleled range of state-of-the-art laser technology.

The CLF’s wide ranging applications include experiments in physics, chemistry and biology, accelerating subatomic particles to high energies, probing chemical reactions on the shortest timescales and studying biochemical and biophysical process critical to life itself.

From advanced, compact, tuneable lasers which can pinpoint individual particles to high power laser installations that recreate the conditions inside stars, a vigorous development programme ensures that our facilities maintain their international competitiveness.

Summary of Key Duties

In July 2018 the CLF’s Artemis Facility will move location and with the ULTRA Facility commission a new state of the art high power femtosecond laser for laser pump and probe measurements. Experiments on Artemis investigate ultra-fast electron dynamics in condensed matter and gas-phase molecules and ULTRA combines laser, detector and sample manipulation technology to probe molecular dynamics on the femtosecond to microsecond timescales in research on proteins, DNA, catalysts and molecular devices.

We seek a sandwich student to work with a team of CLF scientists and engineers to support the commissioning of the new facility.  You will be given the opportunity to experience work at the leading edge of science facility development in areas, including preparation of the laser laboratory infrastructure, development of experimental diagnostics and instrumentation and learning chemical and laser safety.    


  • lead defined projects in support of the commissioning of the new laser system such as
  • implementation of optical feedback control to stabilise lasers
  • building optical device to measure the spectral characteristics of the laser
  • interfacing new optomechanical instrumentation with user interface on PC’s  work with the CLF team on the physical move of the Artemis and installation of the new laser
  • work safely within the laboratory environment

Given the scope of the work there will be a number of potential projects that you could take on.  This provides flexibility for the local supervisor, a member of the Artemis/Ultra team, to define suitable projects for you based on your experience.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria


  • 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
  • enrolled in degree in physical or engineering sciences, with grades corresponding to a 2:1 or higher
  • right to live and work in the UK
  • A level Maths and Physics
  • interest in scientific instrumentation and development
  • highly motivated
  • able to work in a team
  • good communicator
  • able to show initiative


  • A level chemistry
  • knowledge in interfacing instrumentation (oscilloscopes, mechanical devices) to computers
  • programming skills (particularly in Labview)

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Interview Date: 27th - 29th of November 2018

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