South East


Target Fabrication is a group at the Central Laser Facility responsible for providing complex objects for use in high-power laser experiments. These objects are at the focal point of high-intensity laser interactions and are made into complex geometries from novel materials. Target requirements are dependent on experimental requirements and vary broadly from one experimental campaign to the next; the experiments topics span plasma physics and particle acceleration, laboratory astrophysics, and industrial applications opportunities.  

In order to create extreme environments the laser is focused to an interaction point comparable to the width of a human hair, the targets that are required have features of the same magnitude. On this scale manufacture and quality control is extremely challenging! Target Fabrication requires a wide capability of physical and chemical processes, together with advanced characterisation techniques to deliver targets that meet the experiment’s requirements.  

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities  

Are you studying a degree related to MEMS (Micro-electromechanical systems) or closely related to Physics/Engineering?  

The placement student at Target Fabrication will be tasked with developing Target Fabrication’s ability to produce and deliver nanometre-thick foils to laser experiments. These foils will be manufactured using a combination of wafer-baser MEMS technology and thin-film coating. Target Fabrication has a key deliverable for EPAC in the next 3-5 years of supporting high-repetition rate laser experiments; delivering thousands of batched produced targets to operations. This project will aim to reach this goal and increase the capability of Target Fabrication to produce such targets. 

Responsibilities will include: 

  • Support the group in a wider sense by operating thin-film coating equipment for complementary projects.  
  • Demonstrate manufacture of targets using MEMS-based wafer processing and thin-film coating 
  • Improve the yield of suspended films over apertures by implementing engineering solutions 
  • Quality control the resultant targets using scientific equipment including techniques such as AFM, SEM and interferometry 
  • Work in a clean-room laboratory environment 
  • Complete project documentation by tracking progress against milestones 
  • Use CAD skills to assist the wider group with 3d design 

In order to apply for this role you must have:  


  • 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  
  • Right to live and work in the UK  
  • Subject of degree to be related to MEMS (Micro-electromechanical systems) or closely related (Physics/Engineering)  
  • Good knowledge on the basics of physics, A-level Physics (or equivalent) minimum  
  • Knowledge of MEMS and wafer-based manufacturing (university project or individual interest)  
  • Working experience with 3D CAD design software  
  • Good knowledge of micro-physics relating to the physics/engineering at the micro-scale  
  • Some knowledge of current developments in MEMS technology  
  • Familiarity with Windows operating system  
  • Good understanding of the terms repeatability, accuracy and tolerance in an engineering context  
  • The ability to work individually on a project, plan effectively and write reports  


  • Some low-level practical experience with MEMS systems or manufacturing  
  • Has used Solid Edge or Autodesk Inventor  
  • Basic knowledge of the type of experiment that could take place with a high-power laser, knowledge relevant to the Central Laser Facility and it’s purpose  
  • Proven examples of working in a team to complete a technical or scientific project  
  • Has presented project work to their academic supervisors or peers  
  • Can identify hazards and work safely in a challenging environment 

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community.  

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. 

More Details



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Didcot, Oxfordshire


South East

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