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Cryogenics Engineer - Industrial Placement

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The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We are 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.

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.

STFC consists of several distinct departments which each focus on a different specialism within science, technology, innovation and support, yet work together to achieve STFC’s grand ambitions. Different departments may look for placement students with similar skills, so you should consider which role/s are most suitable to you, and apply for up to two of these. 

Based at the STFC Daresbury Laboratory, ASTeC is the UK's centre of expertise for accelerator science and technology. ASTeC studies all aspects of the science and technology of charged particle accelerators, ranging from large scale international and national research facilities, through to specialised industrial and medical applications. The RF and Cryogenics Group within ASTeC undertakes world class research and development programmes, including key contributions to the European Spallation Source, High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider, and Fermilab’s PIP-II program. The group undertakes research on both normal and superconducting accelerating technologies in support of these and many other projects.

As part of the UK's in-kind contribution to the ESS, STFC is responsible for the procurement, qualification, testing, and delivery of 84 high-beta superconducting RF cavities. These cavities, which accelerate the beam from 628 MeV to 2500 MeV, are a five cell bulk Niobium design operating at 704.42 MHz, designed at CEA Saclay. A new vertical test cryostat and helium cryoplant has been commissioned at Daresbury for RF testing of the cavities down to 2 K. A cleanroom facility has also been commissioned to allow reprocessing of cavities if required. The group is also engaged in the development of associated technologies such as SRF thin films and superconducting undulators, which also require a strong skill base in cryogenics.

An Industrial Placement student is sought to contribute to the development and operation of the vertical test facility, cryoplant, and associated cryogenic systems for ESS cavity testing. The student will also contribute to other low temperature activities, including characterisation of SRF thin films. The student will be heavily involved in the design and operation of cryogenic instrumentation, operation of control systems (EPICS, LabVIEW, etc) and contribute to writing of reports and technical papers. It may also be possible for the student to work on development of cavity testing facilities for PIP-II/DUNE dependent on project timescales. The student will develop practical laboratory skills in low temperature physics (cryogen handling, vacuum systems, instrumentation, control systems, etc.).

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. 

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.


Cryogenics Engineer - Industrial Placement - IRC250904

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Number of vacancies: 
Up to 5