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Neutron Imaging Improvement Industrial Placement

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STFC - ISIS - Neutron Imaging Improvement Industrial Placement

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.

Each year we offer opportunities to undergraduate 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. 

The student will work with the data collected with one of our neutron imaging detector to improve and implement the current software (BEAn) used for strain mapping and materials analysis. Neutron imaging is a non-destructive technique mainly used for visualizing the internal structure of objects. Recently, a new neutron imaging technique, called energy-resolved neutron imaging, has become very appealing because of its capability to determine, with spatial resolution, physical quantities such as elemental distribution, phase composition or crystal orientation.

The transmission spectrum of neutrons through a sample shows a sharp increase (Bragg Edge) at certain wavelengths. The time-of-flight method has the advantage that each neutron pulse contains the full thermalized neutron spectrum and so a large number of Bragg edges can be observed in a single measurement. Because this method non-destructively investigates the crystallographic and metallographic structure of a material over a wide area, it has recently attracted industrial interest, especially for high-temperature gas turbine materials including the single-crystal nickel superalloys used for turbine blades. The Bragg-edge transmission spectrum data analysis code is currently being developed to extract useful information from experimental data.

Finally, a further opportunity exists for a student with interests in detector hardware to participate in the testing of this detector in parallel with their work on the software development.

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.


  • 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 (S)
  • Right to live and work in the UK (S)
  • Background in physics, materials or computer science at degree level (S&I)
  • Experience in computer software development, though not necessarily through formal training (S&I)
  • Experience of working in a laboratory environment (I)
  • Attention to detail, careful record keeping and the ability to multitask and prioritise effectively (I)
  • Strong scientific motivation and independent approach to problems (S&I)
  • Happy to work in an active environment with a mixture of lab- and office-based work (S&I).


  • Understanding of general concepts in physics/materials science and interest in developing this (I)
  • Experience or interest in imaging, optics or photography (S&I)
  • Experience in physical property measurements (e.g. specific heat, magnetisation, electrical characterisation) (S&I)
  • Experience in software development using Python packages (S&I)
  • Experience in laboratory x-ray diffraction or X-ray imaging (I)
  • Experience working with chemicals and understanding of relevant general safety practices (I).


Neutron Imaging Improvement Industrial Placement - IRC250998

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Number of vacancies: 
Up to 5