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System architecture for virtual machines and cloud computing - Industrial Placement

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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. 

UKRI Microelectronics Centre

Based at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, The UKRI Microelectronics Centre is dedicated to stimulating and supporting the use of complex engineering software on both local computing and cloud platforms. We have an opportunity for you to join a small team of highly experienced engineers and system managers, where you will gain significant experience of system architecture for engineering environments and contribute to development of new virtualised services on both local and remote computing platforms including the cloud.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

This demanding role, a fusion of system architecture and software development, will provide experience of the development and configuration of Virtual Machines especially focusing on automated processes to create customisable Linux virtual machines with fully configured engineering software installations.

You will develop configuration management code for systems that automate the deployment of virtual machines that include pre-configured installations of complex engineering CAD software.  For cloud based deployment this will also include customisation and configuration of virtual private clouds, elastic IPs and multiple machine instances.

You will gain wide experience of using DevOps principles for the creation of system architectures required for complex engineering CAD software, the configuration and use of virtual machines, and allocation of cloud based computing resources for compute intensive tasks.

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)
  • Studying relevant degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science or similar with degree content relevant to the vacancy (S)
  • Good user knowledge of Linux computing (S&I)
  • Proven programming ability especially in languages suited to scripting (S&I)
  • Good understanding of the principles of virtualisation and virtualisation technologies (I)
  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written (in English) (S&I)
  • Demonstrate good team working capabilities. (I)


  • Understanding of the principles behind Linux operating systems and their administration (S&I)
  • Experience of cloud computing and/or AWS configuration scripting language (S&I)
  • Appreciation of the concepts and benefits of containerisation e.g. Docker, Kubernetes etc. (S&I)
  • Experience of using virtual machine systems e.g. Hyper V, VMware etc. (S&I)


System architecture for virtual machines and cloud computing - Industrial Placement - IRC250829

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Number of vacancies: 
Up to 5