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Target Fabrication Engineer - 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. 

The group you'll be working with:

Target Fabrication is the group within the Central Laser Facility responsible for providing complex micro targets for use in high-power laser experiments. The micro targets are placed at the focal point of high-intensity laser interactions and micro components are often made from novel materials typically assembled in complex geometries. Target specifications are dependent on experimental requirements and vary broadly from one campaign to the next. Topics of experimental study span plasma physics and particle acceleration, laboratory astrophysics, and industrial applications.

In order to create extreme environments, the laser is focused to an interaction point comparable to the width of a human hair and consequently targets are required to have features of the same magnitude.  On such small scales manufacture and quality control is extremely challenging. Target Fabrication utilises a wide range of physical and chemical processes, together with advanced characterisation techniques, to deliver targets that meet experimental needs.

Summary of Key Duties

The placement student at Target Fabrication will further advance the ongoing project in automating Target Fabrication’s manufacture. Target Fabrication has a key deliverable in the next 5-10 years of enabling high-repetition rate laser experiments by delivering thousands of batch produced targets to laser experiments. To achieve the key capability the student will use robotic pick-and-place, automated glue dispensing and bespoke fixturing solutions to manufacture large numbers of laser targets with high precision. The ultimate goal is to deliver a fully automated, high throughput, high precision micro target production capability.


Support the more general microengineering requirements of the group specifically by 1) 3D design work using CAD software and 2) AM printing objects for the group and wider facility.


  • Core responsibility: Continue the ongoing technical project in automation of target assembly using robotics.

Additional responsibilities:

  • Produce 3D models of novel geometries (for AM)
  • Produce detailed CAD models of target geometries for schematics and manufacturing purposes
  • Print a range of micro components using the group’s AM system.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Partly completed a relevant degree in Engineering or other highly relevant discipline
  • Have knowledge of automated manufacture.

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.


Target Fabrication Engineer - Industrial Placement - IRC250762

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More about this vacancy

Number of vacancies: 
Up to 5