Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC252359
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £38318 - £54308
Date Posted 09 January 2020
Grade UKRI-Band F
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 16 February 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: Band E £38,318 - £42,576 Band F £48,877 - £54,308
Grade: UKRI - E or UKRI F
Contract Type: Fixed Term - Band E 3 years or Band F 5 years
Hours: Full Time/Part Time (minimum 30 hours)
Closing Date: 16th February 2020


The Central Laser Facility (CLF) is one of the world’s leading laser centres, providing scientists mainly from the UK and continental Europe with access to an unparalleled range of state of the art laser technology. The CLF has around 180 staff and its function - user facility, international research – makes it a very friendly, outgoing, externally facing sort of place.  It has a welcoming and inclusive culture, and you will find that people will naturally help and support you.

The CLF is building a new laser centre - the Extreme Photonics Applications Centre (EPAC) and is seeking new team members to help to build this and to contribute to our existing facilities. EPAC is an £81M facility that will use lasers developed by our team to drive new types of novel particle and radiation beams that can be applied to a wide range of problems in science and industry. We are looking for people like you, Scientists and Engineers at all stages of their careers to be a part of our friendly and enthusiastic team.

As a Senior Laser Scientist you will join the EPAC team to develop a high energy, high pulse rate (10 Hz) titanium-sapphire (Ti:Sa) amplifier system for the EPAC facility. This final power amplifier will take the stretched seed pulse from the EPAC Front End and amplify this with particular focus on preserving the bandwidth of the generated pulses, and managing thermal effects associated with operation at high average power. You will have extensive knowledge and experience of designing laser amplifiers, and ideally have experience of short pulse amplification and characterisation techniques, along with an understanding of the impact of amplifier design on contrast, wave front and phase errors, which can affect output pulse duration, and methods to control these.

Your responsibilities will be to:

  • Contribute to the optical and mechanical design of the amplifier and multi-pass extraction scheme
  • Contribute to the optical and performance modelling of the amplifier to ensure it meets the required specification
  • Contribute to the design, selection, and testing of optical components
  • Contribute to development of novel pumping schemes
  • Contribute to the construction, alignment and commissioning of amplifier system and beam transportation stages
  • Contribute to the development of laser diagnostics and automated control systems.

As part of UK Research and Innovation, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations and operates at a number of sites within the UK, including RAL and many more around the world. RAL is home to about 1,200 staff that work with a community of more than 10,000 scientists and engineers mainly from the research sector, which spans the scientific spectrum including energy, security, materials healthcare, life-sciences and the environment to address important challenges facing society.

STFC is an award winning employer and RAL is a superb place to work – there is pioneering work going on all around the site and the environment, facilities and conditions are excellent.  RAL has a real buzz and the people working here have a profound sense of pride in what they achieve.  Alongside an excellent working environment and comprehensive continued professional development STFC offer’s a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance. This includes 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas shut down, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, an exceptional career average defined benefit pension scheme, and social and sporting activities and societies. Full details can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

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. More information can be found at

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.

Shortlisting (S) and Interview (I) Criteria

Essential Band E:

  • A degree in physics or a closely related subject (S)
  • A PhD in physics (or equivalent relevant experience) (S)
  • Post Doctoral research experience (or equivalent relevant experience) (S&I)
  • Experience in operation and development of laser systems (S&I)
  • Experience in scientific instrument development and design (S&I)
  • Track record of publication in peer-reviewed journals (S&I)
  • Able to work as part of a team (I)
  • Good command of written English (S&I)
  • Able to see novel solutions to problems (I)
  • Responsible approach to health and safety (I).

Desirable Band E:

  • Experience in development of amplifier systems (S&I)
  • Experience in Ultra short pulse generation, amplification and compression (S&I)
  • Experience in development of laser diagnostics and pulse characterisation (S&I)
  • Experience in scientific instrument development and design (S&I)
  • Proficiency with MATLAB (S&I)
  • Experience with Zemax or other equivalent optical design software (S&I)
  • Experience in diode pumped solid state lasers (S&I)
  • Experience in non-linear optics (I)
  • Previous experience in the management of projects and/or people (I)
  • Previous safety responsibilities (I)
  • Willing and able to work flexible hours and/or overtime (I)
  • Willing and able to travel internationally to conferences and to visit collaborators (I)
  • Willingness to present at conferences (I).

Essential Band F - the Band E essentials plus:

  • Track record of relevant publications in peer-reviewed journals (S)
  • Experience in laser amplification (S&I)
  • Experience in the development of Ultra short laser pulse generation systems (S&I)
  • Experience of managing and leading projects and/or people (S&I).

Desirable Band F - the Band E desirables plus:

  • Experience in the design of chirped pulse amplification systems (S&I)
  • Proficiency with MATLAB, MIRO, Zemax or other equivalent optical design software (S&I)
  • Previous safety responsibilities (S&I)
  • Proven Project Management Skills (I).

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits
UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent
We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities
We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

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