Interview Date: 14th August 2020
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a partner organisation within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI www.ukri.org). UKRI 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. RAL is a major UK national laboratory, operated by the STFC.
RAL Space is one of the largest interdisciplinary space departments in Europe, having a 50-year heritage of excellence in space flight and a proven track record in contributing to more than 200 instruments in space. Within RAL Space, the Quantum Sensors Group works on the development of Space Atom Interferometers to be used as Gravity and Gravity Gradient sensors with applications in Geophysics and Planetary Science, Climate Change studies, and Fundamental Physics.
About the role
The RAL Space's Quantum Sensors Group within the Imaging Systems Division was setup in 2014 to position STFC in the forefront of the Quantum Sensor for Space technology development. In particular, due to the foreseeable developing market, to build "in-house" capabilities for space applications of Atomic Interferometers and Clocks and other related Quantum Technologies. The group has setup a Cold Atoms laboratory, is running a number of projects, and is now willing to expand to be able to further develop the capabilities. Therefore, RAL Space is looking for an experienced Cold Atom/Quantum Optics physicist to contribute to the development and commissioning of the RAL Space Cold Atom Chip as well as to an Atom Interferometer and their optimization for space applications.
Your responsibilities would be to:
Design and documentation of technologies and experimental facilities relating cold atom interferometers, atomic clocks, and other quantum sensors
Contribute to the establishment of partnerships with research institutes, universities and industry in the field of quantum sensors
Contribute to project reviews, design reviews, and progress meetings, within the UK and abroad
Lead in (band D post) and/or contribute (band C post) to the writing of specifications, test plans, test reports and other documentation as required
Lead in and/or contribute to proposal preparation and costing (for Band D post)
Interact with external customers/suppliers during visits.
Report to the Quantum Sensors Group Leader, the Imaging Systems Division Head, Divisional Group Leaders, and senior project staff as appropriate.
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 www.ukri.org.
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 and Interview Criteria
The following criteria will be assessed at Shortlisting (S) Interview (I) or both (S&I).
Degree in Physics, Engineering or equivalent (S)
Undergraduate experience in the area of Atomic Physics or Quantum Optics for Band C (S)
Demonstrable postgraduate experience in the area of Atomic Physics or Quantum Optics for Band D (S)
Excellent written, oral and presentational skills (S&I)
Experience presenting at conferences or workshops, for Band D (S)
Good PC literacy skills; Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint being essential (S)
Inventive and lateral thinking (I)
Excellent attention to detail (S&I)
Highly self-motivated (S&I)
Able to work individually and as part of a team (S&I)
Excellent verbal communications skills including the ability to explain technical concepts effectively (I)
Experience in computer programming (Matlab, Python, or other programming languages). (S)
Experience presenting at conferences, workshops and/or meetings (S)
Ph.D. in Cold Atom Physics or Quantum Optics or equivalent for Band D post (S)
Experience with experimental manipulation of cold atom gases, atom laser cooling techniques, laser spectroscopy (S)
Knowledge of cold atom physics, Bose-Einstein condensates, quantum sensors (S&I)
Good knowledge of the use of analytical and modelling tools (Matlab, Mathematica, etc.) (S)
Knowledge of CAD tools (Autodesk Inventor, Solidworks, etc.) (S)
Good knowledge of programming experiment control systems (S)
Experience dealing with external suppliers and customers (S)
Ability to lead and manage small teams. (S&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.
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UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aims to provide a pay and reward package that motivates staff to the best of their ability. The reward and benefit package includes a flexible working scheme, an excellent Defined Benefit pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.
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.
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.
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