Gun Technician

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We are a research company that is investigating inertial confinement fusion through hypervelocity impacts. First Light has a two-stage light gas gun, which is an important part of our experimental capability. We are expanding our current light gas gun capabilities by building a new facility and are looking for a candidate to take over the day to day running of this facility.

We believe this is an exciting and varied role operating some of the largest gas guns in Europe, interfacing with high-tech diagnostics and working with motivated, smart colleagues. While being a specialist, you will also interact with other teams frequently and manage your own area.

Responsibilities will include:

• Operate the gas guns during daily usage. This will involve maintaining and firing both two-stage light gas guns.
• Develop the capabilities of the facility and assist in experimental campaigns.
• Participate in continuous improvement of the performance of the two-stage light gas gun.


• Educated to HND level in a Physics or Engineering discipline or have equivalent experience.
• Good mechanical engineering skills.
• Excellent health and safety awareness.
• Fast and effective problem-solving skills.
• Ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines.
• Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
• Demonstrable ability to keep good records, documentation, and a high overall level of organisation


• Experience with similar work at an experimental facility.
• Experience using pressurised gases, pneumatics, hydraulics and vacuum systems.
• Experience with laser safety systems and the use of lasers for diagnostics. You will be trained to use optics and align them for experiments.
• Knowledge of computerised control systems such as Labview. Training will be provided on the systems we use.
• Experience with logic gate circuits for control and safety systems


• Very competitive salary
• 25 days annual leave (increasing to 28 with time in service) + bank holidays
• 8% employer pension contribution without matching requirements
• Relocation support
• Flexible working
• Generous share options scheme
• Free lunch and soft drinks
• Enhanced maternal / paternal leave
• Enhanced sick leave

Additional information

How to apply

Please send your application and CV, if you don’t hear back from us within four weeks, it means that unfortunately your application was unsuccessful at this time.

Informal enquiries may also be addressed to

The interview process

We typically carry out two separate interviews, each one about sixty to ninety minutes long.

The first one aims to understand how your skills match what is required for the job and the discussion will be focused on your areas of expertise. If successful, you will be invited to the second interview, which is more focused on your personal skills, and how your objectives align with the company mission and values. We try to understand the value you will add to First Light, and how you can thrive and be happy with us. There will be opportunity to ask us as many questions as you like.

If you are invited to the second interview, it’s probably time to warm up two of your referees, as we may ask you to put us in touch with them. If you are the successful candidate, we will send you an offer letter and, once agreed, a contract.

If you are invited to an interview, we will certainly get back to you to let you know the outcome.

To help with logistics issues, we can arrange so that the two interviews are organised on the same day. We will also reimburse reasonable expenses you incur to come to talk to us.

We don’t have a dress code at First Light and regardless of seniority there is a good mix of tshirts, trainers, shirts and blazers. For your interview, please dress in whatever makes you feel most confident and comfortable.

Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion

We are a small company with a huge mission. The only important aspect for the team, and for each individual, is the contribution they can make. Our selection process and requirements for career progression disregard gender, gender identity, race, disability, colour, religion, and all other aspects of diversity that make us all humans. Diverse teams have been
proven to be better and we strongly believe it. We’re not perfect but we strive to be.

Information for recruiters

We work with a trusted network of recruiters, therefore CVs sent by other recruitment agencies will not be considered. In the event that  the company receives a CV from both the direct applicant and a recruitment agency, the CV will be treated as a direct application by the individual only. Unsolicited contact from recruitment agencies will be disregarded.

First Light Fusion

We are a lean, focused and agile company researching energy generation by inertial confinement fusion. We spun out from the University of Oxford in June 2011 and are based near Oxford. First Light continues to work closely with the academic community, both in the UK and internationally. The company is well-funded by both institutional investors and private individuals.

Inertial confinement fusion for energy generation is a well-established research field and is being pursued in many laboratories worldwide, perhaps most notably in the US at the National Ignition Facility. We are exploring a number of alternative research directions that harness the same fundamental physics, with the prime focus being power generation. Our work to-date has included theoretical analysis, detailed numerical simulation, and experimental validation.

We have an increasingly clear vision of the pathway to a power plant.

We really believe fusion will be solved in the 2020s. If it’s solved by us, fantastic, if it’s solved by someone else, still great.

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