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By 2050, the planet could be using twice as much electricity compared to today. Are you interested in contributing and helping to shape the future of the world’s energy? If so, read on.
Fusion, the process that powers the Sun and Stars, is one of the most promising options for generating the cleaner, carbon-free energy that our world badly needs. UKAEA are at the forefront of realising energy from fusion, working with industry and research partners to deliver the ground-breaking developments that will underpin tomorrow’s fusion power stations with the aim of bringing fusion electricity to the grid.
Who are we looking for?
UKAEA are seeking core plasma modellers with some software skills and a commitment to improving the quality and effectiveness of research software and exploiting it to do cutting edge research.
If you enjoy collaborating with other physicists – understanding their goals, and building clear, well-tested software for research projects and would like to work within a friendly team on your own research and software that will help make fusion energy a reality, this could be a great opportunity for you.
It is an exciting period at UKAEA: our new experiment MAST-Upgrade (MAST-U) is commissioned and ready to explore the spherical tokamak route to fusion and test novel plasma exhaust concepts; and the UK Government recently committed £200M for the concept design of a fusion reactor, STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production). Moreover, JET, the largest tokamak on the planet, is preparing for record-breaking fusion experiments with deuterium-tritium plasmas.
If you have a demonstrably strong scientific and/or technical aptitude, UKAEA has opportunities for you to join the Integrated Scenarios and Transport Unit within the Tokamak Science department. We would want you to be as passionate as we are about developing and exploiting state-of-the-art integrated modelling tools to model plasmas, design scenarios and study plasma transport in a range of existing and future tokamaks: JET, MAST-U, JT-60SA, ITER, DEMO and STEP. We will consider favourably candidates with desire, willingness and potential to learn new skills and to grow into new areas of physical and technical knowledge.
Please note this vacancy is being advertised across two grades. The level 4 role offers a salary of £35,486 to £37,924 (inclusive of MPP) and the level 5 role offers a salary of £48,208 to £51,385 (inclusive of MPP). Evidence collated within the interview process will determine the awarded level if successful.
What will you be responsible for?
This role may span a broad range of tokamak integrated modelling applications and is likely to require the integration and validation of new transport models. On-the-job training, as appropriate, will ensure that you can fulfil the key accountabilities for this post, which may include any of the following:
- Exploit and validate JETTO core transport code and its integrated models.
- Integrate and test new or upgraded models in JETTO as they become available. Collaborate pro-actively with universities and other international collaborators to improve models.
- Share knowledge, support other users with their simulations.
- Propose and lead/contribute to the research programmes of MAST-U, JET and JT-60SA.
- Propose and lead/contribute to scenario development efforts for ITER and DEMO.
- Propose and lead/contribute to design programme for STEP.
The definitive key accountabilities and the balance between scientific research and software improvements may be adapted to suit your strengths and preferences. However, you will be encouraged to disseminate your work internally, in publications and at conferences as appropriate.
Essential skills, experience and competence required
- PhD-level knowledge of plasma physics or equivalent work experience.
- Knowledge of good software engineering practices and Quality Assurance systems
- including version control, profiling tools, testing frameworks and debuggers.
- Ability, willingness, and ideally experience of working on and understanding large legacy codes written by others.
- Proven ability to conduct independent research.
- Experience and knowledge of at least one area of tokamak plasma modelling.
- Ability to interact with physicists and understand their requirements.
- Good oral and written communication skills.
- The post-holder must be a good team-player with an outward facing work-ethos as they will work closely with scientists from around the world.
Desirable skills, experience and competence
- Specific user experience with core tokamak plasma transport codes: e.g. JETTO
- Experience in running simulation codes within different frameworks and on different platforms.
- Experience with the IMAS platform.
- Experience with HPC
- Experience developing software within a team
- Understanding of scrape-off layer, divertor, atomic physics or plasma-wall interaction.
- High impact software outputs
- Strong record of publications
What we offer
- A competitive salary
- A culture committed to being fully inclusive, supported by a Being Inclusive Strategy and Inclusion Ambassadors
- An Employee Assistance Programme and trained Mental Health First Aiders, with a full calendar of health and wellbeing initiatives
- Flexible working options including family friendly policies
- Emergency leave (paid)
- 30.5 days annual leave (including privilege days and 3 days between Christmas and New Year) increased with length of service
- Wide range of career development opportunities (e.g professional registration, internal promotions, coaching and mentoring programme)
- Outstanding defined benefit pension scheme
- Annual corporate bonus scheme
- Relocation allowance (if eligible)
We welcome applications from under-represented groups, particular from individuals from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds, including nationality and citizenship, people with disabilities, (visible and hidden) and women. Our dedicated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Partner, with the support of our Inclusion Ambassadors, is actively promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the organisation to help make our organisation an employer of choice. We are easily accessible by car and are a 10 minute walk from Culham Railway Station.
Please be advised that this vacancy may close earlier than stated if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.
Please note all employees working at the UK Atomic Energy Authority will be required to complete an online Disclosure Certificate application as part of their clearance – The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks will show the details of all current criminal convictions (convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) or will confirm that there are no such convictions.