PhD 'Imaging and Nuclear Waste Characterisation using laser plasma accelerators'

University of Strathclyde

  • Scotland
  • £Funded position
  • Academic - PhD/MSc

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Qualification Type: PhD
Location: University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Funding amount: £15311 Stipend plus fees
Duration: 4 years
Hours: Full Time
Starting date: 01/10/20 (anticipated)
Deadline: 12/06/20

The University of Strathclyde are inviting applications for a PhD position to join exciting new projects in developing novel knowledge and potential applications using laser-plasma wakefield accelerators (LWFAs). Students will conduct experiments at our new state-of-the-art Scottish Centre for Applications of Plasma based Accelerators (SCAPA) and international (RAL, CLPU, GSI, ELI etc.) laser facilities. Our vibrant group of experimentalists and theoreticians have pioneered advances in driving compact synchrotron sources (1), gamma ray production (2). PhD training will be given through advanced courses via the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) Graduate School, and tailor made residential courses, involving collaborators for in depth research and transferable skills.

Laser Plasma Accelerators (LPAs) can produce femtosecond duration x-ray and gamma-ray beams for characterisation of plant, structures, nuclear waste and radiation damage testing. Together with academic and industrial partners (Jacobs) this Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) funded project will exploit the unique properties of a laser-plasma accelerator to image and characterise nuclear waste. The project will explore fundamental science of laser-plasma phenomena and the feasibility of detecting nuclear material, by gating the materials signature after irradiance of a LPA radiation pulse. The project is supported with substantial funding from the £3.5 M EPSRC ‘Plasma Accelerators for Nuclear Applications and Material Studies (PANAMA)’ National Nuclear User Facility grant.  
Eligibility: List of essential (E) and desirable (D) requirements necessary to fulfil the role.

  • Candidates must have 1st or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) (E)
  • A relevant master’s qualification or equivalent (D)

Knowledge & Experience:
  • Ability to develop and understand complex problems and apply in-depth knowledge to address them (D)
  • Preliminary knowledge of laser-plasma physics (D)
  • Experience working in the nuclear sector (D)
  • Ability to work effectively with others (D)

Other Requirements:
  • UK or EU nationals only. (E)
How to Apply: Please send an email with your CV and cover letter to Dr Mohammed Shahzad (mohammed.shahzad@strath.ac.uk)

1. Schlenvoigt H-P, Haupt K, Debus A, Budde F, Jäckel O, Pfotenhauer S, et al. A compact synchrotron radiation source driven by a laser-plasma wakefield accelerator. Nat Phys. 2008 Feb;4(2):130–3.

2. Cipiccia S, Islam MR, Ersfeld B, Shanks RP, Brunetti E, Vieux G, et al. Gamma-rays from harmonically resonant betatron oscillations in a plasma wake. Nature Physics. 2011 Nov;7(11):867–71.

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