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Electron Kinetics Group Leader

The UK Atomic Energy Authority is looking to recruit an Electron Kinetics Group Leader

  • Closing soon
  • Closing date: 15 Apr 2021
  • United Kingdom | UK Atomic Energy Authority
  • Date posted: 16 Mar 2021
  • Job type: Research facilities
  • Disciplines: Plasma science & technology  | Optics, lasers & photonics 

Electron Kinetics Group Leader
Abingdon Rd, Culham, UK
Department: Tokamak Science
Salary: £53,017 to £56,555 + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
Confirmed grade: Level 6
Site location: UKAEA Culham, Oxfordshire

Company description

By 2050, the planet could be using twice as much electricity compared to today. Are you interested in managing a team contributing 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.

Job description

Who are we looking for?
We are seeking a capable and innovative physicist to manage a group of talented scientists, engineers and technicians within the Diagnostics Unit at UKAEA. You will have excellent knowledge in your specialised field, offering technical expertise to your team and the wider organisation. You will have the ability to effectively line manage and motivate a team to ensure strategic goals and objectives are met.

The responsibilities of your group play a key role in the maintenance, operation, calibration, and development of laser and microwave diagnostics on the JET tokamak including instrumentation, data validation and analysis. This is a great opportunity to use your excellent communication and analytical skills to create, present and interpret valuable data for internal and external stakeholders, whilst ensuring the continuing support for operations on JET.

Contributing to domestic and international fusion research projects and producing high-quality scientific output is strongly encouraged in this role.

What will you be responsible for?

  • Leading and managing the Electron Kinetics Group in support of JET operations.
  • Providing line management for the team, including performance management, motivation and development, recruitment, financial budgets.
  • Overseeing commissioning, maintenance, operation and calibration of laser and microwave diagnostics including the development of new calibration techniques.
  • Overseeing the production of analysed data from the group’s diagnostics, including development of software for inter-shot and off-line analysis, and cross-checks with other measurements to check/test consistency, liaising with users to ensure their requirements are met and to assist them with data interpretation.
  • Managing the activities of the group with regards to diagnostic development and upgrade projects.
  • Report and provide technical consultancy on the status of diagnostics to both UKAEA and external stakeholders.
  • Ensure compliance with UKAEA safety and quality systems regarding operation of group diagnostics.
  • Identify capability needs within the group to meet UKAEA strategic aims and objectives and ensure that the needs are met through staff development and recruitment.

Special requirements

  • Occasional shift work in support of JET operations.
  • Occasional UK and international travel.
  • Direct involvement in machine operations is strongly encouraged (e.g. by taking on a control room role).
  • Perform work in controlled areas (radiation and/or tritium) when required. Full training and medical assessments will be provided.


Essential skills, experience and competence required

  • PhD in physics or equivalent research experience.
  • Ability to lead an interdisciplinary team in a research environment.
  • Strong knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas:
    – Design and operation of high-power lasers and optical transmission systems.
    – Electron Cyclotron Emission and microwave diagnostics.
    – Diagnostic data analysis, including writing and maintaining codes.
    – Plasma physics. 

Desirable skills, experience and competence

  • Knowledge of general tokamak physics.
  • Experience in the design and operation of plasma diagnostics.

Additional information

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, particularly 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’ (EDI) partner, with the support from our Inclusion Ambassadors, is actively promoting EDI and taking steps to increase the diversity of our people through reinforcing best practice in recruitment and selection, and revaluating approaches where it is clear we can remove barriers to success. We are easily accessible by car and are a 10-minute walk from Culham Railway Station in Oxfordshire.

Please be advised that this vacancy is due to close on  the 15 April 2021. We may close earlier than this date 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.


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