View the Physics World website

Research Scientist/Engineer

STFC is looking to recruit a Research Scientist/Engineer

  • Closing soon
  • Closing date: 13 Jun 2021
  • United Kingdom | Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
  • Date posted: 29 Apr 2021
  • Job type: Research facilities
  • Disciplines: Astronomy, cosmology & space science  | Engineering & instrumentation

UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Edinburgh
Salary: £31,931 to £34,709 per annum
Fixed-term contract (36 months)

We have an exciting opportunity to join a multidisciplinary team at STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) in Edinburgh. The UK ATC is the national centre of expertise for the design and production of state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation and systems. It provides a friendly and flexible environment, on a beautiful site combining a historic observatory with modern state-of-the-art facilities.

About the role

We are looking for an enthusiastic and creative Research Scientist/Engineer to play a key role in the Future Leaders Fellowship project ‘Printing the future of space telescopes’ (AM4Space), led by Dr C Atkins. The AM4Space motivation is to leverage the enhanced design freedom offered by additive manufacturing (AM) to create lightweight multifunctional mirror components for space telescopes that meet the strict launch and operational environments. The broader societal benefits of this approach include reduced waste and cost, increased access to manufacturing technologies, such as to lower income communities, and designing for a function as opposed to designing for conventional manufacture.

The long-term goal is to design and build an open-access nanosat technology demonstrator for Earth observation that highlights the design benefits of additive manufacture and its suitability for space flight hardware. To achieve this goal, the AM4Space Research Scientist/Engineer will join the project at the first stage, which will focus on developing a strategy for the adoption of additive manufacture to create lightweight, high quality, space qualified mirror components.

Your responsibilities in the role of AM4Space Research Scientist/Engineer include:

  • Design and evaluation of novel lightweight mirror structures using optimisation techniques, lattice generation and biomimicry.
  • Measurement and data analysis of additive manufacturing substrate materials to investigate the optimum alloys and print parameters for mirror fabrication.
  • Measurement, data analysis and evaluation of prototype additive manufactured mirrors.
  • Collaborating with internal colleagues at the different STFC national laboratories and external AM4Space project partners.
  • Internal and external dissemination of project results.
  • Due to the collaborative nature of this role and the need to disseminate research outputs, national and international travel is anticipated in the future.

About you

You will hold a PhD in a relevant field at the time of appointment, or have equivalent industry experience in engineering or physical sciences and meet the essential criteria. You will be research orientated and numerically literate, with experience in data analysis techniques and the comparison of theoretical and experimental datasets. You will have experience in computer-aided design (CAD) and finite element analysis (FEA), and in bespoke analysis of FEA data. You should be proficient in writing technical reports and presenting technical information to a broad range of stakeholders (team members, colleagues, academic & non-academic audiences and industry).

In your application, you should include a research statement highlighting your motivation for the role and your relevant experience in at least one of the following fields: astronomical instrumentation, space science, additive manufacture and innovative design. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of AM4Space, you are not expected to have an understanding of all the required disciplines; however, direct experience in at least one of the following is preferred: optics and optical design/fabrication, dimensional metrology, additive manufacture, or space qualification. Experience in writing research papers and an interest in public engagement is desired.

Our benefits

As part of UK Research and Innovation, STFC offers a benefits package that includes 30 days annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas shut down, an excellent defined-benefit pension scheme, and flexible working options that support a good work-life balance. To ensure the welfare of our staff, we have a dedicated wellbeing team, specialised support groups and all employees have 24/7 access to our employee assistance programme.

Training and development of AM4space team members is central to the success of the project. Soft skills and technical training will be provided on a continual basis to ensure that all team members have the correct skills and expertise to enhance the project and to flourish in their future careers. 

How to apply

Applicants are required to submit a CV and a research statement highlighting their motivation for the role and relevant experience in at least one of the following fields: astronomical instrumentation, space science, additive manufacture and innovative design.

For the full role description and details on how to apply, please click the apply button.

The closing date for applications is 13 June 2021.


Employer profile

Employer profiles

Copyright © 2021 by IOP Publishing Ltd and individual contributors