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Mid-infrared Photonics Applications Scientist

UKRI STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK
Jobs in UKJobs in EnglandFull-time

About us

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a partner organisation within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

RAL Space, the space science and technology department of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, has a Mid-infrared Photonics applications Scientist post available to strengthen the Spectroscopy Group within the Earth Observation and Atmospheric Science Division.

RAL is a major UK national laboratory, operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. RAL Space is one of the largest interdisciplinary space departments in Europe, having a 50-year heritage of excellence in space flight and a proven track record in contributing to more than 200 instruments in space. The Spectroscopy Group of RAL Space carries out research and development of novel laser spectroscopy instrumentation for highly demanding chemical sensing applications. The primary remit underpinning the group’s work relates to instrumentation development, instrument analysis and modelling for future space and atmospheric applications. Additionally, the group is increasingly working towards applying its technologies to a broader range of sectors such as environmental monitoring, security and defence, industrial process control and non-invasive medical diagnostics.

The position offers an excellent opportunity to join a highly agile and motivated team of scientists working on a large portfolio of research and development projects and significantly contribute to its expansion through the delivery of excellent project outcomes to the UK Research Councils, UK Space Agency, European Space Agency and other institutions and customers.

We are looking for:
The R&D projects undertaken by the group encompass all aspects of laser spectroscopy sensing and field deployment of spectroscopic instruments, from fundamental concepts to technologies and applications. This includes conceptual and theoretical studies of chemical sensing systems, instrument bench-top and prototype development, laboratory and field instrumentation, data processing and physical modelling. Techniques developed within the group include laser heterodyne spectroscopy, hyperspectral lidar, laser absorption and dispersion spectroscopy, photo-acoustic spectroscopy, cavity enhanced spectroscopy and photonics-based sensing systems. Miniaturisation and ruggedisation of instruments is a key focus and the group currently works on modelling, design and development of related photonic and opto-electronic mid- infrared technologies.

Current projects in which you may be involved in include:

– development, modelling, design, fabrication and verification of state-of-the-art mid IR photonics components (waveguides, gratings, couplers)
– the miniaturisation, integration and testing of laser-based spectroscopic sensors using waveguide technologies
– the development of sensitive in-situ and remote sensors for chemical analysis.

You will be responsible for delivering project results to strict deadlines and carrying out associated management tasks in an effective manner. Experimental tasks may include development, design and implementation of complex opto-electronic systems, carrying out systematic experimental campaigns, developing code for physical modelling (e.g. FIMMWAVE), data analysis or instrument control, studying and simulating optical waveguide devices and arranging experiments for analysis and characterisation of physical phenomena.

You will also be expected to maintain a tidy and well-organised working environment for safe operation and efficient resource sharing and to write or contribute to reports and when applicable, peer-reviewed scientific papers and submissions to international conferences.

New staff positions will be directly managed by a senior member of the group. You will have contact with all members of the Spectroscopy Group and will be required to liaise with other staff in RAL Space and potentially, other departments in STFC. You will also have to communicate with our external collaborators, as required by projects and will represent the team and RAL Space at external meetings and conferences.

About you
You will have a PhD or MSc in an Applied Physics or relevant Engineering discipline, together with proven experience in infrared laser instrument development and application, especially in the field of mid-infrared laser-based sensing. You must be highly motivated and able to carry out challenging research and development work carefully and effectively in a team environment and to demanding deadlines, to deliver the multiple, continually evolving project portfolio of the group.

Skills sought are those relevant to development of infrared spectroscopic devices and include:

– experience of lasers, optics, waveguides and fibres, particularly at mid-infrared wavelengths
– photonic structure modelling and knowledge of FIMMWAVE and FIMMPROP
– experience of optical sensor instrumentation.

In addition, the following skills are highly desirable:

– understanding of electronic engineering concepts, signal acquisition and processing
– experience of mechanical engineering
– knowledge of molecular spectroscopy, spectral databases and spectral simulations
– application of design, control or modelling software such as 3D CAD software, LabView, IDL
– history of reporting results in peer-reviewed journals.

Occasional travel in the UK and overseas to attend meetings will be required. National or international travel for durations of several weeks may be occasionally necessary for instrument deployment during field campaigns.

What we offer
An exceptional index linked pension scheme, 30 days leave allowance and flexible working are offered, as well as an onsite nursery, subsidised restaurant, gym and sports facilities. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

How to apply
Applicants are required to include a cover letter outlining their suitability for this role.

Applications are handled by UK SBS; to apply please click the apply button on the vacancy listing at: www.topcareer.jobs/Vacancy/irc245359_8315.aspx

Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone.

The closing date for applications is 1 July 2018.

The vacancy reference number for this post is IRC245359.

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