Ayo Akintola

Graduate Cryogenic Engineer

"It is the perfect environment for a graduate engineer who is curious and passionate about learning and getting involved."

Why did you choose to work at STFC?

STFC is an organization committed to the research and development of technologies that continue to push the envelope of fields like particle physics, material science, high-performance computing, space, and astronomy in a collaborative work environment. The projects that STFC undertakes have and will continue to deliver a huge positive impact on society and I wanted a part apart of this. 

A role at STFC would and has rewarded my passion for learning and science with projects that push my understanding of principles I’ve spent most of my adult life studying with numerous opportunities for exposure to the international STEM community.

What are your responsibilities?

I am a graduate cryogenic engineer at STFC, a role that rewards my commitment with learning, innovating, and collaborating within a challenging engineering environment. My current projects include - High Beta cavity testing for ESS, cryomodule assembly and cavity testing for the PIPl II, and cryomodule assembly and final acceptance testing for CERN’s LHC-High Luminosity.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Assisting in the implementation of operational and test procedures to provide a safe and stable cryogenic environment for ESS cavity testing
  • Planning and development of upgrade works to the vertical test facility and helium cryoplant for PIP-II HB650 cavity testing
  • Undertaking operations such as cryogen transfers, collating test results, and ensuring adherence of the Quality Control procedures
  • Assisting in the development of cryogenics instrumentation and process control.
  • Assisting in assembly and conducting acceptance tests of the Cryostat, Cryomodules, and related experiments
  • Contributing to high standards of health and safety within this area of work
  • Preparing reports for the test results 
  • Contributing to troubleshooting and improvement plans for low-temperature systems

What is the best thing about being based at the Daresbury Laboratory?

30 minutes from Liverpool and Manchester, 15 minutes from the lab, and a direct train back home to London. Quiet and cheap town to live in with all the required amenities like a shopping centre, gyms, and nice places to eat that are easily accessible.

What makes STFC a great place to work?

  • Incredible work-life balance (30 days' annual leave + bank holidays & 2.5 privilege days)
  • There is a strong culture of supporting mental well-being as well as a no-blame culture
  • The work environment encourages you to push yourself and ask questions
  • It is an environment that doesn’t make you afraid to fail – which is what engineering is about – idea, experiment, fail, learn and iterate. All colleagues both junior and senior are always willing to help and educate when necessary. It feels like having a living library of knowledge that everyone’s always willing to share
  • It is the perfect environment for a graduate engineer who is curious and passionate about learning and getting involved
  • Structured support to gaining Charted Engineer Status (CEng)
  • Commitment to training and learning and development

What training have you received so far? 

  • Solidworks Essentials training
  • TWI Weld inspectors Training
  • SMAP-3D Essentials Training
  • Industrial Gas Training
  • Cryogenic Safety Training
  • BCC Cryogenics Course
  • Risk Assessment and Method Statement Training
  • Python Workshop
  • CERN Accelerator School
  • Belbin Reflection training
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