Work Placement / Internship

Materials Characterisation Method Developer Industrial Placement

Didcot, Oxfordshire

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The ISIS Neutron and Muon Source Materials Characterisation Laboratory highlights a wide range of instrumentation and analytical equipment used by the ISIS User community and staff, as well as other research staff at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire.  

This suite of instruments allows a wealth of physical property information to be acquired. The instruments include a Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometer, Powder and thin film X-ray Diffractometers, an X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer, an Atomic Force Microscope, a Magnetic Property Measurement System, Physical Property Measurement System and a Kerr microscope.  

This position will offer the successful candidate an excellent opportunity to use and develop the skills they have acquired at university whilst learning many new ones on the way! 

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The main focus of the work will be method development, so that the lab’s full capability of all instruments and associated sample environments can be exploited. You will also have the opportunity to get involved with a number of collaborative science projects with ISIS Users and Staff. 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities:  

Within the laboratory support team you will develop some of the following new methods:  

  • Build and develop a Ferromagnetic Resonance experiment suitable for an experimental setup on one of the neutron beamlines. This will involve pursuing new research into methods not currently available at ISIS 
  • Commission and optimise a method for an X-ray diffraction (XRD) utilising a new cryostat and also a furnace capable of high pressure, in situ reactive gases and high temperature measurements 
  • Install, calibrate and develop the best methods for new instrument options on a Physical Property Measurement System capable to Thermal Transport Option, Electrical Transport Option and Dilution fridge experiments 
  • Commission and optimise a Laue X-ray instrument for aligning crystals in preparation for further offline and ISIS beamtime experiments 
  • Develop methodology for a new single crystal X-ray diffractometer to aid in pre-screening of ISIS beamtime samples 
  • There will also be opportunities to support the science programme/users of ISIS in the Materials Characterisation Laboratory passing on skills you have learned through the development work 
  • You will be encouraged to test these methods on a range of samples and produce documentation for use by future users of the instrumentation. You may also have the opportunity to attend neutron beamline experiments, aid website development, and learn new techniques in the other ISIS support laboratories.  

This placement will give you the chance to work directly with Support Labs management, and regularly collaborate closely with facility scientists and external users! 

Are you hardworking and highly motivated? We're also looking for someone who can work well in a team and independently. 

In order to apply for this role you must have:  


  • At university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry 
  • Right to live and work in the UK 
  • Current 2:1 science degree results or above 
  • A-levels or equivalent in Science 
  • Laboratory Experience, analytical instrumentation knowledge 
  • Good Interpersonal skills 
  • The ability to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical 
  • Open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them 
  • Strong presentation skills 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Strong interest in physical sciences 


  • Work Experience 
  • Understanding of lab safety 
  • Highly self-motivating 

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Opportunity Overview

  • October 31st, 2021
  • £20,129 + benefits
  • 2:1 and above (expected)
  • Year-long
  • Didcot, Oxfordshire
    (Show map)

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Analytics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Control & Instrumentation
  • Data Science
  • Electrical
  • Electronic
  • Energy
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Geotechnical
  • Materials & Minerals
  • Materials Science
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Science
  • Statistics

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