Work Placement / Internship

ISIS Performance Improvement Industrial Placement

Didcot, Oxfordshire

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ISIS is the world’s leading pulsed neutron and muon source for research in the physical and life sciences. Situated at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, the accelerator based facility provides research into physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering and biology and is the most productive research centre of its type in the world! 

Employing some 400 engineers and scientists, the success of ISIS depends critically on support staff and the reliability of the component parts. To address reliability issues, the ISIS Performance Improvement Section investigates and implements ways of improving machine down time. This role within the PI projects team will work on the First Line Diagnosis tool (FLD), set up to develop fault analysis pathways for the ISIS Operations crew to help reduce the time to diagnose and repair faults. Following on from the initial release, further development of the web based tool onto a new and improved platform (FLD3), interfacing to SharePoint Cloud is required, and we need to recruit versatile support staff, with an engineering and computing skill set, to work within this small but growing team. 

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Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities:  

The successful applicant will work with the section leader, performance improvement engineer and operational staff to facilitate ongoing project development, implementation and support. Upgrading FLD2.3 to FLD3 will form much of the work during the year, however this one year post presents many opportunities to be creative and innovative within new and ongoing projects including data analysis and user interface tools. Two other projects are presently in development and may be included in this post: There is a requirement to develop the interface between the machine control system to present the data into the electronic logbook called Opralog. An additional project called RONA, co shared with the controls group utilises similar technologies to provide real-time indications of control system data within a web-based GUI. There will also be continued development of the operational dashboard project.  

Other responsibilities will include:  

  • To learn about the ISIS technical systems on a broader level so as to contribute to section initiatives  
  • To develop web-based applications typically but not exclusively using JavaScript and HTML/CSS  
  • Some Python scripting may be undertaken  
  • To contribute to research, planning, development and evaluation to ensure the progress and success of ongoing Performance Improvement section projects and initiatives including FLD and a growing list of new initiatives 
  • To provide ICT support, investigating and suggesting software improvements 
  • To connect with technical staff for information gathering purposes 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience  

We are looking for a hardworking candidate that has an understanding or experience of computing and programming to an undergraduate level for example in JavaScript, Node.js, HTML, CSS or Python.  

They will grasp engineering concepts so as to provide value to the team in discussions about creative performance improvements. They will be well organised, particularly when handling many activities in parallel; they will need to balance priorities and due dates efficiently.  

They will be hardworking about science, engineering and computer science matters relating to the post and convey their passion clearly. They must show an interest in the computing side of science and engineering through some coding and development skills. They need to have a confident and professional approach when presenting information. 

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  
  • Seeking to achieve with evidence at least a 2:1 potential across STEM subjects 
  • Demonstrate a developing skill and knowledge of an engineering or computing subject area  
  • Demonstrate a developing skill and knowledge of computer information systems including: web infrastructure and some database management and learning new software packages  
  • Demonstrate a developing skill and knowledge of computer coding for example: Java, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Python  
  • Demonstrate ability to recognise and develop creative improvements to simple working practices  
  • Demonstrate interpersonal skills with an ability to work efficiently in a professional creative environment  
  • Strong communication skills shown in the writing of CV and covering letter and at interview  
  • Demonstrate team working capabilities  
  • Must be willing and able to enter radiologically controlled areas  
  • Be able to get to work daily at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire throughout the employment term  


  • Demonstrate a keen interest in STEM subjects and the work of STFC 

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