Work Placement / Internship

Target Fabrication Industrial Placement

Didcot, Oxfordshire

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Target Fabrication is a group at the Central Laser Facility responsible for providing complex objects for use in high-power laser experiments. These objects are at the focal point of high-intensity laser interactions and are made into complex geometries from novel materials. Target requirements are dependent on experimental requirements and vary broadly from one experimental campaign to the next; the experiments topics span plasma physics and particle acceleration, laboratory astrophysics, and industrial applications opportunities.  

In order to create extreme environments the laser is focused to an interaction point comparable to the width of a human hair, the targets that are required have features of the same magnitude. On this scale manufacture and quality control is extremely challenging! Target Fabrication requires a wide capability of physical and chemical processes, together with advanced characterisation techniques to deliver targets that meet the experiment’s requirements.  

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Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities  

Are you studying a degree related to MEMS (Micro-electromechanical systems) or closely related to Physics/Engineering?  

The placement student at Target Fabrication will be tasked with developing Target Fabrication’s ability to produce and deliver nanometre-thick foils to laser experiments. These foils will be manufactured using a combination of wafer-baser MEMS technology and thin-film coating. Target Fabrication has a key deliverable for EPAC in the next 3-5 years of supporting high-repetition rate laser experiments; delivering thousands of batched produced targets to operations. This project will aim to reach this goal and increase the capability of Target Fabrication to produce such targets. 

Responsibilities will include: 

  • Support the group in a wider sense by operating thin-film coating equipment for complementary projects.  
  • Demonstrate manufacture of targets using MEMS-based wafer processing and thin-film coating 
  • Improve the yield of suspended films over apertures by implementing engineering solutions 
  • Quality control the resultant targets using scientific equipment including techniques such as AFM, SEM and interferometry 
  • Work in a clean-room laboratory environment 
  • Complete project documentation by tracking progress against milestones 
  • Use CAD skills to assist the wider group with 3d design 

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  
  • Subject of degree to be related to MEMS (Micro-electromechanical systems) or closely related (Physics/Engineering)  
  • Good knowledge on the basics of physics, A-level Physics (or equivalent) minimum  
  • Knowledge of MEMS and wafer-based manufacturing (university project or individual interest)  
  • Working experience with 3D CAD design software  
  • Good knowledge of micro-physics relating to the physics/engineering at the micro-scale  
  • Some knowledge of current developments in MEMS technology  
  • Familiarity with Windows operating system  
  • Good understanding of the terms repeatability, accuracy and tolerance in an engineering context  
  • The ability to work individually on a project, plan effectively and write reports  


  • Some low-level practical experience with MEMS systems or manufacturing  
  • Has used Solid Edge or Autodesk Inventor  
  • Basic knowledge of the type of experiment that could take place with a high-power laser, knowledge relevant to the Central Laser Facility and it’s purpose  
  • Proven examples of working in a team to complete a technical or scientific project  
  • Has presented project work to their academic supervisors or peers  
  • Can identify hazards and work safely in a challenging environment 

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Opportunity Overview

  • December 31st, 2021
  • Multiple vacancies
  • £20,129 + benefits
  • All grades
  • Year-long
  • Didcot, Oxfordshire
    (Show map)

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Chemistry
  • Data Science
  • Energy
  • Forensic Science
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Geotechnical
  • Physics
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  • Water/Hydrology

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