Work Placement / Internship

Materials and Analytical Scientist Year in Industry Placement 2021

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What if you could work on something that you cannot test, but cannot afford to fail? What if your job wasn’t your ordinary 9-5? What if you could work with remarkable people on extraordinary things? What if the end result was something a little bit special? What if your role was mission critical?

For nearly 70 years, AWE has been at the forefront of nuclear research weapons research and development. Contracted to the MOD, we have a critical mission: to provide the warheads for the UK’s ultimate deterrent – Trident. We also use our unique nuclear skills to provide wider UK government with counter-terrorism and nuclear threat reduction solutions.

It takes a special sort of person to work at AWE. What if that person was you?

AWE corporate video

An introduction to AWE.

The role:

Materials and Analytical Science supports the life cycle of warhead components and technologies to ensure the reliability of the UK's strategic deterrent and national security mission. A nuclear warhead contains a vast range of materials including metals, ceramics, inorganic salts, rubbers, foams, adhesives, high explosives and radioactive substances. Many of these have unique handling issues and our dedicated facilities ensure a safe and secure environment to undertake material property research and characterisation.

Materials and Analytical Science is critical to understanding and predicting the behaviour of these types of materials under various conditions. Beyond this MAS scientists provide the expertise to enable safe site operations to assure compliance through delivery of regulatory requirements.

As an undergraduate student within our Materials and Analytical Science function, you will get the opportunity to work in an exciting part of AWE through projects which may include working on various instrumentation, to tasks that help deliver our mission.

We are interested in applications from candidates working towards a degree in Materials Science or Chemistry as well as Mathematics, Physics or Computer Science. Most importantly we are looking for enthusiastic individuals keen to get involved and work on interesting research and tasks. Some of the projects you may get to work on include:

  • Development of metallic aerogel materials for laser target application to support the modelling and characterisation of plasma-based reactions.
  • Development and application of analytical methodologies associated with the qualitative and quantitative assessment of organic, inorganic and metallic materials.
  • Designing specialist radiometric instrumentation supporting our safe and secure operations on a nuclear licensed site.
  • Radio-analytical assessment of environmental and bioassay samples to ensure regulatory compliance
  • Characterisation of particulate samples for actinide-containing materials using a range of specialist analytical techniques (for nuclear security applications and treaty verification.
  • Utilising environmental sample analyses to identify radionuclides and elucidate associated signatures, in the contexts of nuclear material application and treaty verification.
  • Method development for the high-precision assay of actinide materials using mass spectrometry.
  • Conducting novel small-scale experiments using electrochemical methods to study material properties and associated chemistries.
  • Developing mathematical models and associated methods to characterise material ageing processes.

We recruit on a rolling basis which means as soon as our positions have been filled, we close our applications.

Successful candidates must be available to start on the Undergraduate Programme in August 2021.

What we offer:

We offer all our Undergraduate students a salary of £18,000 as well as a market leading contributory pension scheme, generous holiday entitlement and excellent work/life balance including a 9-day working fortnight. Along side these benefits you will get the opportunity to learn from some of the top leaders in their field whilst helping us to continue to deliver national nuclear security, threat reduction and counter-terrorism solutions.

Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role and be willing and able to work in designated areas – if applicable

About AWE:

AWE plays a crucial role in the defence of the United Kingdom, by providing and maintaining the warheads for the country’s nuclear deterrent. We are a centre of scientific, engineering and technological excellence, with some of the most advanced research, design and production facilities in the world. Our unique expertise also assists the UK Government in developing and delivering a range of innovative and integrated support services, including national nuclear security and counter-terrorism solutions.

AWE is an equal opportunities employer. We value diversity and welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from sections of the community which are currently under-represented at AWE, including women, BAME and disabled people.



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Opportunity Overview

  • Ongoing
  • £18,000 + benefits
  • All grades
  • Year-long
  • Multiple UK Locations

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Materials Science
  • Maths
  • Physics

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