Radio-Frequency Modeller

  • Abingdon Rd, Culham, UK
  • Full-time
  • Department: Tokamak Science
  • Salary: £33,297 to £46,293 + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
  • Confirmed Grade: Level 4 / Level 5
  • Site Location: UKAEA Culham, Oxfordshire

Company Description

By 2050, the planet could be using twice as much electricity as today. Are you interested in contributing and helping to shape the future of the world’s energy? If so, read on.

Fusion, the process that powers the Sun and stars, is one of the most promising options for generating the cleaner, carbon-free energy that our world badly needs. UKAEA are at the forefront of realising energy from fusion, working with industry and research partners to deliver the ground-breaking developments that will underpin tomorrow's fusion power stations with the aim of bringing fusion electricity to the grid.

Who are we looking for?

We are seeking to recruit a physicist to develop and exploit computational and analytical models describing the behaviour of radio-frequency waves in STEP, MAST-U, and other tokamaks funded by EUROfusion.

It is an exciting time for UKAEA as we have established a national programme aimed at exploring the options, challenges and solutions for accelerating the delivery of fusion power: the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP). The plasma current in such devices must be driven in part externally, and radio-frequency waves in the electron cyclotron range of frequencies provide a possible method of achieving this. To investigate the viability of this type of current drive method in STEP, a radio-frequency heating and current drive system is being designed for use on the MAST Upgrade (MAST-U) spherical tokamak.

Job Description

What will you be responsible for?

Depending on your level of experience, your key responsibilities will include:

  • Planning, coordinating and performing work on the modelling of radio-frequency waves and their effects on electrons in tokamak plasma, implementing research strategy in this area.
  • Contributing to the development of codes describing the propagation, mode conversion and damping of radio-frequency waves in tokamak plasmas, together with the effects of these waves on electron populations.
  • Using existing and/or upgraded codes to model the propagation, mode conversion and damping of radio-frequency waves in tokamak plasmas.
  • Modelling heating and current drive resulting from the launch of radio-frequency waves into tokamak plasmas.
  • Contributing to and help to formulate heating and current drive elements of the research programmes on MAST-U, other tokamaks funded by EUROfusion and STEP, implementing research strategy in these areas.
  • Reporting results at science and other regular progress meetings.
  • Disseminating results through conferences and peer-reviewed journal papers


Essential skills, experience and competence required

  • Hold, or be about to hold, a PhD in plasma physics or possess equivalent experience.
  • Proficiency with programming languages, e.g. FORTRAN, C, IDL, Python, Matlab.
  • Proven ability to conduct independent research.
  • The post-holder must be a good team-player with an outward-facing work ethos as they will work closely with scientists around the world.
  • Good oral and written communications skills

Desirable skills, experience and competence

  • Post-doctoral research experience in the modelling of radio-frequency heating and current drive in tokamak plasmas.
  • Experience in designing and exploiting microwave heating and current drive systems for magnetic fusion devices.
  • Strong record of publications in a closely related field.

Additional Information

What we offer

  • A competitive salary  
  • A culture committed to being fully inclusive, supported by a Being Inclusive Strategy and Inclusion Ambassadors 
  • An Employee Assistance Programme and trained Mental Health First Aiders, with a full calendar of health and wellbeing initiatives 
  • Flexible working options including family friendly policies  
  • Emergency leave (paid) 
  • 30.5 days annual leave (including privilege days and 3 days between Christmas and New Year) increased with length of service 
  • Wide range of career development opportunities (e.g professional registration, internal promotions, coaching and mentoring programme)  
  • Outstanding defined benefit pension scheme  
  • Annual corporate bonus scheme  
  • Relocation allowance (if eligible) 

We welcome applications from under-represented groups, particularly from individuals from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds, including nationality and citizenship, people with disabilities, (visible and hidden) and women. Our dedicated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Partner, with the support of our Inclusion Ambassadors, is actively promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the organisation to help make our organisation an employer of choice. We are easily accessible by car and are a 10 minute walk from Culham Railway Station.  

Please be advised that this vacancy may close earlier than stated if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.

Please note all employees working at the UK Atomic Energy Authority will be required to complete an online Disclosure Certificate application as part of their clearance – The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks will show the details of all current criminal convictions (convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) or will confirm that there are no such convictions.

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