Plasma Turbulence Modeller / Developer

  • Abingdon Rd, Culham, UK
  • Full-time
  • Department: Tokamak Science
  • Salary: £36,397 to £52,293 (inclusive of MPP) + 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 compared to 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 a self-driven researcher with a PhD level of knowledge of plasma transport, turbulence and gyrokinetics (GK) to help develop models of turbulence in high beta spherical tokamaks, and to exploit first-principles-based approaches to seek optimal routes towards a viable fusion reactor based on the spherical tokamak.

Joining at an exciting time for UKAEA, you must have a passion for developing high quality models of plasma turbulence for fusion and will have experience of making contributions to GK codes developing either new physics capabilities or optimising performance.

Job Description

What will you be responsible for?

Working in a collaborative team contributing to an ambitious endeavour, you will be responsible for: 

  • Developing gyrokinetic (GK) codes to include physics required to model turbulence in high beta burning ST plasmas (leadership required at higher level)
    • e.g. fast alphas, electromagnetic fluctuations, flows, transport evolution of mean profiles etc
  • Engaging with user code base and other developers to prioritise code developments required to (setting strategy required at higher level)
    • (i) deliver robust GK simulations for high beta STs routinely,
    • (ii) optimise code performance on available HPC architectures. 
  • Delivering software and algorithm improvements to optimise GK code exploitation of modern HPC (leadership and coordinating collaborative work required at higher level)
  • Exploit GK codes to model turbulence and transport in ST plasmas and conceptual high beta burning STs.
  • Report results regularly on the modelling of turbulence and transport in ST plasmas (e.g. written reports, and presentations internally and to collaborators.)
  • Disseminate outputs at conferences and in journals where appropriate. 
  • Collaborating effectively with internal GK modellers and developers, external collaborating organisations and submitting bids for HPC resource and/or software development support.


Essential skills, experience and competence required

  • PhD (or about to hold a PhD) in relevant field.
  • Research experience in plasma turbulence (substantial research experience at least at PDRA level required for the higher-level role)
  • PhD level of knowledge of plasma transport, turbulence and gyrokinetics (More advanced expert knowledge required for the higher-level role)
  • Publications in relevant field (demonstrable track record required for higher-level role)
  • Passion for developing high quality models of plasma turbulence for fusion.
  • Knowledge of key numerical and computational algorithms used in GK codes (Expertise required for the higher-level role)
  • Experience of making contributions to GK codes developing either new physics capabilities or optimising performance (Demonstrable significant contributions required for the higher-level role)
  • Experience in programming and developing software for HPC. (e.g. F90, MPI, OpenMP, Python etc)
  • Knowledge of modern software development practices (experience required for the higher-level role)
  • Evidence of independent and self-driven researcher.
  • Good team player.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

In addition to the above, for the higher-level role, you will also be required to have:

  • An enthusiasm for leading or taking substantial roles in collaborative projects.

Desirable skills, experience and competence

  • Experience of working with and connected to UKAEA’s national/international collaborators.
  • Enthusiasm for collaborative projects.
  • Experience in guiding less experienced staff and/or supervising PhDs, with an interest in developing leadership skills.


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, particular 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.

Videos To Watch

Privacy Policy