Senior Research Software Engineer

  • Abingdon Rd, Culham, UK
  • Full-time
  • Department: CODAS & IT
  • Salary: £49,396 to £52,293 (inclusive of MPP) + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
  • Confirmed Grade: 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.

Job Description

Who are we looking for?

Are you a software engineer who cares about improving the quality of research software? 

Would you enjoy collaborating with physicists and engineers - understanding their goals, and building clear, well-tested software for research and technology projects? 

Would you like to work with friendly and committed people on software that will help make fusion energy a reality? 

UKAEA has an excellent opportunity for several experienced Research Software Engineers (RSEs) to join our successful team and collaborate on software with the researchers and technologists at Culham.

You would contribute to the success of our world-leading programmes including STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) which aims to establish a pathway to supply net energy by the early 2040s. Software is at the heart of this multi-disciplinary endeavour and we need RSEs with a broad range of skills and experience to tackle this ambitious challenge. 

Upcoming projects include: work on software for plasma modelling, engineering design for future fusion reactors, and robotic control systems. We are particularly keen to hear from people with expertise in: C++ (including hardware interaction / control systems), experience of engineering design workflows and tools, or improving portability of existing research software through containerisation.

Key accountabilities for the role include:  

  • Designing, developing and testing research software and providing expertise to scientists and engineers (including scoping, design, technology choices, decisions about IP, licencing and sustainability). 
  • Acting as the RSE lead on significant projects and other activities (including supervising the work of others). Forming strong partnerships with domain experts and project managers to make sure aims are understood and achieved and successful collaborative development is established. 
  • Becoming the primary RSE contact point for one or more software engineering specialisms or research domains, building collaborations, designing solutions in complex situations and advising and developing skills in others 
  • Proposing and leading initiatives to transform aspects of the software engineering culture, community and practice at UKAEA and engage with wider research and RSE communities.

This role allows you to use your software engineering skills in pursuit of one of humanity's grand challenges - making fusion energy a reality. This is an opportunity to be part of cutting edge research projects whilst being able to share knowledge and find support and development opportunities within our large software engineering group.

Qualifications

Essential 

  • Degree in a STEM subject or equivalent knowledge and experience
  • Either a PhD or experience of working in an academic or industrial research environment 
  • Significant experience of developing well-designed, robust software for use by others in languages used in scientific or engineering applications (particularly Python, C++, Fortran) 
  • Experience of leading and managing software work including all lifecycle activities, applying and promoting good development practices
  • Working knowledge of developing and deploying software on Linux platforms 
  • Ability to communicate effectively, collaborate and influence people with various roles and backgrounds
  • Significant experience and expertise in at least one of the desirable criteria and ability to take on a related specialist/leadership role within the team

Desirable:

  • Knowledge and experience of any of the research or technology disciplines related to UKAEA’s activities (eg Engineering design/analysis, Plasma Physics, Tokamak Science, Robotics, Materials science)
  • Computational modelling and numerical simulation
  • Improving and extending large existing codebases and familiarity with legacy scientific languages (eg older-style Fortran, C, IDL) 
  • Improving portability and usability of research software (eg contrainerisation, packaging and build systems, interfaces)
  • Working with low level / embedded code, eg as part of control systems, data acquisition or exploiting novel computing architectures
  • Supervising, mentoring or line managing others (either formally or informally) with an interest in pursuing this further

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’ (EDI) partner, with the support from our Inclusion Ambassadors, is actively promoting EDI and taking steps to increase the diversity of our people through reinforcing best practice in recruitment and selection, and revaluating approaches where it is clear we can remove barriers to success. We are easily accessible by car and are a 10-minute walk from Culham Railway Station in Oxfordshire.

Please be advised that this vacancy is due to close on 27/04/2021. We may close earlier than this date 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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