Plasma Control Engineer

  • Abingdon Rd, Culham, UK
  • Full-time
  • Department: Mast-U Operations
  • Salary: £36,397 to £38,620 (inclusive of MPP) + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
  • Confirmed Grade: Level 4
  • 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.

As we work towards our mission and goals, UKAEA has devised values that capture the spirit of how we work. These values include being: Innovative, Committed, Trusted and Collaborative.

Job Description

Who are we looking for?

We have an excellent opportunity for a Plasma Control Engineer to develop and maintain the MAST-U Plasma Control System and other associated software used for the operations. Working on the UK's national fusion experiment, you will be applying real time control theory to this unique tokamak and will be expected to collaborate and interact with a wide community of plasma physicists and other plasma control engineers..

This project pushes the boundaries of technology on many fronts, and is an exciting and challenging project to be involved with. This is an excellent opportunity for you to play your part in exploring the route to compact fusion power plants.

We are looking for an individual with excellent communication and problem solving attributes with knowledge of control theory, modelling and design of control systems. You will possess a working knowledge of developing and deploying software on Linux platforms and will be proficient with programming languages. You will have an analytical approach to work and will be comfortable using your initiative to seek continuous improvement activities.

What will you be responsible for?

  • Designing, developing, maintaining and documenting software algorithms in C for the MAST-U plasma control system
  • Taking ownership for the development/improvement of real time software algorithms and models related to the MAST-U Plasma Control System
  • Diagnosing issues and proposing solutions considering both technical and human factors
  • Working with internal and external partners to establish requirements and achieve project goals
  • Participating in shared planning, problem solving and reviews, sharing knowledge and helping colleagues


Essential skills, experience and competence required

  • Knowledge of control theory, modelling and design of control systems
  • Proficiency with programming languages (Python, C , C++)
  • Working knowledge of developing and deploying software on Linux platforms 
  • Degree in a scientific, engineering or technical subject or equivalent knowledge and experience (e.g. Control Systems, Software Engineering, Electrical)

Desirable skills, experience and competence

  • Knowledge of real-time control systems, with emphasis on digital control systems
  • Experience of tokamak operation

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. The Executive team with support from our EDI ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ (EDI) partner and 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 8th of November . 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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