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Materials Research Technician

Materials Research Technician

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?

In the race to harness the power source of the stars on earth, first you need something to put it in. What do you use to contain the stuff of stars? Given the extreme environment generated by a fusion machine the question of what you would build it out of is paramount and perhaps the limiting factor in what may be achieved. 

The Materials Research Facility(MRF) has been built to enable the development of the materials that will enable the commercial development of fusion as a key stepping stone to net zero carbon. You will assist in the preparation, characterisation and testing of materials exposed to the environments generated within a fusion machine to understand their degradation and in service response. This will include handling of radioactive and hazardous materials remotely within dedicated hot-cells and conventional gloveboxes as well as operating within the constraints of the sites processes and procedures.

If you have previous experience of working within a comparable laboratory setting as well as an ability to communicate with customers and colleagues both verbally and in writing, then we would like to hear from you.

What will you be responsible for?

  • Preparing metallographic samples to a defined specification for scientific analysis and in a timely manner.
  • Handling and movement of radioactive and beryllium components/samples, using glove boxes and assist in loading and unloading of complicated analytical equipment.
  • Working with customers to advise on equipment, prepare and undertake experiments as detailed in task specific documentation.
  • Ensuring correct stock levels of all required consumables are maintained.
  • Undertake routine maintenance where appropriate and liaise with maintenance teams.
  • Propose and undertake process and equipment development with support available from the Lead Technician.
  • Assist on procedure development for the processes in the MRF and talks with the appropriate departments.

Please note that there is an expectation for you to become a monitored radiation and beryllium worker and a Radiation Protection Supervisor. Also, you will be required to wear relevant PPE and you may be required to work overtime or on rotation.


Essential skills, experience and competence required

  • Experience of working both independently on assigned tasks and as part of a wider team
  • Proven attention to detail and high levels of housekeeping
  • Previous experience of working within a comparable role within a laboratory setting
  • Ability to work with both fine mechanical techniques and relative larger systems
  • Experience of how individual tasks fit into broader projects
  • Ability to determine the best method to complete a task

Desirable skills, experience and competence

  • Demonstrable previous experience of preparing metallographic sample in a laboratory setting
  • Insight in adaptation of equipment for remote operation
  • Ability to perform maintenance tasks on manipulators
  • Understanding how manipulators or remote handling systems work.
  • HNC/HND desirable or equivalent
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 30th April 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.

Materials (MRF)
Type of Employment
£27,899 to £29,761 + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
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