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Plasma Control Engineer

Plasma Control Engineer

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?

The UKAEA have an excellent opportunity for a  Plasma Control Engineer to work within the Tokamak science Department. The Plasma Control Engineer role is to develop the plasma controllers for STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production). This project pushes the boundaries of technology on many fronts, which is an exciting and challenging project to be involved with. By playing your part you are helping to design the first fusion power plant.

The Tokamak Science Department is also involved with the major tokamaks in the world (JET, MAST-U, ITER just to name a few) and there may be the opportunity of, in due course, to get involved in other plasma control projects.

We are looking for an individual with excellent communication and problem solving attributes that can manage time effectively. The role would suit some that approaches their work with an analytical thought process and is comfortable to use their initiative.

 

What will you be responsible for?

As the Plasma Control Engineer you will primarily work within the groundbreaking STEP reactor design project.

  • Take part in the development of control concepts for fusion reactors and the corresponding requirement gathering.
  • Develop and validate models of sensors, actuators, machine components and plasma, to use on a virtual plant model.
  • Develop plasma controllers and test them on the virtual plant model.
  • Take part and/or plan experiments (as appropriate) in existing machines, to test control concepts or the developed controllers

Also: The job holder may take part in operational shifts as part of their work (e.g. in MAST-U or JET). There may be the opportunity to take part in other projects that the Tokamak Science Department is involved with.

Qualifications

Please note that this role is split over two levels and the Level 4 offers a salary of £36,397 - £38,620 (inclusive of MPP) and the Level 5 offers a salary of £49,396 - £52,293 (inclusive of MPP). Your level will be assessed as part of the interview process.

Essential skills, experience and competence required

Level 4:

  • Master’s degree, or equivalent experience, in Plasma Control, Control Engineering or related subject
  • Knowledge of control theory, modelling and design of control systems
  • Proficiency with programming languages (e.g. MATLAB/Simulink, Python, C/C++)
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Proven ability to function as part of a team
  • Willingness to learn and adopt new techniques and technologies

Level 5:

  • Master’s degree, or equivalent experience, in Plasma Control, Control Engineering or related subject
  • Demonstrable experience in applying control theory in practice by modelling and designing control systems, being involved in at least one complex project
  • Proficiency with programming languages (e.g. MATLAB/Simulink, Python, C/C++)
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Proven ability to function as part of a team
  • Willingness to learn and adopt new techniques and technologies

Desirable skills, experience and competence

Level 4:

  • Knowledge of tokamak operation
  • Knowledge of real-time control systems, with emphasis on digital control systems
  • Understanding of modern techniques used in control (e.g. sensor fusion, physics-based control, deep learning)
  • Experience of experimental data analysis
  • Overall knowledge of fusion plasma physics

Level 5:

  • PhD, or equivalent experience, in Plasma Control, Control Engineering or related subject.
  • Working knowledge of tokamak operation and plasma modelling for control purposes
  • Demonstrable experience with real-time control systems, with emphasis on digital control systems
  • Understanding of modern techniques used in control (e.g. sensor fusion, physics-based control, deep learning)
  • Experience of experimental data analysis
  • Overall knowledge of fusion plasma physics
  • Experience of managing research, and/or supervising students or researchers
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 6th July 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.

Videos
Programme
STEP
Department
Tokamak Science
Type of Employment
Full-time
Discipline
Engineering
Salary
£36,397 to £52,293 (inclusive of MPP) + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
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