About the Role

The Time and Frequency Department at NPL is seeking an experimental physicist to contribute to our expanding portfolio of projects involving optical frequency combs. These sit at the heart of our programme to develop a new generation of optical atomic clocks in anticipation of a redefinition of the SI second.

Femtosecond combs allow clocks operating at different frequencies and in different locations to be compared at accuracies commensurate with their performance. Using our established facilities, you will participate in pan-European clock comparisons designed to check the international consistency of optical clocks – experiments which exploit our position at a node of a unique dark fibre network infrastructure. In pushing the boundaries of measurement precision such comparisons also enable us to perform tests of fundamental physical theories with unprecedented sensitivity.

You will also contribute to setting up a new optical frequency metrology facility in our Advanced Quantum Metrology Laboratory (AQML). This will provide a collaborative innovation space in which we work with partners in industry and academia to evaluate clocks and subcomponents being developed within the UK quantum technologies programme. It will also serve as a demonstrator of an optically steered time scale.

The leading-edge nature of this work will provide you with ample opportunities to publish your work in high-impact journals and to present your work at international conferences.

About You

We are seeking a curious and highly-motivated scientist with the drive and aptitude to contribute to the design, implementation and operation of optical frequency metrology infrastructure that pushes the boundaries of our measurement capability to new limits. Ideally you will have research and development experience in a relevant field. However the potential to carry out independent research, a desire to learn new skills, and a demonstrable interest in the field are more important to us. Our main asset is our people, and you will be exposed to an environment in which we strive for continuous development of every member of our team.

Essential skills/experience:

  • Qualified to degree level in physics, electronic engineering or a related subject, perhaps with a relevant postgraduate qualification
  • Practical aptitude, with a strong attention to detail
  • Scientific computing and data analysis
  • Strong team player who is also capable of working independently, taking responsibility for and ownership of part of a larger team effort
  • Excellent technical communication, both verbal and written
  • Positive attitude towards record-keeping, documentation and version control

Desirable skills/experience:

  • Precision measurements using optical frequency combs
  • Development of laboratory instrumentation and control systems for laser frequency stabilization
  • Development of hardware control and data analysis scripts (ideally using Python and/or Matlab
  • Design and construction of rf / microwave electronics
  • Experience of working within international collaborations
Applications will be reviewed, and interviews conducted throughout the duration of this advert therefore we may at any time bring the closing date forward.  We encourage all interested applicants to apply as soon as practical.
About The Company

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applicationsfrom candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexualorientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applicationsfrom women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. Alldisabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy theminimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under theDisability Confident Scheme.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefitsNPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.