About the Role

We are now seeking a highly motivated experimental scientist, with an interest in solving materials and measurement challenges related to superconducting quantum circuits, to join the Quantum Computing Circuits group at NPL. 

You will work alongside our team of scientists and quantum engineers to characterise material defects in superconducting quantum circuits and develop new measurement capabilities and techniques. Examples of ongoing projects in our group include the development of cryogenic scanning probe microscopy tools, electron spin resonance techniques and quantum fluid immersion cooling techniques. You will be expected to work with our experimental, device design and fabrication teams.  
Superconducting quantum computing is a highly multidisciplinary field, and we are seeking candidates with complementary expertise who are interested in embarking on a career in this area. A background in experimental physics or similar together with strong problem-solving skills and an ability to quickly learn new skills is required. Experience of superconducting circuits is not a prerequisite. Rather, we welcome applicants who bring complementary experience to the team and who have an interest in solving complex interdisciplinary problems. Examples of relevant backgrounds include but are not limited to materials science, surface chemistry or semiconductor device physics.  
A strong track record of laboratory-based physics skills and the ability to work collaboratively will be required.

The role will involve 

  • Supporting the fabrication team and identifying relevant improvements to the fabrication process. This will include learning fabrication techniques and assisting in the fabrication process. 
  • Development of new measurement capabilities for devices and systems operated at millikelvin temperatures, with focus on understanding how material properties affect device performance.  
  • Delivery of projects focused on the measurement of RF superconducting quantum circuits (qubits, resonators).  
  • Working with- and supporting academic and industrial partners, helping them meet their measurement challenges. 
  • Writing documentation, reports and scientific articles. 
  • Disseminate results through workshops, conferences and industry engagement activities.
  • Provide technical leadership to junior colleagues and PhD students, engage in project management and participate in the formulation of future research directions and projects.   

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of projects in quantum metrology, quantum computing and quantum sensing across NPL, with ample opportunities to later also get involved in research in other quantum technologies. 

About You

We believe that diversity and unique perspectives are key to the success of our science projects. For this role, we particularly encourage applications from candidates underrepresented in STEM disciplines, in particular women, disabled, black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates.

You will be working closely with other Scientists in your group, and you will be reporting in to a Senior Scientist.

Skills that are required for this position

  • PhD in experimental physics, quantum engineering, materials science, or similar subject. We will also consider candidates with an equivalent work experience in a relevant field.
  • Experienced in scientific programming skills (using e.g., Python, Matlab)
  • Knowledge of electronics and electrical measurement techniques
  • Good level of data management and data analysis skills
  • An ability to work independently and as part of a team, and to manage/prioritise your time 
  • A rigorous approach to problem solving and an ability to develop solutions to difficult problems.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills  

Additional beneficial skills

  • Experience with cryogenic and/or vacuum equipment and cryogenic measurements
  • Practical experience with RF/microwave measurements and equipment
  • Working experience with microwave modelling (e.g. HFSS, CST)
  • Experience of device fabrication in a cleanroom environment 
  • Knowledge of quantum mechanics and/or quantum computing
  • Practical experience of measuring superconducting quantum circuits
  • A track record of scientific publications
The role requires someone able to work in a team and who is able to collaborate efficiently with a variety of external partners, with focus on the UK industry and academic groups. You will be expected to independently set goals and manage your work to deliver on time. You will also be able develop your own career as a researcher through wider activities such as project management, dissemination, industry engagement and outreach.
Please note: 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 possible.
About Us

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is a world-leading centre of excellence that provides cutting-edge measurement science, engineering and technology to underpin prosperity and quality of life in the UK. 

NPL and DSIT have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme. 

At NPL, we believe our success is a result of the diversity and talent of our people. We strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, as part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we hold memberships and accreditations to ensure we’re creating an environment where all our colleagues feel supported and welcome, please see our Diversity & Inclusion page.

 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 benefits. Our values are at the heart of what we do, and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success. 

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. 

We actively recruit citizens of all backgrounds, but the nature of our work in specific departments means that nationality, residency and security requirements can be more tightly defined than others. To work at NPL, you will need to obtain BPSS security clearance. Some departments may require a higher level of security clearance.