About the Role

You’ll plan and deliver a number of technical activities to take our research to the next level. As we’re pushing boundaries all the time, we’ll expect you to acquire new knowledge to find solutions to advance our research. It’s your responsibility to share your learnings so that we all benefit, mentoring those with less experience than you. Equally, if commercial opportunities arise from your work, you’ll need to flag these – as this is how new products and services are born. The same can be said for developing partnerships to strengthen our capability. You’ll also act as an ambassador for our work externally and be willing to promote what we do. And, as an expert in your field, we’ll also seek your technical support for any bids we may be undertaking.

There is an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated scientist to join NPL’s Time and Frequency group to work on microresonator-based optical frequency combs for optical clocks and on nonlinear interaction of counterpropagating light for applications ranging from precision sensing to nonreciprocal devices for integrated photonics circuits.

This work will use ultra-high-Q microresonators, which enable the confinement of extremely high levels of optical power into tiny micron-scale volumes. This allows nonlinear optical effects to be observed at extremely low threshold powers, making microresonators ideal components for future generations of integrated photonic circuits. NPL has a cleanroom and advanced fabrication facilities for ultra-high-Q microresonators.

The skilled candidate will work on microresonator-based frequency comb systems for use in the next generation of optical clocks. Optical clocks are currently the most precise instruments for time measurements and will most likely replace caesium microwave clocks as the standard for the definition of the second within the next decade. Microresonator-based frequency combs are promising tools to enable precise readout of the next generation of compact and portable optical clocks.

In an additional research project, the successful candidate will investigate the nonlinear interaction between counter-propagating light in optical microresonators. First experimental results show symmetry breaking between clockwise and counter-clockwise circulating modes in microresonators. This symmetry breaking can be utilized to develop non-reciprocal optical devices like optical diodes and circulators. Moreover this effect can be used for rotation sensors with enhanced sensitivity and for all-optical switches/transistors.

About You

With a science-related degree, you are an expert in your field and are used to leading, planning and delivering complex research projects from conception to fruition. Beyond that, we’re looking for someone who’ll thrive in an environment like ours. At NPL we learn from each other, respect each other and work together to do better. For ourselves and for our customers. And whilst we’re always looking to stretch beyond what we know, we don’t make things more complicated when there’s no need. Together, we’re helping make the impossible, possible.

The ideal candidate will be qualified to PhD level in physics, electronic engineering or a related subject, potentially with postdoctoral experience. However, graduates who can demonstrate significant relevant experience and the potential to carry out independent research will also be considered for the position. The ideal candidate will have experience in the following research areas:

• photonics
• fibre optics
• laser physics
• nonlinear optics
• digital and analogue electronics

The role will be based in Teddington, with occasional travelling to conferences and workshops

Please note: Applications will be reviewed and interviews will be conducted throughout the duration of this advert therefore we may at any time bring the closing date forward. We will be holding interviews on 19th August and 2nd September. We encourage all interested applicants to apply as soon as practical.

We actively recruit citizens of all backgrounds, but the nature of our work in this specific area means that nationality, residency and security requirements are more tightly defined than others.

About The Company

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.