About the Role

Do you have the skills to join a team developing cold atom and ion clocks that can withstand the rigours of a launch into space and/or make measurements so precisely that they could reveal evidence of new physics?

We are recruiting scientists to contribute to our expanding programme of high performance optical and microwave clocks. We have opportunities available to develop trapped ion and neutral atom lattice clocks for a range of different applications, including mobile comms, space-based systems, tests of fundamental physics and optically steered time scales

You’d be joining our Time & Frequency Department (www.npl.co.uk/time-frequency) at an exciting time. We have some of the most precise optical atomic clocks in the world, which could form the basis of a redefinition of the SI second, and are also developing compact atomic clocks for use in GPS denied environments. We also provide timing services to financial institutions for share trading and are embarking on the development of a new time scale facility that will underpin our Critical National Infrastructure. We operate a number of optical fibre links to allow frequency transfer to destinations across the UK and Europe. Frequency transfer techniques are also being developed for use in detecting earthquakes using the existing undersea network of optical fibres.

About You

The ideal candidate will have a PhD and be experienced with trapping cold atoms or ions and performing high-resolution laser spectroscopy.

You will be involved in the design and development of cold atom/ion experimental setups, including frequency stabilised laser systems, vacuum hardware, data acquisition systems and software for experimental control & analysis.  You should be adaptable, keen to learn new skills and motivated to embrace new physics & engineering approaches to improve system performance. 

We’re also looking for someone able to independently solve problems in the lab as they arise, manage their time to work to tight deadlines and have excellent technical communication skills – both written and spoken. 

Skills we are looking for:

  • PhD in experimental atomic physics, or a closely related area
  • Practical aptitude for laser optics
  • High-resolution laser spectroscopy
  • Experience in trapping cold atoms or ions
  • Planning atomic physics experiments
  • Setting up ultra-high vacuum systems
  • Software for experiment control and data analysis – LabVIEW and Python
  • Microwave and RF systems
  • Equipment design - SolidWorks
About The Company

NPL and BEIS 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 BAME 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.

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 benefits. NPL’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.

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