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Theoretical Scientist

Berkshire, UK
£31000 - £46000 per annum
Posting live until
5 Apr 2024

Job Details


AWE is offering two exciting Physicist roles to support our deterrence programmes as we expand our mission space. These roles will develop the right candidates with their scientific careers offering exciting opportunities to develop our radiation detection and uncertainty quantification capabilities.

Location: Aldermaston, West Berkshire. We are located between Reading and Basingstoke, with onsite parking.

Package: £31,000 - £46,000(depending on your suitability, qualifications, and level of experience)

Closing Date: 5th April 2024

The Role:

The Radiation Science Group is tasked with supporting the hardness and vulnerability aspects of our deterrence mission space, identifying, assessing, and understanding threats to the deterrent and looking to the future and the next generation of systems.

The group uses a model-based engineering approach to support core missions with the models being underpinned by science lead activities, i.e., developing and validating new models and codes, verifying them through experiments and assessing the certainty associated with the methods. The roles therefore encompass skills from experimental, theoretical and computation branches of physics and are a great opportunity for the right candidate with a passion for physics.

There are two exciting roles available within the Radiation Science Group:

Role 1 (UQ) - A role supporting the whole group by independently assessing the experimental and modelling activities undertaken and seeking to increase our confidence in our overarching assessments. The right candidate would be trained and developed into this role with a strong mathematics or statistics background preferred but not essential.

Role 2 (XR) - A role supporting or leading (depending on experience) an area of radiation detection and measurement focusing on investigating low energy photon and electron fields. The right candidate will be trained and developed into this role and would ideally have experience and interest in X-ray and electron detection and measurement.

The expectation is the right candidate will grow into the role with experience being seen as an advantage. Training and development of practical skills will be part of the role as required.

The roles will support flexible working with an expectation that the candidate will spend some time working at AWE main site each week and that the place or work is driven by the needs of the programme.

Key Accountabilities

  • Working within the Radiation Science Group understanding the general aspect of our mission space and linking these to developing the specific capabilities required for the radiation detection and uncertainty quantification areas;
  • Ensuring data collected through radiation experiments is the most relevant and of the highest standard. Developing links with external technical partners in both academia and industry to ensure the best available techniques and technologies are being utilised;
  • Developing mathematics and statistical skills for error and sensitivity analyses;
  • Developing a knowledge of statistical techniques for experimental design and workflow assessment.

Key Responsibilities

  • Collecting and managing data through innovative techniques at sate of the art facilities in the UK, USA and Europe as appropriate;
  • Owning the development of the areas and expanding the capabilities in accordance with programme needs;
  • Using appropriate software and data capture tools to record data and suitable analyses;
  • Providing suggestions for improvements for team workflows with a view to being able to expand this to all workflows within the group;
  • Optimising experimental and trial designs and supporting (potentially leading) the delivery teams;
  • Working safely, securely, and cleanly to the appropriate quality standards;
  • Analysing scientific data to assess confidence in the data obtained and the method by which it was;
  • Becoming a chartered member of the Institute of Physics or Institute of Mathematics as part of our wider scientific deterrence strategy.

Whilst not to be considered a check list, candidates should be able to demonstrate some of the following:

  • Essential - Degree level knowledge in Physics (2:1 or above), Mathematics or statistics;

  • Desirable - Post-graduate qualifications connected with working on radiation detection and/or statistical methods;

  • Strong communication skills, verbal and written, excellent team working ability, proactive, and highly organised;

  • Basic appreciation of working safely on scientific experiments or trials;

  • Willing to travel and work at other UK and overseas sites as required;

  • Understanding and working knowledge of the:

    • Radiation detection and measurement techniques.

    • Statistical analysis of data sets.

    • Broad understanding of basic physics concepts including material properties, radiation field analysis, electronic systems, and electromagnetic phenomena.

    • Broad understanding of basic statistical analyses.

    • Working with Linux based operating system

    • Basic scripting/coding skills

    • Knowledge of Python, C, C++, Matlab

    • Experience of GEANT4 or MCNP modelling would be advantageous.

What will you get from us?

As part of our People Promise, AWE (one of the best 25 big companies to work for in the UK) has a range of benefits to suit you. These include:

  • Time to recharge your batteries with 270 hours of annual leave (including Bank Holidays);
  • 9-day working fortnight - every other Friday off work;
  • Flexible working hours;
  • Consideration for flexible working arrangements so that your work may fit in with your lifestyle. Just let us know on your application if you wish to work part time;
  • Family friendly policies: Maternity Leave - 39 Weeks Full Pay and Paternity Leave - 4 Weeks Full Pay;
  • Opportunities for Professional Career Development that include funding for the annual membership of a relevant professional body, access to mentors and training;
  • Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health Services;
  • A market leading contributory pension scheme (we will pay between 9% and 13% of your pensionable pay depending on your own contribution);
  • Life Assurance;
  • Discounts - access to savings on a wide range of everyday spending savings;
  • Special Leave Policy including paid time off for volunteering, public service (including reserve forces) and caring for your family;
  • A host of voluntary & core benefits to suit your health and wellbeing - more information available on our careers site.

Important things you need to know:

  • Interviews will be 90 minutes in length and will be held over Microsoft Teams. You will be required to prepare a 10-minute presentation in advance;
  • Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role. This will be funded by AWE.


* Agencies: Please note that we do not out-source our recruitment


AWE profile image

AWE plays a crucial role in national nuclear security. Working to support the defence of our country, we’re a community of creative thinkers from all kinds of backgrounds in all kinds of roles, with one clear mission – to keep everyone, our environment and everything around us safe and secure. Our role in nuclear defence and the specialist expertise we provide to the government, is vital in the defence against the most serious threats faced by the UK – and to keeping the peace. From developing the warheads for the nuclear deterrent, to providing counter-terrorism and nuclear threat reduction solutions, the work we do is of global importance.

Why work for us
What we do is unique and so are the people who work here. We are a team of around 6500 people – proud to be part of such an important mission. We are com​mitted to equality at work and to mainstreaming diversity and inclusion in everything we do. We believe that by bringing together a diverse range of people we’ll get the diversity of thought to approach challenges in new ways.

Training and development
We believe in supporting our people through long-term investment in learning and development. Alongside in-house and on-line training capabilities, we support membership of professional bodies. We also focus on building and developing leadership skills, in pursuit of our best-in-class ambition. We do this through tailored leadership development programmes, accredited by the Chartered Management Institute, designed to equip our leaders with the skills to drive performance and bring out the best in their teams.

Graduate schemes
Our two-year Evolve programme offers four career pathways: Science, Engineering, Environment, Safety, Health & Quality and Corporate & Operations. The programme is designed to be flexible, to incorporate a range of experiences as well as business needs. You’ll undertake several placements to expand your knowledge of your discipline, enabling you to develop yourself and your ongoing career. Your line manager will work with you and support you on your journey.

What we are looking for
We are always looking for high-calibre people to join our team. Whatever stage of your career, AWE is an exciting and challenging environment to develop your skills and achieve your potential. Our ambition is to create workplaces where we recognize and celebrate differences, encourage diverse contributions and our employees feel able to be themselves at work. We strive to create a genuine culture of openness and inclusion and encourage diverse applicants. Please note that you must be a British national to apply for a role at AWE.

Reading, UK

Number of employees

Main areas of research
Nuclear defence, nuclear forensics, radiation detection, plasma physics, hydrodynamics, high-performance computing, materials science

Positions recently recruited for
Computational physics, criticality scientists, experimental physics, radiation science, high-performance computing, radiation detection

Must be a British national and have resided in the UK for 10 years for our science and engineering roles 

How to apply
Please visit our website for further information

Tel +44 (0)118 981 4111

Company info
+44 0118 98 24643
AWE Aldermaston
United Kingdom

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