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Senior / Principal Synchronisation Engineer

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Warrington, UK
Band E, S1: £53,818- £59,199 Band F £62,178-£68,395
Posting live until
6 Jul 2024

Job Details

Salary: UKRI Band E, S1: £53,818- £59,199 Band F £62,178-£68,395

Hours: Full-time 

Benefits: 30 days holiday + 8 bank holidays + 2.5 privilege days + Christmas shut down + exceptional average salary pension + excellent work life balance

Contract type: Open ended 

Location: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, United Kingdom

Closing date for applications is Sunday 14th July 2024

STFC’s Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) mission is to build the ‘Big Science’ facilities of the future; we design, build, and operate particle accelerators and make major contributions to many of the biggest projects in the world today. Based at Daresbury Laboratory, we work with high-profile national and international partners that include the Cockcroft Institute. 

STFC is part of UKRI, the UK's national organisation for research; we encourage our staff to undertake world-leading work in a diverse and inclusive environment that supports work-life balance. 

About the role 

We are looking for a senior engineer to lead ASTeC activities in optical/radiofrequency timing and synchronisation for our major accelerator projects. 

These projects include CLARA: an electron beam test facility under construction at Daresbury, aiming to achieve high levels of laser-electron synchronization for novel experiments including plasma acceleration. It also includes UK XFEL: a project to deliver a next-generation x-ray free electron laser for UK science and industry, targeting ambitious single-femtosecond synchronization between x-rays and laser systems in pump-probe configurations. 

As a member of the Femtosecond Lasers and Timing (FLT) Group, you will take ownership of timing and synchronisation R&D activities, while ensuring operational support for systems used in electron beam facilities at Daresbury Laboratory. 

You will drive a team of junior staff in this area, developing their capabilities as both line manager and role model, while seeking opportunities to support their career development. 

Your work will include (but not limited to) the development, installation, and characterisation of systems for: 

  • Ultralow noise clock source generation and distribution
  • Femtosecond-precision laser-laser and laser-RF locking 
  • Femtosecond-precision particle and laser arrival time measurement and control systems 
  • We will encourage and support you to enhance your profile with leading laser and accelerator facilities through collaborative, presentation, and publication opportunities. 
  • As a platform for your activities and initiatives, you will run a new dedicated laboratory for synchronisation, providing operational and safety management, and expanding laboratory capability through new equipment. 

Please note: this role may occasionally involve shift work to support facility operations and require international travel for business purposes. 

Person specification 

Band E 

You must have: 

  • A minimum 2:1 degree in e.g. physics, electrical engineering, photonics, or a closely related subject (or equivalent experience) 
  • Excellent understanding and practical experience with ultrashort pulse laser systems, non-linear optics, and optoelectronics. 
  • Excellent attention to detail, as demonstrated during the execution of technical activities. 

You may have: 

  • Understanding and practical experience with systems integration, analogue and digital electronics, and programming skills. 
  • Experience with optical system simulation and engineering 
  • People management skills, supported by appropriate experience 
  • Experience of technical systems delivery performed as part of a larger project, including requirements generation, preparation of drawings and production of user documentation.
  • Knowledge and experience in the programming of high bandwidth real-time controllers, including FPGA-based circuits 

Band F 

You must have: 

  • A minimum 2:1 degree in e.g. physics, electrical engineering, photonics, or a closely related subject (or equivalent experience) 
  • Expert knowledge with ultrashort pulse laser systems, non-linear optics, and optoelectronics, supported by matched levels of practical experience. 
  • Expert knowledge with systems integration, analogue and digital electronics, and programming skills, supported by matched levels of practical experience. 
  • Extensive experience with the development and application of timing and synchronisation systems for particle accelerator technology and/or facilities. 
  • A strong record of accomplishment in the delivery of substantial and sophisticated packages of work to time and cost, performed within a recognised project management framework. 
  • Effective people management and leadership skills and experience, including previous direct line management responsibilities 
  • Experience with high value equipment procurement (or equivalent) and associated processes, including (e.g.) supplier engagement, generation of technical requirements, bid evaluation and contract management. 

You may have: 

  • Good experience with optical system simulation and engineering 
  • Good knowledge and experience in the programming of high bandwidth real-time controllers, including FPGA-based circuits. 
  • Evidence of an international profile in a field of direct relevance to timing and synchronisation. 

We are offering an open ended contract, with the expectation of an extension. with a whole host of benefits including:

  • 30 days holiday (in addition to 10.5 bank holidays and privilege days).
  • Flexible working hours.
  • Employee shopping/travel discounts.
  • Excellent learning and development opportunities.

We are committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. We are invested in creating an environment that is welcoming and supportive of all, to help us achieve the highest possible standards in our work and organisation together. In this regard, we encourage applications from under-represented groups.

We ask some of the biggest questions in the universe, to answer some of the biggest challenges in the world. Together, our scientists, technologists, engineers, and business support team explore the unknown across every field you could think of. 

What could you achieve with the world-leading facilities and experts of one of Europe's largest research organisations by your side? Join us and discover what's possible.


STFC imageAt the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), research is driven by practical applications and a curiosity to create a world-leading hub of scientific and engineering excellence. Our science and facilities enable researchers to answer fundamental questions about the nature of the universe. Success typically requires long-term strategic investment, international collaboration on a global scale and the capability to push the limits of technology and engineering. To remain internationally competitive in our areas of science and to keep our facilities at the leading edge, we have to develop bespoke technology that cannot be reliably sourced on the open market, for example in detectors and instrumentation, accelerators, specialist engineering, optics and e-infrastructure. These technologies are often also applied to address broader societal and industrial challenges and we actively promote their translation and commercialization.

Why work for us
When you join STFC, you become a key part of one of Europe’s largest research organizations. We are trusted to support, enable, and undertake cutting-edge projects in an amazing diversity of fields that you could be a part of. With access to our world-class facilities, people like you are helping us to drive ground-breaking advances in science, engineering, computing and technology.

  • The Particle Physics Department (PPD) is one of the largest particle physics groups in the UK. We design, construct and operate some of the most sensitive scientific instruments in the world, collaborating with partners in academia, industry and international laboratories such as CERN. We currently work with the ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, DUNE, Hyper-K, T2K, MICE, Lux-Zeplin, DEAP-3600, CERN RD50, Electron Ion Collider and AION collaborations.
  • The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) is a £93m UKRI investment over five years based at the Harwell Campus. This is a strategic element within the overall £1bn, 10-year investment into quantum technologies made by the UK since 2014.

Our benefits

  • 30 days annual leave plus 10.5 public and privilege days.
  • Flexible or hybrid working may be available dependent on role.
  • Defined benefit pension scheme (employer contribution – currently up to 26%).
  • Sport and social groups across campus with access to an on-site gym.

For more information on all of our employee benefits, visit

Who we are looking for
The UK has a world-class research and innovation system. Our expertise spans all fields of knowledge, from the discovery of penicillin and monoclonal antibodies, to the jet engine and the World Wide Web. Therefore it is vital for us to have the best people at all levels throughout UKRI. We want to continue to attract a mix of talented professionals, scientists and engineers.


Number of employees
STFC has 2594 staff members across the UK and UKRI has approx. 8000

Main areas of research
Our work encompasses everything from the physical, biological and social
sciences, to innovation, engineering, medicine, the environment, as well as arts and the humanities

Positions recently recruited for
Electronic engineers, data scientists, research associates CMS/DUNE, research associate on electron ion collider (EiC), ion trap physicists

Desired degree disciplines/class
A STEM degree

How to apply
Apply online at 

Closing date
All year round

Quantum physics and computing vacancies: E-mail
Particle physics vacancies: E-mail

Company info
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
OX11 0QX

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