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Material Model Developer

Aldermaston, W. Berks, UK
Posting live until
4 Jul 2024

Job Details

What if you could work with remarkable people on extraordinary things? What if the end result was something a little bit special? What if your role was mission critical?

For nearly 70 years, AWE has been at the forefront of nuclear weapons research and development. We have a critical mission: to provide the warheads for the UK’s ultimate deterrent – Trident. We also use our unique skills to provide wider UK government with counterterrorism and nuclear threat reduction solutions.

It takes a special sort of person to work at AWE. What if that person was you?

AWE is currently recruiting for a Material Model Developer to join their Materials Physics Group, to exercise and improve capability in understanding nuclear warhead safety, performance, effectiveness, and national nuclear security through scientific research, modelling, and assessment.

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

Package: £33,000 - £44,000 (depending on your suitability, qualifications, and level of experience)

Closing Date: 4th July 2024

If we receive an exceptionally high level of applications, this vacancy may close early, so don’t delay, apply now!

The Role

You will be working in a theory and modelling team within a multi-disciplinary group, that contributes to AWE’s understanding of the behaviour of materials at high temperatures, pressures, and strain rates.

The team uses modelling techniques applied at a variety of physical length scales to understand how materials deform and fracture at high strain rates. The techniques applied range from first principles quantum mechanics and molecular dynamics to mesoscale and continuum simulations. These aim to understand and predict the behaviour of a variety of materials in response to extreme loading conditions and develop models that can be applied to simulate the behaviour of nuclear warheads.

This specific role will require the candidate to undertake model implementation and simulation with explicit finite element codes, performing simulations of relevant dynamic experiments to validate strength and damage models suitable for capturing the response of materials to deformation in extreme environments.

The role will involve undertaking independent research, as well as working as part of a team, to develop models and to design and analyse experiments performed by internal and external collaborators.

Who Are We Looking For?

Candidates should ideally have a background in the use of scientific computational modelling methods, but any prior experience in the areas such as finite element simulation, plasticity modelling, crystal plasticity, damage modelling, or a background in continuum mechanics, would be considered highly advantageous.

To be considered for this role, you will need the following:

  • Degree or equivalent experience in Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, or another numerate discipline;
  • Experience in undertaking scientific research in either a university or industrial context;
  • A methodical approach to complex problem solving using technical knowledge;
  • A clear and concise communication approach, both oral and written;
  • The ability to prioritise a varied workload, ensuring timely delivery with minimum supervision;
  • Experience with scientific programming, using languages such as Fortran, C++, Python, or a similar high-level language, and of working in the Unix/Linux environment.

A specialism or interest in one or more of the following areas is highly advantageous:

  • Explicit finite element modelling;
  • Plasticity modelling/crystal plasticity;
  • Spall and damage modelling;
  • Continuum mechanics.

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.

Important things you need to know:

  • You must be a British citizen who has been resident in the UK for the past 10 years;
  • 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.


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

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