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Applied Scientist - Laser Physics

Reading, UK
£25,850 - £35,000 per annum
Closing date
15 Aug 2022
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Job Details

Do you have a degree in Physics or experience in working with lasers? Would you like to work in Orion - the largest and most powerful laser system and experimental facility for high-energy density physics in the UK?

Our Orion facility delivers high-quality output to a demanding user programme. It recreates physical conditions in the lab similar to those found in the heart of the sun, with its ten nanosecond-duration beamlines and two sub-picosecond petawatt beamlines, all housed in a building the size of a football pitch.

A wonderful opportunity is now available for an Applied Scientist to operate and enhance Orion to perform the experiments necessary to underwrite the safety and performance of nuclear warheads, maintain national nuclear security and develop the capability and technology that meets future nuclear deterrent needs.

Applied Scientist - Laser Physics

Location: Reading area

Package: £25,850 - £35,000 (dependant on suitability and level of experience)

AWE (one of the best 25 big companies to work for in the UK) offers an attractive array of benefits which include:

  • Market leading contributory pension scheme
  • Generous holiday entitlement 270 hours a year (inclusive of Bank Holidays) plus every other Friday off
  • Flexible working hours
  • Salary sacrifice scheme
  • Funding for the annual membership of a relevant professional body
  • AWE Life Insurance
  • Consideration for either full time or part time hours. Just let us know on your application if you wish to work part time

The role:

We are looking for a recent graduate who wants to begin a career in laser physics. Relevant work experience would be advantageous but not essential.

As an Applied Scientist within Orion you will become a key part of the operations team carrying out laser set-up, maintenance and shot firing activities, having built up the relevant knowledge of this complex system through hands-on training.

You'll be required to support a small team of laser technicians to prepare and fire the system by providing troubleshooting and insight. To underwrite Orion's ongoing operation and its future capabilities you may conduct laser and optical-based research, technology development, analyse laser performance data and trends, and conduct geometric and physical optics simulations.

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

  • A degree in physics
  • Some experience of working with lasers or optics in an undergraduate laboratory setting would be advantageous
  • Experience conducting empirical scientific research and drawing sound conclusions
  • Ability to plan and manage the delivery of own work
  • Ability to work as part of a team with a range of stakeholders

Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role and be willing and able to work in designated areas.



AWE profile imageWe put the science and engineering into nuclear defence. We’re a team of creative thinkers from all kinds of backgrounds working at the heart of nuclear defence and security. We have one clear mission – to keep everyone and everything around us safe and secure from nuclear threats.

Why work for us
What we do is both interesting and exciting, especially now that the government has announced the replacement warhead programme. Working at AWE gives you access to exceptional technologies, facilities and projects that no ordinary company can provide – and the support of world-class professionals at every stage of your career. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, including a “nine-day fortnight” giving you every other Friday off to spend more time doing the things that you love.

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 three career pathways: Science, Engineering and Future Leaders. 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 to create an appropriate pathway for you – and support you on your journey.

AWE is an equal-opportunities employer. We nurture a culture of diversity and inclusion – a place where we can ALL be ourselves. We value respect, empathy and open-mindedness and welcome applications from all backgrounds. We are always looking for high-calibre people to join our team, so why not explore the opportunities that we currently have on offer. Whatever stage of your career, AWE is an exciting and excellent environment to develop your skills and achieve your aspirations. 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

How to apply
Please visit our website for further information

Tel +44 (0)118 981 4111

Find Us
0118 98 24643
AWE Aldermaston
United Kingdom
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