Experimental & Applied Physicists

Berkshire, UK
£31000 - £60000 per annum
Closing date
8 Jun 2023

Job Details


AWE's Physics function is expanding, and we are looking for people, at various stages of their careers, to join us! AWE can offer a diverse and unique working environment where you could be working with advanced scientific hardware to support technically challenging projects.

Experimental & Applied Physicists

Location: Reading/Basingstoke area (Potential opportunities for hybrid working in some roles)


Junior Physicists (recent graduates): £31,000 - £35,000 (depending on your suitability and level of experience)

Experienced Physicists (PHD or graduates with post-grad experience): £36,000 - £44,000 (depending on your suitability and level of experience)

Senior Physicists (experienced physicists with qualifications coupled with experience in industry): £45,000 - £60,000 (depending on your suitability and level of experience)

Closing Date: 08th June 2023

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 (plus every other Friday off work);
  • 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;
  • 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 generous defined contribution Group Personal Pension (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;
  • 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 siteA.

In support of our important mission to support current and future nuclear deterrent, security and threat reduction programmes, we have new opportunities available in the following disciplines:

  • Physics of materials: The Materials Physics Group is responsible for developing the knowledge and understanding of material behaviours to support the UKs deterrent. This involves performing experiments measuring material properties in exotic states of matter such as those found in the centre of planets or stars, and during violent chemical and nuclear reactions. A wide range of data is needed including atomic and nuclear cross-sections, high pressure EoS, strength and fracture, plus high explosive detonation properties. There are also opportunities to develop and use cutting edge experimental techniques on various national and international facilities - Orion laser and ASP accelerator at AWE, Diamond Light Source (UK), Neutron Ignition Facility (US), Linac Coherent Light Source (US), European XFEL(Germany).

  • Radiation Detection: The Radiation Detection Group search, detect and diagnose radioactive material using a wide range of radiometric techniques and technologies to deliver nuclear safety and security.

They broadly develop methods to determine 'what's in the box' without opening it e.g., what's in a glovebox, cargo container or improvised electronic device.

  • Radiation Science: The Radiation Science Group develops and utilises photon, electron and neutron transport codes. Some commercial codes such as MCNP are used, other codes are bespoke or developed in-house. Computer modelling is used to simulate environments and conditions that can no longer be directly achieved. Experiments are conducted at facilities in the UK and abroad to provide valuable simulation data which are used to validate the modelling codes used. Using your background of physics, you shall be able to understand the concept of the calculations that are required to perform the experiments and validate the computer codes. This role will entail analysing tasks and performing modelling of the transport of electrons, photons or neutrons through different mediums.

  • Technology Development: The Technology Development Group utilises diagnostic instrumentation to experimental platforms, the focus is on pushing the boundary of latest industrial and scientific capabilities, and inventing new capabilities where none exist to address scientific data needs. The range of technologies that are of interest include radiography, high energy lasers, pulsed power/accelerator systems, neutron generators, ultra-highspeed imaging systems, interferometry, spectroscopy, advanced sensors and many more.

Not to be considered a checklist, we are interested in hearing from candidates who can demonstrate knowledge or experience in several of the following areas:

  • A degree in Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, or other numerate discipline; equivalent NQF level 6 qualification or equivalent experience;

  • Strong communication skills verbal and written;

  • Able to provide technical input within own field of expertise that can influence project or team activity;

  • Ability to plan and manage the delivery of own work, and that of a small technical team;

  • Ability to manage and operate specialist equipment and develop and define specialist research processes to deliver solutions to technical problems;

  • Ability to solve technical problems by applying specialist technical knowledge of scientific laboratory equipment.

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



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 three career pathways: Science, Engineering 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

How to apply
Please visit our website www.awe.co.uk/careers for further information

Tel +44 (0)118 981 4111

Find Us
+44 0118 98 24643
AWE Aldermaston
United Kingdom

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