Job: Advanced Reactor Materials Research Officer

Applications are invited for the above fixed-term, full-time post working in the Nuclear Futures Institute (NFI) within the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at Bangor University.

The project is part of the EPSRC funded project: Enhanced Methodologies for Advanced Nuclear System Safety.

Duties will include supporting research into the modelling of nuclear fuel and nuclear materials including with the use of Monte Carlo physics packages and nuclear fuel performance codes. An experienced modelling researcher is sought, ideally with the experience or desire to also work with experimental methods.

Candidates should possess a PhD in materials science and engineering, physics or a related chemistry/engineering discipline (or be near to completion of their PhD), they will be proficient in the use of C++, Fortran, have excellent communication skills, a track record in peer reviewed publications and a knowledge of nuclear fuels and fusion materials. The appointee will be required to present to industry sponsors including the National Nuclear Laboratory and international partners on a regular basis.  

The successful candidate will be expected to commence as soon as possible and the post is available for 18 months in the first instance, extension is dependent on funding.

Informal enquiries can be made by contacting Simon Middleburgh (s.middleburgh@bangor.ac.uk) or  David Jones (d.e.jones@bangor.ac.uk).

Applications will only be accepted via our on-line recruitment website, jobs.bangor.ac.uk. However, in cases of access issues due to disability, paper application forms are available by telephoning 01248 383865.

Closing date for applications:  07 February 2022.

Committed To Equal Opportunities

Closing Date

07-02-2022

Salary

£34,304 p.a. (Grade 7)

Contract Duration

18 months

Ref: BU02758

Overview

Bangor University is involved with the UK’s Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR), Advanced Fuel Cycle programmes funded by BEIS and is  a recognised centre for fuel manufacture for advanced nuclear applications, including for lead-cooled fast reactors, fusion and space systems within the UK, collaborating with other national and international institutions.

The NFI advanced fuel cycle work, supporting space reactors, advanced modular reactors (AMRs), small modular reactors (SMRs) and current generation reactors involves collaborating with industry, supporting exciting new technologies that will drive our need to deliver on Net Zero. The group is growing world-class nuclear energy expertise in North Wales (supported by the Sêr Cymru programme). The NFI (see https://nubu.nu) has expertise in nuclear materials (both modelling and experiment – supported by the uranium active MERLIN facility), medical isotopes, thermal-hydraulics, reactor design, regulation and fuel performance. The successful candidate will work closely with this diverse team, growing our expertise and overseeing the nationally important National Nuclear Users Facility (NNUF) facility, the Bangor University Fuel Fabrication Facility, focused on nuclear forensics, fuel manufacture and advanced materials synthesis.

The Project

Bangor University has a strong background in modelling of nuclear systems, particularly nuclear fuels and advanced reactor systems. This project, funded as part of the EPSRC’s UK-India Civil Nuclear Collaboration and STFC, will model nuclear fuel materials, incorporating newly developed physics models for fusion into existing software such as GEANT4, while developing methods to improve reliability of nuclear fission fuel performance codes in collaboration with the National Nuclear Laboratory and a range of leading industry partners.

Bangor University is building a range of academically unique facilities to support the nuclear community. This includes the NNUF Bangor University Fuel Fabrication Facility and the first academic high temperature flowing-Pb facility in the U.K., both supporting the advanced fission and fusion programmes. The duties of the successful candidate will be to work with the experimental researchers to enable verification and validation of advanced models for nuclear fuels and nuclear fusor systems. The candidate will be expected to operate as part of a flexible and enthusiastic team, communicate clearly and efficiently with students, other researchers and technicians, and build their own industrially relevant, progressive research momentum.

Purpose of the Job

The post will be part of an established team working in the area of nuclear materials and the nuclear fuel cycle. The project involves supporting a range of research focused on modelling of fusion and fission materials.

The candidate will develop mechanistic models and incorporate them into higher level codes for engineering purposes. This includes new models related to fusion materials (particularly fusor systems) and development of mechanistic models focused on heat transfer in fission nuclear fuels (including heat transfer over the pellet-cladding gap and through crud build-up).

The post holder will be responsible for planning / conducting / analysing and publishing a series of theoretical studies, working with our academic partners, industry sponsors and AMR collaborators, ensuring best-practice and research relevance is maintained.

Person Specification

Qualifications/Training

Essential
  • PhD in materials science and engineering, physics or a related chemistry/engineering discipline (or be near to completion of their PhD).
  • Trained or adept user of C++, Fortran.
Desirable
  • Training/qualifications related to fuel materials/advanced material modelling.

Experience/Knowledge

Essential
  • Understanding of nuclear reactions and the phenomena that dominate nuclear fuel performance.
  • Proven track record of publication in quality journals and conference presentations.
Desirable
  • Project experience developing a mechanistic understanding of nuclear materials processes
  • Experience using GEANT4 and/or Serpent modelling software.
  • Knowledge of nuclear energy and the specific challenges associated with nuclear fuels and fusion reactor systems (particularly fusors).
  • Experience working with atomic scale modelling methods or using modelling analysis to enhance data for industry.

Skills/Abilities

Essential
  • Demonstrate excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Demonstrate good analytical skills, ability to analyse numerical data, present results appropriately and ability to prioritise workload and work to deadlines.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and area, and the ensuing responsibilities.
Desirable
  • Working with active materials such as uranium oxide.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Examining the behaviour of materials, including those designed for nuclear fuel purposes, during manufacture and under relevant operational environments.
  • Working with atomic scale modellers to understand mechanisms that can be linked into the mesoscale/engineering scale models.
  • Gathering and analysis of data from experimental efforts to assess computer-based predictions
  • Actively support the principal investigator in developing new techniques; the validation of laboratory models; scheduling and testing research; collecting and analysing data.
  • Delivering research outcomes. This will include: contribution to the dissemination of research outputs through relevant scientific technical and public press and conferences; working with partners to disseminate results to industry; write regular updates on progress to the project management group; collaborate with co- researchers and write up the results in scientific articles; write final reports; discussing and sharing results with grant holders.
  • Administration of the research project. This will include: participation in project meetings; coordination of project to meeting aims and objectives; liaising with stakeholders (external and internal).
  • Other duties and responsibilities specific to the role include: advising and collaborating with Masters and PhD students within the research programme; contribute to the teaching/lecturing programmes; actively participate in specific College activities including outreach; establish collaborative groups (internal or external); gain external funding; project management.

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Scheme.
  • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions. The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
  • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their post.

General

The University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds.  We strive to develop a workforce from all sections of the community regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age. We promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language through our progressive Welsh Language Policy. We comply with the Welsh Language Standards and are committed to equality of opportunity. You are welcome to apply for any job in English or Welsh and all applications submitted will be treated equally. 

We are a member of Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Gender Equality charter and hold a Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to and progress towards gender equality within the University’s policies, practices, and culture. We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer. 

All members of staff have a duty to ensure their actions are in line with the overall environmental aims of the University and minimise their environmental impact. 

All offers are made subject to proof of eligibility to work in the UK and receipt of satisfactory references.  

All candidates must meet the requirements of UK ‘right to work’ requirements *** If you require Home Office permission to work in the UK, or need to switch your visa status in order to take this job  we recommend you use the following link to information about the routes into employment and to check eligibility requirements:  https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas 

Please note that we are unable to employ anyone who does not have the right to live and work in the UK legally.   When applying for this post you will be required to explain the basis upon which you believe you will be able to live and work in the UK legally on the commencement date of the role should your application be successful. 

Candidates should also note that they may be required to apply for an ATAS certificate (Academic Approval Technology Scheme)  from the Counter-Proliferation and Arms Control Centre of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office before being able to apply for a visa – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme 

Please note that, in the event of applications being received from candidates on the University’s Redeployment Register with a reasonable skills match to the post specification, these applicants will be given prior consideration.