New Job: Advanced Reactor Materials Research Officer

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

The scheme has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. EU Funds: Investing in Wales.

Main duties will include supporting research into nuclear fuel and nuclear materials synthesis and testing at Bangor University through a range of experimental and, when appropriate, modelling methods. An experienced experimental researcher is sought, ideally with the experience or desire to also work with modelling methods.

Candidates should possess a PhD in materials science and engineering or a related physics/chemistry/engineering discipline (or be near to completion of their PhD), have excellent communication skills, a track record in peer reviewed publications and a knowledge of nuclear materials manufacture, ideally with uranium-baring fuel materials and experience in experimental design for materials testing in extreme environments. The appointee will present to industry sponsors including the National Nuclear Laboratory on a regular basis.

The successful candidate will be expected to commence as soon as possible and the post is available for a period of 18 months in the first instance.

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:  10 December 2021.

Bangor University and the Nuclear Futures Institute are committed to Equal Opportunities.

Closing Date

10-12-2021

Salary

£34,304 p.a. (Grade 7)

Contract Duration

18 months

Ref: BU02630

Overview

Bangor University is involved with the UK’s Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR)  and Advanced Fuel Cycle programmes funded by BEIS and is aiming to be a 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 advanced fuel cycle work, supporting space reactors, advanced modular reactors (AMRs), small modular reactors (SMRs) and current generation reactors is an area that the Nuclear Futures Institute is 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 Nuclear Futures Institute (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 NNUF facility, the Bangor University Fuel Fabrication Facility, focused on nuclear forensics, fuel manufacture and advanced materials synthesis.

The Project

Bangor University is building a range of academically unique facilities to support the nuclear community, including with our close industry links. This includes the National Nuclear User Facility (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 oversee the research and use the new facilities, supporting work with the industrial sponsors that include Westinghouse, the NNL, the UKAEA and many others. 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.

The Nuclear Futures Institute at Bangor University is involved with the UK’s Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR)  and Advanced Fuel Cycle programmes funded by BEIS and is aiming to be a 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 successful candidate will aid in the design, build and operation of a number of the setups, including the Bangor University Lead Loop Erosion Testing (BULLET) apparatus, and the Bangor University Fuel Fabrication Facility – working closely with our key stakeholders and collaborators.

The scheme has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. EU Funds: Investing in Wales.

 

Purpose of the Job

The post is part of an established team working in the area of nuclear materials. The project involves supporting a range of uranium-active laboratories and a high temperature flowing Pb setup that will be used to research the behaviour of materials in Pb-fast reactor and fusion reactor conditions.

The post holder will be responsible for planning / conducting / analysing and publishing a series of experimental studies, working with our industry sponsors and AMR team members, and collaborating with the wider community to ensure best-practice and research relevance is maintained.

Person Specification

Qualifications/Training

Essential
  • PhD in materials science and engineering or a related physics/chemistry/engineering discipline (or be near to completion of their PhD).
Desirable
  • Training/qualifications related to fuel materials/advanced material synthesis.
  • Project experience developing a mechanistic understanding of sintering processes.

Experience/Knowledge

Essential
  • Knowledge, ideally experience in experimental design for materials testing in extreme environments.
  • Proven track record of publication in quality journals and conference presentations.
Desirable
  • Knowledge of nuclear energy and the specific challenges associated with lead- cooled fast reactors, advanced reactors or current generation reactors.
  • Project experience developing a mechanistic understanding of sintering processes
  • Radiation protection supervisor (RPS) trained.
  • Experience working with uranium oxide and other uranium compounds.
  • Knowledge or experience of experimental thermodynamic techniques such as differential scanning calorimetry.
  • Experience working with atomic scale modelling methods or using modelling analysis to enhance experimental 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.