Job: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Nuclear Glass Modelling

Applications are invited for this full time, fixed-term post, working in Bangor University’s Nuclear Futures Institute as a Postdoctoral Research Officer in Nuclear Glass Modelling.

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

In addition to modelling nuclear waste glasses, the post holder will support experimental programmes in the Nuclear Futures Institute by simulating glasses relevant to intergranular films and sensor materials. The post-holder will be required to produce articles for publication in high-quality journals on a regular basis. Additionally, the post-holder will be expected to establish and reinforce collaborative research links both within the university and with other organisations in the field of glass science.

Candidates should have a PhD (or be near completion) in materials science or a related discipline and should have experience in the atomic scale simulation of glasses or amorphous materials using molecular dynamics. They must also possess a good working knowledge of glass science and have a proven track record of academic publication.

The successful candidate will be expected to commence as soon as possible and the post is available until 31/12/2022.

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed towards Dr. Michael Rushton:

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

Closing date for applications: 04 December 2020.

Committed To Equal Opportunities

Closing Date



£33,797- £40,322 (Grade 7) p.a.

Contract Duration


Ref: BU02285

The Project

The project is to apply atomic scale glass simulation methods to a range of nuclear glass applications. These will include predicting the long term behaviour of nuclear waste glasses including the development of improved forcefields for the simulation of borosilicate glasses. In addition, the post-holder will help provide a better fundamental understanding of the behaviour of glass based sensor materials and glassy grain boundaries as part of a multi-disciplinary team of nuclear engineers and scientists in Bangor’s Nuclear Futures Institute.

Purpose of the Job

This role will support the Materials for Nuclear and Extreme Environments research group in Bangor University’s Nuclear Futures Institute and help in achieving its aim to establish “A world leading capability in Nuclear Engineering, which establishes North Wales as a global centre, delivering international partnerships and opportunity from a rich mix of existing and new talent. Leading the UK nuclear agenda and rejuvenating the UK and Welsh nuclear sector.”

The post holder will be responsible for conducting computational modelling of glasses, glass-ceramics and amorphous materials relevant to nuclear science and engineering. Research will aim to predict the behaviour of nuclear waste glasses. In addition the post-holder will support experimental programmes in the Nuclear Futures Institute looking at amorphous grain boundaries, glass and glass-scintillators for radiation sensing. These supporting calculations will aim to guide experiment to areas of compositional interest, inform processing parameters and suggest the mechanistic basis of experimental results. A key duty will be to work with other researchers at Bangor in order to publish results in high quality scientific journals.

Person Specification


  • PhD (or be near completion) in materials science or a related discipline.
  • A formal qualification in nuclear science or engineering.


  • Proven ability to perform atomic scale simulations of glasses or amorphous materials using molecular dynamics.
  • Working knowledge of glass science.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct high quality research by publications in well-respected scientific journals and talks at significant conferences.
  • Experience in running density functional theory calculations.
  • Knowledge of reverse Monte-Carlo modelling.
  • The ability to conduct radiation transport calculations using tools such as MCNP and GEANT-IV.
  • Track record in parametrisation of classical interatomic forcefields.
  • Knowledge of how radiation interacts with materials and how this may affect material properties.
  • Knowledge of nuclear materials including immobilisation hosts for nuclear waste.


  • Demonstrate good verbal and written skills.
  • Demonstrate good analytical skills, ability to analyse numerical data and present results appropriately.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prioritise work load and work to deadlines.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and area.
  • A willingness to work closely and support experimentalists working in materials science and control & instrumentation.
  • High level of computer literacy including the ability to work effectively with high performance computing resources.
  • Demonstrate proven project management skills.
  • Ability to use programming languages such as Python, R and C/C++ to analyse simulation data.
  • Experience with the LAMMPS molecular dynamics code.
  • Demonstrate ability to work as part of a team.
  • Demonstrate interpersonal skills.
  • Active links with industry and academic networks.
  • The ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh is desirable for this role. If applicants are not able to speak / write in Welsh at present, there are many opportunities to learn if the successful candidate wishes to do so.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Conducting research to predict the behaviour of glasses and amorphous materials related to nuclear applications using computer simulation techniques.
  • Gathering and analysis of data. Acquire and maintain a thorough and up to date knowledge of the scientific literature related to the research aims of the project. Actively support the principal investigator in developing new techniques. Scheduling and testing research. Collecting and analysing data. As required by project, be prepared to visit other institutions to use their facilities.
  • Delivering research outcomes. The post-holder will be required to produce articles for publication in high quality journals on a regular basis. To contribute to the dissemination of research outputs through relevant scientific technical and public press and conferences. Deliver regular presentations to the research group to allow progress to be monitored and research results to be discussed. To collaborate with co-researchers and write up the results in scientific articles. If required for a programme of work with a collaborating organisation produce progress and final reports. Discussing and sharing results with grant holders.
  • Seek to establish and reinforce collaborative research links both within the university and with other organisations.
  • Identify and develop commercial opportunities stemming from research work. Including submitting patent applications and pursuing innovation funding.
  • Administration of the research project. Participate in project meetings. Coordinate project to meet aims and objectives. Liaise with stakeholders (external and internal). Ensure appropriate time management controls are implemented.
  • Monitoring of financial controls associated with the research project. Behave in a financially responsible manner. Ensure that spending on the project is conducted with due diligence and in a prudent manner. Quotes for products and services should be discussed with principal investigator.
  • Oversee the ordering, delivery and installation of equipment related to the project.
  • Advise and collaborate with undergraduate, post-graduate and placement students. As required, prepare and give lectures, perform lab demonstrations and tutorials.
  • Attend training courses as appropriate to ensure continuing skills development.
  • Assist in organising and contributing to seminars, conferences and other events organised by the research group.
  • Contribute to proposals and funding/research applications.
  • Administration of the research project. Participate in project meetings to help meet aims and objectives of research and liaise with stakeholders (external and internal).

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.


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, please note that following the introduction by the Government of immigration limits on skilled workers we recommend you use the following link to information about the routes into employment and to check eligibility requirements:

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.