Job: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Functional Materials for Radiation Hard Sensors

Applications are invited for this full-time, fixed-term post, working in Bangor University’s Nuclear Futures Institute as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Functional Materials for Radiation Hard Sensors.

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

The ability to sense the radiation emitted by nuclear decay and during the operation of nuclear reactors is crucial to the nuclear industry. Through this project research will be conducted to create the next generation of radiation sensing materials. Additionally, there will be the opportunity to develop sensors for other signals such as temperature and pressure which can be deployed in many contexts from the harshest radiation fields (e.g. in-rod sensing for reactor cores) to medical imaging.

Duties will include planning / conducting / analysing results surrounding the synthesis of materials for sensing applications in the nuclear industry. They will also be expected to collaborate with the wider community to ensure best-practice and research relevance is maintained.

Candidates should possess a PhD (or be near completion) in a relevant area (e.g. materials science in glass/ceramic processing), although equivalent industrial experience may also be considered. The candidate should have a good track record of academic writing and contributing to publications for peer-reviewed journals.

The successful candidate will be expected to commence as soon as possible and the post is available until 31st March 2023.

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed towards Dr. Michael Rushton: m.rushton@bangor.ac.uk

For more information about the Nuclear Futures at Bangor please refer to our website here: https://nubu.nu

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 February 2022.

Committed to Equal Opportunities.

Closing Date

10-02-2022

Salary

£34,304- £40,927 (Grade 7) p.a.

Contract Duration

31-03-2023

Ref: BU2761

The Project

The aim of the project is to develop materials for use in sensor systems relevant to nuclear applications. The initial focus of the project will be on the use of scintillating glasses, ceramics and glass-ceramics to produce radiation detector materials. This will facilitate the production of high-performance sensor systems that are also robust and cost-effective. During the project, scintillators and associated materials  will be experimentally synthesised and tested.

A key area of research will be to understand how long-term exposure to radiation fields may degrade sensing performance, with this in mind we will apply for time at irradiation facilities to test the materials produced for the project. This will also provide useful knowledge that can be applied more generally to produce radiation hardened devices.

The research project will aim to deliver materials suitable for a number of application areas: sensors for high flux radiation environments (in-rod monitoring, hot-robotics), medical imaging, pervasive and wide-area radiation sensing.

Purpose of the Job

The post is part of an established team working in the area of nuclear materials. The purpose of the job is to conduct research leading to the development of materials which can be used as the sensing element in devices for deployment in the nuclear industry and high radiation fields. Although emphasis will be placed on the detection of radiation the post-holder will also be expected to consider opportunities for detecting other signals such as pressure and temperature in extreme environments.

The post holder will be responsible for planning / conducting / analysing results surrounding the synthesis of materials for sensing applications in the nuclear industry. They will also be expected to collaborate with the wider community to ensure best-practice and research relevance is maintained.

 

Person Specification

Qualifications/Training

Essential
  • A PhD (or be near completion) in materials science or related discipline. Equivalent industrial experience may also be considered.

Experience/Knowledge

Essential
  • Practical experience of ceramic and/or glass processing.
  • Experience of applying a range of analyses to determine the composition, structure and properties of ceramic and/or glass materials. The candidate should be acquainted with analytical methods such as: SEM/TEM, EBSD, XPS and XRD.
  • Knowledge of how radiation interacts with materials and how this may affect material properties.
Desirable
  • Experience in manufacture of glass-ceramics.
  • Working knowledge of scintillation and optical transport behaviour.
  • Experience of setting up, calibration and operation of a scintillator detector and associated data acquisition system
  • Familiarity with nuclear experimental facilities in both the UK and abroad. The ideal candidate will have spent time using such facilities and understand how to gain access and operate in such environments.

Skills/Abilities

Essential
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct high quality research by publications in well-respected scientific journals and talks at significant conferences.
  • A willingness to work closely with specialists in materials modelling and control & instrumentation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and area.
Desirable
  • Active links with industry and academic networks.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • 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 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.
  • The post-holder will be responsible working in a safe and responsible manner in the laboratory and will be expected to undertake any necessary training or induction procedures before starting their practical work. They will also be asked to help monitor laboratory access and may be required to train other lab users to ensure that high standards of safety and scientific practice are maintained. Maintaining a tidy and safe working environment by ensuring equipment is regularly maintained and reporting failures to allow timely replacement or repair.
  • 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.

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.