Sandwich Student - Support Laboratories Method Developer

STFC offers you an opportunity to gain paid practical experience as part of your degree, learning on the job and working on real projects alongside expert scientists and engineers.

The ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. It is owned and operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
ISIS produces beams of neutrons and muons that allow scientists to study materials at the atomic level using a suite of instruments. It supports a national and international community of more than 2000 scientists who use neutrons and muons for research in physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering and biology. It is the most productive research centre of its type in the world.
The Support Laboratories Group manages a number of specialist laboratories at ISIS which are used in conjunction with neutron and muon experiments, covering a broad range of sciences. 

Information on ISIS can be found at http://www.isis.stfc.ac.uk, and on the ISIS Support Laboratories http://www.isis.stfc.ac.uk/support-laboratories.

Position 1 -
The ISIS Hydrogen and Catalysis Laboratory boasts a wide range of instrumentation and analytical equipment used by the ISIS User community and staff, as well as other research staff on the RAL campus. This suite of instruments allows a wealth of physical property information to be obtained. The instruments include thermogravametric analysis, volumetric analysis (surface area, pore size and distribution measurement), Raman, IR and dynamic scanning calorimetry. 
This position will offer the student an excellent opportunity to use and develop the scientific skills they have acquired at university whilst learning many new ones on the way. The main focus of the work will be method development, so that the lab’s full capability can be exploited. The student will also have the opportunity to get involved with a number of development projects with the ISIS Molecular Spectroscopy Group in both beamline and offline experiments.

This position will be within the Support Laboratories Group working with the Molecular Spectroscopy Science Group and you will contribute to the development of the following new methods:

Gas adsorption – Measuring the adsorption of molecular adsorbates in nano structures of technical relevance. This will involve benchmarking and optimising newly built beamline equipment with offline instruments within the IHCL by selecting suitable test materials and testing regimes. During this project you will be producing a validation document that proves the accuracy and repeatability of the new instrument so that it can be handed over to the ISIS instrument scientists.
IR – Development of methods to use the newly acquired DRIFTS and specular reflectance accessories to enhance the science undertaken in the lab. By operating and validating the instrument, while producing user instructions it will be possible to make this new equipment available to the ISIS user community. Opportunities to collaborate with ISIS users and staff on the use of these new techniques will form a part of this project. You will be working directly with Support Labs management, the Molecular Spectroscopy Group and regularly liaising with facility scientists and external users.

Position 2 - 
The ISIS Materials Characterisation Laboratory (MCL) boasts a wide range of instrumentation and analytical equipment used by the ISIS User community and staff, as well as other research staff on the RAL campus. This suite of instruments allows a wealth of physical property information to be obtained. The instruments include a Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometer, Powder and thin film X-ray Diffractometers, an X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF), an Atomic Force Microscope, a Magnetic Property Measurement System (SQUID) and a Physical Property Measurement System. 
This position will offer the student an excellent opportunity to use and develop the skills they have acquired at university whilst learning many new ones on the way. The main focus of the work will be method development, so that the lab’s full capability can be exploited. The student will also have the opportunity to get involved with a number of collaborative projects with ISIS Users and Staff.

Within the laboratory support team you will develop the following new methods: 
- Commission and optimise a newly acquired Laue X-ray instrument for aligning crystals in preparation for further offline and ISIS beamtime experiments.
- Variable temperature AC.Transport measurements for solids on the Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS)
- Commission and optimise a method for an X-ray diffraction (XRD) utilising a new furnace capable of high pressure, in situ reactive gases and high temperature measurements.
- Commission and optimise the use of a new Magneto-optical Kerr effect microscope establishing its full potential, measuring calibration standards to develop optimum method statements and installing the low temperature option, then comparing these results to SQUID magnetometry.
-Develop methodology for a Small Angle X-ray Scattering instrument (SAXS) suitable for pre-screening samples and complimentary measurements to beamline instruments, with exploring its full capabilities.

List of Duties / Work Programme / Responsibilities

You will be involved in direct user support for offline experiments with ISIS users and staff, as well as measuring samples on user’s behalf.

You will be expected to test the methods mentioned above on a range of samples and produce documentation (user manuals, quick start guides and validation documents) for use by future users of the instrumentation.

You may also have the opportunities to attend neutron beamline experiments, aid website development, and learn new techniques in the other ISIS support laboratories.

Personal Skills and Attributes

The jobholder must be enthusiastic and highly motivated. They should be able to work well as part of a team as well as working independently. A strong interest in physical sciences and working in a laboratory environment is essential.

For more information and to apply, please click here.

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