Sandwich Student - Developing Data Analysis Software
22 Sep 2015




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.


You will be employed by the ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to deliver software for analysis of data from ISIS instruments. The focus of your work will be to develop software for one of the following technique areas within ISIS: Molecular Spectroscopy, Muon Spectroscopy, Reflectometry and Diffraction.

You will work within a much larger project (called ‘Mantid’) which is aiming to develop analysis software for all 30 ISIS neutron and muon instruments within a contemporary structured programming environment.The Mantid project is an open source development that is developed and supported by a core project team of developers. Within the team you will be responsible for the development (using C++ and Python) and testing of algorithms specific to the analysis of ISIS data; regular liaison with facility scientists will be important to ensure the developed code meets the scientific requirements.

List of Duties / Work Programme / Responsibilities
The four sandwich student positions will focus on the development of software for the analysis of data measured on Molecular Spectroscopy instruments, Muon instruments, Reflectometry instruments and Diffraction instruments.

A sandwich student project will involve:
1)     Working with beamline scientists from within an ISIS group to deliver algorithmic customisations, and changes to base workflows
2)     Generating and adapting user interfaces which execute the aforementioned algorithms and workflows.
3)     Identifying and optimising runtime performance in key areas.
4)     Working to improve a technique area across all international collaborating facilities.

In each case, the requirements will be defined in consultation with facility scientists, and you will be responsible for coding, testing and demonstrating solutions. A more senior developer will be available to help. If time permits, there may be the opportunity to become involved in other aspects of the Mantid project, whether coding algorithms or working to enhance the platform. This position is a chance to gain experience in programming within a major national scientific laboratory.

Contacts and Communication:
The Mantid project provides an open source platform to support high-performance computing on neutron and muon data. The framework provides a set of common services, algorithms and data objects that can be extended by specialised applications or directly by users if required. Further information about Mantid and its application within this project can be obtained from either Nick Draper ( or Anders Markvardsen (

Personal Skills and Attributes:
See the Shortlisting and Interview Criteria for further details of the post’s requirements.

Appropriate Courses:
The placement would be suitable for a student studying for a degree in Computer Science (or a related discipline). A track record of C++ programming and a keen interest in physics or mathematics would be advantageous.

For more information and to apply, please click here.