Postdoctoral Research Associate, Diamond Light Source


Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, Beamline I12
Job Reference DIA0936/TH
Post Type Full time, three year fixed term
Division Physical Science
Salary information Circa £32k
Application deadline 20/07/2014

Job Description

The UK’s national synchrotron science facility, Diamond Light Source, conducts world-class research in virtually all fields of science. Located 20 minutes from Oxford, it sits in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and offers rewarding career opportunities.

The PDRA post will be based on beamline I12 (JEEP). I12 is a state-of-the-art high energy beamline for imaging and diffraction which serves the Material Science, Chemical Processing and Engineering Science community. Other communities (palaeontology, physics, and crystallography) are showing increasing interest in the unique capabilities offered by the beamline, too.

The high-energy spectrum available (50 keV – 150 kV) allows elegant diffraction experiments using both, monochromatic mode (large 2D area detector) and white beam (multi-element energy dispersive detectors) which in powder diffraction or Laue geometry cover a large fraction of the reciprocal space simultaneously. This makes the beamline very well suited for fast in-situ studies. Recent instrumental upgrades improve time-resolution in diffraction to frame-rates up to 1kHz.

Suitable candidates should be familiar with the application of synchrotron based X-ray diffraction using 2D-detectors, preferably using high energies.

The in-house research program in Material Science focuses on micro-structural transitions in the millisecond time domain, e.g. strain, phase-transitions, quenching, impact, and so on. However, other fields of current interest in Physics or related fields could be pursued if appropriate.

The post holder is expected to have a very good background in Material Science or Applied Physics with a focus on material properties on polycrystalline metals. They will be required to work with the beamline team and other staff to ensure efficient beamline operation, user support and instrument developments. It is essential that they are familiar with methods of monochromatic diffraction data analysis. Laue-diffraction analysis would be an asset.

The PDRA will be responsible for the ongoing development of in-house and collaborative research in the field Material Science or Applied Physics on polycrystalline metals under micro-structural transitions in the time-domain of milliseconds.

  • Work in the team in the following areas:
  • carrying out in-house research activities;
  • carrying out experiments, analysing data and publication of results;
  • maintenance of the certain parts of the beamline instrumentation;
  • development and testing of new equipment and software;
  • support of users in performing experiments at Diamond;
  • assisting users with data analysis;
  • presenting latest results and research directions on international conferences and workshops.

Qualification & Experience – Essential

  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • PhD degree;
  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotron based X-ray diffraction using 2D detectors, preferably at high energies;
  • Experience of 2D diffraction data analysis software;
  • Solid background in Material Science or Applied Physics;
  • Knowledge with large facility instrumentation and their control;
  • Good mathematical skills, either in geometry, algebra or analysis;
  • Ability and initiative to analysis complex problems;
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Ability to work flexibly with occasional weekend and out-of hours working;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.

Qualification & Experience – Desirable

  • Knowledge of synchrotron radiation optics.

Further Information

  • Ability to work flexibly with occasional weekend and out-of hours working;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.

Applying for employment

For further details on applying for employment at Diamond, please visit our ‘Application Form’ page.

Appointments will be made depending on the skills and experience of the candidate. Electronic Diamond application forms in MS-Word are preferred. These should be emailed to

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