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Microscopist / Materials Scientist

Job Introduction

Job Description for Microscopist / Materials Scientist:

NNL is where your understanding of reactors fuels the nation. As part of our Fuel Reactor and Reprocessing capability, you’ll play a vital role in developing the UK fuel cycle in line with advances in new technology and new processes. As old reactors reach the end of their lifespan, we need experts like you, with the technical skills to virtually model scenarios that not only enable us to explore new ways of managing the inputs and outputs of reactors, but also pave the way for the implementation of smaller, cleaner revolutionary new reactors. This is a place where you can use your knowledge and expertise to do long term meaningful work for years to come.

The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) are pioneers, innovators and experts in Nuclear Science. We provide knowledge, technology and access to cutting-edge facilities to our partners and customers.

The Fuel, Reactors and Reprocessing (FRR) department are an integral part of this mission and an opportunity has arisen in the Metallography Team at Windscale Cumbria for a Microscopist or Materials Scientist.

The post holder will work in a team of scientists and technicians, analysing radioactive materials in our shielded facilities at Windscale Nuclear Laboratory. Working alongside our Technical Leads, the post holder will prepare, assess and report on a number of key material characteristics, to inform our customers and support nationally important programmes of work.

Role Responsibility

Main Responsibilities for Microscopist / Materials Scientist:

  • Technically supervise and participate in microscopy measurements on irradiated nuclear fuel samples and other materials, to the required standard. 
  • Assist technical lead in the development of new PIE measurement techniques; specifically, development of analysis methods and refinement of the experimental technique. Includes devising experimental programmes, assisting in the production of specifications, carrying out investigations, analysing and reporting results.
  • Assist in the development of new measurement techniques including development of analysis methods and refinement of the experimental apparatus. Includes devising experimental programmes, carrying out investigations, analysing and reporting results.
  • Take responsibility for assuring the quality of measurements made in the laboratory, under the supervision of the Technical Lead for the area.
  • Analyse and troubleshoot equipment operability, technical queries and performance issues.
  • Produce accurate records of work carried out in the form of technical reports.
  • Present results in the open literature where appropriate.
  • Comply with legislative, regulatory and company policy standards and procedures e.g. safety, quality, risk, security etc. applicable to the role.

The Ideal Candidate

Essential Criteria for Microscopist / Materials Scientist:

  • Educated to degree level in relevant physical science discipline.
  • Experience within a technical environment involving the characterisation and inspection of material using microscopy techniques.
  • Experience of technical report writing.
  • Awareness of experimental design methods.
  • Proven ability to conform to appropriate safe systems of work.
  • Ability to work to a high security standard.
  • Ability to obtain SC level security clearance (this includes but is not limited to identity, employment, financial and criminal record checks plus 5 years’ worth of UK residency).

Desirable Criteria for Microscopist / Materials Scientist:

  • Previous experience in a nuclear facility.

About the Company

Grounded in robust science and decades of experience, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is the authoritative voice in the UK and beyond for technological development within the nuclear power sector.

Our unparalleled understanding of the science, challenges and opportunities makes us an unrivalled authority and partner in the field, providing experts, technologies, and access to cutting-edge facilities to organisations around the world.

Harnessing potential technologies and translating them into to industry-ready solutions means our pioneering approach spearheads international improvement and technological progress.

We work on projects as small as drilling a hole to analyse underground wastes with our integrated micro drilling technology, or as large as developing state-of-the-art power systems for spacecraft, based on radioactive materials

NNL has a vision for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (ED&I) where NNL aims to be an inclusive workplace that attracts diverse talent through transparent and equal policies and procedures. We want you and the diverse mix of people that we employ, customers that we service and stakeholders that we influence to feel valued. We encourage a workplace culture where everyone can thrive with a sense of belonging.

Recruitment Agency Notice

We operate a strict Preferred Supplier List (PSL) for the provision of recruitment services. Only agencies on our PSL may provide CVs and only when the role is released to them by our recruitment team. We will not accept unsolicited CVs from suppliers not currently on our PSL. We explicitly reserve the right to add candidate details from unsolicited CVs from non-PSL agencies into our own candidate database and to pursue/hire such candidate(s) without any obligation, financial or otherwise, to the agency concerned.

National Nuclear Laboratory


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