This job has expired

Experimental Scientist

Reading, UK
£40000 - £45000 per annum
Closing date
14 Feb 2024

Job Details

AWE is currently recruiting for an Experimental Scientist to conduct world leading research in the study of hydrodynamic behaviour of materials under explosive loading conditions. This role will support AWE's core mission of underwriting the safety and performance of the UKs nuclear deterrent and maintaining national nuclear security as well as developing the capabilities and technologies needed to meet future nuclear deterrent needs.


Location: We are located between Reading and Basingstoke, with onsite parking.

Although flexible working is available, due to the nature of this role, it is anticipated that the successful candidate will spend the majority of their time working on site at AWE Aldermaston.


Package: £40,000 - £45,000 (depending on your suitability, qualifications, and level of experience)


Closing Date: 14th February 2024

If we receive an exceptionally high level of applications, this vacancy may close early, so don't delay, apply now!


The Role

You will be working in the Physics Group with a team of physicists, engineers, material scientists and technicians.


This role will include the design, execution, analysis and computational modelling of high-pressure experiments utilising explosives and gas guns.


You will have the opportunity to use AWE's unique computational and experimental facilities as well as those across the UK and overseas.


Key objectives for your work will be to progress experimental projects on the safe containment of high explosive events, developing capabilities to effectively protect against explosively generated threats, such as blast, fragment, and jetting phenomena.


Due to the unique nature of the work training will be provided.


This role will involve lots of collaboration with our colleagues in the USA, and the successful candidate should be able and willing to travel to the USA at least once each year for between 1 and 2 weeks each trip.


What will you be responsible for?

  • Leading experimental programmes to investigate the response of materials to high-pressure events

  • Developing and maintaining a good level of knowledge and awareness in the behaviour of explosively driven materials and explosive blast effects

  • Participation in collaborative working relationships with UK universities and US national laboratories

  • Documenting your work in reports and presentations both internally and to the wider scientific community.

  • Ensuring the safe conduct of research activities


What will you need to be considered?

  • A PhD in a STEM discipline such as Physics, Material Science, or Mechanical Engineering or equivalent experience

  • Working experience in conducting empirical scientific research, drawing sound detailed conclusions

  • Working experience of managing your own research project activities

  • The ability to solve technical problems by applying specialist knowledge

  • The ability to present you own work, both orally and within written reports

  • The ability to plan and manage the delivery of a small technical team

  • The ability to work with multi-disciplinary teams and transferring knowledge to influence scientific projects and achieve shared goals

  • The ability to manage specialist equipment and develop research processes to deliver solutions to technical problems


What will you get from us?

As part of our People Promise, AWE (one of the best 25 big companies to work for in the UK) has a range of benefits to suit you. These include:

  • Time to recharge your batteries with 270 hours of annual leave (including Bank Holidays).

  • 9-day working fortnight - every other Friday off work.

  • Flexible working hours.

  • Consideration for flexible working arrangements so that your work may fit in with your lifestyle. Just let us know on your application if you wish to work part time.

  • Family friendly policies: Maternity Leave - 39 Weeks Full Pay and Paternity Leave - 4 Weeks Full Pay.

  • Opportunities for Professional Career Development that include funding for the annual membership of a relevant professional body, access to mentors and training.

  • Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health Services.

  • A market leading contributory pension scheme (we will pay between 9% and 13% of your pensionable pay depending on your own contribution).

  • Life Assurance.

  • Discounts - access to savings on a wide range of everyday spending savings.

  • Special Leave Policy including paid time off for volunteering, public service (including reserve forces) and caring for your family.

  • A host of voluntary & core benefits to suit your health and wellbeing - more information available on our careers site.


Important things you need to know:

  • Interviews will be 90 minutes in length and will be held over Microsoft Teams. You will be required to prepare a 10-minute presentation in advance.

  • Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role. This will be funded by AWE.




* Agencies: Please note that we do not out-source our recruitment


AWE profile image

AWE plays a crucial role in national nuclear security. Working to support the defence of our country, we’re a community of creative thinkers from all kinds of backgrounds in all kinds of roles, with one clear mission – to keep everyone, our environment and everything around us safe and secure. Our role in nuclear defence and the specialist expertise we provide to the government, is vital in the defence against the most serious threats faced by the UK – and to keeping the peace. From developing the warheads for the nuclear deterrent, to providing counter-terrorism and nuclear threat reduction solutions, the work we do is of global importance.

Why work for us
What we do is unique and so are the people who work here. We are a team of around 6500 people – proud to be part of such an important mission. We are com​mitted to equality at work and to mainstreaming diversity and inclusion in everything we do. We believe that by bringing together a diverse range of people we’ll get the diversity of thought to approach challenges in new ways.

Training and development
We believe in supporting our people through long-term investment in learning and development. Alongside in-house and on-line training capabilities, we support membership of professional bodies. We also focus on building and developing leadership skills, in pursuit of our best-in-class ambition. We do this through tailored leadership development programmes, accredited by the Chartered Management Institute, designed to equip our leaders with the skills to drive performance and bring out the best in their teams.

Graduate schemes
Our two-year Evolve programme offers three career pathways: Science, Engineering and Corporate & Operations. The programme is designed to be flexible, to incorporate a range of experiences as well as business needs. You’ll undertake several placements to expand your knowledge of your discipline, enabling you to develop yourself and your ongoing career. Your line manager will work with you and support you on your journey.

What we are looking for
We are always looking for high-calibre people to join our team. Whatever stage of your career, AWE is an exciting and challenging environment to develop your skills and achieve your potential. Our ambition is to create workplaces where we recognize and celebrate differences, encourage diverse contributions and our employees feel able to be themselves at work. We strive to create a genuine culture of openness and inclusion and encourage diverse applicants. Please note that you must be a British National to apply for a role at AWE.

Reading, UK

Number of employees

Main areas of research
Nuclear defence, nuclear forensics, radiation detection, plasma physics, hydrodynamics, high-performance computing, materials science

Positions recently recruited for
Computational physics, criticality scientists, experimental physics, radiation science, high-performance computing, radiation detection

Must be a British National

How to apply
Please visit our website for further information

Tel +44 (0)118 981 4111

Company info
+44 0118 98 24643
AWE Aldermaston

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