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Theoretical Physicist - UGT Diagnostician

Berkshire, UK
£31000 - £36000 per annum
Posting live until
30 Apr 2024

Job Details

AWE have an exciting opportunity for a Theoretical Scientist, to work as a Prompt Diagnostician within our Design Physics Group, to develop modelling techniques and undertake reanalysis our underground test (UGT) data.

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

Due to the classified nature of this role, it is anticipated that the successful candidate will need to spend the entirety of their time working on site at AWE Aldermaston during their working hours.

Package: £31,000 - £35,000 (depending on your suitability, qualifications, and level of experience)

Closing Date: 1st May 2024

The Role

The prompt diagnostics team are a small team within the Design Physics Group. Our mission is to assess, process and interpret the data recorded from the diagnostics fielded on previous underground ground tests (UGTs) prior to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. This data forms the basis for understanding and validation of the complex physics models of nuclear warheads, which are used by our Design Physics colleagues to underwrite the performance and safety of existing and future designs.

Key Responsibilities

  • Planning, development and validation of theoretical models and software codes designed to replicate the physical mechanisms which occur in the diagnostics fielded on underground tests;
  • Undertaking reanalysis of underground test data, using modern methods, to provide comparable data for our developing modelling capabilities;
  • Working collaboratively with our international colleagues, sharing methods, ideas and knowledge to enhance your work;
  • Present your own scientific achievements to the team, function and project through published work and presentations;
  • The Company may require you to fulfil any other reasonable duties aligned to your position from time to time in line with business needs.

Who Are We Looking For?

To be considered for this role, you will need the following:

  • A degree in physics, maths, computer science or an equivalent STEM-based discipline;
  • Knowledge of scientific programming, using languages such as Python, Fortran, C++, or a similar high-level language;
  • Willing to travel overseas as required.

Whilst not on the check list, we are interested in hearing from candidates who can demonstrate some of the following:

  • A methodical approach to complex problem solving using technical knowledge;
  • A clear and concise communication approach, both oral and written;
  • Excellent team working ability, with a proactive approach and the ability to prioritise a varied workload, ensuring timely delivery with minimum supervision;
  • The ability to capture and communicate technical requirements effectively;
  • Understanding and knowledge of radiation detection and measurement techniques;
  • Broad understanding of basic physics concepts, in particular, nuclear, particle and electromagnetic physics;
  • Experience of GEANT4 or MCNP modelling would be advantageous;
  • Knowledge of electronics is desirable but not essential.

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:

  • You must be a UK national who has been resident in the UK for the past 10 years;
  • 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 four career pathways: Science, Engineering, Environment, Safety, Health & Quality 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 and have resided in the UK for 10 years for our science and engineering roles 

How to apply
Please visit our website for further information

Tel +44 (0)118 981 4111

Company info
+44 0118 98 24643
AWE Aldermaston
United Kingdom

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