Research Associate in atomic scale modelling of zirconium alloys

Job summary

This is an exciting opportunity to work on an EPSRC programme grant on mechanistic understanding of irradiation damage in fuel assemblies (MIDAS) that was awarded to Manchester University in partnership with Oxford University and Imperial College London. Your role will be to develop cutting edge models using density functional theory (DFT) of dislocation structures in Zr alloys, created by irradiation damage, and their interactions with...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG01175
  • Date posted 20 January 2020
  • Closing date 10 February 2020

Job description

Job summary

This is an exciting opportunity to work on an EPSRC programme grant on mechanistic understanding of irradiation damage in fuel assemblies (MIDAS) that was awarded to Manchester University in partnership with Oxford University and Imperial College London. Your role will be to develop cutting edge models using density functional theory (DFT) of dislocation structures in Zr alloys, created by irradiation damage, and their interactions with alloying elements and impurity species. To determine differences between current empirical model predictions, with those of DFT, and to help other PDRAs in MIDAS in the interpretation of their experimental results by developing mechanistic models. Furthermore, it is expected there will be strong collaborations with other modelling PDRAs, within MIDAS, by providing data e.g. for fitting of new empirical models by a PDRA supported at the Centre for Fusion Energy in Culham.

Duties and responsibilities

Key Responsibilities

Research

  • To conduct excellent research involving the development of embedded quantum mechanical simulations for exploring the core behaviour of dislocations/stacking faults in Zr alloys.
  • To achieve the milestone and deliverables set out by the MIDAS management group.
  • To direct and support the work of small research teams including undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • To draft publications and prepare them for submission to high impact refereed journals.
  • To prepare material for presentation in oral and poster formats and to deliver presentations at seminars, conferences and workshops.
  • To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings and to ensure that research data is managed appropriately.
  • To write reports for use internally and by research sponsors as required.
  • To contribute to writing bids for research grants.
  • To take responsibility for organising resources and effective decision making in support of research.
  • To ensure the validity and reliability of data at all times.
  • To present findings to colleagues and at conferences.
  • To provide guidance to staff and students.
  • To attend relevant workshops and conferences as necessary.
  • To develop contacts and research collaborations within the College and the wider nuclear community especially within Manchester University, Oxford University and nuclear industry stakeholders.
  • To promote the reputation of the Group, the Department and the College.

Education - Teaching

  • To undertake instruction of PhD and undergraduate and master students, as agreed. 

Essential requirements

Candidates/post holders will be expected to demonstrate the following:

  • Hold, a PhD (or equivalent) in nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering or materials engineering
  • Outstanding track record of research, as evidenced by publications in high impact peer-reviewed journals (e.g. Acta Materialia and Journal of Nuclear Materials) and presentations at workshops and conferences.
  • Experience of using DFT codes, especially for transition metals.
  • Experience of DFT calculations on multi-component alloy systems
  • Knowledge/experience of working with a nuclear industry partner is welcomed.
  • Experience of using and administering the use of Tier 2 computing services and evidence of benchmarking studies.
  • Ability to conduct a detailed review of recent literature, especially with respect to Zr alloys or multi-component alloys.
  • Ability to formulate key research questions and to devise a strategy to employ a range of simulation techniques to address them; and/or ability to develop new predictive models for use in alloy development.
  • Ability to apply new concepts and a creative approach to problem-solving.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to deal with a wide range of people.
  • Excellent written communication skills including the ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication and for the maintaining of the group website.
  • Ability to organise own work with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to prioritise own work in response to deadlines.
  • Ability to direct the work of a small research team and motivate others to produce a high standard of work.
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and deploy them effectively.
  • Ability to encourage research culture in others.
  • Willingness to work as part of a team and to be open-minded and cooperative.
  • Flexible attitude towards work.
  • Discipline and regard for confidentiality and security at all times.
  • Willingness to undertake any necessary training for the role.

Further information

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £35,477 - £38,566 per annum.

Further information can be obtained from Dr Mark Wenman. m.wenman@imperial.ac.uk.

Further guidance may be sought from Mrs Darakshan Khan (d.khan@imperial.ac.uk).

For technical issues when applying online, please contact: erecruitment@imperial.ac.uk

Committed to equality and valuing diversity, we are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

 The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

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About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

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It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations: 

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way 

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.