Data Acquisition Software Team Leader for Macromolecular Crystallography (MX)

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Data Acquisition Software Team Leader for Macromolecular Crystallography (MX)
Job Reference DIA1062/CH
Post Type Full time /Permanent
Division Life Science
Salary information Circa £41 - £51k
Application deadline 21/09/2015

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. Located on the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire a 20 minute drive south of Oxford in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Diamond Light Source conducts world-class research in virtually all fields of science and offers rewarding career opportunities covering both technical and scientific disciplines.

You will be responsible for leading the development of user facing software that orchestrates the experiments on the Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) beamlines at Diamond. These beamlines support an international community of academic researchers and pharmaceutical companies investigating the structures of biological macromolecules in particular proteins, nucleic acids and viruses to understand their function and exploit this knowledge for drug discovery. Your team of software engineers and scientists will increase the throughput and capabilities of these beamlines and help to develop new facilities and ways of working. The acquisition software coordinates state of the art hardware such as motors, x-ray optics, visualisation systems, robotics and detectors to perform complex experiments via an easy to use Graphical User Interface, which can be controlled both locally and remotely. We are currently integrating faster and higher capacity robotics and detectors, improving remote access and integrating expert systems to automate experiments. Macromolecular Crystallography is a critical activity for Diamond, accounting for nearly half of our user experiments; you will be working among the enthusiastic, creative and driven scientists and engineers that are critical to its ongoing success. This is a permanent position offering good career and personal development opportunities.


Provide leadership within the group that supports and enhances the data acquisition software used on Diamond’s beamlines. Work with beamline scientists and external users to help them express and prioritise their needs and then if necessary with software engineers and scientists to implement new functionality, and enhance and streamline existing functionality. Be actively involved in the development of the core GDA framework. Look for opportunities to automate and improve experiment workflows and share solutions across Diamond’s beamlines.

  • Lead the team that develops tests, maintains and supports the MX GDA software on Diamond’s beamlines, in collaboration with beamline staff, other members of the Data Acquisition group, and the Scientific Software and other groups;
  • Provide direction and support to other Data Acquisition scientists. Encourage the consolidation of workflows and software used across beamlines that use overlapping techniques. Keep the user experience across beamlines consistent;
  • Lead larger projects that require the input of software engineers from the group and from Diamond’s scientific data analysis and instrument controls groups;
  • Provide first line support of the software for beamlines, interacting closely with both beamline staff and external users. Including fault diagnosis and resolution. Call on specialists if required;
  • Use technical and professional knowledge to identify opportunities for technical or process improvement across the beamlines supported by the team;
  • Deliver high quality reporting and professional advice, presenting findings to senior management and guiding future approach.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • First degree in engineering or science;
  • Experienced professional with demonstrated experience in experimental science;
  • Experience of object oriented languages such as Java, C, C++ or Python;
  • Previous experience in supervising and directing projects;
  • Experience in planning ahead for resource and technical requirements and negotiating appropriate resources;
  • Ability to analyse, collate and present information in coherent reports or briefings;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Ability to influence at a senior management level using in-depth professional knowledge;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels;
  • Ability to work on own initiative and take personal responsibility for delivery of work packages;
  • Ability to communicate complex information to a ‘non-technical’ audience in an easily comprehensible way;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Conscientious and pays attention to detail;
  • Self-motivated. 

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • PhD in science;
  • Experience of UNIX-like operating systems and their administration;
  • Excellent technical/theoretical understanding of methods, systems and approaches relating to technical software engineering;
  • Experienced professional with demonstrated experience in software engineering.

Further Information

  • Must be available to travel occasionally in UK and overseas including overnight absences.
  • For an informal discussion about this vacancy, please email and your enquiry will be directed accordingly.

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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