Mechanical Beamline Technician / Senior Beamline Technician

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Mechanical Beamline Technician / Senior Beamline Technician
Job Reference 0034/16/TH
Post Type Full time / Permanent
Division Physical Science
Salary information Circa £27k and circa £33k for appointment at the senior level
Application deadline 22/05/2016

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. Located at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, we enable world-leading research across a wide range of scientific disciplines and industrial applications.

Beamline I16 is a facility for x-ray diffraction studies, mainly in physics and materials science. The scientific emphasis is condensed matter physics, especially investigations of magnetic materials. Experiments typically involve the use of various cryogenic devices, often with applied electric or magnetic fields, and possibly under conditions of high pressure.

The main duty of the Mechanical Beamline Technician/Senior Mechanical Beamline Technician is to support the scientists and technical support groups associated with the beamline during beamline maintenance, commissioning and operations. The technician will help maintain the equipment already existing on the beamline, and will work with the beamline scientists and engineers in designing and installing new beamline equipment as part of upgrades. He/she will also help users to carry out experiments on the beamline, machine small pieces of equipment such as sample holders using conventional and 3d printing techniques, and integrate ancillary equipment into the experimental areas. He/she will need to ensure that all beamline and associated laboratory work is carried out in a safe manner, and that the equipment is appropriately integrated and installed.

In addition to skills and experience in mechanical and vacuum techniques, the beamline technician will be expected to work very closely with the beamline scientists to maintain, test and develop scientific instrumentation, including sensitive electronic devices, to programme sequences of measurements using scripts, and to be able, in due course, to operate the beamline and train users in its safe operation.

The aim is to support the scientists and technical support groups associated with the beamline during beamline maintenance, commissioning and operations.

Expected activities are:

  • Maintenance, development and upgrading existing beamline components such as monochromators, mirrors, slits and experimental hutch equipment;
  • Assisting in installation and commissioning of further specialist beamline equipment;
  • Assisting users in carrying out experiments;
  • Integrating ancillary equipment into the experimental area;
  • Ensuring that all beamline work is carried out safely and using the correct processes such as ATW, PTW; carrying out regular safety inspections. When required, appropriate PPE equipment required;
  • Using the peripheral laboratory equipment/workshop for preparation of user experiments, testing equipment, 3d printing, and ensuring that all areas are kept clean and safe;
  • General laboratory work including some electrical cabling, design and build of simple mechanical devices;
  • Maintain, test, develop and possibly design and control of scientific instrumentation;
  • Set up, operate,  maintain and test a wide range of cryogenic and heating stages (2K-800K);
  • Work on other beamlines within the ‘Materials Village’ as required.

In addition for the senior level:

  • Design and build of new equipment/developments and technical assistance for subsystems of the science equipment such as sample environments that provide high/low temperature and other environments;
  • Supervise and coordinate the installation and commissioning of further specialist beamline equipment;
  • Provide advice to other groups at Diamond in key specialist technical areas.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • ONC or GNVQ level 2 (Applicants with equivalent work experience will also be considered);
  • Proven technical experience;
  • Significant relevant work experience;
  • Proven work experience in ultra high vacuum;
  • Willingness to learn to operate scientific equipment, including the beamline and off-line x-ray equipment ;
  • Ability to understand and interpret mechanical drawings;
  • Ability to carry out a variety of light mechanical and electrical assembly tasks;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Good planning and organising skills;
  • Good communication skills, verbal and written;
  • Ability to interact with people at all levels;
  • Effective team player;
  • Candidates must be available to work flexibly when there will be periods of intense activity to meet deadlines.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • You should have proven experience in at least one of the following areas: cryogenics, high temperatures, and/or high pressures, magnetic fields (extensive experience for appointment at senior level);
  • Experience with chilled water, compressed air, domestic water;
  • Experiences of using cranes and slings etc. for heavy lifting;
  • Familiarity with using quality assurance procedures, work planning and safe systems of work (essential for appointment at senior level);
  • Experience of Technical Support in a synchrotron or equivalent facility (essential for appointment at senior level);
  • Able to produce simple engineering drawings;
  • Ability to carry out electrical work;
  • A keen interest in science and a willingness to learn to use, develop and maintain scientific and electronic instrumentation;
  • Good IT skills - standard MS Office software; programming;
  • Ability to manufacture plastic components using a 3d printer.

For appointment at the senior level:

  • Experience in line-management

Further Information

Some travel may be required, usually within the UK and with occasional overnight stays.

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

Other information