Principal Beamline Scientist, I15 & I15-1

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Principal Beamline Scientist, I15 & I15-1
Job Reference 035/18/TH
Post Type Full time, permanent
Division Physical Science
Salary information £53,219 to £62,611 (Discretionary range to £72,003)
Application deadline 15/04/2018
Date of interviews 02/05/2018

Job Description

We are seeking a Principal Beamline Scientist of international stature to lead the Extreme Conditions (I15) and X-Ray Pair-Distribution Function (I15-1) beamlines. The person appointed will lead a group that provides a high quality user-support programme and will undertake excellent research in Solid-State Physics, Chemistry or similar fields at the Diamond Light Source and elsewhere.

I15 and I15-1 share a superconducting wiggler that provides X-rays in the energy range 20 – 80 keV for I15 and three discrete energies for I15-1. The I15 beamline permits the study of structural properties of materials under extreme pressure and temperature conditions by using the diamond-anvil cell, combined with resistive or laser heating, or a cryostat. Moreover, the versatility of the experimental stations enable high-energy diffraction techniques suitable for users from diverse research fields such as Solid-State Physics, Chemistry, Earth and Materials Science, Engineering and Life Sciences. Beamline I15-1 is devoted to X-ray Pair-Distribution Function measurements and is operational since 2017. Projects are underway to take full advantage of the high X-ray energy, high flux and low background signal to become the leading beamline for measuring PDF data.

The candidate will further develop the I15 diffraction capabilities and shall implement novel techniques, such as time-resolved studies of materials at extreme compression, and has to lead the operation of I15-1 as well as its upgrade projects and development. Furthermore, they will be encouraged to develop their own, internationally leading, research program in the field of matter at extreme pressure and temperature conditions and foster links with researchers in the Crystallography Science Group. The successful candidate will manage a team of scientists and technicians to support user operation, will lead the instrumental development programme, and elaborate the long-term strategy for the beamlines and ancillary equipment, including preparation laboratories.

Suitable candidates should have preferably a PhD in Physics or Chemistry with experience in studying materials at extreme pressure conditions and a significant post-doctoral experience using diamond-anvil cells at synchrotrons. The candidate must have an active research program in a field relevant to the use of X-ray diffraction, be able to highlight their personal contributions to research publications and demonstrate international recognition for their work.

To design, build and operate a world class beamline.
The core duties and responsibilities of Principal Beamline Scientists (PBSs) include, as appropriate and as agreed with a Science Director:

  • lead the design, build and commissioning of one or more beamlines and/or a continual programme of short term (1 year) and long term (3-5 year) upgrades and state of the art developments;
  • direct the operation of one or more beamlines with full responsibility for the schedule, beamline maintenance, user support, advice and involvement in beamtime and measurement methodology, data reduction/analysis and advice on publications;
  • prime responsibility for safety on the beamline and peripheral labs; including risk assessments, personnel safety system documentation and ensuring good practice;
  • budgetary responsibility for the beamline operations and relevant upgrade projects;
  • lead the development of appropriate beamline support laboratories and the management of the peripheral space;
  • the establishment, management and professional development of the beamline team of staff;
  • leadership of the Technical Working Group and establishment/support of the User Working group;
  • coordination (financial, technical, scientific, resource management, build, commissioning and documentation) of complex beamline operations projects across many groups within Diamond;
  • beamline reporting; produce internal and external reports as required;
  • contribute to scientific direction of long term strategic planning for Diamond in area of expertise through long term (5-10 year) vision statements;
  • maximise the impact of the beamline by engagement with the best user groups from across the world;
  • stakeholder engagement; develop and present training seminars, workshops and summer schools.  Outreach to a wide variety of stakeholders including VIP visits, the local community and the wider scientific community;
  • other management responsibilities including scientific advisory committee review preparation, beamline budget preparation, chairing interview panels, grade review boards and job evaluation. Related external duties including peer review of publications;
  • develop own internationally competitive in-house research programme including supervision of doctoral students;
  • PBSs may also be required to undertake additional management responsibilities as agreed with a Science Director.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate first degree or equivalent qualification;
  • Second degree (PhD) in Physics or related disciplines with high-pressure diffraction experience and a significant post-doctoral experience using X-rays diffraction techniques for high-pressure research at large-scale facilities;
  • Active research program in a field relevant to the use of the X-ray diffraction for high-pressure research, be able to highlight their personal contributions to research publications and demonstrate international recognition for their work;
  • Demonstrated expertise in aspects of X-ray diffraction methods using techniques relevant for high-pressure research, such as laser heating, dynamic compression, or time-resolved measurements;
  • Expertise in research at extreme conditions using the diamond-anvil cell;
  • Use or development of sample environment equipment relevant for high-pressure research at synchrotrons;
  • Proven experience in the successful management of staff;
  • Project management experience including budgetary and resource management responsibility for large projects;
  • Experience with Windows/ Linux;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Good interpersonal and presentational skills;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels and work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Self motivated;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally in UK and overseas including overnight absences and able to work occasionally out of regular office hours;
  • Good organisational and planning skills;
  • Ability to successfully motive and manage a small team;
  • A proven track record of research in the appropriate field of synchrotron radiation science related to the beamlines.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Commissioning and operation of an X-ray diffraction beamline;
  • Beamline instrumentation and optics experience.

Further Information

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