Principal Beamline Scientist

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Principal Beamline Scientist, Soft X-ray Microscopy Beamline, I08
Job Reference DIA0562/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £47k (depending on previous experience and qualifications)
Application deadline 20/12/2010
Date of interviews 04/02/2011

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is a new synchrotron and a leading scientific facility of its type in the world. Located on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in South Oxfordshire, we host facilities supporting cutting edge research in all fields of science.
A vacancy exists for an experienced scientist to lead the design, build, commissioning and operation of a state of the art Scanning X-ray Transmission Microscopy beamline (STXM) using radiation in the energy range 250 to 3000 eV, with image resolution down to ~20 nm. It will use an elliptically polarising undulator source, to enable studies exploiting linearly or circularly polarised radiation. The central theme of the beamline is the ability to obtain morphological and chemically-specific information on a full range of materials (inorganic/organic) under real (wet, ‘dirty’) conditions, providing a facility that will be new to the UK. The operating energy range encompasses a significant number of important K and L absorption edges for low-Z elements, and relatively thick (~10 – 20 μm) samples can be studied with both absorption and phase contrast techniques.

The range of potential applications is truly interdisciplinary, including materials science (e.g., polymers, magnetic and nano-structured materials), earth and environmental science (e.g., aerosols, minerals, sediments, soils and bio-remediation), biological and bio-medical science, and scientific aspects of our cultural heritage (including archaeology and conservation issues). The end-station will accommodate a scanning transmission x-ray (STXM), in which a focused x-ray spot is scanned in raster fashion over the specimen. The STXM combines good spatial resolution in 2D with the capability to produce high quality spectroscopic (NEXAFS) data for chemically-sensitive analysis, and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) mapping when operating at the upper end of the photon energy range. Special sample handling facilities should include an environmental cell to permit the study of (hydrated) samples in near-natural conditions, with the additional possibilities of sample tilting, heating and cooling, and the application of external magnetic fields.

To design, build and operate a world leading STXM beamline. Pursue an internationally competitive research programme in a subject related to Soft X-ray Microscopy.

  • Take overall responsibility for delivering the beamline within the planned cost, capability and timescale;
  • Responsible for detailed development of the specification for the overall beamline layout and equipment required including detectors, the experimental hutch, optics hutch and front end;
  • Responsible for detailed development of appropriate support laboratories and utilisation of peripheral space;
  • Responsible for efficient operation of the beamline for users after commissioning;
  • Establish and manage the beamline team of staff;
  • Encourage users from new areas of science;
  • Ensure that the beamline and associated facilities continue to meet the scientific requirements as agreed with the user community;
  • Plan future beamline development of the same type;
  • Establish a world leading user research programme on beamline;
  • Undertake research in your own area.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate first degree or equivalent qualification;
  • Relevant synchrotron research experience;
  • X-ray microscopy experience;
  • Significant experience of beamline design;
  • A proven track record of research in the appropriate field of synchrotron radiation science related to the beamline;
  • Ability to manage a small team;
  • 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;
  • Self motivated;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally in UK and overseas including overnight absences.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Second degree in appropriate subject;
  • Project management experience.

Further Information

  • Must be available to travel occasionally in UK and overseas including overnight absences.
  • For an informal discussion on 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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