This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Software Engineer
Job Reference DIA0607/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £34k, dependent on assessment of previous relevant experience and qualifications.
Application deadline 25/03/2011

Job Description

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

The data acquisition software used in Diamond is the internally developed Generic Data Acquisition (GDA) project ( GDA is written in Java and consists of GUI written using the Eclipse RCP framework, a Jython scripting backend and hardware interface components.

A software engineer is required to join the Data Acquisition team to develop software for the range of macromolecular crystallography beamlines at Diamond.

As Software Engineer your primary role will be to work with the other members of the team to enhance the GDA on experimental beamlines to improve usability, performance and functionality. You will work closely with the beamline scientific staff to formulate requirements and plan delivery.
The software will not only automate the data acquisition but will also connect to external analysis tools to aid further automation. There will therefore be an interaction with the members of the Scientific Computing team.
The work will also involve enhancing and supporting the core features of the GDA project along with rest of the Data Acquisition team. As GDA is Open Source there may be opportunities to work with collaborators on other similar facilities in the world.


  • Share the first line support of the software for MX interacting closely with both beamline staff and external users;
  • Participate in the implementation of the data acquisition software for one or more Diamond beamlines under the mentoring of more senior members (initially for MX);
  • Writing and implementation of software on MX beamlines under the mentoring of more senior group members;
  • Writing scripting software for the controll of instrumentation associated with MX;
  • Core GDA code development where appropriate;
  • Collation and subsequent analysis of MX data;
  • Assist in improvements to data acquisition processes on supported beamlines (generally, but not uniquely associated to GDA);
  • Assisting with, document and implementation testing strategies for data acquisition software;
  • Provide direct support to users of the beamline facility, acting occasionally as local contact for visiting scientists.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Degree or equivalent qualification;
  • Skilled in developing Java GUI applications in either Eclipse RCP or Swing;
  • Experience in working in a software development team using Agile development techniques;
  • Experience of full software lifecycle support;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Self-resourceful;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Scientific experience to actively participate in the use and direct support of Diamonds Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) Beamlines first to establish requirements and then to manage the implementation of software to improve and extend functionality;
  • Background in using software engineering techniques for development;
  • Significant practical experience in a professional, scientific or technical field;
    Project management experience;
  • Ability to supervise or mentor small teams of more junior technical or administrative rolesSelf motivated, interested in keeping pace with best practise software development techniques;
  • Available to travel occasionally in UK and overseas including overnight absences;
  • Experience of UNIX-like operating systems;
  • Experience of interfacing software to hardware.

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

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