Postdoctoral Research Associate

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, Beamline I12
Job Reference DIA0744/CG
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £33k
Application deadline 27/07/2012

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 PDRA post will be based on beamline I12 (JEEP). I12 is a state-of-the-art high energy beamline for imaging and diffraction and is serving the Material Science, Chemical Processing and Engineering Science community. However, other communities (palaeontology, physics, and crystallography) are showing increasing interest in the unique capabilities of the beamline.

Imaging and tomography experiments particularly benefit from the high-energy x-ray spectrum available at the beamline (50 keV – 150 kV), as this allows users to study large or dense samples without the need of obtrusive sample preparation. Also time-resolved experiments can be easily performed, as there is no need to construct small or transparent sample environment.

To significantly enhance the experimental capabilities we are seeking to develop advanced image forming methods in 2D and 3D: Development of phase-contrast reconstruction methods of practical utility will allow I12 to study samples of low density, which is currently only possible in a qualitative manner. In addition, we would like to improve on methods suitable for time-resolved tomography with the aim of further reducing acquisition time without losing image quality. Local tomography reconstruction methods or algebraic reconstruction algorithms can prove useful here.

It is essential that the candidate has experience in developing advanced reconstruction methods, not only on simulated data, but particularly on measured data typically acquired in synchrotron based tomography on real samples. The practicality of the reconstruction algorithms for every-day tomography experiments is of utmost importance.

The post holder is expected to have basic knowledge of general synchrotron instrumentation and good knowledge of imaging hardware and software.
Local contact duties in the field of tomography are expected occasionally.

The PDRA will be responsible for development of in-house and collaborative research in the field of 2D and 3D imaging with a strong focus on novel reconstruction methods that are particularly well suited for high-energy phase contrast and time-resolved tomography

Work in the team in the following areas:

  • Developing practically applicable tomographic reconstruction algorithms;
  • Work closely with Senior Scientists on strategic and technical issues with Imaging;
  • carrying out in-house research activities;
  • carrying out experiments, analysing data and publication of results;
  • maintenance of reconstruction software;
  • support of users in performing experiments at Diamond;
  • assisting users with data analysis at Diamond;
  • presenting latest results and research directions on international conferences and workshops.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • PhD degree;
  • Practical experience in the development of phase contrast reconstruction to a mature level;
  • Practical experience in the development of local tomography for the application in time-resolved tomography to a mature level;
  • Experience with synchrotron based imaging instrumentation;
  • Carrying out instrument development projects in a large facility environment;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Self motivation;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences;
  • Good organisational and planning skills, ability to interact effectively and ability to work as part of a team.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Support of external Research teams in a large facility environment;
  • Good organisational and planning skills;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels;
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

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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