Accelerator Control Systems Leader

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Accelerator Control Systems Leader
Job Reference DIA0867/NH
Post Type
Division Technical
Salary information Circa £55k
Application deadline 29/09/2013
Date of interviews 17/10/2013

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the largest scientific facility to be built in the UK for over thirty years. The facility consists of three accelerators which provide high brightness photon beams through beamlines to experimental stations.  Diamond is now operational with an initial complement of 22 experimental stations and a further 10 in design and construction. 

The accelerators and photon beamlines are controlled through a distributed, heterogeneous computing environment, using embedded systems for direct control of the instrumentation, together with Linux workstations for the operator interfaces. The software makes extensive use of the open source EPICS Control System tool kit ( The client side high-level applications comprise general-purpose tools for synoptic display management, alarm handling and archiving, as well as bespoke tools to control the operation and characterization of the accelerators.

This role will provide leadership and management of the design, development, commissioning and operational support of controls systems to support the design, development and operation of the accelerators on the Diamond Synchrotron Light source. In addition, the technical development and support of control systems. The duties will involve working closely with other members of the Control System Group, members of the other technical groups in Diamond to capture requirements, specify and develop control systems.

Responsibilities of this post include:

  • Provide technical direction and vision on the Accelerator Control Systems;
  • Responsible for the operation of Diamond’s accelerator control systems including managing fault analysis and improvement programmes to achieve continuous improvement in operational reliability, taking into account component ageing and obsolescence issues;
  • Responsible for accelerator control system developments, involving interfacing with internal customers, including Directors, Team Leaders, and Group Leaders, at all stages of the development life cycle to, for example, developing requirements, tracking project progress, and verify operation of accelerator control systems;
  • Lead the Accelerator Controls Systems staff in close collaboration with other teams within Controls and Diamond;
  • Line management of the Accelerator Controls Systems staff (6 Senior Software Systems Engineers and 3 Software Systems Engineers and Senior Technicians) and contractors to support Accelerator Controls;
  • Management of the Team Leader for Electronics Support;
  • Management of Accelerator Controls Systems budgets;
  • Manage technical/progress meetings for Accelerator Controls;
  • Project planning and coordination of projects relating to accelerator control systems;
  • Provide technical expertise in accelerator controls, software development, and the EPICS toolkit;
  • Technical responsibility for the controls systems for an accelerator subsystem, involving design and developing software and control systems;
  • To ensure all accelerator control system developments are compliant with Diamond processes;
  • Contribute to the processes, policies and associated software development and data management to support the design/operation of computer and Control Systems throughout Diamond;
  • Report on progress in all areas on a periodic basis;
  • Maintain a current knowledge of the control systems, on other, comparable, beamline and accelerator projects around the world. Communicate details of control system developments within Diamond and to other projects;
  • Mentor and train engineers as required;

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Honours degree in physics, Electrical or Electronic Engineering, Computer science or equivalent other degree plus relevant experience 
  • Strong leadership ability;
  • Ability to effectively manage a team
  • Ability to effectively undertake project planning and management
  • Ability to manage the development of software and control systems in a complex environment.
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills
  • Ability to produce effective management project briefings to senior staff and directors
  • Ability to plan and manage budgets
  • Self-motivated, interested in keeping pace with control systems and the development best practice techniques
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels
  • Ability and initiative to solve problems
  • Ability to influence and negotiate at the highest level both internally and externally;
  • Understanding of the external environment and awareness of best practice / new technologies within the field of control systems;
  • Extensive experience in the software design and/or programming of industrial or scientific systems;
  • Knowledge and experience in modern programming languages and techniques;
  • Experience in developing software in a real time distributed control environment;
  • Knowledge and experience of developing in a Unix environment;
  • Knowledge and experience of developing with a source code control and structured release environment;
  • Experience of using software testing and debugging tools effectively and developing automated test harnesses;
  • Knowledge and experience of the operation of accelerators;
  • Knowledge and experience of the EPICS toolkit;
  • Knowledge and experience of the various technical systems of electron accelerators;
  • Be willing to work overtime at unsociable hours as required;
  • Be willing to travel in the UK and abroad, including occasional periods away from home;
  • Be prepared to undertake further training;

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Appreciation of the physics of electron accelerators

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