Senior Quantum Applications Engineer


Job Title: Senior Quantum Applications Engineer
Salary: £53,818 to £59,199 (UKRI Band E – S1) dependent upon experience*
Contract Type: 2 x Permanent Positions
Location: RAL – Didcot, Oxfordshire
Hours: Full-Time (We understand the importance of work-life balance and are happy to discuss flexible working opportunities with candidates)

Come and do the kind of engineering that made you want to be an engineer. Stretch your technical skills while building human understanding. Promote sustainability and create new materials. And, alongside world-leading scientists, technicians and technologists, shape projects that improve lives, and daily life, in the UK and far beyond.

Put simply, come and discover the impact you can make when you’re equipped, encouraged and inspired to perform to your very best.

About the NQCC

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of the largest multidisciplinary research organisations in Europe. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale. From cancer treatment to airport security, high-tech jobs to hydrogen-powered cars, energy generation to accident-scene emergency care, our impact is felt within and beyond the UK in many aspects of daily life.

A purpose-built National Quantum Computing Centre will be built and operated by UKRI at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) campus in Oxfordshire. The Centre will be open and operational by 2024. Until then, the NQCC’s activities are taking place in other facilities on the Harwell Campus or at partnering institutions. The NQCC will sit alongside other departments within the STFC National Laboratories and will be part of the broader National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP).

Our Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aims to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a defined benefit pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance plus 10.5 bank holiday/privilege days and a number of other benefits. In support of continuous professional development, NQCC provides a comprehensive set of training courses.

About the Role

You will join the Quantum Applications Team (QAT) within the Innovation function of the NQCC. At the core of your activities, you will be striving to solve practical problems using quantum computing and work towards the development of possible applications. As part of the QAT, you will be working within an environment with access to a range of different quantum computing architectures and prototypes. 

As a Senior Applications Engineer, you will utilise your skills and build your understanding of methodologies and technologies that enable the implementation and execution of quantum algorithms. 

Your work will be in support of the NQCC’s quantum readiness activities, aimed at understanding the potential and the opportunities presented by quantum computing, its applications and utilisation. You will be working alongside hardware engineers, experts that are building and operating quantum computers. In addition, you will work with and be supported by software developers who build software and systems that access and control quantum devices. Project support is provided from support staff within the organisation.

Externally, you will be working collaboratively, alongside partners from industry and the research community, on exciting projects that aim to push the state-of-the-art.


•    Leading technical work to support the delivery of the QAT’s objectives.
•    Using quantum algorithms, emulators and quantum computers to develop solutions to practical problems and pursue pathways towards quantum advantage.
•    Applying characterisation and benchmarking protocols to understand the performance and behaviour of quantum computers for algorithm execution.
•    Using software development kits (SDKs) and tools to code quantum computers.
•    Working on the development of a quantum applications roadmap.
•    Working with enabling technologies to implement and execute quantum algorithms.
•    Build the necessary mathematical models, libraries and codebases to underpin delivery of the technical work and research.
•    Acting as the technical lead (PI and/or Co-I) on collaborative projects.
•    Publishing non-confidential results appropriately.
•    Present non-confidential work and results in meetings, conferences, workshops and events, both in the UK and internationally.
•    Keeping up with the state-of-the-art in quantum computing.
•    Providing technical advice and guidance to junior members of staff. 

Person Specification

This role is suitable for persons holding PhD qualifications or equivalent experience in quantum algorithms and applications development, physics or quantum technologies. A Senior Quantum Applications Engineer works well as part of a multidisciplinary team, but also demonstrates autonomy within their area of responsibility. You will be proactive, self-motivated and able to work in a dynamic environment. You will have a good eye for detail interpreting and presenting technical data. You will be able to work/travel within the UK and overseas as and when required to attend international meetings with collaborators and/or events or conferences. 

(Please note the below criteria will be assessed at Shortlisting [S] or Interview [I] stage, as indicated)

•    Educated to a PhD level (or equivalent industry experience) in quantum computing or a closely a related field. [S]
•    Demonstrable track record of research in the field of quantum computing (or a closely related field), such as peer-reviewed publications. [S&I]
•    Party to delivery of projects and technical work in the field of quantum computing (or a closely related field). [S&I]
•    Experience of working with quantum algorithms in the areas of simulation, optimisation and/or machine learning, with knowledge in emulation, implementation of algorithms and execution of quantum circuits, as well as the challenges facing the above within the current state-of-the-art. [S&I]
•    Experience in using classical programming languages, such as Python (as a minimum), as well as using programming languages and software development kits (SDKs) to program quantum computers. [S&I]
•    Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to clearly present and disseminate technical work and results and influence internal staff and other stakeholders. [S&I]
•    Excellent team working and collaboration skills, with the positive attitude towards working in a multidisciplinary team, but also the ability to demonstrate autonomy within the area of responsibility. [I]

Join us and discover what’s possible!

About the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC)

As part of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is leading a programme to establish a National Quantum Computing Centre, which includes a commitment of £93m over 5 years, dedicated to drive development in the field of Quantum Computing and to place the UK at the forefront of the field. The Centre is a joint initiative of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

A purpose-built National Quantum Computing Centre will be built and operated by UKRI at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) campus in Oxfordshire. The Centre will be open and operational by December 2022. Until then, the NQCC’s activities are taking place in other facilities on the Harwell Campus or at partnering institutions. The NQCC will sit alongside other departments within the STFC National Laboratories and will be part of the broader National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP).

The primary purpose of the NQCC is to fill a key gap in the research and innovation landscape addressing the challenge of scaling quantum computing. However, this technology is immature and extensive development work is needed to scale the fundamental science to provide usable computing systems.

The NQCC’s initial 5 years will focus on developing a Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) machine to demonstrate the technology as well as software, algorithm and applications development. The longer-term aim is to scale the technology towards an error and noise-free fault-tolerant machine capability with benchmarking and verification demonstrated in collaboration with the UK and international partners. The NQCC will give assured and direct access to early prototype machines to developers and promote the formation of a strong UK-based quantum computing supply chain.

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we ask the biggest questions in the universe to find answers that change the world around us. We seek understanding. We’re proud of the impact we make. And we’re committed to helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy. Being part of all this means contributing to work that pushes boundaries and creates possibilities. You’ll work with, and learn from, true experts. Whatever your role, you’ll be free to question, and encouraged to share ideas. And, in a positive and supportive culture, you’ll discover just what a difference you can make when you’re equipped and inspired to excel.

We’re a place where curious minds thrive. Not bound by profit, we explore ideas that others don’t, ask questions that others won’t, and discover answers that others are not equipped to find. And, alongside Mars landings and black holes, we also explore diverse, international projects in everything from science and engineering to computing and technology. Whether it’s at the cutting edge or behind the scenes, our work is intellectually challenging. It’s very often ground-breaking.  And it’s endlessly, irresistibly fascinating.

For more information about STFC please visit

You can also visit our careers site 

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation. 

More information can be found at  

Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.

The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

Additional Information

  • Organisation: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) – National Quantum Computing Centre
  • Contract Type: Open Ended
  • External Closing Date: Jul 14, 2024
  • Minimum Salary: Pound Sterling (GBP) 53,818
  • Hours: Full-time