Science and Technology Facilities Council
Job Title: Trapped Ion Physicist – Quantum Computing
Location: RAL, Harwell Campus – Oxfordshire
Contract: Up to 2 x Permanent Positions
Salary: £53,818 (UKRI-Band E S1)
Hours: Full-time (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and are happy to discuss the possibility of flexible working with applicants)
Visa Sponsorship: We are able to sponsor Visa applications, reimburse application fees, and encourage international candidates to apply.
Discover the kind of impact you can make when you work with some of the best facilities and brightest scientists in the world.
The National Quantum Computing Centre is an initial £93m UKRI investment over 5 years based at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire. This is a strategic element within the £1bn, 10-year investment into Quantum Technologies made by the UK since 2014 and the £2.5bn commitment over 10 years from 2024.
The NQCC’s initial 5 years will focus on developing and procuring Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) machines 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 proven in collaboration with 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.
Our primary purpose 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.
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. Employee’s personal development is strongly encouraged, with support available through professional training courses and mentoring schemes.
The trapped ions quantum computing team works with and contributes to the UK’s ion trap ecosystem. Internal projects are focused on technology development including building modular systems, high-fidelity high-speed gate operations, and scaling. External collaborations are focused on enabling technologies and supply chain development such as miniaturisation of ion trap packaging and remote entanglement.
In this role, you will primarily be developing and building ion trap systems, whilst interfacing with the NQCC’s software and applications teams to push the technology readiness level of ion traps for quantum computing. Your skills will enhance and be supported by a diverse team working towards the NQCC’s goals of delivering scalable quantum computing capabilities and building a quantum-ready UK economy.
Your responsibilities include but are not limited to:
• Design, development, assembly, and optimisation of ion trap quantum computing systems
• Developing experiments, device characteristics, and materials to drive improved qubit performance
• Developing scaling strategies and designs
• Working closely with colleagues across the NQCC to implement the architecture and deploy services
• Making site visits to commercial and academic partners and collaborators
• Publishing results and attending conferences and workshops
• The opportunity to manage the NQCC’s contributions in external projects
The successful candidate must exhibit a pragmatic demeanor towards the work of others, particularly in a collaborative environment, whilst having a good eye for detail in interpreting and presenting technical performance data.
Not only is this an exciting role at the forefront of science and technology, but the successful candidate will also gain excellent experience of large-scale systems integration across a variety of collaborations in the quantum computing ecosystem.
• Educated to PhD level or equivalent relevant experience in a Physics, Computer Science, or Engineering related field.
• Technical knowledge in quantum computing
• Experience in ion trapping. Previous neutral atom trapping experience is also applicable at partial credit
• Experience in working in a laboratory or R&D environment
• Strong communication skills and the ability to influence internal staff and end users
• Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team, but also demonstrate autonomy within their area of responsibility
• Experience running gate operations on ion trap qubits or in “trapped ion chip modelling & design”
• Experience in working with lasers (incl. optics, cavity frequency locks, imaging systems), cryogenics, and ultra-high vacuum systems
• Knowledge of scaling, a quantum programming language, and control systems for ion-based quantum computers
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 https://stfc.ukri.org/
You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/
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 www.ukri.org.
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 a 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, perform essential job functions, and receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.
How to apply
Online applications are 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.
- Organisation: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) – National Laboratories
- Contract Type: Open Ended
- External Closing Date: Feb 25, 2024
- Minimum Salary: Pound Sterling (GBP) 53,818
- Hours: Full-time