Trapped IONS Hardware Development Manager

Job Title: Trapped Ions Hardware Technology Development Manager
Location: RAL, Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
Contract: Open Ended
Salary: Band F £50,702 – £56,336 Gross per Annum *
Reports To: Deputy Director of Research
Hours: Full-time (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and are happy to discuss the possibility of flexible working with applicants)
Remote Working: UK-based, partial remote working is possible; minimum half the time to be in-person
Visa Sponsorship: We are able to sponsor Visa applications and encourage international candidates to apply

*A personal Specialist Allowance, which is a form of additional pay of up to £5,000, independent of salary, may be applicable for this role for suitably qualified candidates.

Who are we?

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.

Our Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim 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 (employer contribution – currently up to 26%), 30 days annual leave allowance plus 10.5 bank holiday/privilege days and a number of other benefits.

What’s the purpose of this role?

You will work alongside the Operations and Research Directors to lead a variety of challenging science and engineering projects, utilizing and enhancing your skills in qubit hardware and systems architecture, design and implementation, to develop scalable, flexible and robust quantum computing assets that can be deployed to meet the goals of the NQCC enabling the delivery of scalable quantum computing capabilities against the technology roadmap.

What will I be doing?

Your responsibilities include:
•    Defining high performance physical and logical trapped ion qubit design and architectures
•    Developing scaling strategies and designs
•    Understanding materials performance and device characteristics to drive improved long term qubit performance
•    Input into software and control architecture to enable a variety of hardware platforms and applications to be developed
•    Working closely with colleagues across the Centre to implement the architecture and deploy services
•    Defining work plans for specific NQCC projects
•    Making site visits to commercial and academic partners
•    Publishing non-confidential results
•    Mentoring members of the Technology team to promote best practice software development across the NQCC
•    Line management of a team – as part of UKRI, we have multiple tools and resources available to assist any new or inexperienced line manager and would welcome applications from previous or new people managers

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria

We offer significant development opportunities at the NQCC, but as a starting point you should be able to demonstrate some of the following:

•    Educated to PhD level or equivalent relevant experience in a Physics, Computer Science, or Engineering related field.
•    Experience in ion trapping
•    Experience in working in a laboratory or R&D environment
•    Knowledge of scaling, control and quantum computing hardware methodologies
•    Demonstrable experience in several of the following:
o    Trapped Ion device development, RF electronics and RF electronic circuit design, RF control, Laser control, Qubit design and development, Trapped Ion device scaling, Opto-electronics, Optical systems, Cryogenic systems, Device benchmarking and verification.

•    Experience in leading a team of technical experts on technically complex projects
•    Experience in “trapped ion chip modelling & design” or “high fidelity ion trap microwave-based gates”
•    Experience in working with lasers, optics, cavity frequency locks, and imaging systems
•    Experience in development and test of trapped ion qubit devices
•    Knowledge of scaling, a quantum programming language, and control systems for ion-based quantum computers
•    Appreciation of Health, Safety and Environment
•    Familiarity with UKRI policies and procedures.

You would need to be available to travel/work within the UK and overseas, when required.


How to apply 

Online applications only for this role. Please submit your CV and a covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation to join STFC and the role you’re applying for. 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 your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

If you have any questions regarding this role or any queries before you apply, please contact

This role will close on Wednesday 7th September with the view to interview 22nd or 23rd September via Zoom or in-person at RAL.