Group Leader for the Vulcan high power laser facility in the CLF at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, Oxfordshire, England

Come and discover the kind of impact you can make when you work with some of the best facilities and brightest scientists in the world.

An exciting and rare opportunity exists to join the Central Laser Facility (CLF), at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, to lead the Vulcan laser group. The Vulcan high power laser facility sits at the heart of the CLF, and for decades has been internationally recognised as a globally leading laser facility, providing access for UK and international researchers working on a wide range of topics in high energy density and plasma science. 

The CLF has recently secured funding for an ambitious £82M upgrade to the Vulcan facility (termed Vulcan 20-20) to increase its power to 20 PW, and its energy to 20 kJ. It will be the highest power laser in the world. We are looking for an enthusiastic scientific leader, with excellent technical and proven management skills to lead the Vulcan group and help deliver Vulcan 20-20.

As part of the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC), the CLF contains many state-of-the-art laser systems and experimental stations, along with expert scientists, engineers and technicians that work with academic and industry users to deliver science across a broad range of fields. The CLF has around 200 staff and it is a very friendly, outgoing, externally facing sort of place.  It has a welcoming and inclusive culture, and you will find that people will naturally help and support you.

About the role

The key areas of the role include:

•    effective leadership of the Vulcan group, formed by scientists and technicians, including supporting, directing and motivating the team to achieve their goals and delivery of the programme
•    technical leadership for the delivery of the Vulcan 20-20 laser systems and its future ongoing development. This will involve innovation in and delivery of key project objectives, with specific focus on the design and delivery of the new laser capabilities
•    accountability for facility performance, capturing user feedback and scientific requirements to optimise the output of the facility, engaging on a regular basis with the academic community and other colleagues. 
•    financial responsibility for the annual Vulcan Group Budget and safety responsibility for the activities carried out by the Group

We ask some of the biggest questions in the universe, to answer some of the biggest challenges in the world. Together, our scientists, technologists, engineers and business support team explore the unknown across every field you could think of. And they turn what they find into work that changes the world around us. 

What could you achieve with the world-leading facilities and experts of one of Europe's largest research organisations by your side? Join us and discover what's possible.


Deadline for application: 22 September 2023