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Posted on: 17 September 2023
Software Systems Engineers and Senior Software Systems Engineers
Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire / Some home working available.
£34,642 to £46,868, or £44,666 to £60,430 for the Senior level per annum depending on skills and experience.
Full time / Flexible hours considered.
Diamond Light Source is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world. It houses the UK’s synchrotron light source, producing beams of light 10 billion times brighter than the sun to probe the structure and composition of matter. From viruses and vaccines to alternative energy solutions and nanotechnology, Diamond underpins research and innovation for more than 8000 scientists.
At Diamond we are currently planning a major upgrade of the facility, known as Diamond-II. Diamond-II will combine a new machine and new beamlines with a comprehensive series of upgrades to optics, detectors, sample environments, sample delivery capabilities and computing, which will ultimately generate an even more brilliant light source at a higher energy and more scientific results at higher throughput.
Software helps to enable the world-leading science performed at Diamond. Our software systems facilitate operations at all levels, including the low-level control of synchrotron and beamline hardware, the planning, execution and monitor of experiments, data archiving and retrieval, data processing and visualisation, the application for beamtime, and capture of remote experiment plans and samples. Our software engineers work alongside our scientists to develop innovative and robust solutions to keep Diamond at the forefront of scientific research.
About the Role
We have exciting opportunities for Software Systems Engineers and Senior Software Systems Engineers to join our Beamline Controls Group. The successful engineers will work in a research-focused environment alongside world leading scientists and professional engineers to address technically challenging problems as we deliver new beamlines for Diamond-II.
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. These systems make extensive use of open-source software, including the EPICS Distributed Control System tool kit. The distributed control systems comprise a wide range of technical domains such as motion control, instrumentation, robotics, and automation, as well as data acquisition.
You will contribute to the development and operational support of distributed control systems for Diamond’s photon beamlines and experimental stations. This includes tasks like requirements gathering, software design, development, documentation, commissioning new solutions.
You will be required to liaise closely with other groups of scientists, engineers and technicians designing, building, and operating the photon beamlines.
Software applications and services are typically implemented in languages such as C, C++ and Python as well as domain-specific languages for automation, motion control and robotics. You will have the opportunity to work alongside the Group's Core Development Team, developing the software that will control and synchronise experiments for Diamond-II: software which will underpin science on all Beamlines, working from the hardware level up to experiment enabling scanning services. This diverse stack gives opportunities to work with a range of technologies:
Applicants will be considered at either Grade 4 or 5, depending on the strength of your skills, experience, and qualifications.
You will be qualified to degree level, or demonstrate significant equivalent experience, along with experience in the full Software Development Lifecycle, using a modern high-level language, and with an understanding of good software design principles and design for usability.
You should have experience with the technologies and programming languages mentioned above, ideally with some experience working with interfaces between hardware and software, for example with IoT, Robotics or other Instrumentation and Automation systems.
Experience of working with large and complex code bases would be an advantage, as would experience with application development on the Linux OS, real-time systems, the HDF5 file format and the EPICS distributed control system toolkit. Having worked with CI/CD services like GitHub Actions, Web UIs, Containers and Kubernetes would also be beneficial as we look towards the new software stack for Diamond-II.
You will be passionate about science or engineering and demonstrate good communication and interpersonal skills.
Diamond offers an exceptional benefits package to support staff in achieving a positive work/life balance. This includes 26 days annual leave plus 13 days of statutory and company holidays and 2 annual volunteering days, along with flexible working hours and an excellent pension scheme. Staff also have access to a range of amenities on site including a nursery, cafes, a restaurant and sports and leisure facilities. A relocation allowance may also be available where applicable.
Please use the online application process to apply and tell us why you believe you are suitable for this role.
The closing date for applications is 22nd October 2023 however, we encourage early applications as some candidates may be interviewed before this date.
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