National Nuclear Laboratory

Current Vacancies

Post Doctorate Scheme 2024 – Reactor Chemistry Modeller

Contract type:
Full Time
Job Category:
Post Doctorate Scheme
Working Arrangements:
Posted on:
19th July 2024
Closing date:
24th July 2024
Job reference:
Salary starting at £41,991


NNL is where your understanding of reactors fuels the nation. As part of our Fuel Reactor & Reprocessing capability, you’ll play a vital role in developing the UK fuel cycle in line with advances in new technology and new processes. As old reactors reach the end of their lifespan, we need experts like you, with the technical skills to virtually model scenarios that not only enable us to explore new ways of managing the inputs and outputs of reactors, but also pave the way for the implementation of smaller, cleaner revolutionary new reactors. This is a place where you can use your knowledge and expertise to do long term meaningful work for years to come.

As the national laboratory for nuclear fission in the UK, we are harnessing nuclear science to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.

NNL is looking for an individual to join the Reactor Chemistry and Corrosion team based in Culham, Oxfordshire. The team deliver commercial Research & Development to help solve a wide range of chemistry and corrosion-based challenges in the nuclear industry and has a long history of successful delivery of work programmes to an exceptional standard.
You will support strategic programmes across the industry, as well as provide advice on strategic UK issues. Much of the work directly supports plant operation, lifetime extension and support to new build programmes.

To join the NNL Post Doctorate programme you will have a PhD in Chemistry and experience in the modelling of physical and/or chemical systems with an understanding of applied mathematics.

You will have the right to work in the UK and be able to achieve BPSS level security clearance (this includes but is not limited to identity, employment, financial and criminal record checks). This role has a nationality requirement due to US export control restrictions. If your nationality does not meet the criteria unfortunately, your application will not be taken any further.

Main Responsibilities

You will be involved in investigating, analysing and resolving a range of technical questions relating to operational reactors (worldwide) and the UK’s new build programme including SMR and AMR technologies.

You will have the opportunity to work and interface with national and international organisations.

In this role you will develop reactor chemistry models using commercial software and bespoke coding. You will implement chemical and physical processes covering topic areas such as water and gas chemistry, radiation chemistry, as well as activity and corrosion product transport based on state-of-the-art understanding of these systems. You will also advance the frontiers of nuclear science through NNL’s ambitious Science and Technology programme and develop your publication track record and become one of the future international experts in your field.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Working flexibly as part of a specialist team using and developing reactor chemistry models and tools to support operational reactors, as well as those going through the design process
  • Delivering internal and external customer projects to time, in budget, and to required environmental, health, safety, security and quality (EHSS&Q) standards
  • Performing modelling work in support of customer work, making use of codes and models within, and external to NNL
  • The authorship, review and approval of technical documents (calculations notes/spreadsheets, technical memos, technical reports, presentations and open literature journal articles)
  • Presenting work performed to customers, project meetings and at national/international conferences
  • Ad-hoc problem solving to resolve day to day technical challenges that emerge
  • Engaging with technical experts across NNL, looking to support their work and vice-versa
  • Mentoring and supporting junior colleagues in their professional/technical development

NNL recognises that academia and industry are very different environments, our Postdoctoral Development Scheme will smooth the transition whilst supporting you as you take your first steps towards becoming a Subject Matter Expert.

Your two-year scheme will provide the opportunity to develop your technical knowledge and skills whilst providing you with an insight into NNL’s strategy and direction. You will receive an overview of how the company operates and delivers its projects.

You will undertake personal development through training aligned to your personal development plan and understand your strengths, weaknesses, and behaviours. You will receive a personal budget to support your development within your field of expertise.

From day one you’ll have a role in a technical team involved in delivering real customer projects. You will have direct sight of the value that your skills and knowledge have to our industry and by extension our society. The Postdoctoral Development Scheme runs alongside your role, providing you the space and skills to develop in a commercial environment whilst helping you decide how to advance your technical expertise.

Our two-year programme is designed to give you:

  • An introduction to NNL so you understand where we sit in the wider context of the nuclear industry and how we work
  • An introduction to the technical expertise at the core of our business so you understand how your expertise interrelates with our wider technical portfolio
  • A clear pathway of technical development
  • Commercial awareness of the Business Operations of NNL
  • Opportunity to network with mid-career professionals and experts
  • Mentoring to achieve chartered status with your chosen professional body
  • A choice of development activities tailored to you and your career aspirations
  • Membership of a cohort of early career professionals to provide support in developing within the company
  • The support of a dedicated early careers team and our strong, thriving early careers community.

As part of the selection process for the Post Doctorate programme you will complete a Technical Interview against the skills and competencies required for this role.

Why join us?

NNL isn’t just a place where you can do career-defining work that makes a real-world impact. It’s also a place where you’ll feel appreciated and valued. We’re creating an inclusive workplace where everyone is free to be themselves and feel like they belong. We put your wellbeing first, we push you to reach your potential, and we do everything possible to help you feel safe, supported and inspired.

We also offer a range of employee benefits:

  • Annual Leave: Benefit from 25.5 days of leave, plus 4 extra days to be taken during Christmas shutdown, plus Bank Holidays.
  • Company Bonus: Be rewarded for your contributions.
  • Reduced gym membership with discounts of up to 25% from 3,700 gym and leisure providers across the UK
  • NNL offers attractive pension plans. If you contribute 5%, NNL contributes 15%. Alternatively, if you choose not to contribute (0%), NNL will still contribute 10%.
  • Sector leading Family-Focused Policies: celebrate life events, including enhanced maternity and paternity leave and a week off for your marriage.
  • Employee Assistance: Access support for personal and professional challenges.
  • Cycle to Work: Stay active and eco-friendly.
  • Life Assurance: Ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
  • Enhanced Sick Pay Benefits: Receive support during illness or injury.
  • Access to ‘Mydiscounts’ which has a range of special offers and discounts from more than 200 suppliers, including medical insurance and dental insurance.
  • Health Care: Health savings plan which allows you to claim money back on visits to the dentist, optician and/or physiotherapist (limits apply).

About The Company

NNL is where your solutions solve real-world problems. As part of our Engineering team, you’ll not only be able to get involved with a huge variety of projects, you’ll also have lots of opportunity to drive them through from start to finish – allowing you to see the impact your work has in a real-world environment. This is your chance to use your experience, expertise and ingenuity to collaborate with leading scientists. You’ll be part of a team that delivers work to benefit society by advancing cleaner energy, protecting the environment and keeping everyone safe.

NNL is an incredible place to work. A place where people do things that have never been done before. A place where people push boundaries to further themselves, the business and society as a whole.

This is a place where personal and professional opportunities are limitless. If you want to change the world, if you want to tackle climate change, if you want to help advance medical science, if you want to help put things in space, if you want to answer the big questions, if you want to work with extraordinary materials, if you want to meet great people, learn new skills, challenge yourself, work flexibly, and build a long successful career with the power to make a real impact… you can do it all here.