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case studies • employer directory • careers advice

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Physics World Careers 2020 IOP Publishing, Temple Circus, Temple Way, Bristol BS1 6HG, UK Tel +44 (0)117 929 7481 E-mail pwld@ioppublishing.org Web physicsworld.com

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CAREER DEVELOPMENT Levelling the physics f ield

Going the extracurricular mile

There’s no place like home

Making a difference





Medical physics

Space missions

BEYOND PHYSICS Materials engineering

Immersive technologies

Digital consultancy

Urban t ranspor t



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Welcome to Physics World Careers 2020, a complete guide to career opportunities for physics graduates.

As we celebrate the centenary of the Institute of Physics (IOP), I am delighted to welcome you to this packed career guide, brought to you by the editorial team behind our flagship member magazine, Physics World.

When t he I OP was f ounded 100 ye a r s ago, i t was set up specifically to improve the professional status of physicists, who until then had largely been restricted to ac ademic c a r e e r pa t h s . O ve r t he l a s t c en t u r y, however, the opportunities for physicists have grown enormously.

Through the features, interviews, analyses and profiles in this guide, you will see just how useful a physics degree can be. There are a wide variety of different areas and sectors in which you can work. My own career went from studying physics as an undergraduate to a rewarding career in business as chief executive of Oxford Instruments plc.

If you want more information, remember that the IOP provides all sorts of additional resources and guidance to support its members at every stage of their career. You can find out more about the IOP’s careers and professional development at www.iop.org/careers.

I hope you find this guide useful, as you select and embark upon a rewarding and fulfilling career that exploits the skills that you have developed through your physics degree.

Jonathan Flint President, Institute of Physics

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l a n

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Look to the future

Wherever you currently are in your physics degree, before you know i t you’ll have graduated with an endless number of opportunit ies available to pick f rom. As you think of your next career move, our annual Physics World Careers guide is here to offer you a helping hand, with valuable careers advice, insightful case studies showcasing possible career options, plus a comprehensive employer directory.

If it’s a further foray into academia that you’re after, with a Master’s or PhD in your sights, as you hope to delve into some “proper” research after all those years studying textbooks, then we can help pick the perfect postgraduate topic for you. For example, if data science and high-energy physics catch your eye, then take a look at our interview with CERN openlab’s Federico Carminati, as he lays out the future of particle physics and computing (p20).

With more than 60% of physics graduates pursuing careers in industry instead, our guide has you covered there too, with

Tushna Commissariat, editor of Physics World Careers, helps you explore

your c ar ee r op t i ons

profiles of physicists employed in a myriad of businesses. Our case studies have been penned by real physics graduates working in everything from photonics and space science to quantum physics and plasma technology. You can find out more about Julia Zimmermann, co-founder of the German start-up firm Terraplasma (p26), and Pascal Gallo, co-founder and chief executive of Swiss start-up company LakeDiamond (p18). And don’t forget to take a look at our “Start-up stories” section, in which you can meet the bold researchers who’ve taken the plunge and set up their own businesses.

I hope you find Physics World Careers 2020 useful. You can also sign up today for our new careers newsletter. Sent out every two months, the newsletter brings together a variety of case studies, valuable careers advice and information from leading employe r s y o u m i g h t b e i n t e r e s t e d i n wo r k i n g f o r . To subscribe, simply sign into your free Physics World online account and tick the “Careers bimonthly” box.

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Career development

Levelling the physics field Female physicists who want to succeed in the workplace often face barriers that their male counterparts do not. Jennifer Dyer looks at how initiatives by the Institute of Physics, and other organizations, can help improve the careers of women in physics



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We can all surely agree that everyone who wants a career in physics – men and women alike – should be given the opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, and especially in physics, is well documented, despite there being plenty of evidence that the presence of women in a t eam enhance s g r oup c o l l abor a t i on and performance (Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 36 2). I nde e d , Aar hu s Uni v e r s i t y s c i enc e h i storian Mathias Wullum Nielsen, and University of California, Merced sociologist Sharla Alegri, together with colleagues at a workshop held at Stanford University in February 2016, found that having more women in science leads to an “innovation dividend”. Their research showed that gender diversity leads to smarter and “more creative” teams, all of which ultimately has a positive impact on scientif ic discover y i t self (PNAS 114 1740).

Even more recently, a report published in January 2018 by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company – entitled Delivering through Diversity – re-examined the link between diversity (both gender and racial) and a company’s company financial outperformance. Having analysed global datasets of more than 1000 firms in 12 countries, they found there are clearly more beneficial financial results for companies with more diversity in top management and on the board. Correlation does not equal causation, but the study concludes that “more diverse companies…are better able to win

Gender gap Workshops can combat t he i solat ion some women f eel while doing physic s PhDs.

top talent, improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decisionmaking and all that leads to a vir tuous cycle of increasing returns”.

So, there is growing evidence that diverse teams are more productive and inspire more creativity, which , in turn, is likely to result in tangible benefits to the physics and wider scientific community. Yet, a recent Royal Society Career Pathway Tracker report – which followed the careers of those who had been awarded a University Research Fellowship or Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship from the society – found that 73% of male research fellows had become professors, as compared to 58% of female fellows. The report also found that men took a shorter time to achieve a chair or a similarly senior position, obtaining it in 4.6 years on average, compared to 5.8 years for women. All this suggests that we need to do more to get more women into STEM subjects, and that we have a way to go to ensure that we keep them here.

At the Institute of Physics (IOP), we have been working on these is sues for more than a decade, embarking on an ambitious programme to improve uptake of A-level physics among girls in schools. Through our Improving Gender Balance project, we trialled different school interventions – separately and combined – to help boost the confidence and resilience of girls, to improve their experience in the physics classroom, and ad d r e s s t h e i mpac t o f un c o n s c i o u s b i a s and gender stereotyping.

We found that a combined approach that includes addressing confidence and resilience, improving experiences, and dealing with unconscious bias, radically affected the number of girls taking AS-level physics in the participating schools, with the number more than trebling over two years. With research from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) showing that boys are three times more likely than girls to be given a STEM toy for Christmas, it is clear that we need to address gender stereotyping at all

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ages, so that boys and girls have parity in career choices.

Alongside our Improving Gender Balance work is Project Juno – the IOP’s initiative to recognize and reward good practice in addressing the under-representation of women at all levels in physics, be it at university departments or research institutes. Launched in 2007, the Juno award is based on six principles that organizations work towards addressing, to achieve their Juno Practitioner or Juno Champion status. Applications are “peer reviewed” by a panel of physicists, and we conduct site visits to provide supportive and constructive feedback on progress.

But Juno is more than a project about f ixing only the gender imbalance. It is based on openness, transparency and improving the working environment for all, and the project aims to promote the development of our next generation of physics leaders. Some of the Juno work in universities has been transformational, opening up recruitment, promotions and leadership selection, ensuring that everyone in physics has the opportunity to progress. A head of a physics department in a university once said that taking part in Juno “gives a message of equality, that women can do it based on capability, that promotion is open to any gender”.

Over the course of a PhD, women report feeling more isolated and having less contact with their super visor s

Research done by the IOP as well as other institutions has also found that over the course of a PhD (and any subsequent postdoctoral contracts), women’s aspirations to remain in scientif ic research decline, as they report less satisfaction with their doctorate, f ee l i ng more i so l a t ed and t hey have l e s s contact with their supervisors or principal invest i ga t o r s . To he l p w i t h t h i s , t he IOP r uns c ar ee r workshops for physics students that promote leadership development and highlight career pathways in and out of academia. We also p r o v i d e a C a r e r s ’ F und – a g r an t o f up t o £ 250 – that any members of the IOP who wish to at tend an event or conference can apply to.

O t h e r s a c r o s s t h e s c i e n c e c ommuni t y a r e also doing their bit. We know that returning

from a career break can be daunting, and t he I OP wor k s c l o s e l y w i t h t he Daphne J ac kson Trust (see p23) – a charity dedicated to h e l p i n g S T EM p r o f e s s i o na l s who ha v e t a k e n a career break of two years or more and want to return to research. Its fellowship scheme is open to both men and women who have t aken a c a r e e r b r e ak f o r a number of reasons, including raising a child, looking af ter an elderly parent or health is sues. The Women Into Science and Engineering ( W I SE ) c ampaig n e n c o u r a g e s c ompanie s t o engage with its Ten Steps framework that ensures women in STEM have the same career progression opportunities as men. AdvanceHE, a higher-education charity in t h e UK , r un s t h e Au r o r a l e ad e r s h i p i n i t i a t i v e for women in higher education, and many physicists have benefited from taking part in this year-long programme.

These and many other initiatives will support and encourage women to pursue lifelong physics and STEM careers. This will, in turn, hopefully ensure that a future in science is inviting, open and inclusive to everyone, which will ultimately benefit the whole of physics.

Jennifer Dyer was the head of diversity at the Institute of Physics. She is now the head of di ver s i t y and inc lus ion at O f Gem


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We are actively commissioning in these fields, so if you have an idea for a book you’d like to discuss please contact ebooks@ioppublishing.org. Visit iopscience.org/books f o r mor e i n f o r ma t i on and a f u l l l i s t o f t i t l e s .

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Career development

Going the extracurricular mile Getting experience beyond your core academic activities is crucial if you want to bag that dream job after graduating, as Institute of Physics careers manager Vishanti Fox explains

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Gaining a degree in physics is no mean feat. As a student, you’re busy completing lots of assignments in many different modules, and tackling experiments in the lab too. So it isn’t surprising that, for most students, extracurricular activities often fall into a black hole of “things you don’t have time for”. However, having a rich life outside your core academic activities is vital when it comes to helping you figure out what you want to do after you graduate, and getting the right job.

While good grades are important, students also need a broad range of transferable skills. This includes learning prioritization, communication, teamwork and problem solving; taking initiative, showing resilience and leadership; and developing business acumen and skills such as negotiation and persuasion. The need for transferable skills isn’t limited to jobs in industry – you’ll need these skills even i f you want to build an academic career.

Indeed, in my experience of working with companies that hire physicists, the most emp l o y ab l e g r adua t e s a r e t h o s e who e n g a g e in ex t r acur r i cular ac t i v i t ie s . By doing so, s t udents are exposed to new and challenging e n v i r o nmen t s , wh i c h bu i l d s t h e i r c o n f i d e n c e , and often leads to further opportunities.

Such extracurricular activities includes not only part-time jobs, summer placements and internships, but also ever y thing f rom coaching, tutoring and managing your physics society to sitting on a committee, contributing to a s p e c i a l - i n t e r e s t g r o up, o r g an i z i n g e v e n t s o r volunteering. By participating in these activities, you are, consciously or unconsciously, preparing yourself for the next stage in your l i fe, wherever this takes you.

Taking up a placement or internship,

especially in a field or company that you may want to work for, is a par t icularly good idea. There are many ways to go about this. While you can find a placement or internship under your own steam, there are many r e s o u r c e s i n p l a c e t o h e l p . F o r a s t a r t , s p e a k to your careers adviser or tutor, who can point you in the right direction. The Institute of Physics (IOP) also offers a number o f o pp o r t un i t i e s t o h e l p y o u g a i n e x p e r i e n c e and develop those all-important transferable skills (see box on p10). A handful of graduate training programmes have even been officially accredited by the IOP, all of which combine dedicated events, training modules, professional development, mentor ing and on-the - job experience.

The IOP currently works with 21 companies, from Atkins and Leonardo to EDF and Sellafield, which deliver graduate training programmes for physics students, through the Accreditation of Company Training Schemes (ACTS). Accreditation indicates that the training scheme has the appropriate criteria for physicists working towards gaining professional registered status.

The message is clear – transferable skills are essential. But instead of trying to convince you any further myself, here are some case studies of physics graduates who have taken up a host of placement and volunteering activities.

Molly Burkmar I’m currently studying for an MPhys in physics, astrophysics and cosmology at the University of Portsmouth, UK.

During my second year

I decided to apply for South East Physics Network (SEPnet) placements, after learning about the organization at a careers day at university. SEPnet links university physics departments in south-east England and organizes summer placements for physics undergraduates and PhD students to develop their employability skills and raise awareness of their career options in business and industry. I looked through the profiles of more than 60 placements and applied for five, but it was the placement at Winchester Science Centre that caught my eye, as I’m thinking about going into teaching. Thankfully, the interview went really well and I was offered the job. I was really nervous to start with as this was my first job in the science industry, but the team was very welcoming, and I got settled in quickly.

My placement at Winchester was split into two parts: being an “inspirer” and evaluating an exhibit. Most of my time was spent on the former, which involved science busking, floor walking around the exhibits and presenting the l i v e s c i e n c e s h ow. My p r o j e c t i n v o l v e d e v a l u a t-

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ing a display known as “Stem Cell Mountain” and recommending how to improve it.

My confidence has increased from presenting shows. I was nervous about doing them to begin with, but I started by teaming up with another member of staff to deliver them and presented my first solo show in front of the head of the planetarium. This was really helpful to gain confidence and get constructive feedback before doing them solo and it became my favourite part of the job. I have gained so much experience being an educator t oo. I picked up t ip s on how o t hers presented and taught around the centre, which helped me to successfully communicate to a wide range of ages and science backgrounds. Seeing children learning and getting excited about science has been the most rewarding part of the job.

I used skills from my laboratory module at university during the project, such as keeping a lab notebook, but I’ve also learnt a lot about evaluation. I’ve taken observations, semi-structured interviews and surveys as well as analysed both quantitative and qualit a t i v e da t a . I t h e n u s e d t h e da t a t o make sma l l modi f i c a t i ons t o t he e x h i b i t t o s ee i f t hey wer e successful so I could make recommendations on how to improve it. My study was one section of a bigger project to modify Stem Cell Mountain, but it was really interesting to see the evaluation side f rom star t to f inish.

By undertaking a placement, I’ve gained s o much e x p e r i e n c e t ha t I c an u s e t o h e l p me with the rest of my degree and when applying for jobs. I would really recommend completing a placement in an area you’re interested in as there are a lot of job-specific skills that can’t be taught at univer sit y.

Adam Powell I am a graduate student with the University of Calgary, Canada, as a member of the Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) collaboration at CERN. During the foundation year of my physics deg r ee a t Swansea Uni ve r s i t y, UK , when t he opportunity to lead the university’s physics society arose, I leapt at the chance. I had begun my degree at a disadvantage, not having taken maths past the age of 16, so I was a l l t he mor e mot i va t ed t o f i nd my p l ac e . A few months after taking on the society, I had helped to organize the first in a number of careers events to help my peers (and myself) see the vast number of possible pathways through physics. This was also my f i r s t in t er ac t ion wi t h IOP Wales, and my f i r s t outreach event came soon after – eventually I became a campus ambassador and

I’ve gained so much experience that can help me with my degree and when applying for jobs

nations committee member.

As my network started to grow, I was offered an internship with the university’s employability academy. I spent a summer focusing on the sof ter skills that are incredibly important in an increasingly competitive workplace. I was encouraged to apply for the Undergraduate of the Year awards sponsored by Target Job and was shortlisted in the men’s category. The reward for this was an interview at L’Orèal UKI. I was aware of the brand but had no experience in the beauty industry. Determined to show what I could do for them, I took the sample data provided and set to work on analysis. After combining skills learnt through my studies with some impromptu market research (questioning the unfortunate travellers on a Swansea to London train about the various products) I was offered a summer placement in the business development team. While my time with L’Orèal was full of very valuable learning experiences and wonderful people, it wasn’t for me long-term. I learnt the most valuable lesson of all – that it is just as useful to know what you don’t want to do, as what you ac tually want to do.

I returned for my final year at Swansea, now as an MPhys student, with a desire to focus on research. I was then incredibly fortunate to be sent to CERN to carry out my f i na l - y e a r p r o j e c t w i t h t h e A L PHA e x p e r i men t . I spent three months working in an environment that pushed me every day, and I was h o o k e d . K n ow i n g t ha t I wan t e d t o r e t u r n a f t e r my MPhys, I set about trying to find a postgraduate position. A few discussions later, I was hired as a research assistant by the T R I UMF l ab o r a t o r y i n Van c o u v e r t o h e l p i n t h e construction of the new ALPHA-g experiment at CERN. This then led to my current place as a g r adua t e s t u d e n t w i t h t h e Un i v e r s i t y o f C a lg a r y a s a member o f t h e A L PHA c o l l ab o r a t i o n and I currently hold a Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Studentship.

Despite now being based outside Wales, I’m still a regular volunteer and committee member, and played a role in organizing the IOP-sponsored Conference of Astronomy and Physics Students 2019 at Swansea.

Srinidhi Rajagopalan I’m currently pursuing a physics (Euromasters) MSc a t Royal Holl oway University of London.

After the first year of my Master’s degree, I was

looking for opportunities to gain some experience working in professional labs, which I saw as necessary for my career plan. I found many of the adverts on GRADnet interesting, but was particularly keen on working at the National Physical Laboratory, because most companies advertised for data science internships, whereas NPL’s placement was focused on experimental physics.

I worked on a project to build a method to reconstruct the spectrum of a 2D material using photoluminescence imaging techniques. This involved using the LabView platform, which is an indispensable tool in experimental physics. I also worked in an optics lab where I learnt not only how to work with several instruments, but also how to approach a new and unfamiliar instrument. Whi l e i t wa s a s t r u g g l e t o t r an s f e r my b o o k i s h knowledge to real-life experiments, I learnt what experimental physics actually entails.

The placement helped me sharpen both my technical and professional skills. The standard of professionalism expected of a student is not that expected in a real working environment and I learnt a lot by just watching my superiors and peers every day. Indeed, I believe this placement was one of the most important learning experiences of my career so far, and will help me work on future projects more efficiently.

I also made many friends who were mostly PhD s tudent s. From them, I was able to get a g r e a t i n s i g h t i n t o h ow t h e o r g an i z a t i o n wo r k e d and all its activities. They were then able to give me advice about what they would have done dif ferently before star t ing their PhD.

The placement was an invaluable learning experience. I would highly recommend anyone who has the chance to take up a summer placement with SEPnet, GRADnet or the IOP, and to utilize i t to i t s fullest.

Holly Stemp I am currently a PhD student in quantum computing at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia.

During the second year

of my MPhys degree in physics at the University of Surrey, UK, I began to think more seriously about what I wanted to do after I graduated. Pursuing a career in research had always interested me, so I figured that

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a research-orientated placement would be the perfect opportunity to discover firsthand what it is like to work in a research environment. This led to me applying for an eight-week SEPnet summer placement at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. There, my role was to evaluate a phenomenon known as “non-uniqueness”, associated with standard platinum resistance thermometers used to realize the International Temperature Scale of 1990.

Non-uniqueness is a very subtle form of uncertainty associated with temperature measurement that, as a result of the ever-improving precision to which we can perform temperature measurements today, is becoming a fundamental limiting factor in the accuracy we are able to achieve. My task during the placement was to try to quantify the uncertainty associated with this non-uniqueness in the thermometers. The first half of the placement was spent per forming measurements in t he lab, where I determined the resistance ratios of the thermometers in temperature-controlled oil baths, liquid nitrogen and fixed-point cells, over a range from –196 °C to 232 °C. I then plotted and analysed the data collected in order to gain a clearer picture of how non-uniqueness affects our most accurate temperature measurements.

How the IOP can help you

The Institute of Physics (IOP) is here to support you in building a successful career through our programme of activit ies. Members of the IOP can: ●  Become a part of the IOP student community and participate in a host of activit ies to develop skills: iop.org/ student-community ●  Volunteer for IOP-led physics engagement activities to practice your communication, organizational and teamwork skills: iop.org/volunteer ●  Plan and organize scientific meetings, working in collaboration with other IOP groups and sister societies. Promote events through your institutions and networks, and coordinate and generate digital content for your chosen group(s): iop.org/groups ●  Gain an advantage in the job market by attending our employer-led careers events and participate in career-themed

This was my first experience of not only collecting high-quality experimental data but also of performing careful data analysis, both of which are absolutely invaluable skills for a career in research. Conducting


Our bimonthly careers newsletter brings together inspiring case studies, valuable careers advice and information from

leading employers you might be interested in working for.

webinars. You can also participate in events and conferences, at exclusive member discounted rates, to keep up to date and network with peers and exper t s in academia and industry: iop.org/events ●  Make use of the IOP careers hub, which will support you in writing your CV, practising for interviews, delivering presentations, and effective time management, among many other useful resources to support your future career choices: iop.org/member-services ●  Take advantage of our international travel grants to attend conferences, such as the Research Student Conference Fund, the C R Barber Trust and Early Career Researchers Fund: iop.org/grants ●  Following graduation, join the Member grade and use the designatory letters MInstP after your name, to demonstrate your commitment and professionalism: iop.org/member

research during my placement was a very different experience to studying at university, as many of the questions we were asking didn’t have a known answer. This aspect of exploring the unknown is something I found really exciting and it led to me d e v e l o p i n g a w i d e r an g e o f u s e f u l s k i l l s , f r om critical thinking to problem solving.

Working at NPL definitely confirmed my desire to work in a research environment and showed me t he wide var ie t y of oppor t unities available. I was constantly asking the staf f at NPL about their research and ever yone was ver y happy to share their work with me, so I got to learn a lot about metrology/ traceability of measurement and its importance in ever y aspect of our li ves.

For any undergraduate interested in expanding their skill set and experiencing the real-world implications of what they are t aug h t i n l e c t u r e s I wou l d h i g h l y r e c ommend carrying out a placement. Not only does it look great on your CV, i t also provides some invaluable tools for a potential career in r e s e a r c h i n t h e f u t u r e . Don’ t b e pu t o f f app l yi n g i f y o u d o n ’ t ha v e a l o t o f d i r e c t k n ow l e d g e abou t t he p l ac emen t s ub j e c t a r e a , a s p l en t y of help and support are provided. I knew no t h i ng about t he wor l d o f met r o l og y be f o r e my p l acement, bu t I f ound t he s cheme t o be a fantastic oppor tunit y to ex tend my knowledge of a given area.

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Vishanti Fox is the careers and continuing professional development manager for the Ins t i t u t e of Physic s

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IOP Education

Train to teach

Inspire the next generation of physicists

“So, are electricity and magnetism the same thing?” Noah, aged 12

• Develop your leadership and management skills • Varied opportunities for career progression • IOP Teacher Training Scholarships available,

including financial support • Ongoing professional development from the

Institute of Physics.

Discussing thought-provoking questions with enquiring minds is at the heart of teaching physics.

You’ll help your students to understand the world around them, capturing their imagination and preparing them for the future.

Find out more at iop.org/teach

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Career development

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There’s no place like home Many physics graduates look for jobs in the towns or cities they already live in, rather than moving elsewhere. Andrew Hirst and Veronica Benson explore the implications of this “emotional geography” and discuss how universities can give physicists the skills local employers need

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It’s usual to think of physicists as globetrotting rebels who uproot their lives to go wherever the opportunities lie. Moving from c i t y t o c i t y an d c o un t r y t o c o un t r y, t h e y c o o l l y switch locations, following their physics dreams – be it CERN in Geneva, oil rigs in the Nor th Sea or star t -ups in Silicon Valley.

The reality, though, is rather different. Many young people – physics graduates included – prefer to stay where they grew up or studied. They have an emotional attachment to the town, city or region they’re already living in, and are reluctant or unable to move. While it’s not exactly clear why, we attribute this to a sense of geographic belonging, which is related to place, family, social and community relations. In some cases, money is probably a key factor too.

The importance that students give to this “emotional geography” also affects the kinds of jobs they can get after graduation. In the UK particularly, the graduate labour market is geographically unbalanced, with most graduate jobs concentrated in London and south-east England and in the larger cities of Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. So if you’re a physics graduate from a part of the country with few physics-based employers, it’ll be harder to find a job using your physics deg r e e i f you c an’ t – o r don’ t wan t t o – move.

According to the 2015/16 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) report, some 69% of UK graduates took their first job in the region of their home domicile. Further analysis using data from the survey

shows that 45% of graduates did not move regions at all – they both studied and sought wo r k i n t h e i r h ome d om i c i l e d r e g i o n . T h i s i nability or unwillingness of graduates to move means that university physics departments need to do more to recognize the importance of “place-based” decision-making when it comes to graduate career choices. Departments also need to adapt their physics degrees so that students can more easily find graduate jobs in the local area – and have the skills that local employers need.

Local skills for local people The impact of emotional geography on physics graduate outcomes was a key theme of a meeting in London hosted by the Institute of Physics (IOP) in July. The meeting was organized by the South East Physics Network (SEPnet), which links nine physics departments in south-east England, and by the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy (WRIPA) – a collaboration between the universities of York, Sheffield, Hull, Nottingham and Leeds. Emotional geography, it turns out, is a particular headache for physics departments in regions with a low Gross Value Added (GVA) – one way of measuring economic output that can be used as an indicator of regional productivity.

This problem is borne out in an analysis

carried out by Alastair Buckley, a physicist at the University of Sheffield, who examined the mobility of students who studied physics at the university between 2011 and 2017. He found that a high proportion (about 50%) of Sheffield physics students’ domiciled (permanent) address when they applied for the course was within 100 km of the university. What’s more, after graduation 65% of Sheffield physics students chose to return to their domiciled address (most likely the parental home) to work. Buckley and colleagues consider these physicists to be “work immobile”, meaning that remaining in a desired location may b e mo r e i mpo r t an t t o t h em t han t h e t y p e of job they do.

Buckley’s analysis shows, however, that physics graduates at Sheffield who are “work mobile” – i.e. prepared to move after graduation – are more likely to get better, graduate-level work. That’s because other parts of the country with higher productivity and growth have a greater number of graduate-level jobs that make the most of a physicist’s specific skills and knowledge. Indeed, when the five WRIPA departments analysed the DLHE data, they found that physics graduates who stay in the Yorkshire, Humberside and East Midlands region (where those departments are based) have significantly lower prospects than those

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choosing to leave. Only 55% of them attain graduate-level jobs, compared with the 80% of those who move.

This insight corroborates a recent analysis by the UK Department of Education, based on the government’s controversial Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) project, which provides information on how much UK graduates of different courses at different universities earn after graduating, by linking up data on tax, benefits and student loans. The LEO data suggest that 82% of all students live in their original home region a year after graduating – and that 65% are still based there a decade later.

Nex t steps So what can be done to improve the situation – either by helping students become more mobile, or by improving the prospects of those who cannot or don’t want to move? The WRIPA has recently been awarded funding from the Office for Students’ Challenge Competition to boost links between physics departments and regional employers, to develop inclusive modes of work-based learning and to support physics students to b e mor e wo r k mobi l e . Howeve r , s e v e r a l s t r a tegies are already being tried at universities around the UK (see box opposite).

One example is the University of Lancaster’s regional “employer engagement strategy”, which physicist Manus Hayne and colleagues developed to support students who want to stay in the area after graduating. Their strategy includes curriculum-based projects for final-year physics students, who work with local industrial firms on real-world problems. These projects are an effective way of connecting students with employers t ha t a r e l e s s l i k e l y t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t r ad i t i o na l recruitment events. Together with guest lectures, industrial placements and opportunities for internships at local firms, such projects help to create what you might call a departmental “employability ecosystem”.

But how can local hi-tech firms shape the

82% of all students live in their original home region a year after graduating – and 65% are still based there a decade later

Case study: Amy Hearst

One physicist who has benefited from her universit y ’s l inks with local f irms is Amy Hearst. She graduated f rom the University of Southampton, UK, and is now a production engineer at vivaMos, which designs and builds CMOS image sensors for f lat- panel X- ray detectors at i t s premises in Southampton Science Park.

However, Hearst might not have realized the opportunities on offer in Southampton were it not for a summer industrial placement she did at the defence and aerospace firm Leonardo, which has a centre of excellence for infrared detectors in the city. During her placement, she made ultrasensitive thermal-imaging cameras used on the TV shows Springwatch and Planet Earth.

Before the placement, Hearst had seen Leonardo as uninteresting. “To me it was just a grey building, it was defence,” she told delegates at a meeting in July about the impact of emotional geography on physics graduates in the UK.

After working at Leonardo as a summer

student, Hearst was taken on full-time after graduating. She and her fellow graduate recruits formed a close social and professional network, which led to her wanting to stay in the Southampton area, and she found her current job at vivaMOS thanks to this network.

Hearst’s experience underlines the value of university physics departments developing links with local employers and also of helping physics students to sharpen their professional skills while studying.

nature of physics degrees offered by local universities, to ensure that graduates have the appropriate skills? One solution adopted by the University of Portsmouth’s School of Mathematics and Physics has been to set up an industry advisory board, which currently has about 20 representatives from local businesses. Complaints from one major local emp l o y e r t ha t i t c o u l d n o t f i nd g r adua t e s w i t h the right skills in radar-systems engineering led to the university reintroducing this subject into its undergraduate physics degree.

Portsmouth also delivers a course on the applications and “impact” of physics in partnership with industry and healthcare professionals, developed in response to local skills needs. Indeed, the IOP’s revised degree-accreditation scheme gives physics departments the flexibility to respond to regional economic needs and focus on developing students’ skills. Physics departments are encouraged by the IOP to deliver degree programmes that maintain academic rigour while also embedding key skills such as innovation, leadership, creativity, entrepreneurship and self-management.

disciplinary module entitled “Enterprise for scientists”, in which final-year physics students can elect to work with students from other disciplines to develop their innovation, business and entrepreneurial skills. The course involves groups of students pitching i d e a s t o a “ D r a g o n ’ s Den” p an e l o f l o c a l b u s inesses, thereby helping them to develop an understanding of finance, negotiation, sales and marketing as well as enhance their problem-solving and creative-thinking skills.

With jobs evolving all the time, programmes such as these help students to develop the transferable skills needed to adapt to the changing employment environment. They also help students build contacts with potential local employers, in the process raising the value and success of physics degrees offered by local universities. And with graduate recruiters saying that their ideal candidates should not only have a strong academic knowledge of particular field, but also an ability to work outside their core area, it’s more important than ever to ensure that physicists develop the skills that will make them succeed in the marketplace.

Working together Another attempt to make physicists more employable to local firms has been developed by Trevor Farren, a director of business and knowledge exchange at the University of Nottingham. He delivers an optional inter-

Andrew Hirst i s t he WRIPA pr og r amme manager and industrial placements co-ordinator, e-mail andrew.hirst@york.ac.uk. Veronica Benson i s t he dir ec t or of employer liaison at SEPnet, e-mail v.benson@surrey. ac.uk

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Career development

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Making a difference Jude Dineley catches up with three early-career scientists whose work outside the lab is helping improve the academic environment for others

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Extracurricular (F r om l e f t ) L e ï l a Haegel, Jana L as s e r and Salma Sohr abi - Jahr omi a t t he 2019 Lindau meeting.

If you’re aspiring to a life-long career in science, it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the week. Finding time to l o o k b e y o nd y o u r ow n r e s e a r c h , h owe v e r , c an be r ewarding. At the 69th L indau Nobel Laureate meeting in Germany this July, I spoke to three early-career scientists active in projects to make academia healthier, more productive and equitable, while picking up valuable experience along the way. Here are their experiences.

Tackling toxic work environments Originally from Austria, Jana Lasser was a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation in Göttingen, Germany, until the end of November this year. In the spring, she finished her PhD investigating the formation of curious geometric patterns on the surface of salt flats such as the Badwater Basin in California. Beyond the lab, last year she served as the elected spokesperson of the Max Planck P hDne t , a n e t wo r k o f ab o u t 50 0 0 P hD c and idates, making her acutely aware of the challenges that early- career researchers face.

With hours approaching that of a full-time job, Lasser’s spokesperson role was tough to balance with her PhD, but well worth it. “It was the best thing I did in my life so far,” she says, adding that it was “like a crash course in everything – leadership, communication, negotiation, conflict management, time management and project management”.

Men t a l he a l t h was a ho t t op i c du r i ng L a s ser’s term. There is mounting evidence that l a r g e numbe r s o f y o un g s c i e n t i s t s s u f f e r f r om

s t r e s s and men t a l i l l n e s s and , t y p i c a l l y, p r o blems at work play a significant role. Consequently, when the PhDnet became involved in a Max Planck task force on employee health, Lasser and her colleagues pushed to increase the focus on mental wellbeing. A direct outcome was a 24-hour mental-health crisis hotline for all staff, which launched in April. It has sparked plenty of interest. “Many people asked me, ‘Is it already there? We want it. We need it’,” she says.

Though valuable, Lasser describes the hotline as, ultimately, a “really good bandaid”, naming the publish-or-perish mentality and job insecurity as critical underlying factors. “If you know that you’re probably going to move every second year, then it’s hard to build a network, it’s hard to have a life outside of work…relationships are destroyed,” she says. “I’ve seen that in my circle quite a number of t imes.”

Supervisor behaviour, too, can have a decisive impact on young researchers, with bullying at one extreme. In 2018 allegations of bullying involving senior researchers at two Max Planck institutes hit the mainstream media. After assisting in the immediate aftermath, Lasser became part of a second task force addressing the issue at a systemic level. She spoke to hundreds of doctoral researchers, many of them victims, about their experiences, informing a white paper she wrote with her colleagues. Among a long list of recommendations were robust institutional frameworks for handling disputes promptly and mandatory management training for PIs. “When you become a

g r oup l e ade r o r p r o f e s s o r , y ou a r e no t ne c e ssarily educated to be a good manager” says Lasser. “We have to recognize that and train these people.”

Breaking down barriers Also based in Göttingen, Salma SohrabiJahromi is a PhD candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. Barriers – and breaking them down – is a theme that has popped up repeatedly in her c a r e e r . She i s a c ompu t a t i o na l b i o l o g i s t , who s w i t c h e d f r om b i o t e c hn o l o g y. A t r u e i n t e r d i sciplinarian, her research sits at the boundary between biology and physics, investigating the behaviour of biomolecular condensates and their physical properties in cells.

Political barriers – albeit indirectly – inspired Sohrabi-Jahromi to become active in the academic community as an undergraduate. Studying in Tehran in her home country Iran, she experienced the isolation of the local science community caused by political sanctions. Then, the city was chosen to host a rare international meeting in her field. She jumped at the chance to help organize it and network with visiting scientists. “It was really rewarding,” she recalls. Guests included a researcher from he r c u r r e n t i n s t i t u t e and, t h r oug h t hem, s he lear ned about t he Max Planck in ter nat ional graduate programme, which she eventually ended up joining.

In Germany, outside of her research, Sohrabi-Jahromi has helped tailor computerscience and statistics teaching in her institute, to better engage graduate biologists.

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Spurred on by her ear l ie r exper ience in Tehran, she has also helped organize events for early-career researchers, from seminars on careers and mental health for new PhDs, to interdisciplinary gatherings. “I’m particularly interested in bridging between different fields in science and somehow b r i n g i n g p e o p l e f r om d i f f e r e n t b a c k g r o und s together,” she says. One such event Sohrabi-Jahromi helps organize is Horizons, a local conference that brings scientists together from across the life sciences. There, she’s found it particularly gratifying to see collaborations sprout at the event, some of them lasting several year s.

When two fields collide, the rewards can be large. “In biology, a lot of amazing discoveries that have happened are by physicists,” she says, citing research by biophysicist and Nobel laureate Joachim Frank as a favourite example. He continues to advance cryogenic electron microscopy – an imaging technique he pioneered last century – to observe cell dynamics, facilitating research in molecular medicine.

Like Lasser, Sohrabi-Jahromi has no regrets about getting active in the scientific community. “It has helped me, really a lot, not only in meeting really amazing people and networking with them, but also to develop myself personally,” she says. “[I’ve learned] how to form groups and communicate with people and how to lead when things are not moving on.”

There is mounting evidence that large numbers of young scientists suffer from stress and mental illness

telescopes, as she was to discover. She is now keen to pursue a career in physics.

For Haegel, the experience highlighted how, without support, students often don’t make fully informed decisions when opting for a career in research – even more so in countries such as Morocco. “[These] problems that we experience everywhere in science are stronger in countries with less investment in research.”

Through ADARA, Haegel plans to expand her activities beyond internships, starting in Morocco. “The idea is to reach more Moroccan students and researchers by pro-

viding [scientific] seminars there, as this is a country where little money is available to invite researchers.” ADARA’s first events are p l a n n e d f o r s p r i n g 2 0 2 0 i n u n i v e r s i t i e s i n C a s a blanca, Rabat and Marrakech. She is also planning round-table events on careers and specific issues, such as grant applications, featuring local and international researchers.

While paying forward her privilege motivates Haegel, she also sees ADARA as one small step towards a more inclusive – and u l t i ma t e l y mo r e p r o du c t i v e – c ommuni t y t ha t s h e wou l d l i k e t o wo r k i n . “ I am n o t i n t e r e s t e d i n s c i ence being an e l i t i s t c l ub bu t i n spr eading i t as much as possible.”

More broadly, there are other aspects of academic culture that need be addressed, she says – including the pressure to publish, s y s t em i c b i a s e s a g a i n s t r e s e a r c h e r s who a r e carers, and financial barriers and visa diffic u l t i e s t ha t p r e v e n t n o n - We s t e r n r e s e a r c h e r s from attending conferences. Early-career scientists should play a part in driving change, she believes. “We don’t have to accept those drawbacks, and as young scientists, I feel that it is also our responsibility to solve these issues, so we can do better science as a non-elitist community.”

Jude Dineley i s a f r eelance wr i t er based in Bavaria, Germany

Empowering young scientists in Africa Based at the University of the Balearic Islands in Palma, theoretical physicist Leïla Haegel analyses gravitational-wave data from the prestigious LIGO experiment. Outside of her research, it’s been a busy year for the French postdoc. She welcomed the arrival of her first child – a little boy – and founded ADARA, the Association for the Development of Arab Research.

Haegel’s goal is to help empower young people in Arab countries who are interested in scientific research. She established ADARA to formalize her ef for t s af ter organizing a four-week internship in her group for a high-school student from Morocco – Haegel has s t r ong f amily t i e s i n t he count r y. T he s t ud e n t wa s i n t e r e s t e d i n b o t h s c i e n c e an d e n g in e e r i n g , b u t wa s un s u r e wh i c h p a t h t o f o l l ow.

Earlier in her career, Haegel did internships at CERN and her current university. “There should be more internships, just to s e e h ow t h i n g s a r e [ i n r e s e a r c h] ” s h e s a y s . “ I t wa s a g o o d e x p e r i e n c e f o r me.” T h e s t u d e n t ’ s internship was a success. She wrote her first Python code and got a taste of how astrophysicists work day-to-day – often without


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Case study: photonics

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Taking photonics into the future

Hugo Thienpont talks to Anna Demming about the importance of collaboration for the continued success of t he phot onic s s ec t o r


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P h o t o n i c s r e s e a r c h i n E u r o p e i s t h r i v i n g , w i t h numerous groups across different countries connecting together, and contributing a unique strand of expertise that advances knowledge and understanding across the field. But it has not always been this way, and Hugo Thienpont, director of photonics research at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, worries that fresh challenges may yet threaten this golden age of collaboration and progress.

Photonics research in Europe has long been a competitive business. Such compet i t i o n c an s pu r o n r e s e a r c h g r o up s t o a c h i e v e more than their rivals, but it doesn’t always foster a working environment that boosts the whole field. Groups vie with each other to be the f irst to publish, potentially wasting valuable resources, funding and energy.

In 2003, Thienpont therefore proposed a bold plan to establish a network that would help photonics researchers to work together – sharing best practices and expensive equipment while making sure that each group focuses on what it does best, something that has become known as “smart specialization”. But restructuring the research landscape across an entire continent was no mean feat, particularly for a young professor. “It was very, very bold to make that move,” s a y s T h i e np o n t . “ I had a v i s i o n and an approach that I think a lot of people liked, so they gave me the opportunity to collaborate with them to make i t happen.”

The result was the Network of Excellence on Micro-optics or “NEMO”, which received €6.4m from the European Commission, and ran from 2004 to 2010, with 30 member groups from 13 countries. More recently, Thienpont has become co-ordinator of ACTPHAST 4.0 (ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SMEs: a one STop-shopi n c ub a t o r ) – an i n c ub a t o r f o r pho t on i c s i nno

Captain NEMO Hugo T hienpont has helmed t he r es t r uc t ur ing of t he photonic s r esear ch.

vation focusing on the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe.

Teamwork makes the dream work The same love and aptitude for working with people has helped Thienpont to build the small r e s ear ch g r oup he s e t up i n 1990, a f t e r completing his PhD, into the Brussels Photonics Team – a globally acclaimed photonics centre with around 60 researchers and s t a f f . C r u c i a l t o h i s s u c c e s s ha s b e e n a s t r o n g strategic vision, along with plenty of perseverance and passion, but he clearly values working with his team. “What really matters, I think, is the joy of working with people on a daily basis,” he says. “You improve your own skills and those of others by collaborating.”

P h o t o n i c s r e s e a r c h a t t h e V r i j e Un i v e r s i t e i t B r u s s e l f o c u s e s o n m i c r o l a s e r s ; g r ap h e n e a s a nonlinear optical material; optical devices for medical applications; optical fibre sensors for measuring temperature, pressure and strain; and free-form optics – a lens technology that abandons the traditional spherical shape to avoid optical aberrations. Despite significant metrology and fabrication challenges, Thienpont describes free-form optics as “the next revolution in opt ical lenses”.

He also has clear ideas about what is needed to revolutionize the photonics sector as a whole. “The real challenge lies in

the interdisciplinary aspects for photonics,” says Thienpont, who cites the “key enabling technologies” (KETs) that have been identified by the European Commission as drivers of society and economy, along with the “cross-KETs” where these technologies work together, and where he believes photonics can play a crucial role. “We need to revolutionize photonics not only as a key enabling technology, but also to link it up to all the other key enabling technologies such as advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, nanotechnology and nanoelectronics, and new materials to create biophotonics, nano p h o t o n i c s , l a s e r s i n manu f a c t u r i n g , and o p t ical materials.”

This faith in the potential impact of interdisciplinary photonics research persuaded T h i e np o n t t o a c c e p t t h e r o l e o f e d i t o r - i n - c h i e f of the recently launched JPhys Photonics from IOP Publishing (which also publishes Physics World). “When asked about this new journal for photonics, I said I will accept this with great pleasure but on one condition – that we make it the first truly interdisciplinary journal for photonics. Because that’s the future.”

Open your minds Thienpont concedes that truly interdisciplinary work is not easy – not least because different disciplines use their own scientific

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language, but also because students are generally not educated to think beyond their own subject. In many ways the more specialized a field becomes, he thinks the greater the challenge for work that crosses more than one area of expertise. “It’s so easy to f a l l b a c k o n wha t y o u k n ow b e s t and n o t o p e n your mind to what others know best to see whether we can do things together,” he says. “So we’re going to work really hard to make interdisciplinarity the key feature of the JPhys Photonics.”

T h i e np o n t ’ s p a s s i o n an d z e a l f o r p h o t o n i c s was first kindled by a childhood obsession with science fiction, in particular Star Trek. “In those days, lasers were gimmicks – fascinating, but only used in science fiction,” he says. “I wanted to turn that science fiction into reality.” He lists many different technologies that first appeared in the cult fictional TV show nearly 40 years ago, that have since become a reality – everything from tractor b e ams and l a s e r c u t t e r s , t o s p e c i a l f l a t - p an e l displays. Indeed, many of the researchers he speaks to at conferences were “Trekkies” too, so perhaps it’s no coincidence that Star Trek ha s p r o v e d s u c h an a c c u r a t e f o r e c a s t f o r new technologies.

But Thienpont is concerned that the next generation of photonics researchers are not fired with the same enthusiasm. “Think

Optics and photonics are so disruptive, so positively engaging. But I don’t think that the majority of young people are impressed

about the exoplanets, everything that happens with the elementary particles, all the fantastic things that optics and photonics can do in the medical world, all the breakthroughs that are bettering cancer research – i t ’s just so disruptive, so positively engaging,” he says. “But I don’t think that the majority of young people are impressed. We’re currently creating a society that is built on knowledge and innovation, but I think that we are not going to have the workforce to sustain i t in the near future.”

These concerns have made Thienpont committed to nurturing the talents of young scientists, and together with his colleagues he has put in place an internationally rec-

ognized Master’s programme in photonics at Vrije Universiteit and Ghent University in Brussels. As vice-rector of the Vrije Universiteit, he has also been instructed to boost c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h i n d u s t r y. H e c o n s i d e r s p r omoting the economic and societal value of research as key to this role, and has worked closely with big industry players including Barco, Agfa-Gevaert, Commscope, Punch Graphix and Umicore, accruing 21 patents to his name.

Embrace others Thienpont clearly has plenty to fill his time. While no two days are the same, he can often be found giving keynote talks, working on panels to restructure the research and innovation ecosystem of Europe, or setting up new finance and support mechanisms. His advice for the photonics trailblazers of the future is to pursue their career with passion, perseverance and patience, but above all to embrace opportunities to work with other people. “I think every day is worth living, and living for research means teaming up with others,” says Thienpont. “For me, research comes second. The first thing is working together with people.”

Anna Demming i s a sc ience wr i t er based in Br i s t ol, UK

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Case study: materials

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Diamonds are a physicist’s best friend

Julianna Photopoulos talks to Pascal Gallo, co-founder and chief executive of Swiss start-up company LakeDiamond, about his career in quantum physics and c r y s t a l g r ow t h

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Pascal Gallo is a physicist who has had a passion for crystals and gemstones since childhood, thanks to his grandfather, a mine prospector in Africa who discovered the minerals marokite and gaudefroyite. As a youngster, Gallo would often gaze at the collection of minerals they had at home, and even trade precious stones in school. Today, he is the chief executive of Switzerlandbased start-up company LakeDiamond, which manufactures ultrapure diamonds that can be harnessed for various technologies – from laser-power beaming, autonomous vehicles to rapid battery charging and medical imaging.

Gallo’s initial interest in physics was piqued by reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, and by having developed a strong set of strong mathematical skills. He graduated from the National Institute of A pp l i e d S c i e n c e s ( I NSA) i n To u l o u s e , F r an c e , with a Master’s degree in engineering physics and management in 2002. “This engineering school had a branch dedicated to physics, but we would also learn law, finance and economy,” he recalls.

Growing crystals Gallo continued his studies at the INSA and earned his PhD on quantum physics and crystal growth in 2006. “My PhD focused on spin dynamics – how the spin of electrons will evolve during transport within materials. And to test those properties, we needed to grow pure semiconductors by a technique called molecular-beam epitaxy,” he says. Gallo’s research was carried out in c o l l ab o r a t i o n w i t h A l b e r t F e r t who s ha r e d t h e 2007 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on

Shine bright Pascal Gallo co - f ounded a company t o manufac t ur e diamonds f or use in t echnolog y.

spintronics. After his PhD, Gallo then spent around half a year working at the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems, also in Toulouse, where his research involved developing new semiconductor lasers, before joining Eli Kapon’s research group at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, later that same year, as a postdoc.

Over the next six years, Gallo worked on the interactions between light and matter in s em i c o ndu c t o r nan o s t r u c t u r e s , a t E P F L . Du ring that time, he developed diamond-based lasers and smashed a world record for laser-energy transmission. “We developed a certain class of lasers called VCSELs [vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers], and we got a world record by putting diamonds in the cavity of those lasers,” explains Gallo. “Diamond is the best conductor of heat, so whe n y o u e v a c ua t e t h e h e a t y o u c an i n c r e a s e the power without destroying your laser.”

It was shortly after this breakthrough that Gallo had the idea to launch a star t - up com

pany. He was, however, disappointed that he couldn’t find a good supply of ultrapure d i amond s . “ T h e r e wa s n o r e l i ab l e s o u r c e an d so we had two options: either drop the project or manufacture our own diamonds.” It wasn’t until 2011, when he met his business partner Theophile Mounier (LakeDiamond’s current chief financial officer) and the company NeoCoat, that together they developed both a single-crystal chemical vapour deposition reactor to grow artificial diamonds and a business plan for what would become LakeDiamond.

Starting up Between 2012 and 2014 Gallo worked with Kapon at BeamExpress, a Swiss start-up company that made ultrafast lasers for telecommunications. Among his duties as a research engineer and operation planner was to organize, plan and set up research projects with business partners and customers. He then worked at photonics start-up company Novagan as chief business

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development officer, before eventually cofounding LakeDiamond in 2015.

Gallo points out that he was lucky in that Kapon, who is now LakeDiamond’s head of photonics, knew a lot about business and had previously raised large amounts of venture money. “It showed me that i t was possible as a scientist to start a company.” What also helped was EPFL’s technology transfer office (T TO), especially as researchers there are encouraged to write patents. “When you found your company, you can go to the same T TO and exploit the patents that you wrote as a researcher,” Gallo says. “That’s exactly what I did with patents on the use of diamonds in laser s.”

Once Gallo and his team managed to grow diamonds in the lab – purer than natural ones – by l ayer i ng car bon a t oms i n a c r y s t alline pattern, he was approached by several physicists and companies that brought new ideas to LakeDiamond. Together, they are now addressing a wide range of innovative applications in micromechanics, photonics, electronics and biotechnology. “When you’re a physicist, you really understand what your product can bring and how you have to design the product to make something useful, which will be adopted by the market,” he says. At the same time, Gallo is collaborating with many of his former colleagues and pro

fessors. “It’s really important to keep a good relationship with other researchers you work with or study with as a student because you build up a network,” he says.

In 2018 LakeDiamond launched its own initial coin offering, issuing virtual “crypto tokens” that can be exchanged for diamonds or part of the turnover. “It turned out to be a very good idea,” says Gallo. “We managed to raise a substantial amount of money and to make the company grow.” The company now employs 12 people and Gallo is still involved in all the technical aspects. “I really love the idea that as a CEO who is a physicist I can go really deep into the development of all

I really love the idea that as a CEO who is a physicist I can go really deep into the development of all the product s

the products the company’s making. It gives c r e d i b i l i t y whe n we t a l k t o i n v e s t o r s o r p o t e nt ial par tner s.”

Role variation A s L a k e D i amond ’ s c h i e f e x e c u t i v e , Ga l l o ’ s j o b is intense but he enjoys the varied work that constantly keeps him on his toes. “I really l o v e t h i s a s p e c t o f t h e j o b , bu t i t r e qu i r e s a l o t of energy,” he says. “When I was working in the lab, I could choose the pace. Now I have to do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and the rhy thm changes all the t ime.”

Having coincidentally ended up in a similar career as his grandfather – although avoiding the human and environmental toll of diamond mining – Gallo believes today’s physics graduates have a wide variety of opportunities, as long as they are openminded and flexible. “You have to choose your car eer pat h t o be f l ex ib l e. You can have an idea in mind of where you want to go and in which field, but the exact path that you follow will be subject to who you meet, and so you really have to s t ay open and meet as many people as you can.”

Pascal Gallo i s co - f ounder and chie f execut i ve of Swiss start-up company LakeDiamond. Julianna Photopoulos i s a sc ience wr i t er based in Br i s t ol, UK

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Physics Education is the international journal for everyone involved with the teaching of physics in schools and colleges. The articles reflect the needs and interests of secondary school teachers, teacher trainers and those involved with courses up to introductory undergraduate level.

Editor: Gary Williams, Institute of Physics, UK We aim to provide professional development and support by providing: • a forum for practising teachers to make an active contribution

to the physics teaching community; • knowledge updates in physics, educational research and

relevant wider curriculum developments; • strategies for teaching and classroom management that will

engage and motivate students.

Visit iopscience.org/ped to find out more and to submit your work.

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Case study: computing

Particles of the future

Federico Carminati, computer physicist at CERN openlab, talks to Tushna Commissariat about career opportunities in high-energy physics and  computing


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As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, the spotlight is on pioneering computer scientist Tim BernersLee, who developed the concept at the CERN particle-physics lab near Geneva. He originally studied physics at the University of Oxford, but Berners-Lee is far from the only physicist to have had a fruitful career in computing. Just ask Federico Carminati, who is currently the chief innovation officer at CERN openlab. This is a public–private network that links CERN with other research institutions – as well as leading information and communications technology companies s u c h a s Goog l e , I BM and S i emens – t o i n v e stigate the potential applications of machine learning and quantum computing to highenergy physics.

With a keen interest in natural sciences from childhood – he begged his parents for a microscope, and wanted to study animals – Carminati’s interest in physics peaked towards the end of high school, thanks to his mathematical prowess. He graduated from the University of Pavia, Italy, in 1981 with a Master’s degree in physics. Strangely, there were no Italian universities offering PhDs in physics at the time. “So, I decided to start working immediately. My first job was at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where I worked as a high-energy physicist, on a muon-decay experiment,” Carminati says.

He spent a year working at Los Alamos, before his contract ended and was not renewed. “I began writing a number of letters looking for a job and, at the encouragement of my wife, I wrote to Nobel-prize-winning physicist Samuel Ting. Honestly, it was a very long shot and I didn’t think I was going to receive any answers,” he recalls. Luckily,

Data deluge Federico Carminati speaking at a CERN openlab quantum-computing workshop.

the eminent physicist found Carminati’s CV interesting and wrote to ask him whether he was “better” at computing or hardware. “I said I was better in computing. So he put me in contact with the California Institute of Technology,” where Carminati spent the next year, before being hired by CERN in a computing role.

Carminati has been at CERN since 1985, where he has held a variety of jobs, the first of which was at the CERN Program Library, which handles the organization’s data. The library essentially started as a collection of programs written for physicists at CERN experiments. “But it became a worldwide standard for computing in high-energy physics, “ Carminati says. “My task was to coordinate the development of this very large piece of code, and to distribute it. This was before the Web existed, so distributing it meant shipping large reel tapes of data.”

Later, Carminati became responsible for one specific part of this library – the GEANT detector simulation program. The idea here

was to carry out detailed and precise simulations of the very high-energy experiments they hoped to run on actual detectors in the future. Carminati worked on this until 1994. “I then decided to join the small team that was set up by the CERN director and Nobelprize-winner Carlo Rubbia, who decided to start working on the design of a new kind of reactor that would combine the technology o f nu c l e a r - p owe r r e a c t o r s and o f h i g h - e n e r g y accelerators.” Carminati worked as part of this small team for the next four years, which proved interesting even though the team’s prototype never saw the l ight of day.

From 1998 to 2012, Carminati worked on the ALICE experiment, one of the four main d e t e c t o r s a t t h e L a r g e Had r o n C o l l i d e r (LHC). Among his roles was that of computing co-ordinator, which meant that he was in charge of designing, developing and coordinating the computing infrastructure for this experiment. “I was also very involved in the development of CERN’s computing gr id,” he says.

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Formidable requirements Launched in 2002, CERN’s Worldwide LHC Computing Grid was a pioneering concept, as it allowed physicists across the globe to exploit the many petabytes of data generated each day when the LHC is running. It was key in allowing researchers to pin down the Higgs boson in 2012. While this global collaboration of computer centres is well established today – connecting more than 8000 physicists to thousands of computers in some 190 centres across 45 countries – it was a gargantuan task.

“We were asked to put down the computing requirements for the LHC on paper, in the late-1990s, and it emerged that they were so formidable that we were nearly accused of sabotaging the project,” exclaims Carminati, who says that it seemed as though the computing power needed was far beyond the funding provided to CERN. It was equally impractical to build and host such a large computing centre at the European lab.

The idea emerged to harness all of the computing facilities of the different laboratories and universities across the world that were already involved in the LHC, and integrate them into a single computing service. “Nowadays, everybody is talking about cloud computing, but at the time it was little more than science fiction,” says Carminati. “The interesting thing was that the funding agencies agreed to give us this computing power. But they wanted to make local investments b y h e l p i n g c r e a t e c e n t r e s o f c ompu t i n g e x c e llence in all the different countries,” he says, explaining that funders hoped that these centres would hire home-grown people and develop know-how in information technology l o c a l l y. “ I t wa s a f an t a s t i c ad v e n t u r e b e c au s e I travelled to places such as South Africa, Thailand and Armenia to help them set up computer centres.”

It was not all smooth sailing, though, as Carminati encountered “a tremendous amount of negotiation, and it took a lot of hard work to sell the concept to local politicians”. Carminati says a particular highlight was negotiating the South Korean computer c e n t r e f o r A L I C E . “ I had t o wo r k w i t h t h e c o untry’s ministry of science and education, and the local scientists too. I also did the same for India.”

Carminati’s role also involved helping users to exploit the computing power once it was established. “I was co-ordinator for ALICE’s experimental computing infrastructure between 1998 and 2012, which was much too long if you ask me. It was fun and c r e a t i v e un t i l t h e L HC wa s s w i t c h e d o n . When the machines started, it was exhausting. When the LHC is running we are in ‘produc


Digital innovator Feder i co Carminat i at CERN.

tion mode’,” says Carminati. “You have to be ready to process the vast amounts of data. It becomes a very complex organizational task where you have to co-ordinate hundreds of developers, distributed around the world, providing software to a central depository, all on a very tight time schedule. There are some very hard choices you have to make, when it comes to time versus quality, and the whole thing is tough and exhausting.”

Carminati spent 2013–2017 back at GEANT, working on improving the performance of the simulation program on new computing architectures, and developed the new generation of code used to simulate particle transport at CERN. During that time he also managed to obtain his PhD, from the University of Nantes in France.

Open for business Now based at CERN openlab, Carminati explains that computing technologies are currently evolving so fast that evaluating

It is so important to explore quantum computing, because 10 years from now we will have a shortage of a factor of 100, when it comes to computing time

them only once they are on the market is “not good enough”. CERN openlab is one of the few units at the European lab explicitly carrying out research into computing.

The aim is for CERN to reach out to high-energy physics users, as well as commercial users, to highlight techniques developed in-house, while also collaborating on projects with other institutions. For example, CERN openlab is currently working with Unosat, the UN’s technology platform that deals with satellite imagery and analysis, which has been hosted at CERN since 2002. One of their joint projects is to evaluate the movement of large refugee populations across the globe, to know how many people are at any given refugee camp, which can often be difficult or even dang e r o u s t o r e a c h . One way t o a s s e s s p o pulation density is to count the tents at a camp. “We are experts in machine learning and artificial intelligence,” says Carminati, “so we are working with Unosat to develop programs to automatically count the tents in satellite pic tures.”

Another planned collaboration is with Seoul National University’s Bundang Hospital in South Korea, which Carminati says has a “fantastic health information system and patient records, from many years”. CERN openlab is trying to find the resources to begin a project with the hospital to “use machine learning to see whether we can correlate the classifications that artificial intelligence can make of patient records in actual diagnosis”. The idea is to find out if a machine-learning system could learn to make a diagnosis of its own, or pick up people who may have a “double diagnosis” – those with two diseases that are always coupled – thereby having a case for creating a new diagnostic category.

When i t comes to the impact of quantum computing on the future of high-energy physics, Carminati is convinced that CERN must start thinking about tomorrow’s comput ing technolog y today. “ I t is so impor t ant to explore this, because 10 years f rom now we will have a shortage of a factor of 100, whe n i t c ome s t o c ompu t i n g t i me.” T h e o t h e r v i t a l i s s u e i s t h e amoun t o f da t a b e i n g t a k e n at the LHC, and any future colliders, as they search for physics beyond the Standard Model. “We are now looking for something very subtle. With the Higgs we said that we we r e l o o k i n g f o r a n e e d l e i n a hay s t a c k . Now the new game is that we will make a stack of needles, and then look within it for the odd one out.”

This means that particle physicists will be taking and classifying an incredible amount of data, and then processing it with extreme

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Like the sound of a career in defence and security?

Then check out these profiles:

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Physics World  Careers 2020

precision, all of which will require an increase in computing power. “We may be increasing t h e amoun t o f da t a t ha t we t a k e and t h e qua lity of the detectors. But we cannot expect our c ompu t i n g b u d g e t t o b e i n c r e a s e d b y a f a c t o r of 100,” says Carminati. “We are just going to have to f ind new sources of ver y fast computing, and quantum computing is a strong candidate.”

While he is clear that none of today’s quantum computers are anywhere near that mark, he believes that quantum computing will mature, partly thanks to investment by industry. “Whenever this happens, I think we have to be ready for it, to exploit it as best we can. We would be able to use a quantum c ompu t e r a c r o s s t h e b o a r d – f r om s i mu l a t i o n and detector construction, through to data analysis and computing speed-ups. It is very important to start developing our programs and sof tware now.”

Carminati points out that, were the quantum revolution to arrive, scientists would have to completely rewrite their codes, as he believes there is nothing like a universal quantum computer. “Can we have software that is agnostic of the specific kind of computing that we are using? We will have to develop a new angle, and so this is a large part of our research”. Last November Carminati organized the first ever workshop on quantum computing in high-energy physics at CERN, to get a head start on these very issues.

Outside the box All of this means that today’s physics gradua t e s w i l l ha v e a w i d e v a r i e t y o f o pp o r t un i t i e s when it comes to jobs across the fields. “A physicist is trained to creatively solve comp l e x p r o b l ems u s i n g ma t h ema t i c s , w i t h a l o t of thinking outside the box,” says Carminati. “We train so many physicists at CERN, and sometimes it is frustrating to see them leave, but we cannot keep everybody, this we know. Our consolation is knowing that we’re giving them a skillset that it is really applicable to many other research fields, and across industr y.”

Today, there is a global hunger for machine-learning and quantum-computing exper ts, with countries from the US to India and China looking to t rain and develop such expertise. Carminati has a very optimistic outlook for today’s graduates who may be considering one of these fields. “Try to have as much constructive fun as you can in doing your research, because it’s a fascinating job.”

Tushna Commissariat i s r ev iews and car eer s editor of Physics World

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Fellows, staff and Trustees at the Daphne Jackson Trust 2019 Conference

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(Page 24)

Case study: optics

The art of continuous transformation

How does an industrial physicist end up in an arts faculty working on historic printing processes – and why? Susanne Klein tells Joe McEntee all about it


r a n k M e n g e


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Back when the 18-year-old Susanne Klein was considering her subject options for university, friends and family assumed that it wa s a s t r a i g h t f o r wa r d p i c k b e t we e n a d e g r e e in law (her father was a barrister) or German literature (her strongest subject at school). It turns out they were half-right. Klein did i nd e e d f a c e a b i na r y c h o i c e – j u s t n o t t h e o n e that everyone had anticipated. “When I went t o r e g i s t e r a t un i v e r s i t y, I wa s n ’ t s u r e whe t h e r to opt for German literature or physics,” she explains. “I flipped a coin, that’s literally how I decided, and once it landed for physics I figured why not – this will be much more of a challenge. I ’ve never looked back.”

Since then, it’s fair to say that Klein has made a point of defying convention. In her student days, she admits to being driven to succeed, at least in part, by the somewhat unenlightened guidance of one physics professor. “He actually said to me ‘physics is not for girls, you are on the wrong course’,” she explains. “I thought to myself: ‘you old bastard – I’ll show you’!”

Spurred on, Klein has taken the path less travelled as a professional physicist, pushing and crossing boundaries between industry and academia, theoretical and e x p e r i men t a l r e s e a r c h , a s we l l a s h e r h omeland in Germany and adopted home in the UK – long before Brexit was even a word. In her la t es t inc ar nat ion, K l e in f inds her sel f at another interface – this time between art and science – as an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) manufacturing fellow in the Centre for Fine Pr in t Research at t he Univer s i t y of t he West of England (UWE) in Bristol.

Based in the UWE arts faculty, the fellowship sees Klein heading up a five-year

Printworks Susanne Klein and her research team at the University of the West of England are giving 19th-century printing processes a 21st-century makeover.

project (2018–2023), funded to the tune of £1.2m, with the goal of reimagining two 19th-century printing processes – Woodburytype and Lippmann photography. These historic technologies have been largely forgotten as they were not commercially competitive, despite the fact that they produce prints far superior to anything available today. “My task is to find out how they did it and then give these processes a 21stcentury makeover so that they are cheaper, faster and more accessible,” Klein explains.

That makeover seeks to exploit Klein’s diverse research experience – spanning colloidal chemistry, optics and 3D printing – as well as an extensive network of industry and academic contacts developed over two decades working as a senior scientist at Hewlett-Packard (HP). If she and her team are successful, the resulting high-quality, continuous-tone printing processes will likely find a range of high-end commercial applications: from original works of art and

designer fashion to the packaging of luxury goods and unhackable anticounterfeiting for pharmaceuticals and credit cards.

So what’s life like working as a scientist surrounded by artists? Klein sees a lot of hands-on knowledge, craftsmanship and deep understanding among her UWE colleagues, adding that “people are very generous with that knowledge”. However, boundaries remain between the two cultures. “Science is almost forgotten in art,” she says. “There is a real block, in the sense that a lot of people who study ar t hated science in school.”

For Klein, though, this feels like an opportunity. By helping arts students and researchers to understand the science better, she reasons, it should be possible for them to deliver better outcomes in their art. “If you know how to make your inks and how colour is generated, for example, you don’t need to experiment so much – there is less t r ial and er ror.”

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Industry insights Klein’s current research post at UWE is no outlier. Throughout her career, she has s oug h t new r e s e a r c h d i r e c t i on s on a r e gu l a r basis. A PhD in theoretical physics – which focused on analytical methods for treatment planning in radiation therapy – was followed by a stint at Deutsche Telekom, Germany’s biggest telecommunications company, where she worked on nextgeneration optical switching technologies for fibre-optic networks. Then came the move to the UK – permanent as i t turns out – as a Royal Society research associate, working on theoretical and experimental aspects of classical optics in Michael Berry’s group at the University of Bristol.

For the most part, though, Klein’s “scientific DNA” has been shaped by the time she spent as an industrial R&D scientist at HP Labs in Bristol. Her unwillingness to be typecast was evident – in fact encouraged – at HP, where her research programme spanned from liquid crystals and advanced display materials, through 3D printing technologies to optical cryptography.

That adaptability and openness to new r esearch pathways holds a le s son for ear l y career scientists, says Klein. “Physics can come across as a dull, secret society – an unattractive choice for free spirits who

Susanne Klein in brief

Things she does when not doing science: taekwondo (K lein is a black belt, 3rd dan) and mountain biking (she ran all-female group in Gloucestershire for several years, exasperated by the macho male mountain-biking culture).

Three “must-haves” for a desert island: book – The Long Ships: a Saga of the Viking Age by Frans Bengtsson; music – Seasick Steve; possession – Swiss army knife.

On women in physics: “I don’t want to tell young women it’s easy. When you go into physics there’s no red carpet – you have to fight for it. If you know that, and you’re ready for i t , then i t ’s no problem.”

On optimism: “When I was young, I thought we’d have a world revolution, and everyone would be equal by the time I was grown up. Well I ’m st i ll waiting!”

want to be creative. I try to show young people that physics is something exciting, collaborative, an adventure. You just have to dare.”

Having crossed from academia to industry and back again on several occasions, Klein is well placed to advise on what it t akes t o pr osper on bot h s i des o f t he f ence. Money, of course, is right up there. “At HP, as long as you sold your projec t t o t he company you were never short of money for your R&D,” Klein explains. “And I was a good seller of the science, both within HP as well as to the customers.”

Put another way, successful science is not just about the results, it’s the story you tell about those results – and telling that story with passion, energy and enthusiasm. “You have to be a good entertainer and be remembered as a person who is really connected with the science,” Klein adds. “If you just show your results, the audience will fall asleep and you will be forgot ten.”

For Klein, that passion for science (and art) remains as strong as ever – perhaps not surprising given that the EPSRC fellowship is very much her dream job. “The environment at UWE suits my personality and approach. I can spread my wings,” she concludes. “You can apply your ideas directly and quickly here. I also get to be more eccentric and no - one notices.”

Joe McEntee i s a cont r ibu t ing edi t or based in south Glouces t er shir e, UK

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Case study: medical physics

A versatile technology


i c a

l a s m a M e d

r r a p

T e

Julia Zimmermann, co-founder of the German start-up firm Terraplasma, speaks to Julianna Photopoulos about how a desire to develop applications for cold atmospheric plasmas led her to co-found a family of companies

Medical physics The plasma care® is a mobile device for treating wounds and uses cold-plasma technology.

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Plasma, or hot ionized gas, makes up most of the matter in the universe. Consisting of free electrons and positively-charged ions, plasmas have unique proper ties, such as the ability to generate reactive species, excited atoms and molecules, ultraviolet radiation and electromagnetic fields. Although plasmas are normally very hot, scientists have been able to bring them down to room tempe r a t u r e s and p r oduc e t he s e gas e s a t a tmosp h e r i c p r e s s u r e , wh i l e k e e p i n g t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s and allowing them to be used on Ear th.

For biophysicist Julia Zimmermann, these high-energy particles sparked a desire to develop various applications for cold atmospheric plasmas. This led her to co-found a f am i l y o f c ompani e s f o c u s e d o n wound t r e a tment, emissions control and more.

Why did you decide to start your first company? It came out of the scientific work I was doing with my co-founder, Gregor Morfill, at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching. I started working on plasma medicine there after doing my degree in physics and my PhD in biophysics, and we worked very hard on evaluating and developing cold atmospheric plasma devices for different applications. It was a very good time because we were able to build up a big group with a lot of scientists, engineers and medical doctors, with funding from the Max

Planck Society (MPS).

But the MPS wanted us to do a technology transfer, and there were also companies that wanted to pay us to work for them because we had some patents that they were interested in. So we founded our company, Terraplasma, with the MPS as a shareholder. It wasn’t really an active decision from us scientist s. I t was just the nex t step.

What skills did you and your co-founder bring to Terraplasma? My co-founder is also my dad, so this works quite well! He’s a plasma physicist, and he brings knowledge about cold plasmas, p l a sma t e c hn o l o g y and t h e a s s o c i a t e d p h y sical theories. I bring knowledge of biophysics and medicine. In addition to my biophysics PhD, I also did my Habilitation i n medic i ne a t t h e Te c hn i c a l Un i v e r s i t y o f Muni c h i n t h e a r e a o f c o l d p l a sma - b a s e d t r e a t men t s f o r med i c a l conditions, mainly focusing on wound treatment. So we were able to put together the plasma technology and the theory behind it in different application areas, such as medical technology, hygiene, drinking water treatment, odour management – things that also need biology.

Neither of us had much knowledge about business, so there was a lot of trial and error. You can learn a lot from colleagues, though. After we founded the company, we went into a so-called “founding centre” where you can

exchange knowledge with other start-up companies and learn from them and their managing directors.

How has the company changed over the years? We s t a r t e d w i t h t wo p e o p l e an d j u s t o n e r o om. A l t hough we’r e s t i l l small, wi t h 12 employees, we now have three indoor labs and an external technical lab. We made some important inve s tment s to build up all t hese labs, so t hat we can develop prototypes. We also founded two subsidiary companies, Terraplasma Medical and Terraplasma Emission Control, in 2016 and 2018 respectively, after founding the “mother company” in 2011. This was an active decision from our side: we wanted to get investors in, rather than just working in partnership with big companies, as we’re d o i n g a t Te r r ap l a sma . A t Te r r ap l a sma Med i c a l , we now have a smal l mobil e de v i c e f o r c h r on i c wound treatments called the plasma care® that is currently undergoing CE cer t i f icat ion.

What have been your biggest challenges? We founded Terraplasma Medical with a company called Dynamify. It has people with k n ow l e d g e i n d e v e l o p i n g me d i c a l d e v i c e s , we had knowledge in developing cold plasma, s o i t s e emed l i k e i t wou l d f i t p e r f e c t l y t o bu i l d a cold plasma medical device together. The problem was that we didn’t have any money to develop it. We needed €4m, and it’s a big

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challenge to look for investors if your founders are companies, not individual people. Investors don’t like that. Getting qualified people and keeping them in a small company is also a big challenge.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known before you got started with the company? To be patient. I’m a very impatient person and I’m learning patience. If I had known how long some things take, it would have made l i f e e a s i e r . I n s c i e n c e , y o u n e e d p a t i e n c e w i t h your work, but I think it requires a different kind of patience if you’re waiting for other companies to react or answer. You just can’t do anything to speed up the process. Doing science or development is more fun than wa i t i n g f o r c o n t r a c t s o r d i s c u s s i n g c o n t r a c t s .

Do you have any advice for somebody who’s just star t ing their own business? If you found a company, it’s really important that the basic contracts you’re building it on – your shareholder agreement, statute and inves tment contrac t , for example – are set up correctly. That way, you still have a “say” in your business, and i t ’s clear what will happen i f you get investors in who will want to sell the company at some point. But one has to be c a r e f u l wha t one s i g n s . I f y ou c ome f r om a un i-


i c a

l a s m a M e d

r r a p

T e

Start-up starter Biophysicist Julia Zimmermann co - f ounded Ter r aplasma in 2011.

If you’re a woman founding a company, just ignore stupid comments from stupid people

versity, you may not know anything about contracts, except your own employment contract, and for me it was totally new. So my advice is to buy a book and read about contract law because there’s a lot of stuf f in that area that one doesn’t understand in the beginning.

B e c au s e we ha v e n ow f o und e d t wo dau g hter companies as well, we know a lot, but it was really “learning by doing”. For the first c ompany, we had s ome f und s t o p a y o u r l e g a l costs, but investors have more money and they can hire a lot of lawyers, who of course work to get the best deal for their clients. We were lucky in that we had enough money to get a lawyer who was very good and who was able to explain to me exactly what was in every paragraph of the contract. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have understood it as it’s just not my language.

Also, if you’re a woman founding a company, just ignore stupid comments from stupid people. The start-up world is a very male-driven environment and people do say strange things sometimes.

Julia Zimmermann is co-managing director and co-founder of Terraplasma, chief technology officer of Terraplasma Medical and an adviser for Terraplasma Emission Control. Julianna Photopoulos i s a sc ience wr i t er based in Br i s t ol, UK

2 7

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Physics World  Careers 2020

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Case study: space missions

Stepping stones to space Libby Jackson, human exploration programme manager at the UK Space Agency, talks to Tushna Commissariat about taking chances, making bold choices, and finding her way into the space sector



r o u s e

C a

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When she was eight years old, physicistturned-engineer Libby Jackson penned and illustrated a “travel guide to Mars”. Part of a s choo l as s i g nment s e t ove r t he summer ho l iday s , s h e wa s mean t t o r e s e a r c h a p l a c e t ha t she someday hoped to visit. Jackson decided upon a rather more liberal interpretation of the assignment, as she dreamed of a terraformed Martian surface, teeming with “an amazing selection of hotels you could stay at [and] also plenty of marzipan and Mars bars to go around”. Space has been a lifel o n g p a s s i o n f o r J a c k s o n an d t o day s h e i s t h e human exploration programme manager for the UK Space Agency.

“M y i n t e r e s t ha s a l way s b e e n i n s p a c e , b u t when I was younger, I didn’t know that the UK had a space industry or that you could p o s s i b l y b e an e n g i n e e r o r a s c i e n t i s t wo r k i n g in that field,” says Jackson. Indeed, it was only when she spent a week of her summer holidays at Space School UK at the age of 16, that she learnt about the many different roles, beyond that of an astronaut, that the space sector affords. Jackson went on a visit to what was then Matra Marconi Space company in Bristol, which later became Astrium, and subsequently Airbus. “I clearly remember my fascination that day, seeing real space hardware and satellites that were being built here in the UK. That was when I had t h e f i r s t i n k l i n g t ha t p e r hap s o n e day t h i s might be something I could do. But at the time, my focus really was on my impending GC SE s and t h e n A - l e v e l s and o n t o un i v e r s i t y. So while the seeds were sown, I still couldn’t really see how I ’d get there just yet.”

Space stories L ibby Jack son speaking at t he 2019 Bluedot Fes t i val in t he UK .

In fact, this is something that Jackson is keen to tell students today, who may have a “big crazy dream” but might not know how to fulfil it. “When you are at university, and you look at people you admire or who are doing jobs that you want – know that none of these people would have known how they would get there either, when they were 15. You may be able to look back and see the path, but for now it’s just a series of stepping stones. Just look for the lily pad or the next stone that seems interesting to you, and if you’re enjoying i t , then that ’s the r ight way.”

For Jackson, the next life-changing step came a year later aged 17, when she had to organize a week of work shadowing. On a whim, Jackson and a friend used the latter’s e-mail account (few people had e-mail access at the time) to contact NASA, and by some stroke of luck, she and the friend were invited to spend two weeks at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, US. “We saw the neutral buoyancy lab where they trained astronauts. We even got into the building where they house all the Apollo lunar rocks, and to this day, I’ve not seen those since.”

But what Jackson r emembers most f r om t hat trip is the time she spent at mission control. “I sat next to Kathy Larson, who was working on a propulsion systems console – she was s hu t t l e f l i g h t c o n t r o l l e r , and t h e y we r e r unn i n g simulations for shuttle launches and aborts. And I just put the headset on, and I thought, ‘ This is i t…this is where I want to be.’ ”

After getting her A-levels in physics, ma t h s , f u r t h e r ma t h s and mus i c , J a c k s o n d i d a BSc in physics at Imperial College, London. She t hen enr o l l ed f or a Master ’s in aer onautics and space engineering at Cranfield University in 2002. Between the two degrees, Jackson did a summer placement at EADS Astrium (now Airbus), working with a team on synthetic-aperture radar imaging – indeed, her thesis research was also done with the group. At the end of her degree, the same group offered her a job. “While the work was interesting for a summer, it just didn’t excite me enough, so I turned them down, with nothing else on the horizon,” says Jackson.

As it happened, this was the right decision – Jackson put together a CV, which stated that she was looking to work specifically in

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mission control and operations, and sent it to a variety of graduate schemes and several of the space companies in the UK. “In the end, it was Astrium that invited me for an interview. It turned out that they were looking for graduates to work in a team to develop a satellite operations centre, and this became my f ir st job.”

Jackson spent the next three and a half years at Astrium as an operations engineer. Despite being one of only two female engineers in her team at the time, she always felt welcome. “I’ve been lucky. I certainly hear hor r o r s t o r i e s abou t ac ademia and eng i neeri ng , bu t I t h i nk t he spac e s e c t o r i s a b i t d i f f e rent. That’s a very important message I’d like to get out. I’m not for a minute pretending that sexism isn’t an issue in the sector, but I want young people to know that this can be a welcoming place, no matter your gender, race or sexual or ientation.”

Variety of life Around 2007, once Europe became part of the International Space Station (ISS) and the Columbus science lab module was to be launched, Jackson moved to Munich and became an instructor at the Columbus Control Centre, and spent the first year and a half training flight controllers. A few years later, the opportunity arose for her to become a

I want young people to know that the space sector can be a welcoming place, no matter your gender, race or sexual orientation

flight director, and she jumped at the chance.

So what’s a day in the life of a flight director like? “Well, every day is different, as you’re making decisions and problemsolving, while working with an amazing team of ver y t alented people. T here were daily science experiments to be run, and there might be some maintenance to do. Always, we had to keep the crew safe, keep the vehicle safe, and then get on with the mission. The mantra for mission control is crew, vehicle, mission. And you do all of this while working at the forefront of human exploration.”

Today, Jackson works at the UK Space Agency, leading the country in human space exploration. “I work with our astronauts, and on the science that goes on at the ISS. I work with academia and industry to make sure everyone can make the most of the UK’s space endeavours.”

At the end of 2019, the European Space Agency (ESA) – which the UK will still be a member of post-Brexit – planned on hosting a meeting of all its member states, to agree on future programmes and funding. “The decisions that will be made at the end of this year should see ESA commit to part of the lunar gateway and the return of humans to the Moon, and part of the mission to return samples from Mars. The UK is hoping to be a part of these, and my job is to be writing the business cases that will be put to the UK Treasury, to make the case for the UK’s investment in these missions.”

J a c k s o n i s empha t i c t ha t t h e s p a c e s e c t o r is thriving. “We need people to join in, and physics is an ideal route into it, as you’ve seen from my story. Whether that’s getting into space to do research, or whether it’s any one of the many other roles, there’s something for ever yone.”

Tushna Commissariat i s r ev iews and car eer s editor of Physics World

Department of Space and Climate Physics

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Beyond physics: materials engineering

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Science at the surface Mike DeArmond i s a s a l e s eng i neer f o r SIGMA Sur f ac e Sc i enc e. He wor k s w i t h

researchers to define and provide solutions for experimental programmes

focusing on materials, condensed matter and surface science

What sparked your interest in physics? I originally studied mechanical engineering, where we had an elective lab associated with my modern physics course that revolved around gamma-ray spectroscopy. This, combined with a gentle nudge from the professor who would become my adviser, led me to change to physics. One aspect of the lab was a series of mock poster sessions where we had to defend our work to a panel of professors. Being a department centred on physics education, the demand on explaining the underlying physical details of an experiments was high, and it was that challenge that pushed me to learn the subject better. Around this same time, I began lingering around my soon-to-be lab, peeking in and asking questions. This led to my first research project, which included resurrecting old equipment and building up apparatus from scratch. I think for a lot of students this is where they fade out and quit, but I revelled in it. Those early challenges represent some of my most satisfying lab experiences.

Did you ever consider an academic career? My Master’s degree was focused on thin films, and constructing and characterizing an atmospheric atomic-force microscope using a tuning-fork sensor. I was totally new to all of nanotechnology so it was a bit like being back at square one. I pivoted during my PhD, which was based around multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and ultrafast laser generation. I began graduate school with the singular goal of entering academia upon finishing. During my studies, however, I was introduced to a number of previously unknown career pathways through my peers and various academic collaborations.

How did you get into instrumentation? From the outset, my experimental work depended on me designing and building

Physics World  Careers 2020

my own equipment, and I quickly learned the benefit of understanding how the tools I was using worked. Combined with the mock poster sessions, I gained an appreciation for the experimental equipment in the lab. I think there’s a benefit to working with a limi t e d budge t , whi c h f o r c e s y ou t o make s omething from scratch and inspires you to build things and build them better. We didn’t have off-the-shelf equipment, so I had to make my first controller from a circuit design tool, t h e n p r i n t and e t c h i t , s o l d e r t h e c omponen t s and programme the microprocessor. I even had to build the box. Each step was something brand new to me, but that only made it more satisfying. When I went on to graduate school and worked in a lab that specialized in these efforts, my admiration for what was required for this sort of work was multiplied many times over.

What were some of the challenges in moving from academia into a business role? Prior to taking my role at Mantis SIGMA (which became SIGMA Surface Science in 2019), I had never considered the costs associated with manufacturing a product. As a student making equipment from scratch, there is no consideration for someone making the same thing at a later date, and little outside of a lab notebook regarding documentation. Entering a sales position confronted me with what seemed like a strange maze of suppliers, costs, reliability, market and currency fluctuations, to say nothing of the engineering work that goes into each system or product.

What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities as a sales engineer? To my surprise, I probably read more journal articles today than I did as a graduate student. My role involves having a good understanding of the current literature and

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I think a physics background’s benefit always boils down to the abilit y to problem solve

being aware of trends in a wide range of disciplines. The scientific advances that I now need to be familiar with are across a much larger scope than the singular focus you have as a graduate student.

How has your physics background been helpful in your work, if at all? I think a physics background’s benefit always boils down to the ability to problem solve. We are trained (sometimes unknowingly) to look at complex and multifaceted problems; quickly understand the underlying principles; and develop an approach to solve the problem. Something I often find myself tapping into is my ability and tendency to do approximations, to assess whether a certain experiment or approach is feasible at all. As a physicist, you often do back- of - t he - envelope calculat ions to get a sense of a broader topic.

Any advice for today’s students? Tw o t h i n g s . F i r s t , I ’d s a y i t ’ s i mpo r t an t t o r e a lize that there are no boundaries as to where you can take your career, if you have built it on the foundation of physics. I offered a challenge to a group of undergraduate students to go to the jobs page of any national or international company they could think of (starting with tech companies) and search using the keyword “physics” to see how many positions pop up. The fact is that the tool-set provided by a physics education is highly valued and widely recognized, for good reason. Second, don’t stop learning. When presented with a new challenge, don’t b e a f r a i d t o t a k e i t o n and e x p and y o u r k n ow ledge and experience base. As long as you aren’t significantly deviating from your academic programme, you should chase these opportunities.

Mike DeArmond has now left SIGMA Surface Science, and works at T hor labs

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Like the sound of a career in materials science?

Then check out these profiles:

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Beyond physics: immersive technologies

Where art and industry collide

Will Foxall is a creative technologist for the South West Creative

Technology Network, based at the Watershed in Bristol, UK

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What sparked your interest in physics? When I was about seven, I went on a tour of Jodrell Bank Observatory with my primary s c h o o l h e ad t e a c h e r and h e r k i d s . I r emember loving every bit of it, wanting to know how everything worked and then coming home with a pack of glow-in-the-dark stars with which I covered my bedroom ceiling.

As a sixth-form student I was fortunate enough to have really inspiring maths and physics teachers, Donald Steward and Lisa Greatorex, who made these subjects not only interesting, but also fun. At the same time, Brian Cox started making appearances on BBC’s Horizon and, while I wouldn’t attribute too much of my decision -making proces s to a TV presenter, I guess you could class me as one of the early physics students in the “Brian Cox Ef fec t ”.

What did your physics degree focus on? Did you ever consider a permanent academic career? While I discovered a fascination for particle physics and quantum mechanics in particular, I never lost that childhood wonder about s p a c e . F o r my f i na l - y e a r p r o j e c t , I f o und my s e l f peering into the sky through the University of Bristol’s optical telescope on the roof of the physics department. We were asked to calibrate the sensor and then test it with some o b s e r v a t i o n s , wh i c h g r an t e d u s s p e c i a l a c c e s s t o t h e r o o f a t n i g h t . I r emember g e t t i n g p a r t i c ularly twitchy during consistently cloudy nights i n t h e mon t h b e f o r e o u r p r o j e c t wa s du e b u t we got a window of c lear night s at t he las t minute and managed to secure a f ir st for the project.

A t t h e e nd o f my BS c I f o un d my s e l f k e e n t o apply my knowledge in some different fields. My b e s t mar k s we r e i n t h e p r a c t i c a l e l emen t s of my degree such as my final-year experiments, and so further research was not for me. Retrospectively, perhaps the most useful bits of my degree were the programming and Physics World science-communication modules that the univer sit y was running.

How did your interest in the arts, especially television and film technologies, emerge? I come f r om a ve r y c r ea t i ve f amily. My par en t s a r e b o t h a r t t e a c h e r s t u r n e d p h o t o g r a p h e r a n d graphic designer, and my sister has worked with a host of performing-arts organizations. I spent my teenage years playing music and creating shor t f i lms with my f r iends.

After graduating from university, I was looking for opportunities that could use the analytical approach gained from my physics d e g r e e , wh i l e r e c o nn e c t i n g w i t h t h e a r t s t ha t I enjoyed as a teenager. As a result, I joined Bristol’s television industry as a runner and worked my way up through a number of technical roles, looking after some exciting natur al his t or y shows f or t he BBC and mult i screen cinemas in Japan.

When 360 video and VR began to boom, I started app development that introduced me to some of the innovative creative technology work that happens in Bristol.

What does your current role as “creative technologist” entail? What projects are you working on at the moment? The South West Creative Technology Network is a partnership between four uni

versities (UWE, Bath Spa, Falmouth and Plymouth) as well as the Watershed media centre in Bristol and the Kaleider production studio in Exeter. It’s a knowledgeexchange programme that creates connections across academia and industry to c r eate innovat ion in t hr ee ar eas of in t er es t ; immersion, automation and data. As a crea t i ve t echnolog i s t , I ge t invol ved in al l sor t s of fascinating conversations with research fellows and prototypers working on these themes. I try to identify the technical hurdles they may encounter and then help work out the best route to tackle them as they ar ise.

The projects we’re working on include the use of motion-capture data to improve mobility in the elderly, the creation of new musical instruments in virtual reality and extending the story of a theatrical performance beyond the confines of the stage.

How has your physics background been helpful in your work, i f at all? I’d say that, in particular, I improved two skills through studying physics, and they have been invaluable to my career. First, a solid understanding of the core concepts that physics is built on, whether that’s mathematical methods or how to derive equations. Second, and the most transferable skill, is the ability to break a problem down into a variety of approaches and then systematically solve it.

Any advice for today’s students? If you have an idea of where you want your interest s to take you, then st ick to that goal and go for it. That’s what got me to the univ e r s i t y I wan t e d t o g o t o , s t u d y i n g t h e d e g r e e I picked. However, if you don’t, that’s where it gets really exciting; most of my decisions since graduating have been what I consider t h e “ b e s t c h o i c e a v a i l ab l e t o me a t t h e t i me”, wh i c h ha s l e d me t o whe r e I am now. And I ’m ver y happy with that!

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“Variety is the spice of life” is often the phrase trotted out when you are justifying why you can’t settle down in your career. You keep switching courses or jobs because there is an itch for something different, a yearning for new experiences. If this is you, on the face of it, joining a 40-year-old company with excellent staff retention seems like a bad move. But Tessella is not your average company – variety is its lifeblood. Tessella is an international data science, analytics and AI technology consulting services provider. With a client roster that includes some of the biggest names in science and engineering, the company helps its clients to address complex technical challenges by unlocking the power of their data, enabling them to make betterinformed business decisions. That might mean helping pharmaceutical companies to solve computational problems in drug discovery and development, ultimately allowing them to get drugs to market faster. Or it may involve writing algorithms and figuring out the complex mathematics needed to control satellites and radar systems. “Just recently I’ve been working on a year-long project to develop an internal web app for BP that helps them evaluate commercial and financial opportunities,” says Tessella Consultant David Michel. “Before that it was something completely different – completely different domain, completely different technology.” The “completely different” project Michel refers to is a four-year overhaul of the systems and software used to control the neutron and muon instruments at the Central Laser Facility (CLF), a world-leading centre for highenergy laser research at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, UK. It provides both high-power and high-sensitivity lasers for a wide range of scientific applications, from atomic and plasma physics to medical diagnostics, biochemistry and environmental science. Based at the client’s site every day, Michel helped transition CLF’s operation to a more automated instrumentation control system, using open-source distributed soft real-time control software. This has opened up new capabilities, allowed closer collaboration with other scientific facilities across the world, and enabled CLF users and scientists to conduct more advanced experiments.

A good fit Michel first heard about Tessella in 2008. Originally from France, he completed a PhD in biophysical chemistry at Sheffield Hallam University in 2006 before moving to Göttingen, Germany, for postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. “At the time of this postdoc, I had started to like developing software – I liked doing this as much as the science,” he recalls. “And then I saw an advert in Physics World for Tessella and wondered: would a company like this employ somebody like me?” With his application submitted, Michel was immediately impressed by the rigour of the interview process. After a brief telephone interview, he was invited to spend the day at Tessella’s head office for a proper introduction.

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“The second interview was thorough, but by the end of the day it felt right to me,” he says. Not only did it give the company enough time to ensure he was a good fit for the team, but it also allowed Michel to assess whether he could see himself working there. Michel admits that it was a steep learning curve to go from hacking together programs for his theoretical physics and chemistry research, to developing professional software that solves a customer’s problem. Yet Tessella provided the time and resources for him to learn these and other skills. Indeed, the company dedicates 150 hours (1 month) to training every year, for every staff member, allowing employees to tailor their own career development based on their aspirations – often leading to recognized professional qualifications. Moreover, Michel was surrounded by individuals who had been in the same boat. All staff come from a scientific background, and more than half have PhDs. “The reason is not that people with PhDs are super smart compared to others,” he says. “It’s more that a PhD is like the real world in a way, where you have a problem and you have to solve it somehow, as opposed to being fed lectures and exercises.” Cross-functional and collaborative Since then, Michel has learned both technical capabilities and leadership skills that have allowed him to take on diverse project roles, including technical lead, project

“The second interview was thorough, but by the end of the day it felt right to me,” says David Michel.

manager and business analyst. “The company has a very flat organizational structure, and we are all crossfunctional – a lot of people do a bit of everything,” he says. “We just do whatever is needed for the project.” For the most challenging customer problems, this can often mean leaning on the wealth of experience within the wider company. “When you don’t necessarily know the answer, it’s quite likely someone, somewhere at Tessella has done something similar,” he says. “We often ask whether anyone has worked with a certain technology or encountered a particular kind of problem before, and there will be dozens of replies.” As a result, this community of like-minded, intelligent individuals are able to effectively collaborate on hi-tech R&D projects for global companies that are at the forefront of science and technology. But more than this, they create, develop and deliver solutions that make a difference to the world. “When I talk to friends who are still in academia, sometimes there’s this perception that I’ve sold my soul to the devil, where they think it’s all about money and profit,” says Michel. “Nothing is further from the truth.” Although the company offers a competitive salary, together with an attractive benefits package and career development opportunities, what Michel cares most about is that Tessella always does the right thing for its customers. “Coming at this as an ex-scientist, where you really want to have that intellectual freedom and care about the truth, it’s important, for me at least, that I work for a company that does what’s right – and Tessella does that, to the point where we turn down customers if we’re not the right fit,” he says. “This culture and mindset is something I appreciate very much. It’s not just a sales pitch, it’s real.”

l For more information on how to apply, see the Tessella profile on p97.

(Page 34)

Beyond physics: digital consultancy

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Transformative tech Louise Adams i s an I T e x per t a t PA Consul t i ng , a g l obal i nnovat i on and t r ans f o r mat i on c onsul t ancy. She wor k s w i t h a r ange o f c l i en t s us i ng c l oud

t echnolog y, au t omat i on and ag i l e ways o f wor k i ng

What sparked your initial interest in physics? I r emembe r a l way s h a v i n g b e e n f a s c i n a t e d b y astronomy and the vastness of the universe. I was especially interested in planetary science at a young age – after reading about Jupiter’s moon Io, I wrote a detailed (and a c c u r a t e) d e s c r i p t i o n o f i t s f e a t u r e s wh i l e my sister was having a swimming lesson. When I s h owe d i t t o my mum s h e t h o u g h t I had made it up, so when we got home I had to show her the book, which I had read it in, to prove it. At school I had brilliant physics teachers, including most notably Dr Bradley. She really called my at tent ion to t he var ie t y t hat s tudying physics could offer, from wave–particle dualit y to cosmology.

Did you ever consider a permanent academic career in physics? Going into academia was my original plan when I chose the MSci in physics at the University of Bristol, UK. I was fairly sure that pursuing a PhD and a career in academia was for me. Then towards the end of my second year, I started to properly think about my future options and realized that I might be better suited to something else. I went and worked in a secondary school in Bristol, supporting science lessons as part of an outreach programme with the university. While I really enjoyed it, my parents encouraged me to look at all my options.

I realized I wanted to get into business and try something new. I was concerned that if I chose to pursue a PhD I would be spending a l ar ge amount o f t ime on my own w r i t i n g a n d p r e p a r i n g my t h e s i s , w h i c h d i d n ’ t appeal. I think you must be 100% committ e d t o c o n s i d e r a P hD i n y o u r f i e l d , g i v e n t h e solitar y motivation you will need to get you t hr ough i t – i f not , i t would be wor t hwhile t o check out some other options, there are so many out there.

How did you get interested in digital technologies? I was always interested in computers, but gaming and coding were never really my interests growing up. I started a technology graduate scheme with Tesco straight after university. I thought this would be a good idea as I was interested to see how Tesco used technology systems to support its retail operations, and the scheme offered rotations around the IT department to get exposure to dif ferent areas of the business.

I worked on till systems; built a prototype dashboard for stores to better understand their energy usage; built infrastructure to support services running on Tesco.com for a Christmas peak; and mapped out the interactions for a set of legacy stock systems. I was fascinated to see how integrated and essential the systems were to the smooth running of the business, and how changes and new developments were handled, to ensure the company could be as reactive as possible.

I moved in to consult ancy to cont inue working on different IT systems and in new situat i o n s . I ’ v e b e e n l u c k y t o e x p e r i e n c e a v a r i e t y o f roles including project management, architecture and agile-coaching, all in environments using digital technologies. I have had some excellent career support and coaches along t h e way who ha v e e n c o u r a g e d me t o t a k e r i s k s in technology areas that I felt weak in, to help develop me into a bet ter consultant.

What were some of the challenges in moving from academia to working in the tech industry? You have to be prepared to continue learning – the tech industry is forever changing so you have to be ready for that. Working environments are different from academic ones, the most obvious being that you will be working in teams of people with a wider variety of ages and personalities than you would have experienced throughout school and university.

What does your current role as a management consultant in digital technologies entail? At PA we come up with enduring solutions that make an impact for a wide range of clients. Our clients need to tackle a variety of problems associated with digital technologies such as adopting and optimizing public cloud usage; ensuring consistent digital working environments; and meeting compliance and security concerns. The work we carry out is fairly hands on. We are often brought in to support a specific challenge, and expectations are high, but we believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world.

Consulting has given me excellent variety in the work that I do, and I’ve supported clients in their transformations across a range of sectors including retail, financial services, energy and utili t ies, and the public sector.

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How has your physics background been helpful in your work, if at all? I think there are parallels between my interest in physics and the work I do now. First, I found with studying physics that there are so many fields that are interesting and worth researching but (for me at least) it was overwhelming trying to understand everything to t h e l e v e l o f d e t a i l I wan t e d , and s o p r i o r i t i z i n g key areas for my interest was essential. I’m in the same situation with my career. There is a continual pipeline of new releases and technology features, so continual learning is essential, but so is prioritization because it’s impossible to be an expert on everything.

Second, for me, studying physics was not a wa l k i n t h e p a r k , b u t I am mo t i v a t e d b y c ha llenges, and so overall it was a very positive experience. I have taken that understanding with me into my career and there are plenty of challenging situations in consulting that can be turned into opportunities. My degree experience overall set me up for a lifetime of learning, with everything I need to continue to grow and develop in my career.

My degree experience overall set me up for a lifetime of learning, with ever y thing I need to continue to grow and develop in my career

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Any advice for today’s students? Find what motivates you and be true to it. Adjust your university experience to make sure that you put the most into it, and get the most out of it. This is the point in your life where you have the most time available to pursue your interests and hobbies, so it’s good to have a balanced experience. Post university, really think about what you enjoy and what you personally deem to be successful, but keep in mind that this is different for everyone so don’t feel you should just f o l l ow t he c r owd. Choos e an op t i on t ha t suppor t s con t i nuing t o develop you as a per s on. ● www.paconsulting.com

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Beyond physics: urban transport

Changing of gear Ben Cowie opened a cycling specialist shop and café – L ondon Bic yc l e Café – i n Ont ar i o, Canada, i n 2017

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What sparked your interest in physics? I was initially interested in medical physics as an undergraduate, as our campus at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, had a nuclear reactor on site. I ended up studying isotope geochemistry of light stable elements, which isn’t too far from the medical-isotope field.

What did your degrees focus on, and did you ever consider a permanent academic career? Following an undergraduate degree in geophysi c s and ear t h s c i ence s , I went on t o r ecei ve my PhD in geochemistry – which focused on oilsands isotope biogeochemistry and isotope hydrogeology – from the University of Calgary, in 2013. I did pur sue an academic career f or a few years, as a postdoctoral fellow, and later a research assistant, at Harvard University, in ear t h h i s t o r y and s c i enc e . My r e s ear ch r anged from applied questions regarding pollution and hydrogeology, to working with NASA on planetary exploration missions, to basic questions such as “How do we make higher-precision measurements on dif f icult rare isotopes?”

How did you get interested in public transport and urban cycling? T h r o u g h o u t g r ad s c h o o l we a l l r o d e b i k e s an d took the bus because it was cheap, and we were all poor! By the time I had a little more money, t h o s e hab i t s had a l r e ad y s t u c k . I r e a lized it was mostly about my personal health and the pleasure that riding my bike to work every day brought me.

Even in the winters on the Canadian Prair i e , r i d i ng a b i k e b r oug h t me happ i n e s s . T ha t ’ s why I still do it today. And I realized that I want to give people the tools to get around the cit y comfortably by bike, and to share my knowledge of urban cycling. Having lived in Hamilton, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Boston and B e r l i n , I ' v e s e e n f i r s t - han d h ow b i c y c l e s t r an sf o r m e a c h an d e v e r y c i t y whe r e p r o t e c t e d b i k e inf rastructure has been installed.

I want to g ive people the tools to get around the city comfortably by bike, and to share my knowledge of urban cycling

What were some of the challenges in moving from physics to setting up a specialist shop? So many things. I knew very little about things l i k e r e a l e s t a t e , mar k e t i n g an d f i nan c e , wh i c h are all essential for good business. But I had great coaches and we recruited amazing staff. I thought that if I could learn and discover new things in science, running a business couldn’t be that hard, could it? It turns out that a bit of happy ignorance and hard work goes a long way.

What’s it like day-to-day, running the bike café? During our busy season it’s a little bit of everything. I’m pulling shots of espresso in the mornings, working on bikes and doing some sales in the afternoons, maybe squeezing in some time for marketing or social media in there somewhere. When you run a small business you’re all the jobs: chief of accounting, sales, service and sanitation.

How has your physics background been helpful in this work, if at all? The answer is always maths, and writing. I’m p r e t t y s u r e we ha v e a mo r e s o p h i s t i c a t e d b u s iness model than businesses larger than us, and writing proposals to business financing e n t i t i e s i s way e a s i e r t han w r i t i n g g r an t s t o t h e National Science Foundation. Having a quantitative background helps make your business case much st ronger than those without.

Any advice for today’s students? F o l l ow y o u r h e a r t . My b u s i n e s s i s mo r e ab o u t having an opportunity to live in the same city a s my p a r t n e r an d b e c l o s e t o my f am i l y, t han anything else. As much as I love what I do for work, it doesn’t feel as important as other things in my life. Science always feels more important than it probably is, and developing your life outside your job is essential, too. ● Ben Cowie can be contacted via e-mail at ben@londonbicyclecafe.com

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Beyond physics: filmmaking

From theorist to director David Roberts i s a c o - f ounder o f 110 t h S t r ee t F i lms, a wr i t e r and f i lmmaker.

P r ev i ous l y he wor ked as a US d i p l omat

What sparked your interest in physics? I never thought I’d become a physicist, but a seed was planted when I happened to pick up Stephen Hawking’s A B r i e f H i s t o r y o f T i me, to kill time on my long drive to college. During that maiden 17-hour ride from my home in Alabama to university in New York, I don’t think I really understood anything of Hawking’s book, but the weirdness of time slowing down, and the black-hole paradoxes stuck with me. Then, soon after I arrived on campus, an older grad student turned me onto the Feynman Lectures. Because of Richard Feynman, I suddenly cared how electrons worked, and even more, how maths could e x p l a i n i t . L o o k i n g b a c k , t h o u g h , a mo r e mundane impulse that led me towards a physics degree was the challenge of pursuing, from what I understood, the most difficult degree on campus. I wanted t o see i f I could hack i t .

What did your physics degrees and following research focus on? My physics background includes BS and MEng degrees from Cornell University, US, and a DPhil f rom the Univer si t y of Ox ford, UK, as a Marshall Scholar. My DPhil was focused on the theoretical aspects of quantum f luids. My academic career continued at the École normale supérieure in France, Princeton University, US, and Los Alamos National Laborat o r y, be f o r e I j o i ne d t he US S t a t e Depar t ment . I continued working on quantum fluids after my d e g r e e , b u t wa s a l s o f o r t una t e t o wo r k w i t h s ome smar t f o l k s o n v a r i o u s i n t e r e s t i n g t o p i c s including genetics, geophysics and astrophysics. All of it was theoretical work with almost no immediate practical applications. I realize now how lucky I was to actually get paid to work on these cool puz z les.

How did your interest in politics emerge, and did you ever consider a permanent academic career? I quickly fell for physics research as an undergraduate and fully expected to continue with

G o o d m a n


Y o n

my a c ad em i c c a r e e r , b u t I c o u l dn ’ t p a s s up t h e opportunity. It was a steep learning curve as I knew little about nuclear reactors and even less about risk communication, all the while operating in an alien culture. My physics background proved valuable not only for technical aspects of the job but also in establishing relationships with my Japanese counterparts.

research as a permanent academic career. Being a physicist, I lived and worked in various countries from the UK and France to South Africa and Chile, and I had collaborator s f rom all around the world. As I discovered new places, I became more interested in how the world worked in geopolitical terms rather than at the atomic level.

What was it like working as the US ambassador’s science adviser in Tokyo after the Fukushima crisis, and how did you get this r ole? In 2010–2011 I was at the US State Department wor k i ng on t he cont en t i ous t r ansbounda r y wa t e r i s s u e s i n t h e N i l e b a s i n , w i t h t h e i d e a that I would return to research in a year. Then the nuclear disaster happened at Fukushima, and I was asked on shor t no t i ce t o go t o Tok yo to be the ambassador’s science adviser for a year, to assist the embassy with the recover y. I r eali zed t hat would pr obably mark t he end o f

You’re now the co-founder of 110th Street Films. How did that come about, and what does the company do? During my time as a diplomat, I began writing articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Atlantic, etc, and one of my articles sparked interest in a documentary adaptation. Although it did not pan out, I began to shift my focus from writing and international relations to my first love – film. After a few years filled with some twists and turns, I co-founded the production company 110th Street Films, with Billy Shebar – someone who actually knows how to make great films – and we are working on various film projects with some of my heroes. How did I go from thinking about Bose–Einstein condensates to creating satirical Trump animations? I really don’t have a clue.

How has your physics background been helpful in your work, if at all? Whenever I worry that I don’t know what I am doing, I say to myself “How hard can this be? It ’s not quantum f ield theory.” Actually, the human element of diplomacy and making a film is probably just as complex as the trickiest physics problems, but my physics background has given me confidence in approaching new problems, and that has been one the biggest assets in my career.

Any advice for today’s students? Ta k e s ome r i s k s and d o n ’ t b e a f r a i d o f g e t t i n g of f the path. ● You can follow David Roberts on Twitter at @DRobertsNYC; 110thstreet.com

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Start-up stories: Lynkeos

Seeing past the ordinary

Margaret Harris catches up with founder Ralf Kaiser and director David Mahon o f Lynkeos Technology, a company that develops muon tomography systems for applications in the nuclear industry and beyond

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Muons – elementary particles produced via high-energy cosmic ray showers in the atmosphere – make up much of the cosmic radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. At sea level, every square metre receives some 100 muons per second, and the muons’ high energies mean that they pass easily through material that would stop some other particles, such as electrons.

For physicist Ralf Kaiser, these heavyh i t t i n g p a r t i c l e s s p a r k e d t h e i d e a f o r an i maging innovation. In 2016 he founded Lynkeos Technology, a start-up that develops 3Dimaging systems that use muons to “see” inside complex, shielded structures, such as drums containing nuclear waste. I visited Ralf Kaiser and his colleague David Mahon in their Glasgow lab to learn more about how they set up their company.

What was your career like before you started Lynkeos? Ralf Kaiser: I did a PhD in par ticle physics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and after that I went to the DESYZeuthen laboratory, near Berlin, Germany, f o r my po s t doc . I ’d be en a po s t doc f o r t h r e e and a half years and was starting to consider a move into something else when I go t an appoin tment as a l ec t u r e r a t t he University of Glasgow, UK. I did basic nuclear physics research for many years, working on accelerator-based experiments and designing and constructing new detectors.

Then, in 2010 I got the opportunity to work at the International Atomic Energy Agency

Deep view Ral f Kais e r and David Mahon r un a company t hat use s muons t o l ook f o r s t r ay nuclear waste.

(IAEA) in Vienna, Austria. It started out as a sabbatical, but I ended up spending seven years there as head of physics, doing things like flying drones over Fukushima, Japan, and getting involved in science politics and representing the IAEA on international councils s u c h a s t h e o n e s t ha t o v e r s e e t h e I T E R f u s i o n reactor and the SESAME synchrotron. This entirely changed my view of what science and t echnolog y can do. At t he IAE A , t he centre of attention is on the impact that science has on our lives, rather than the knowledge you gain from it. I’m now particularly interested in doing things that solve problems and improve people’s lives, and our product at Lynkeos def initely falls into this categor y.

How did Lynkeos get star ted? RK: It began in 2009 as a research project with support from the University of Glasgow, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the National Nuclear Laboratory. Having conducted a feasibility study, and a Mon t e C a r l o s i mu l a t i o n , w h i c h s h owe d t h a t , i n principle, we could do something useful with muon imaging, we got funding to build first a small-scale prototype and then a full-scale one. That was a seven-year, £4.8m research

programme funded by the NDA, and at the end of i t we had a sys t em t hat worked on f ul l sized drums of intermediate-level waste.

Then, in the aftermath of a reorganization at Sellafield, our funding was cut, and instead of supporting us directly, the NDA offered us the intellectual property rights to those seven years of research if we started a company to commercialize our technology. Starting a company was something we’d planned to do at some point. My colleague Dav i d Mahon, who wo r k e d w i t h me c l o s e l y o n the research project and is now a director at Lynkeos, had received business training as part of a Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Enterprise Fellowship, and I did a diploma course for non-executive directors run by the Financial Times newspaper. We weren’t completely unprepared, so losing our funding, which at first looked pretty negative, actually turned out well.

Can you say more about your training? David Mahon: I did my PhD at Glasgow with Ralf as my supervisor, and I worked on the software side of the project, developing imaging algorithms. During the RSE fellowship, I was placed in a cohort with

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10 other people from different areas – life sciences, biomedical engineering, and so on – who were all trying to commercialize their research. We were put in touch with mentors and met up once a month for a few days’ training in everything from how to set up a company to how to make investment decisions. It was an invaluable year, and it gave me a crash course in business.

RK: A t t h e I A E A I l o o k e d i n t o an MBA , b u t a friend who had done this Financial Times diploma sug gested i t might f i t bet ter in my schedule. I learned about company structure, corporate governance, and rules and regulations. I also had to take an undergraduate-level accounting course with a t hr ee - hour wr i t t en e x am – t he f i r s t I ’d done in 20 years. I passed with a B–.

Tell me more about your imaging technology RK: We use muons t o image t he content s o f drums containing intermediate-level radioactive waste encapsulated in concrete. Reactor sites such as Sellafield in the UK have large numbers of these “legacy” waste drums that were filled with the cladding of fuel elements maybe 40 or 50 years ago, and sometimes a piece of uranium fuel broke off and ended up in the concrete as well. Uranium oxide takes up about twice the volume of uranium, so when these pieces of fuel corrode, they expand, and pressure builds up inside the drums. Eventually you get enough pressure that the steel drum bulges, and then it’s a question of when, not if, the drum will burst open – particularly if you’re storing them for long periods.

If you put one of these drums into our system, we can detect whether it contains a piece of fuel, locate the fuel accurately in t h r e e d i men s i o n s an d i mage i t e v e n t h r o u g h a me t r e o f c o n c r e t e – t o o t h i c k f o r c o n v e n t i o na l imaging tools such as X-rays or ultrasound. When you’re managing waste, it makes a big dif ference if you have the technology to look i n s i d e y o u r s t o r a g e un i t s , and muons a r e a l s o completely natural – you get them free, as part of the background, so there’s no additional radiation. You don’t need a permit to operate our system any more than you need a permit to operate a toaster.

What’s nex t for Lynkeos? RK: We installed our first commercial system at Sellafield in 2018, so the next step is to sell our product to nuclear facilities elsewhere in the UK and in other countries such as Germany or France. We’ve also started developing a mobile version for civil engineering applications.

DM: At the moment, if you want to use

You don’t need a permit to operate our system any more than you need a permit to operate a toaster

our system to image an object, that object needs to be small enough to fit inside our detector. But we’d like to extend this by designing a system we can take to the point of inspection, so that we can look inside bridges, buildings and other large-scale structures that can’t be imaged using conventional techniques.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you star ted? RK: The biggest technical challenge we faced was to get our system certified as a commercial product. We started off developing a research system, so we didn’t necessarily select materials and processes that would be compliant with CE [European

health, safety and environmental protection] certification. We should have thought about that earlier.

Any other advice for someone who’s thinking of commercializing their research? RK: The first thing to realize is that this is actually a viable option. A lot of things only become viable options when you see them. When I went from the university to the IAEA I saw a whole different aspect of the world, and it was an eye-opener for me. I now look at many things, including some political things, differently – and, I think, with more information and a better understanding.

DM: There are organizations out there that are actively trying to help new startups. In addition to the RSE, Scottish Enterprise, Innovate UK and Business Gateway have been great for us in providing support and training. If you have an idea, there are people who will help you turn i t into realit y.

Ralf Kaiser i s t he f ounder and chie f executive officer of Lynkeos Technology, and also a physicist at the University of Glasgow, UK, e-mail ralf.kaiser@lynkeos.co.uk. David Mahon i s an ST FC RCUK Innovat ion Fellow at Glasgow and a director at Lynkeos, e-mail david.mahon@glasgow.ac.uk

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Stay up to date with the latest news and research in particle and nuclear science. physicsworld.com/particle-and-nuclear

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Start-up stories: York Instruments

Brain waves

Gary Green has spent his career working at the interface between physics, neuroscience and medicine. He speaks to Margaret Harris about starting a company, York Instruments, t o c ommerciali z e a new b r a i n imaging technology

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How did you get into this f ie ld? I did my PhD in neuroscience at the Univers i t y o f O x f o r d , UK , ha v i n g f i r s t d o n e an und e rgraduate degree in bioscience. But when my supervisor offered me the PhD position, he said, “Okay, you’ve done a degree in stamp collecting; now you have to do proper science” – a reference to Ernest Rutherford’s famous comment that all science is either physics or stamp collecting. He had me attend all the undergraduate lectures and problem classes in physics as part of my PhD work in neuroscience. After qualifying in medicine, I worked in medical schools for three decades before I was invited to come to the University of York to set up a brainimaging centre.

Why did you decide to star t a company? The idea began when the company that made our magnetoencephalography (MEG) machine in the research centre at York went bankrupt, caught out by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. We had to learn how to maintain it ourselves, and that meant replacing all the electronics because the chips in it were 25 years old – we couldn’t get replacements. That brought us to the attention of a group of Americans who were interested in mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI), the kind people get from car accid e n t s o r p l a y i n g c o n t a c t s p o r t s s u c h a s r u g b y

Neuroscience spin-off Gar y Gr een commercialized a speciali s t magnetoencephalogr aphy machine.

and American football. They heard that we were building our own MEG electronics, so they approached us and said, “Would you like to join us in forming a company?”

This was in 2014, and I initially refused because I enjoy running the York Neuroimaging Centre and I am still very active in research. But then I thought, “Well, maybe I s h o u l d t r y s ome t h i n g e l s e i n t h e l a s t p a r t o f my career.” Like most academics, I’d done a lifetime of publishing papers and getting grants, but normally, you publish your work and you hope someone else will pick it up and use it. You don’t usually get t he oppor tuni t y to tur n i t into something that will help someone.

What are the advantages of MEG over other brain-imaging techniques? Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is great for imaging the brain’s structure, but when people use it to study brain function, they do it indirectly, by looking at changes in the

magnetic properties of blood. As soon as an area of the brain becomes active, you get an increase in the flow of oxygenated blood to that area, and when the oxygenation of the haemoglobin in your blood changes, so do its magnetic properties, which affects the MRI signal. But it’s a slow process, one that happens over a period of seconds, and the connection with brain activity is very indirect. I t ’s a proxy measurement.

One alternative is to stick electrodes on someone’s head and measure the electrical potentials – an electroencephalogram, or EEG. The problem is that when current flows in the brain and creates those differences in electrical potentials, it also flows in layers of tissue over the brain that are not very good at conducting electricity. Although you can sample that electrical activity thousands of times a second, the picture you get is spatially blurred, and it ’s a l s o n o t g o o d a t i mag i n g p r o c e s s e s t ha t a r e

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localized deeper in the brain.

The way to get around this is to image the magnetic fields directly. Wherever there’s current flow, there’s a magnetic field around i t . I f you have s ens o r s t ha t p i c k up t ha t magnetic field, you can work out its distribution and solve the inverse problem of where current is flowing. The difficulty is getting sensors that can detect very small magnetic fields, down to femtoteslas (10–15 T ) . When I was an academic, I met a group of researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, who had designed a new kind of quantum interference device that could do the job, and we decided to bring this new sensor technology to market in a cheaper, bet ter MEG machine.

What are some of the applications of this technology? One of the major ones relates to MTBI. Mostly, people with concussion and other MTBI symptoms go to the emergency room and are then sent home, but 40% go on to have long-lasting cognitive effects. That creates two problems. One is that no-one knows who’s going to get these long-lasting effects. The other is that there hasn’t been a good way of detecting what actually happened in the brain to cause them. Almost immediately after a head injury, the brain starts to experience very slow oscillations of e l e c t r i c a l c u r r e n t , and t h e r e f o r e o f mag n e t i c field. These slow waves last about a second, and conventional imaging machines are not very good recording changes in the magnetic field on this time scale because the technology is too noisy. But our sensors can do i t , so that ’s ver y encouraging.

Another potential application is in treatments for epilepsy. Around a third of people with epilepsy are not helped by drugs, and the only alternative for them is surgical – open up the skull, put an array of electrodes over the surface of the brain, find out where the epileptic activity is centred and then remove that area of the brain. It’s highly invasive and high-risk. But if you can localize the epileptic activity with our MEG technique, you can use that information to g u i d e t h e n e u r o s u r g e o n , o r e v e n u s e g amma radiation or proton-beam therapy to target that area non-invasively.

What are you working on now? Scaling up our manufacturing has been a challenge. When we saw these sensors working in the lab, we could see that they were much more sensitive and lower noise than conventional superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) by a long way, so we thought, “This is fantastic!” But

I’ve learned that, as an academic, having a good idea doesn’t necessarily mean you have a good product

our MEG machine has 350 channels and it’s not practical to make 350 sensors by hand, especially if you want to sell more than one unit. We now make the devices at the wafer scale, with high yields, but it’s taken us two years to get here. We thought it would take a few weeks.

The other thing I’ll mention is that we don’t want to be a one-trick pony, so we are working hard on what our next products will be. We’ve had grants from Innovate UK [a government funding body] to work on optical magnetometers that would replace our

novel SQUIDs and allow us to remove the cryogenic system needed to cool them to superconducting temperatures. We’re also developing various software products to help analyse the imaging data.

Any advice for someone thinking of starting a company? Don’t think you can do it all by yourself. There’s nothing wrong with getting professional business people in to help, and I’ve learned that, as an academic, having a good idea doesn’t necessarily mean you have a good product. Second, you’ve really got to keep up to date with technology. For example, we could have spent five or six thousand dollars on a commercial device to measu r e mag n e t i c f i e l d s i n a s i n g l e c hann e l , meaning that a machine with 350 channels would have been inordinately expensive. By keeping up to date, reading Physical Review Letters o r Physical Review, we s aw t ha t t h e r e wa s t h i s n ew d e v i c e t ha t c o u l d measu r e f emtotesla fields, and that you could make it at wafer scale for a few tens of dollars. That’s what allowed us to tur n our idea in to a commercial device.

Gar y Green i s t he chie f t echnolog y of f i cer at York Instruments, e-mail gary.green@yorkinstruments.com

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Start-up stories: Zurich Instruments

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Big stuff with little qubits

Sadik Hafizovic de s c r i be s how the company he co-founded, Zurich Instruments, has adapted since entering the quantum-computing market

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What was your career like before you started Zurich Instruments? I had always wanted to start a company. Even as a child, I wanted to do stuff bigger than what I could do by myself, working in a team. I also liked the idea of running a business and being responsible for the financial side. When I was an undergraduate I financed my studies by running a one-person business providing computer expertise to companies, and that gave me some exposure to different business styles. I saw some companies whe r e t he a t mospher e was ho r r i b l e , and o t hers where I thought, wow, it would be cool to build an environment like this.

I came to Swit zerland to do my PhD at E TH Zurich, and I worked closely with Flavio Heer, who is now our chief technology officer. For o u r P hD r e s e a r c h , we d e v e l o p e d CMOS - b a s e d chips that inter faced with biological neurons. To complement our research, we used lock-in amplifiers to perform impedance spectroscopy on sing le cells, and we saw things about the instruments that could have been done better. The amplifiers were using digital technology, but they were closely mimicking their analogue predecessors: with one instrument, y o u c o u l d wo r k a t o n l y o n e f r e qu e n c y a t a t i me. We wanted eight frequencies simultaneously, so we had to stack up eight instruments. It was awkward, and we knew how with digital signal processing you could put all of that in one box . We de f ined a t ask f or a s t udent summer project, which led to a proof-of-principle device, then another student worked on it for his diploma thesis and brought it to the next level. At that point, I thought, “We can do this.”

How did the company get star ted? Initially, Flavio wasn’t sure about the idea of starting a company to make lock-in amplifi

Team ef f or t The core quantum technologies team at Zurich Instruments. From left: quantum scientist Bruno Küng, head of software Jürg Schwizer, CEO Sadik Hafizovic, team leader (FPGA and f i rmware) Nie l s Haandbaek, CMO Jan Benhelm, and VP R&D Adr i an Mes smer.

ers, because it doesn’t require secret knowhow or patented technology. But our PhDs we r e c om i n g t o an e nd , and I k e p t hammer i n g at him, and he was looking for jobs and not finding anything appealing, so at some point he said, “Let ’s give i t two years.”

We also have a third co-founder, Beat Hofstetter, who comes from a very different background. He went to art school and is a designer by training. He’s also a very good pr og r ammer and when he did a diploma t hes i s a t E T H , I wa s o n e o f h i s s up e r v i s o r s . When he learned that we were starting a company, he immediately wanted to join. Today he is responsible for our entire corporate design.

Who else did you br ing in to help you? None of us had much business experience, and our management experience was limited to leading sub-groups in a university r e s e a r c h e n v i r o nmen t . S o t h e f i r s t p e r s o n we hired, Stephan Koch, was very complimentary in that respect. Stephan has an MBA, and his knowledge of marketing and sales has been indispensable. Hiring him was the best decision ever, and I have to say we were fortunate. We started the company in 2008, the year of the financial crisis, when lots of

companies in Zurich were shutting down. Without that, Stephan probably wouldn’t have been looking for a job, and he definitely wouldn’t have been looking for a job at a new company run by three guys just out of school. But he came in and wrote our user manual, fixed our price list, devised an advertising strategy, and worked out which trade shows we should attend. Having that emphasis on marketing really helped us grow, and we would not have achieved that without him.

How did you get funding ? Initially, we thought we needed investors, so we talked to business angels and to a bank, but because we started selling our product so early we decided to do without. I’m happy about that today. We probably could have developed faster if we’d had investors, but we’re growing at 25–30% a year now and I feel this is adequate. I have American friends who tell me I’m wasting my time, that I need to mount a bigger “engine” to grow the company, but I’m happy with it how it is, and so are the people around me.

We were also quite successful in winning business competitions, which gave us about 300 000 Swiss francs (£239 000) in cash,

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and we had a project with ETH Zurich that was worth another quarter of a million in s alar i e s f or people a t t he uni ve r s i t y. I n addition, we only paid out half of the salaries to the founders. The other half remained in the company as a subordinate loan – meaning that if the company went bankrupt, we would have lost our money.

Finally, it helped that we initially focused on the high end of the market, where the margins are higher and the volume of production is lower. At about the five-year mark we expanded to include the lower end of the market as well, and we also got into neighbouring markets, such as making instruments for quantum computing.

How has the business changed in response to the demands of this new market? We were already supplying instruments to people who study nuclear magnetic resonance – measuring the spin of hydrogen atoms in water molecules in your body. This is essentially the same as what people in quantum computing do, only they want to measure the spins of single particles, rather than a whole bucket of them. So we developed an instrument specifically for that application, which was new for us.

When we started working with the quantum community we visited their labs and worked with them for weeks to fine-tune our tools to suit their very tough requirements. For example, a superconducting qubit in a quantum computer has a lifetime of maybe 100 μs, so whatever you want to do to it, you have to do it within 100 μs. That means your instruments need to be extremely fast and extremely accurate. These are tough and very specific requirements that cannot be satisfied with a universal instrument.

Another difference is that requirements in the quantum market change – I don’t want to say on a daily basis, but maybe on a yearly basis. When we entered the field, everyone was telling me, “Hey, Sadik, we need high-electron-mobility transistors in our low-noise amplifiers.” Today, they are asking for travelling-wave parametric amplifiers – an entirely different technology. We have to compete in an environment where requirements change rapidly, even though developing a new instrument is typically a multi-year project. So we’ve had to become much more agile, and that change has gone through our entire company, from product management to R&D.

The final point I’d like to make, though, is that i t ’s not enough to just do what customers ask. Researchers typically do not have a broad outlook, because they have a very

hard problem that they need to solve now, and they will ask for very pragmatic solut ions. But of ten those are not the best solutions, so you need creative people to come up with the right ones.

How do you f ind those people? It’s hard, because there’s a quantum boom going on that absorbs a lot of people. We recently set up a subsidiary in Boston, US, and we have job openings there, but there are no quantum physicists on the market; I read recently that [the US-based electronics and aerospace conglomerate] Honeywell has a hundred people working on ion-trap quantum computing, which is just amazing. However, we are fortunate in the sense that o u r c u s t ome r s a r e a t un i v e r s i t y, an d a t s ome point, they will be looking for a job. We have hired many happy customers.

What’s been your most difficult challenge? It’s definitely been on the organization side rather than the technical side. We’ve made mistakes there, usually in relation to company growth and organization development. For example, our first fully fledged subsidiary wa s i n C h i na , an d a l t h o u g h i t ’ s n ow a b i g s u cc e s s s t o r y, s e t t i n g i t up wa s a l e a r n i n g e x p e r ienc e f o r bo t h s i de s . Fo r e x ample, we go t i n t o a situation where people there were talking ab ou t “ h e adqua r t e r s ”, a s i n , “ We ha v e t o a s k h e ad qua r t e r s b e f o r e we make t ha t d e c i s i o n .” T h e y d i dn ’ t f e e l empowe r e d t o t a k e r e s p o n s ibilit y themselves. And then people in Zurich started talking about “the subsidiary” and I realized that they think that our people in China are working for them.

Eventually, I went in and said, “Nobody says ‘headquarters’ anymore. From now on, we have houses. We have a house in Sw i t z e r l and , and we ha v e a h o u s e i n Shanghai, and anot her house in Bos t on and more houses in France, Italy and South Korea. We are all Zinians” – that’s what we call employees a t Zur i ch I ns t r ument s – “and we a r e wo r k i n g i n d i f f e r e n t h o u s e s , and t h e r e i s n o s u c h t h i n g a s ‘ h e ad qua r t e r s ’. ” A nd t ha t ’ s wo r k e d v e r y we l l . Bu t s ome t i me s y o u d e t e c t these things a bit late.

Any advice for someone thinking of starting a scientific instrumentation company? Swit zer land is t he land of t he per fec t ionis t s, and I’m a naturalized Swiss now, but my advice is that you don’t have to be perfect. I see so many folks grinding and polishing their product, but it doesn’t have to be perfect; it just needs to be better than the competition. My other advice is that you do

n e e d t o b e y o u r ow n s a l e s p e r s o n . Don’ t t h i n k t ha t i f y ou make a p r oduc t , s omebody e l s e i s go i ng t o s e l l i t f o r you. T ha t was a mis t ake we made. We t hought we would make a pr oduc t and get distributors to sell it. Very quickly, we und e r s t o o d t ha t d i s t r i bu t o r s a r e n o t i n t e rested in bringing new brands or instruments to market. We had to do i t ourselves.

If you could go back and do anything dif ferently, what would i t be? As the company grew, so did we. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have been pr epared t o t ake on a $10m investment. Today, I think I could. So if I would do it all again, I would t ake i nve s t o r s on boar d and bu i l d t he c ompany faster.

The other thing I’d do differently is to build an even more agile organization. From the outside, we may look like a hardware company, but we have more than 70 employees, and our production team is only four people. We’re actually a software company – that’s where we generate our value, and almost all of our instruments’ functionality is software-defined. So while we do qual i t y c on t r o l and we manage a p r odu c t i o n s upp l y c ha i n , t h e b i g e f f o r t and c o s t is in software. We go through two software release cycles per year, and I wish it were more. The quantum computing market is a race, and you have to be quick at respondi n g t o n ew r e qu i r emen t s . We a r e n ow c han ging the organization towards that, but we could have done i t earlier.

When we started in 2008, we wanted to make t he bes t lock- in amplif ie r s in t he wor ld. T ha t wa s o u r o r i g i na l v i s i o n . Bu t we g o t t h e r e a while ago, and today t he v i s ion has changed. Now, we want to help build a quantum compu t e r . Ou r n ew v i s i o n i s t o e nab l e r e s e a r c h e r s to focus on the physics of the quantum computer and not on the instrumentation.

What is it about quantum computing that attracts you? Part of it is that it’s a race. There are many start-ups, and I find that a very stimulating environment. But it’s also the people and the spirit in the community. I find it contagious. People have the attitude of “let’s try it, let’s do it”. Also, the timing is right for us as a business. In three years, the window of opportunity may be gone, and someone else will have become the standard supplier for quantum computing instrumentation. But now we have the opportunity to set global standards, and that’s very appealing.

Sadik Hafizovic i s t he chie f execut i ve of f i cer and co-founder of Zurich Instruments, e-mail sadik.hafizovic@zhinst.com

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Start-up stories: M Squared

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Using light for good

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Graeme Malcolm, co-founder of M Squared, describes how his company started by making robust, narrow-linewidth lasers for the scientific market and is now branching out into new fields and applications Signpost f or t he f utur e Gr aeme Malcolm bel i eve s t hat M Squar ed’s s c i en t i f i c cus t omer base

has he lp ed t he company i dent i f y emerg i ng mar ke t s f o r l aser t echnolog i e s .

What was your career like before you star ted M Squared? I wa t c h e d t h e f i r s t s p a c e s hu t t l e l aun c h whe n I was at school, and I remember sitting there thinking, “Geez, I don’t know what I want to do in life, but I want to do something like that.” I went on to study laser physics and optoelectronics as an undergraduate at the University of Strathclyde, UK, and my main motivation for choosing that course was that it looked like the industry of the future. It turned out that this was at least partly true, in lots of exciting ways that people might not have imagined back in the late 1980s.

I stayed at Strathclyde to do a PhD in solid-state lasers, and that’s when I met my co-founder and business partner, Gareth Maker. Our first business was a company called Microlase that spun out of Strathclyde in the early 1990s. We made short-pulse lasers for multiphoton excitation spectroscopy and deep-UV lasers for applications in things like optical data storage or semiconductor manufacturing.

I n 1997 M i c r o l a s e p a r t n e r e d w i t h C o h e r e n t , which was the largest public company in laser technology at the time. Then, in 2000 Coheren t ac qu i r ed our bus i ne s s – i t ’s now k nown as Coherent Scotland – and Gareth and I s t ayed on to grow it as part of a bigger multinational. This was before the telecoms bubble burst, when the optical backbone for the modern Internet was being developed, and there was

a lot of innovation going on. The data rates we’ve now come to expect just wouldn’t have happened wi t hout t hat prog r es s in laser s and f i b r e op t i c s . Be i ng i ns i de a S i l i c on Va l l ey c ompany was also interesting, and we learned a lot about how they sold and marketed their products across multiple sector s.

How did M Squared get star ted? By the mid-2000s, it was time to do something new. In going from Microlase to Coherent, we’d gone f r om being a couple of guys in a r o om w i t h n o w i nd ow s t o b e i n g a s ub s t an t i a l part of a big corporation. I’m not quite sure h ow t o d e s c r i b e i t , b u t s ome o n e o n c e t o l d me that in life you get people who are “finders”, coming up with ideas for new things; people who are “g r inder s”, working out the details to make those new things happen; and people who a r e “m i nd e r s ”, k e e p i n g t h e p r o c e s s g o i n g once i t ’s s t ar ted. For us, working at Coherent had become more of a minding than a finding or grinding job. We were doing more of the same things, but we weren’t getting the c han c e t o e x p l o r e an d d e v e l o p n ew o n e s . I f I ’d wan t e d t o g o f u r t h e r i n my c a r e e r a t C o h e r e n t , I would have needed to relocate to Silicon Va l l e y, an d t ha t j u s t wa s n ’ t me. S o i n s t e ad , we established M Squared to develop new ways of using light for good, opening up applications that have strong commercial potential while also addressing problems in areas that are important for society.

How did you decide what to focus on? When Gareth and I left Coherent, we had a clean sheet of paper. That gave us the chance to step back and ask, “What does this industry need? What’s likely to be important in the future? And how is that different from what’s available now?” One of the answers we came up with was that lasers needed to be more reliable, so that customers could get them into their applications right away. That led us to focus on improving optomechanical stability and developing robust control systems. Those are big challenges, so we decided to tackle them using narrow linewidth lasers and to start with the scientific research community as our customer base.

Science is like a signpost to the future. Having scientists for customers has given us the direction we need to understand where laser technologies will be important. For example, the first people we sold our lasers to were doing research in what’s now called quantum technologies. At the time, it was known as atomic, molecular and optical physics, and it seemed like a very niche part of the science base, but it’s now an important emerging field that’s making its way into very large commercial markets. So we picked an area that let us build on our core competencies, while also adding a couple of elements that we thought would be important for the company’s future. That’s helped

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us get the foundations right, so that as our product portfolio has grown, we’ve got the dependability that lets us get into bigger industrial applications.

Can you give me an example of those applications? Our SolsTiS laser technology was used to calibrate the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P Earth observation mission, which has become the best instrument we have for measuring air pollution on a g l obal s cale. I t ’s pr oducing beaut i f u l maps of the way our industrial processes are affecting the health of the planet. We’re also involved in a project to measure carbon dioxide emissions from space, which will make it possible to see where people are producing CO2 and where it’s getting absorbed by forest s and oceans.

Over the last two or three years, we’ve also worked with researchers at the Univers i t y o f S t A nd r ew s h e r e i n S c o t l and t o b r i n g a new biological imaging technique known as Airy light sheet microscopy to market. This is a laser and digital imaging system that gives you resolution on the micron scale – sma l l e n o u g h t o l o o k a t t h e b i o c h em i c a l p r ocesses taking place inside cells (see image, right) – over a relatively large area, several hundreds of microns on a side. That means s c i e n t i s t s c an u s e t h i s m i c r o s c o p e t o l o o k a t large collections of cells and star t to understand the processes of l i fe bet ter.

You and Gareth had started a company together before. Did that make it easier to get funding for M Squared? The first time you start a company, everybody tells you that you need a track record to get funded. The second time around, they tell you it’s not quite as easy as that. But the thing we got right was to step back and ask what we needed funding for, how much we needed, and when. It can be easy to get on a perpetual treadmill of constantly raising funding to grow a business, but it’s a very time-consuming process, and Gareth and I have a very strong belief that you need to look af ter the fundamentals f ir st.

So we had a period where we decided to keep things lean and invest some of our own money, in order to de-risk our business proposition by working around the core challenges. That way, when we were r eady to seek funding, we could do so with our best foot forward. We also got strong support from Scottish Enterprise, and at the end of the first year we raised some money f r om a p r i v a t e - e qu i t y hou s e i n Ed i nburgh, Melville Capital. Angus Kennedy Mor r i son, who heads up Melville, has been

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Bright ideas A s ec t i on o f opt i cal l y c l ear ed mouse br a i n ex pr e s s i ng t hy1- GFP Ac t i n. T he image was taken by Anthony Vernon and Robert Chesters at King’s College London using an Airy beam light sheet microscope developed by M Squared. The original dataset was 600 × 600 × 640 μm.

a great supporter of our business, and he still sits on our board, so we made a good pick there.

F o r ab o u t f i v e y e a r s a f t e r t ha t , we t o o k t h e view that the best people to fund the growth of our business were our customers. If what we were doing was valuable – and if we had a decent business model that created the r i g h t mar g i n s f o r t h e r i g h t l e v e l o f i n v e s t men t – then end users and customers would pay for it. But there are also certain points in the life of a business where you need to raise capital to make step changes that you can’t otherwise make. We reached that point in 2011, when we raised £4m from the Business Growth Fund to develop a scaled-up factory and set up a sales and marketing team in North America, a region that now ac c oun t s f o r mor e t han ha l f o f ou r bus i ne s s .

What was the most difficult part of developing M Squared? The entrepreneurial journey is all about heading down a path where the scale of your vision and ambition is completely mismatched to your available resources. You’ve got to realize that. You’ve got this gaping chasm between what you’d like to do and what you are functionally able to do, and the challenge in any high-growth entrepreneurial business is to work out how you’re going to close that gap, step by step.

To me, the answer is, predominantly, by getting the best people to help you. In the early years, many of M Squared’s employees

were people like ourselves who had been around the block in the laser industry, but we also had people working on electronics and control systems who came from a Glasgow company that made very high-end audio systems. Having that expertise is the essence to closing the capability gap. Today, ab o u t a t h i r d o f M S qua r e d ’ s s t a f f c ome f r om outside the UK, and the importance and beauty of that diversity is that it gives you dif ferent insight s, dif ferent t ypes of creativity and a fundamental ability to do bigger, faster, more challenging things.

Any advice for someone starting a business in optics or photonics? Don’t try and do it all yourself. Find things that other people can help you with and ask for help as often as you possibly can, because then you’ll move faster and avoid the pitfalls that other people have seen before. But the main thing I’d say is that I’m amazingly optimistic that we’re coming into a golden era of optics and photonics, where the industry is having a more and more positive impact on the world. That’s been a key part of M Squared’s story, but I think it’s becoming even more so as we begin to see the potential for some of these technologies.

Graeme Malcolm i s t he chie f execut i ve officer and co-founder of the Glasgow, UK-based photonics and quantum technology company M Squared

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Employer directory

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Ark Teacher Training



From teaching to particle physics, and medicine to quantum technologies, employers across many different sectors are seeking the skills and expertise offered by graduate physicists.

AWE plc

University of Birmingham: School of Physics and Astronomy

Cambridge Assessment International Education

Cardiff University: School of Physics and Astronomy

University of Central Lancashire

City University of Hong Kong (CITYU): Department of Physics

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

UCD School of Physics


ELI Beamlines

EPSRC & SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems (AMS-CDT)

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

University of Exeter

ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences

Institute of Physics

Intellectual Property Office

IOP Publishing

Luxinar Ltd

MBDA Missile Systems

National Mathematics & Physics SCITT (NMAPS)

NSL (Nottingham Scientific Ltd)

The Operational Research Society


Quantum Science and Nanomaterials International Graduate School (QMat)

Researchers in Schools

Robinson Research Institute

Sagentia Ltd

University of Strathclyde

Swiss Nanoscience Institute: University of Basel






































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LOCATIONS UK: London, Birmingham, Hastings, Portsmouth

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Approx. 150 on the programme

POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Teacher Training Programme – secondary and primary

Ark Teacher Training is part of the charity Ark, which exists to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, have access to a high-quality education. We do this by recruiting bright, motivated graduates and training them to become excellent teachers across the schools in our network. Why work for us Working in the areas of greatest need across four regions is a challenge, but all our trainees are supported through our programme by a network of experienced educators, as well as each other. We were rated “Outstanding” in all areas by Ofsted, reflecting the high quality of all aspects of our training. Our rigorous school-based training scheme covers the fundamentals for beginning an illustrious and impactful career in teaching: effective classroom practice, a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) qualification and qualified teacher status (QTS) by the end of the first year.

Training and development To support and develop you day to day, you’ll have an in-school coach as well as an Ark tutor. Your coach will have designated time on their timetable to spend with you every week to guide you in planning lessons and watch you teach, so they can offer you tailored feedback on your practice. In addition to this, our weekly training sessions will focus on a key part of your teaching, such as behaviour management, and you’ll have the chance to get up and practice your new skills with your fellow trainees before taking them into the classroom.

At the end of your training year, we will help you secure a role at your school or at another one in the Ark network. The training doesn’t stop when you qualify as a teacher. In line with the DfE’s Early Career Framework, we will support and guide you through your first few years of teaching. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS Bachelor’s degree (2.2 or above) – MA/PhD applicants are warmly welcomed

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Via our website www.arkteachertraining.org

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Ark Teacher Training The Yellow Building 1 Nicholas Road London W11 4AN, UK Tel +44 (0)208 148 3005 E-mail teachertraining@arkonline.org www.arkteachertraining.org

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Imagine working on something that you can’t test - but cannot afford to fail. Join AWE and use your unique skills to provide a central role in the defence of the UK. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to work with exceptional technologies, facilities and projects that no ordinary company can provide. Join the AWE team and you’ll tackle unique challenges alongside remarkable people and achieve extraordinary things.

Apply now at www.awe.co.uk/careers

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POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Materials and analytical scientist, computational physicist, EMR/ESD/ lightning/radar specialist, radiological waste team leader, operational health physics

PRE-REQUISITES Must be a British National

For almost 70 years, AWE has supported the UK Government’s nuclear defence strategy, providing the warheads for the Continuous At Sea Deterrent. We also use our nuclear know-how and technical expertise to provide innovative solutions that support the UK’s counter-terrorism and nuclear threat reduction activities.

Why work for us Working at AWE gives you access to exceptional technologies, facilities and projects that no ordinary company can provide – and the support of world-class professionals at every stage of your career. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, including a “nine-day fortnight” giving you every other Friday off to spend more time doing the things that you love. If you want to work in a unique and innovative environment, then AWE could be the perfect place for you.

Training and development We believe in supporting our people through long-term investment in learning and development. Alongside in-house and on-line training capabilities, we support membership of professional bodies. We also focus on building and developing leadership skills, in pursuit of our best-inclass ambition. We do this through tailored leadership development programmes, accredited by the Chartered Management

Institute, designed to equip our leaders with the skills to drive performance and bring out the best in their teams.

Graduate schemes Our two-year programme offers opportunities in a variety of disciplines across our business. The programme is designed to be flexible, to incorporate a range of experiences as well as business needs. You’ll undertake several placements to expand your knowledge of your discipline, enabling you to develop yourself and your ongoing career. Your line manager will work with you to create an appropriate pathway for you – and support you on your journey.

HOW TO APPLY Please visit our website www.awe.co.uk for further information

CONTACT AWE plc Aldermaston Reading Berkshire RG7 4PR, UK Tel +44 (0)118 981 4111 www.awe.co.uk

What we are looking for AWE is an equal-opportunities employer. We value diversity and welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds. We are always looking for high-calibre people to join our team, so why not explore the opportunities that we currently have on offer. Whatever stage of your career, AWE is an exciting and excellent environment to develop your skills and achieve your aspirations. Please note that you must be a British National to apply for a role at AWE.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Accelerators, neutron & light sources • Atomic & molecular science • Computational science • Electronics & semiconductors • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Mathematics & statistics • Modelling • Nanotechnology • Nuclear, fusion & energy • Plasma science & technology • Quantum science & technology

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Physics World  Careers 2020

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The University of Birmingham is the biggest, and longest running provider of Nuclear Degree courses in the UK. Both MSc courses are sponsored by the UK nuclear industry, who also provide lecturing, summer projects, and funding (for home students) on the course. Upon applying for one of the MSc courses an applicant is automatically considered for the funding. We also run a Nuclear Engineering undergraduate course. The next intake of the courses begin the MSc on the 21st of September 2020. Contact person: Dr Paul Norman, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT. Email: p.i.norman@bham.ac.uk PLACES/FUNDING CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

MSc Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors

This one year MSc programme is open to graduates of any physical science, engineering or mathematical discipline wishing to go into the nuclear industry. Integrated labs and tutorials each week bring together a wide range of topics and provide examples and guidance in person.

 Summer project usually taken in industry.  Sponsored by companies within the UK

nuclear industry  Funding available  Run continuously since 1956, it is by far the UK's

longest running nuclear power degree  Study Nuclear Physics, Reactor Materials,

Radiation Science, Thermal Hydraulics, Radio Chemistry and more...


MSc Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Management

This one year multidisciplinary MSc programme is for graduates from a science-based background, wishing to go into the nuclear industry. It covers a range of the skills required to work in the nuclear industry and is co-taught with the academic staff from the Schools of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, Physics and Chemistry.

 Industrial advisory board of nuclear companies,

including the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).  Funding available  Developed to meet the growing UK and worldwide

need for Nuclear Decommissioning  Study Decommissioning, Radiation Protection,

Fuel Cycle, Waste Management, Financial Appraisal and more...


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LOCATION Birmingham, UK

NUMBER OF RESEARCHERS The University of Birmingham is the fourth largest university in the UK by student enrolment, therefore comprises a significant number of researchers

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS Physics or a related subject, at first or 2.1 level, although a 2.2 may be considered on a case-by-case basis

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to study in the UK

The University of Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterized by a tradition of innovation, research at the university has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on peoples’ lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

Why study with us The University of Birmingham has by far the longest-running pedigree of any UK university in teaching nuclear power degree courses. Our physics and technology of nuclear reactors MSc (PTNR) began in 1956, the same year as the world’s first commercial nuclear power station, and continues to run to this day. Our MSc in nuclear decommissioning and waste management (NDAWM) is the only decommissioning-focused degree course in the UK. Birmingham also runs the biggest nuclear-engineering undergraduate programme in the UK.

Training and development Our nuclear programmes have been refined over many years, and stem back to the early pioneers in the field when Otto Frisch (one of the discoverers of fission) and Sir Rudolph Peierls (one of the 20th century’s great theoretical physicists) wrote their Frisch-Peierls Memorandum at Birmingham. We have a steering group of major UK nuclear-industry companies that provide funding to the MSc courses and guidance on course content and development. They also heavily recruit from us. Graduate schemes Our MSc courses are postgraduate programmes intended for graduates from most engineering and physical sciences disciplines.

HOW TO APPLY Online at www.birmingham.ac.uk/ schools/physics/postgraduate/ index.aspx

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT University of Birmingham Edgbaston Birmingham B15 2TT, UK Tel +44 (0)121 414 4660 E-mail p.i.norman@bham.ac.uk www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/ physics/postgraduate/index.aspx

What we are looking for Graduates who have a good first- or second-class degree (or equivalent) in physics or a related subject. 2.2 degrees can be considered on a case-by-case basis. PhD possibilities may also exist if the student has funding.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Accelerators, neutron & light sources • Armed forces & defence • Atomic & molecular science • Education & teaching • Energy & renewables • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Mathematics & statistics • Medical physics • Metrology & measurement science • Modelling • Nuclear, fusion & energy • Physical chemistry • Plasma science & technology

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5 2


HOW TO APPLY To view and apply for all the opportunities we currently have on offer, visit our website at www.cambridgeinternational.org/ about-us/examiners and click on “Apply to become an Assessment Specialist”

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Cambridge Assessment International Education Triangle Building Shaftesbury Road Cambridge CB2 8EA, UK E-mail assessor.development@ cambridgeinternational.org www.cambridgeinternational.org

We are Cambridge Assessment International Education, and we deliver qualifications in more than 10,000 schools in more than 160 countries across the world. Currently, we have opportunities for teachers to join us as Assessment Specialists in a wide variety of subjects at Cambridge IGCSE, O-level and AS- and A-level. Why work for us With many different opportunities available, there is so much that we can offer: •   A powerful insight into the teaching and

assessment of Cambridge qualifications •   Support in developing a teacher’s

professional practice

•   Training and support •   Opportunities for examination series that

fit around existing commitments

What we are looking for We are looking for teachers and/or experts to work with us in a variety of subjects, including physics. Applicants should have: •   Teaching experience with a relevant

degree •   A PC/laptop and broadband to allow

them to access Cambridge on-screen marking systems and IT skills Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Earth & environmental science • Education & teaching • Electronics & semiconductors

Physics World  Careers 2020

In association with brightrecruits

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NUMBER OF RESEARCHERS 54 research staff

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS For undergraduate, generally AAA–ABB. For postgraduates, generally 2.1 minimum in a physical science/ mathematics degree

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to study in the UK

The School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University is one of the most highly regarded departments in the UK for undergraduate, research and postgraduate studies. We are a research-intensive school involved in globally significant scientific discoveries and were ranked sixth in the UK for quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Why study with us Our students benefit from a friendly and supportive environment with modern teaching laboratories. All of our undergraduate courses have a common first year that allows you to transfer onto a different undergraduate course within the school. Our courses provide you with practical skills and the ability to solve reallife problems. We attract multi-million-pound funding for research projects, the most significant of which are from government and international space agencies.

Training and development Physics and astronomy degrees are for those who would like to discover the science behind the universe. All of our degree programmes are accredited by the Institute of Physics. Choosing an accredited degree will make it easier to obtain professional awards such as Chartered Physicist (CPhys) later in your career. We also offer the opportunity for a professional placement. You can take a year in industry as part of some of our degree programmes or you have the option of an exciting summer placement at home or abroad.

Graduate schemes Research in the school involves worldwide collaborations and the use of leadingedge national and international facilities. We provide supervision and/or research projects in a range of areas including gravitational physics, astronomy, condensed matter and photonics. Each year we have a range of PhD studentships on offer and we are the lead university for the Centre for Doctoral Training in Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing that offers fully funded studentships for selected students. There are also a range of funding opportunities for MSc students. Please visit our funding pages for more information. Students are also offered the opportunity to undertake demonstrating or marking duties for our undergraduate students.

HOW TO APPLY Postgraduates apply online at www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/ postgraduate/applying/how-to-apply. Undergraduates apply through UCAS

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy Queen’s Building The Parade Cardiff South Glamorgan CF24 3AA, Wales Tel +44 (0)29 208 76457 E-mail physics-admissions@cardiff.ac.uk www.cardiff.ac.uk/physics-astronomy

What we are looking for We welcome students to our undergraduate and postgraduate courses with a range of qualifications and achievements that demonstrate potential to benefit from our research-led learning and teaching.

Our Master’s Excellence Scholarship Scheme sees us investing up to a total of £500,000 in this high-value competitive scholarship scheme to support home and EU students who are planning to start an eligible Master’s programme in September 2020. The scholarships are each worth a minimum of £3000 and will be awarded in the form of a tuition-fee discount.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Accelerators, neutron & light sources • Acoustics • Astronomy, cosmology & space science • Electronics & semiconductors • Materials science • Medical physics • Metrology & measurement science • Nanotechnology • Quantum science & technology

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The open access journal for short research publications across the physical sciences.

Providing visibility, recognition and publication credit for research outputs including: • New r e sul t s • Negat i ve o r r epr oduced r e sul t s • Descr i p t i ons o f methods and pr o t ocol s • Descr i p t i ons o f da t a o r code All article publication costs will be covered by IOP Publishing until July 2020.


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HOW TO APPLY Tel +44 (0)1772 892 400 E-mail cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

CONTACT University of Central Lancashire Fylde Road Preston PR1 2HE, UK Tel +44 (0)1772 892 400 E-mail cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk www.uclan.ac.uk

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) offers the MSc in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Why study with us The MSc in nanoscience and nanotechnology is delivered by worldleading nanoscience researchers based at UCLan. You can learn from the people doing the cutting-edge research in the topics that are taught. We also have great links to industry, which are used to the utmost benefit by including speakers, from companies using nanotechnology every day, to deliver portions of the course. We can use our experience to help you to find a placement within our vibrant existing placement community, should you wish to study for the two-year option. Research Our areas of expertise include nanoparticle fabrication and characterization, molecular

electronics, surface science, graphene, micromagnetics, organic photovoltaics and ionic liquids, all of which are highly exciting focus areas for nanotechnology and nanoscience. Professional training All students carry out a number of research projects with differing levels of engagement with industry, from purely lab-based blue skies research, to attempting to solve problems posed by speakers from industry.

We also offer a professional research skills module to hone the abilities of students to apply themselves to real problems.

Finally, there is the two-year option for the course, which includes direct training working within a company on a professional placement.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

5 5

In association with brightrecruits

Categories • Atomic & molecular science • Energy & renewables • Materials science • Medical physics • Nanotechnology • Quantum science & technology

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#4 [QS] “Top 50 under 50” in 2020

#1 [THE] World University

#52 [QS] World University Rankings 2020

#90 [QS] Graduate Employability

#15 [THE] Asia University Rankings 2019

Worldwide Search for Talent City University of Hong Kong is a dynamic, fast-growing university that is pursuing excellence in research and professional education. As a publicly funded institution,

the University is committed to nurturing and developing students’ talents and creating applicable knowledge to support social and economic advancement. The University has nine Colleges/Schools. As part of its pursuit of excellence, the University aims to recruit outstanding scholars from all over the world in various disciplines, including business, creative media, data science, energy and environment, science and engineering, humanities and social sciences, law, veterinary medicine and life sciences.

The University welcomes applications and nominations for all faculty positions of Chair Professor, Professor, Associate Professor and Assistant Professor. The remuneration package will be highly competitive, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Interested parties are invited to submit an online application with current curriculum vitae to apply for current openings at http://go.cityu.hk/hrojobuk or by email to “hrojob@cityu.edu.hk”.

City University of Hong Kong is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to the principle of diversity, Personal data provided by applicants will be used for recruitment and other employment related purposes.

Worldwide recognition ranking 52nd and 4th among top 50 universities under age 50 (QS survey 2020); 1st in Engineering/ Technology/Computer Sciences in Hong Kong (ARWU survey 2016); and 2nd Business School in Asia-Pacific region (UT Dallas survey 2017).

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CityU is a young, fast-growing, research university. The Department of Physics was founded in 2017, building on the outstanding tradition of the former Department of Physics and Materials Science. The last Research Assessment Exercise conducted by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, ranked CityU’s physics second in Hong Kong. Why work for us The department is undergoing major expansion. Our existing faculties conduct world-class research, and our teaching curriculum is internationally benchmarked. Hong Kong, Asia’s gateway to the world, provides excellent graduate student support, attracting top students from China, south-east Asia, and elsewhere in the world. As a truly international city, Hong Kong offers a unique lifestyle where East meets West, tradition meets contemporary, and mountains meet the ocean. Our compensation package is internationally competitive and commensurate with experience.

Training and development Being a new department, incoming faculties will have a major role to play in shaping the future of the programme. Generous support is provided to new researchers, allowing them to quickly

In association with brightrecruits



POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Theoretical and computational physics; spectroscopy and imaging; lowdimensional systems; soft matter and biophysics; atomic, molecular and optical physics

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS A PhD in physics or a related field. Experimental physicists are particularly welcome to apply

set up research groups. International collaboration is strongly encouraged, with funding support available at all levels: national, university, college and department. The Greater Bay Area initiative, which aims to transform the Pearl River region encompassing Hong Kong, Macau and nearby cities in Guangdong, to an international centre of innovation, offers outstanding opportunities for new researchers to excel.

What we are looking for We are looking for candidates with a strong research record and promising teaching ability, with the goal to establish a worldclass research programme. Applications are sought in the broad research themes outlined below. Experimental physicists are particularly encouraged to apply. Applicants of all experience levels are welcome. An initial appointment will normally be made on a fixed-term contract; the appointee can apply for substantiation or tenure during the second contract. Exceptional candidates can be appointed at higher ranks with tenure. Applicants in underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

HOW TO APPLY Apply online at jobs.cityu.edu.hk

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Department of Physics City University of Hong Kong Tat Chee Avenue Kowloon Hong Kong Tel +852 3442-9140 E-mail phy.head@cityu.edu.hk cityu.edu.hk/phy

Categories • Atomic & molecular science • Biophysics & bioengineering • Computational science • Electronics & semiconductors • Energy & renewables • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Mathematics & statistics • Medical physics • Modelling • Optics, lasers & photonics • Physical chemistry • Plasma science & technology • Quantum science & technology

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Unexpected Friendships Missions Explorations Discoveries


Unexpected Science

Start your beginning with Dstl


company dstl







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LOCATIONS UK: Fareham, Portsmouth; Salisbury, Wiltshire; Sevenoaks, Kent


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Electronic engineers, data scientists, energetics engineers, underwater C4I expert, radar scientist, commercial manager, operational analysts


PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is all about innovation and multidisciplinary creativity. We’re responsible for designing, developing and applying the very latest in science and technology to protect the UK. Why work for us Working with other government departments, universities and businesses, we develop battle-winning technologies that support UK military operations – now and into the future.

At Dstl, you’ll find a workforce of respected scientists and professionals who specialize in many different science, technology and related disciplines. Our team collaborates on research and projects with some of the most talented professionals and academics in the world.

Training and development We offer an extensive range of technical and professional training that’s relevant for your career and your future ambitions, delivered both in-house and externally. We’ll support you with chartership and accreditation, and fund up to two professional memberships for you each year.

Graduate schemes We’re looking for innovative, enthusiastic STEM graduates to join our business.

You will work on a wide variety of projects – no day is the same as the one before. You will take vital capabilities and push them to their limits, using creativity and innovation to solve real-world problems for real-world customers. We work at the forefront of defence research and innovation, which is a dynamic and rapidly evolving environment. Quite simply, this is work that you cannot do anywhere else.

What we are looking for We’re always looking for the best technical and scientific minds to join us in a range of roles, at all levels across Dstl. You’ll need a relevant qualification in your field and a flair for solving problems. But above all, you must want to make a difference now and in the future. Your work here will make a valuable contribution to addressing the ever-changing challenges faced by the UK Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence and the UK government. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

HOW TO APPLY Apply online at www.civilservicejobs. service.gov.uk

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Defence Science and Technology Laboratory 5 Porton Down Salisbury Wiltshire SP4 0JQ, UK Tel +44 (0)1980 618484 E-mail dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk www.dstl.gov.uk

Categories • Computational science • Mathematics & statistics • Software engineering

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LOCATIONS Hamburg and Zeuthen, Germany


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Beamline scientists and engineers, laser and control engineers, scientists detector development, DESY fellowships in accelerator R&D/photon science/ particle physics, computer scientists, electrical engineers, software developer, and many more

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS From interns to trainees, from students to graduates, from PhD to postdocs, all in a wide variety of specializations

HOW TO APPLY Apply online at www.desy.de/career

Become a part of DESY as we are one of the world’s leading accelerator centres. Researchers use the large-scale facilities at DESY to explore the microcosm in all its variety – from the interactions of tiny elementary particles and the behaviour of new types of nanomaterials, to biomolecular processes that are essential to life. Why work for us DESY is not only an employer for 2500 people from more than 65 nations, but also a magnet for more than 3000 guest researchers each year from all over the world using our unique research tools. Committed young researchers find an exciting interdisciplinary setting at DESY. We strive to achieve a balanced relationship between our work at DESY and our private lives, and we promote equal opportunity and a healthy balance between professional and family life.

Training and development We offer young scientists an international and interdisciplinary setting for ambitious scientific projects, and we provide the appropriate training and working environment for a variety of technical

and administrative professions. DESY offers a large number of internal training programmes for all career stages as well as individual talent management courses and mentoring programmes, and therefore supports the career path of every single person in our institute.

Graduate schemes DESY covers the whole educational lifecycle of a scientist – from internships, summerschool programmes for undergraduates, bachelor and Master’s theses, graduate schools, all the way to specific fellowship programmes, young investigator groups and professorship programmes.

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY HR Department Notkestr. 85 22607 Hamburg Germany Tel +49 40 8998 3392 E-mail recruitment@desy.de www.desy.de/career

What we are looking for In order to maintain our top-level position and to achieve our future scientific goals, the highest attribute that we are looking for is passion. This means that we are not only focusing on just the very best talents, but the ones combining knowledge, ambition, curiosity and dedication towards science and its surrounding areas in one personality. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Accelerators, neutron & light sources • Astronomy, cosmology & space science • Computational sciencey • Electronics & semiconductors • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Nanotechnolog • Optics, lasers & photonics • Programming • Plasma science & technology • Software engineering

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LOCATION Dublin, Ireland

NUMBER OF RESEARCHERS 30 academic; 17 research; 13 administration/technical/other; 55 PhD students

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to study in the EU

University College Dublin hosts more than 26,000 students based in six colleges, of which 6000 are international students and 1500 are PhD students. The university is situated on a large modern campus located about 4 km south of the centre of Dublin. The College of Science comprises of seven Schools: Biology and Environmental Science; Biomolecular and Biomedical Science; Chemistry; Computer Science; Earth Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics; and Physics. Why study with us The UCD School of Physics has a strong reputation for excellence in research and teaching, attracting students and staff of the highest international quality. The mission of the School of Physics is to promote knowledge and cultural and economic advancement, through excellence in research and teaching in physics (and related fields). The school has two over-arching research themes: fundamental physics, and physics in health and medicine. It is one of the leading schools of physics in Ireland. Objectives of the school include: •   To continue to provide first-class

education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in which teaching is delivered by research-active academic staff to equip graduates for careers in physics and in a wide range of related disciplines.

•   To conduct excellent research in the

school by establishing a critical mass of top-quality research teams and through increased funding from external sources. •   To strengthen existing collaborations

and develop new research links with international centres of excellence in physics and science in general. The UCD School of Physics is committed to being an inclusive, collegial and diverse environment in which all staff and students, regardless of gender, civil or family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community, are respected and valued, and given the necessary support to overcome barriers and to achieve their full academic potential. University College Dublin and UCD School of Physics are committed to fairness, consistency and transparency in selection decisions.

HOW TO APPLY Taught MSc: www.ucd.ie/apply PhD/MSc (research): www.ucd.ie/ physics/study/graduatestudents Currently recruiting: www.ucd.ie/physics/ research/vacanciesopportunities

CONTACT UCD School of Physics University College Dublin Science North Belfield Dublin 4, Ireland Tel +353 1 716 2210 E-mail bairbre.fox@ucd.ie www.ucd.ie/physics www.ucd.ie/aboutucd.htm

Graduate schemes We offer MSc taught programmes in space science and technology; applied mathematics and theoretical physics; computational physics; nanobioscience; nanotechnology; and physics.

We are also recruiting for PhD or MSc (research). Scholarships currently open: Thomas Preston Scholarship (PhD only); SIRAT Scholarship (PhD and MSc by research).

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Accelerators, neutron & light sources • Aerospace • Astronomy, cosmology & space science • Atomic & molecular science • Biophysics & bioengineering • Cancer research & oncology • Computational science • Earth & environmental science • Education & teaching • Electronics & semiconductors • Materials science • Mathematics & statistics • Medical physics • Modelling • Nanotechnology • Nuclear, fusion & energy • Optics, lasers & photonics • Physical chemistry • Plasma science & technology • Programming • Quantum science & technology • Software engineering • Space exploration

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Meet cancer’s biggest threat: Precision Radiation Medicine.

Elekta is committed to ensuring everyone in the world with cancer has access to—and benefits from—more precise, personalized radiotherapy treatments. Focus where it matters. elekta.com/PRM


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LOCATIONS Main offices in the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, China and USA


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR We recruit for a variety of positions across our business – from research and development, through manufacturing and supply, to customer management, sales and service

Elekta is a leader in precision radiation medicine, committed to ensuring that everyone with cancer in the world has access to – and benefits from – more precise, personalized radiotherapy treatments. Our solutions for cancer care and brain disorders are tailored to target the tumour and protect the patient. Why work for us Our treatment solutions and oncology informatics portfolios are designed to enhance the delivery of radiation therapy, radiosurgery and brachytherapy, and to drive cost-efficiency in clinical workflows. At Elekta, you will have the opportunity to work with a complex range of technologies including radiation physics, X-ray and MR imaging, software, electronics and mechanical systems. In addition, we also have expertise in manufacturing, logistics, product management, procurement, technical training and many other disciplines that can fulfil your career aspirations.

Training and development At Elekta we expect every employee to want to do their best work and take responsibility for the development of their career. We offer different routes for development – from product and technical training, to attendance of scientific workshops and conferences – as well as personal development

programmes to enhance effectiveness and develop leadership skills. Employees benefit from a network of coaches and mentors and are encouraged to achieve industry-recognized qualifications (such as CEng, CPhys).

Graduate schemes Some of our current employees started their career in Elekta through our Graduate Training Scheme. This is a two-year training programme that is currently under review – however, until such an opportunity becomes available again, graduates are encouraged to apply for job positions via our vacancy postings on our website.

What we are looking for We are looking for motivated scientists and engineers with strong problem-solving skills and the ability to contribute in multidisciplinary teams. Roles will often offer interaction with our customers, healthcare professionals and research institutions, therefore we require excellent communications skills. Elekta solutions encompass the broad spectrum of disease management. Diverse and exciting employment opportunities are available in many areas. If this sounds like the kind of organization you’d like to become a part of, we want to hear from you. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS Undergraduate or postgraduate degree in medical physics, accelerator physics, imaging, mechanical engineering, electronics and software engineering, or relevant experience. Some technical roles may require professional qualifications

PRE-REQUISITES Eligibility to work in the job’s location is preferred

HOW TO APPLY Please visit www.elekta.com/careers

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Elekta Linac House Fleming Way Crawley RH10 9RR, UK Tel +44 (0)1293 544422 E-mail info@elekta.com elekta.com Categories • Accelerators, neutron & light sources • Cancer research & oncology • Computational science • Education & teaching • Electronics & semiconductors • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Medical physics • Modelling • Programming • Publishing & communications • Science policy & patents • Software engineering • Technical sales & commercial

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JOIN US! The future is in laser technologies

The ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) Project is an integral part of the European plan to build the next generation of large research facilities. ELI-Beamlines as a cutting edge laser facility is currently being constructed near Prague, Czech Republic. ELI will be delivering ultra-short, ultra-intense laser pulses lasting typically a few tens of femtoseconds with peak power projected to reach 10 PW. It will make available time synchronized laser beams over a wide range of intensities for multi-disciplinary applications in physics, medicine, biology, material science etc. The high intensities of the laser pulse will be also used for generating secondary sources of e- and p+ and high-energy photons. Our research groups are expanding and recruiting physicists and engineers.

In our team we therefore have the following positions available: • Junior Scientist • Senior Scientist • Laser Physicist • Junior Engineer

• Senior Engineer • MMonte Carlo Specialist • Mechanical Designer • Control System Specialist

• LLabview Developer • Optical Engineer • X-ray Scientist • Opto-mechanics

For more information see our website www.eli-beams.eu and send your application, please.

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LOCATION Czech Republic


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Scientists, engineers, PhD students and technicians

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS From apprenticeship to PhD in a wide variety of domains

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the EU

HOW TO APPLY Apply online at www.eli-beams.eu

ELI Beamlines is a part of the European ELI project, the world’s first international laser facility. An international team is currently installing the world’s most intense laser systems, and when complete, ELI Beamlines will be open to an international and interdisciplinary user community from academia and industry. Mandated by the international scientific laser community and implemented in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, the ELI project will drive international laser research and laser-based applications to new frontiers, and will fulfil important missions for regional socio-economic development. About us The main mission of ELI Beamlines is to provide a user-oriented infrastructure for performing revolutionary scientific experiments across many different disciplines. It will combine advanced synchronized ultra-intense short-pulse lasers with secondary sources of particles and X-rays.

The ELI Beamlines facility will provide research opportunities at a number of world-class secondary sources, each one driven by ultra-intense lasers. These secondary sources, partially based on entirely new concepts, will produce pulses

of radiation and particles of the highest intensity and beam quality, including electromagnetic radiation over a broad spectral range and charged particles such as electrons, protons and ions. These will enable a wealth of novel applications.

Since its very beginning, ELI Beamlines has been closely connected with various scientific institutions around the world. This scientific exchange will be intensified still further when ELI starts to work as a user facility. And beyond its scientific co-operation, ELI Beamlines will promote aggressive technology transfer.

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT ELI Beamlines Za Radnicí 835 Dolní Brˇežany Czech Republic 252 41 Tel +420 601560322 E-mail jana.zeniskova@eli-beams.eu www.eli-beams.eu

Why work for us ELI Beamlines brings together people from all over the world. If you want to participate in the largest laser research project in the world, apply through the offer of employment at www.eli-beams.eu/ en. We are interested in people of various professions and specializations. We can offer interesting and challenging work, dedicated training, plus the chance to work with smart people in a pleasant working environment.

The future is in laser technologies. Are you interested? Join us! Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Materials science • Optics, lasers & photonics • Plasma science & technology

In association with brightrecruits

Physics World  Careers 2020

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PhDifferent. We’re looking for the brightest Maths, Science and Engineering graduates to join the

Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems for a PhD or EngD

programme with a difference.

Join a cohort from all STEM disciplines, study at four prestigious universities (in Sheffield, Manchester and Dublin), undertake a world-leading combination of technical

and professional training and a doctoral research project in collaboration with

companies such as Rolls Royce, Airbus, Johnson Matthey and Volkswagen*.

Cohort doctoral experience and bespoke training for all STEM graduates.

Enhanced stipend (additional £13,000 over 4 years)

International travel and industry linked projects. Fill the graduate gap in materials 4.0 manufacturing. Apply to a project now for September 2020 entry.

See our projects for September 2020 entry at www.metallicscdt.co.uk/apply

Contact us at: enquiries@metallicscdt.co.uk or +44 (0)114 222 5478

* project partners for the 2020 cohort projects

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The AMS-CDT is the only metallic materials CDT in the UK, working across four renowned research-led universities (Sheffield, Manchester, University College Dublin and Dublin City University). We recruit graduates and, with industry, offer scholarships for a four-year PhD programme with training in metallic materials for digital manufacturing. Why study with us The high-value metals manufacturing sector has a significant shortage of skilled engineering graduates. The companies we work with (e.g. Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Airbus, BP, VW) consider novel metallic materials and engineering solutions for manufacturing as critical to R&D and growth in many topics (including aerospace, automotive, defence, health and renewable energy). We offer funded scholarships (typically approx. £18,000 stipend) to undertake a four-year PhD programme with additional training, to develop the skills to address these R&D issues.

Training and development Our four-year programme comprises a first year of intense training in metallic materials in Sheffield, Manchester and Dublin, followed by a three-year PhD or

LOCATIONS Sheffield, Manchester, UK; Dublin, Ireland

NUMBER OF RESEARCHERS 60+ students in the CDT currently

EngD research project. Our first-year training programme is novel and evolves year-onyear to address state of the art in phase transformation, structure and mechanical properties, super-alloys, and digital metals manufacturing, processing and optimization for industry 4.0 skills. Our students also undertake an in-depth transferable skills training programme across the four years, that awards graduates a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Skills.

Graduate schemes All our schemes are for graduates only in STEMM disciplines.

What we are looking for We recruit UK/EU graduates with a high 2.1 or first degree in any STEMM subject, to funded projects that provide a tuition fee and enhanced stipend (2019/20 PhD stipend £17,509/€18,000). We offer 19 scholarships per year (seven at Sheffield, seven at Manchester and five in Ireland). Please see our website for scholarship eligibility and available projects. As our students frequently travel between partner universities in the training programme, we seek candidates that can evidence high motivation. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Please go to www.metallicscdt.co.uk for past projects and available 2020 projects

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS All STEMM subjects: high 2.1 or first

PRE-REQUISITES For UK projects applicants must be eligible to study in the UK. For Ireland projects applicants must be eligible to study in the EU

HOW TO APPLY Apply to each university, naming the project title advertised at www.metallicscdt.co.uk or FindaPhD.com

CLOSING DATE There is no closing date although places are usually filled by early May for a September start

CONTACT EPSRC & SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems (AMS-CDT) Sir Robert Hadfield Building Portobello Street Sheffield S1 3JD, UK Tel +44 (0)114 222 5478 E-mail enquiries@metallicscdt.co.uk www.metallicscdt.co.uk

In association with brightrecruits

Categories • Aerospace • Computational science • Energy & renewables • Materials science • Modelling • Nanotechnology • Nuclear, fusion & energy • Oil & gas • Programming

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The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is one of the world’s leading research institutions, and Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences. Research at EMBL emphasizes experimental analysis at multiple levels of biological organization, from the molecule to the organism; as well as computational biology, bioinformatics and systems biology. Why work for us Would you like to contribute your creativity to an international team of scientists, from all disciplines, focusing on basic research in molecular life sciences? EMBL opens the door to your scientific career: our students have an outstanding publication record, are a vital part of our global collaborations and receive their degrees jointly with our network of excellent partner universities in 17 countries. EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organization.

Training and development The EMBL International PhD Programme represents the flagship of EMBL’s commitment to first-class training and education. Internationality, dedicated mentoring and early independence in research characterize our programme. Considered to be one of the most competitive PhD training schemes to enter, we are committed to providing EMBL PhD students with the best starting platform for a successful career in science.

What we are looking for We invite candidates with backgrounds in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, engineering and molecular medicine to apply to our 3.5–4-year structured programme. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

LOCATIONS Germany, France, Italy, Spain and UK


HOW TO APPLY Online via www.embl.de/training/eipp/ application/index.html

CLOSING DATE Two calls per year that run from February to April (interviews in July) and from August to October (interviews in January the following year)

CONTACT EMBL Graduate Office European Molecular Biology Laboratory Meyerhofstrasse 1 D-69117 Heidelberg Germany Tel +49 (0)6221 387 8612 or 8896 E-mail predocs@embl.de www.embl.de/training/eipp/index.html

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In association with brightrecruits

Categories • Biophysics & bioengineering • Cancer research & oncology • Computational science • Engineering & instrumentation • Mathematics & statistics • Neuroscience • Optics, lasers & photonics

Physics World  Careers 2020

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C e n t r e f o r D o c t o r a l Tr a i n i n g i n Metamate r i a l s ( XM 2 )

Fully funded PhD studentships in Physics/Engineering www.exeter.ac.uk/metamaterials From fundamentals to application: encompassing design, simulation, fabrication and characterisations of Metamaterials, relevant to Defence & Security, Energy, Healthcare, and ICT. Develop the next generation of novel materials and devices across the electromagnetic spectrum, in acoustics, phononics and fluidics, with expertise spanning 2D materials, additive layer manufacture, biomaterials, magnetic materials, nanocomposites, metasurfaces, interface physics, photovoltaics, and phase

change materials.

The future is waiting.

What can you add? Apply now!


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The University of Exeter is among the top 150 universities worldwide according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Functional materials is a key theme of the institution’s £320m Science Strategy. This theme benefitted from the appointment of 23 new academics along with £20m of investment in research infrastructure.

Why study with us Our PhD students (postgraduate researchers, PGRs) are highly skilled and talented researchers, with the potential to become future leaders in industry and academia.

Unlike traditional “lone-scholar” PhDs, our PGRs are embedded in a strong local network of knowledge and experiences, formed by their peers, the academic supervisors and postdocs, who support the PGRs in their research and personal development.



PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to study in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Apply online www.exeter.ac.uk/ metamaterials/apply

CLOSING DATE On or before 30 June 2020

Training and development PGRs have access to a wide range of training within their college and across the institution. We offer scientific as well as professional skills training such as industrial awareness, teaching qualifications and project management.

As you progress, you will receive training in public speaking, intellectual property, business awareness, and interview techniques to prepare you for the next step in your career.

CONTACT University of Exeter Physics Building Stocker Road Exeter EX4 4QL, UK Tel +44 (0)1392 724718 E-mail metamaterials@exeter.ac.uk www.exeter.ac.uk/metamaterials

What we are looking for We are looking for individuals who are curious and solution-oriented team players with the drive to make a difference and a supportive mindset. Like us, you should be genuinely committed to equality and diversity, recognizing differences as an opportunity for enrichment and learning. If you are ready to step up and take your development to the next level, now’s the time to apply.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Acoustics • Materials science • Modelling • Nanotechnology • Optics, lasers & photonics • Plasma science & technology • Quantum science & technology

In association with brightrecruits

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POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Undergraduate and postgraduate students, PhD, postdoctoral and research engineer positions

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS Physics, engineering, mathematics, chemistry or biology

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the EU

HOW TO APPLY Apply through our ICFO Job Openings site at jobs.icfo.eu

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences Av. Carl Friedrich Gauss, num. 3 Castelldefels Barcelona Spain Tel +34 935534002 E-mail jobs@icfo.eu www.icfo.eu

Categories • Biophysics & bioengineering • Energy & renewables • Medical physics • Nanotechnology • Physical chemistry • Quantum science & technology

ICFO is a research excellence centre devoted to the science and technology of light with the mission to conduct frontier research, train the next generation of scientists and provide knowledge and technology transfer. We have more than 400 researchers dedicated to fundamental and applied research, addressing standing issues such as health, renewable energies, information technologies, security and industrial processes. Why work for us ICFO strives to be a resource for science, technology and talent, and to provide researchers with unique skills to become successful and independent future leaders, both in the academic and industrial worlds. ICFO provides cuttingedge facilities, a stimulating international and interdisciplinary environment, as well as high-level training and extended administrative support for national and international researchers, at different career levels, with backgrounds in scientific disciplines related to optics and photonics, and their applications, including physics, engineering, mathematics, chemistry and biology.

Training and development Central to ICFO’s mission is to provide opportunities for personal and professional

growth to exceptional students, scientists and future stakeholders in the academic and industrial worlds.

A broad range of tailor-made careerdevelopment programmes have been created to meet the needs of specific target audiences. ICFO offers focused PhD programmes and dedicated Master’s studies. ICFOnians have access to opportunities throughout the year for enhancing existing skills and competencies, including scientific lectures, specialized seminars, technical workshops, specific courses and other networking opportunities.

What we are looking for ICFO was conceived as a place where highly motivated and dedicated researchers would have the resources – both in terms of advanced equipment and human capital – to engage in research at the very highest international level. At the core of ICFO life is the drive for deeper scientific understanding, which can only be gained by dedication, hard work, asking questions and experimenting with new concepts and ideas. ICFO’s scientific impact factor is high and the ambition to publish original findings is strong. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

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POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR We have recruited to a variety of positions across a range of departments including communications and marketing, education, science and innovation, and more

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Apply at iopjobs.org/vacancies

Institute of Physics’ offices in King’s Cross.

The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics in the UK and Ireland. We seek to raise public awareness and understanding of physics and support the development of a diverse and inclusive physics community. As a charity, we’re here to ensure that physics delivers on its exceptional potential to benefit society. Why work for us As a society we face an unprecedented array of challenges. Globally, we need to address a changing climate and a growing population, to decarbonize economies, improve healthcare and ensure water, food and energy supplies. Domestically, we need to develop the next generation of industries to create jobs and improve productivity to safeguard citizens’ futures.

Physics has a vital role to play in tackling these issues and helping make the UK and Ireland fit for a new industrial era of science, technology and engineering.

There’s never been a more exciting time to join the IOP. We have an ambitious new corporate strategy “Unlocking the Future”, that seeks to address these challenges, and

you’ll play a part in helping us to deliver it.

You’ll work from our new flagship King’s Cross offices. As well as a competitive salary and professional development opportunities, we offer employees a comprehensive benefits package including an excellent pension scheme, private medical insurance and generous annual leave. We also offer a range of other benefits including childcare vouchers, gym membership and interestfree season ticket loans.

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Human resources Institute of Physics 37 Caledonian Road London N1 9BU, UK Tel +44 (0)20 7470 4800 E-mail recruitment.london@iop.org www.iop.org

Training and development We really value our people and recognize the importance of a highly skilled and motivated workforce. We’re committed to providing high-quality training and development opportunities that help support your future career ambitions. As every employee has different needs, we vary programmes to suit you. This includes structured training, external training sessions for groups and individuals, in-house group training, on-the-job training, lunch and learns, and much more.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • All fields in physics and related subjects • Education & teaching • Publishing & communications • Science policy & patents

In association with brightrecruits

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LOCATION South Wales, UK

POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Associate patent examiner, patent examiner: internship scheme

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS 2.2 in any STEM or relevant industry experience

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the government agency responsible for intellectual property (IP) in the UK. We employ STEM graduates and professionals to examine patent applications. Patents grant monopoly rights in return for a full disclosure of an invention and are used by inventors to stop others copying their ideas. Why work for us Patent examining offers an unusual opportunity to combine scientific and technical expertise with legal skills that you will be taught. You will work at the forefront of innovation, often seeing inventions before they are made public.

As well as offering an exciting career, the IPO is an inclusive employer where diversity is respected, and differences valued. We offer flexible working, great work–life balance, non-competitive promotion and progression, on-site counsellors and scope to move within the IPO and the Civil Service.

Training and development Patent examiners receive comprehensive training and mentoring in the legal skills and knowledge required, as well as in the professional searching skills necessary for carrying out the role. You will gain an in-depth knowledge of intellectual property

law, with the option to work towards a diploma in IP law further on in your career.

Patent examiners attend regular technical training, in order to learn about the latest technology and innovation. This includes international exhibitions, company visits and technical conferences.

Graduate schemes We recruit associate patent examiners every year, across all STEM fields. Patent examiners require at least a 2.2 degree or equivalent in a relevant science, engineering, computer science or mathematics subject, or relevant industrial experience at that level. We also offer paid summer internships for those who are part way through a university degree.

HOW TO APPLY Apply online at civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk

CONTACT Intellectual Property Office Concept House Cardiff Road Newport Wales NP10 8QQ, UK E-mail adminvacancies@ipo.gov.uk www.ipo.gov.uk

What we are looking for As well as a 2.2 degree or relevant industry experience, patent examiners must also be able to demonstrate the ability to understand and evaluate complex scientific and engineering information in order to reach conclusions quickly and accurately; and the ability to express ideas clearly, both orally and in writing, with sensitivity and respect for others. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

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Categories • Science policy & patents

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LOCATIONS UK, USA, China, Japan and Russia


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Editorial assistant, production editor, senior publisher, marketing executive, BI analyst

HOW TO APPLY Visit ioppublishingcareers.org

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT IOP Publishing Temple Circus Temple Way Bristol BS1 6HG, UK Tel +44 (0)117 929 7481 E-mail vacancies@iop.org ioppublishingcareers.org

IOP Publishing is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Institute of Physics, a leading scientific society with a worldwide membership of physicists from all sectors. Complementing the Institute’s mission of promoting physics and bringing physicists together for the benefit of all, IOP Publishing provides a range of journals, ebooks, magazines, conference proceedings and websites for the scientific community. Any profits generated by the publishing company are used by the Institute to support science and scientists in both the developed and developing world. Why work for us IOP Publishing provides a friendly, positive, open, relaxed but purposeful environment. People who come to work here tend to stay. This is because it feels like you come to work with your friends, not just colleagues. We like to think that we’ve got the kind of environment that encourages people to do well and to enjoy what they do. We believe in treating each other with respect, providing an opportunity for you to

contribute to our future. IOP Publishing is a great place to work.

Our success is made possible by the talent, energy and commitment of our people to the company and what we do. This success is founded on having the right people in the right place, in an environment in which they can flourish.

What we are looking for As an organization, we are the sum of our parts. While we employ specialists in a range of fields, all our employees share a number of qualities and attributes: our people are professional and dedicated, talented and energetic. They work collaboratively to help us expand in a rapidly changing scientific landscape.

The IOP Publishing culture is one of growth, learning and innovation, and we are looking for people who want to develop, innovate and succeed; people who see the exciting opportunities that digital publishing has to offer.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Publishing & communications • Software engineering • Technical sales & commercial

Physics World  Careers 2020

In association with brightrecruits

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NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 189 (173 UK, 16 overseas)

POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Laser engineer; senior laser engineer; RF engineer; senior RF engineer; software engineer; senior software engineer; senior electronics engineer; electronics engineer; senior mechanical engineer; mechanical engineer

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS Physics, 2.1 or above Related engineering, 2.1 or above

Luxinar has been at the forefront of laser technology for more than 20 years and is a leading manufacturer of sealed carbon dioxide (CO2) laser sources up to 1000 W and, more recently, femtosecond laser sources. To date, we have an installed base of over 18,000 lasers worldwide. Why work for us Luxinar provides an environment where your knowledge and experience can be used to truly benefit people. We are constantly discovering new applications for our laser sources. These include replacing traditional processes with less polluting, safer solutions, developing tools for the next generation of consumer electronics and reducing the risk of counterfeit products. You can become part of this new world of possibilities, provide input, and be part of the team that develops a new solution.

Training and development Investment in you is investment in the future. Personalized, structured training will enhance your knowledge and skills. We also recognize the opportunity to interact with external partners from diverse industries, and cultures are just as important in an organization where a well-rounded understanding is crucial. And,

as your experience and confidence grows, if you decide that you want to develop your career in a non-technical direction that’s also possible.

Graduate schemes Luxinar provides 12-week summer placements from June to August for undergraduates studying physics or a related discipline. We also recruit graduates directly for a number of roles. For new employees, there is an initial training programme. As the employee develops, we provide training tailored to individual requirements either through internal training programmes or via an external provider.

What we are looking for We require self-motivated, innovative individuals with a record of academic excellence and the willingness to grow and learn. You should be flexible and enjoy the challenge of developing real-life solutions. In return, you’ll be rewarded by working within a stimulating and satisfying environment where you’ll find personal growth and career development.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Send a CV and a cover letter to recruitment.uk@luxinar.com or to the address below

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Luxinar Ltd Meadow Road Bridgehead Business Park Kingston upon Hull HU13 0DG, UK Tel +44 (0)1482 650088 E-mail recruitment.uk@luxinar.com www.luxinar.com

Categories • Electronics & semiconductors • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Optics, lasers & photonics • Plasma science & technology • Programming • Software engineering

In association with brightrecruits

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LOCATIONS UK: Stevenage, Bristol and Bolton

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 3500 UK, 10,500 worldwide

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS Minimum of 2.2 classification

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Visit www.mbdacareers.co.uk to complete the application form, and you will be invited to undertake an online test

CLOSING DATE 31 March 2020

CONTACT MBDA Missile Systems Six Hills Way Stevenage Hertfordshire SG1 2DA, UK Tel +44 (0)1438 754500 www.mbdacareers.co.uk

Categories • Aerospace • Armed forces and defence • Computational science • Electronics & semiconductors • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Mathematics & statistics • Modelling • Optics, lasers & photonics • Programming • Software engineering • Technical sales & commercial

Physics World  Careers 2020

We work with purpose, knowing that every advancement provides better, smarter and more effective defence capabilities to the UK and their allies. Whether it’s designing a future concept for the British Army, managing the procurement of a missile component or harnessing their expertise in software in order to integrate one of our products on to the newest fighter jet, all of our employees are a part of delivering a more secure tomorrow. Why work for us The work itself is at the cutting-edge of engineering and provides the opportunity to help solve the defence challenges of the future. Challenging and stretching your skills as well as nurturing your talent are aspects that we believe strongly in, and there are many avenues to develop yourself further within the business.

We offer a wide range of benefits including flexible working, up to 15 days flexi-leave a year in addition to 25 days annual leave, yearly bonus scheme and discounts at a number of retailers, helping you to do more of the things you enjoy.

Training and development We offer tailored training for our graduates in a number of areas including technical and business awareness, presentation skills, negotiation and influencing

skills, project management and career development. In addition to this we provide access to dedicated learning environments with more than 3000 training courses.

If you’re interested in becoming Chartered then we fully fund your membership throughout the programme and offer a mentor who can help you with the application process.

Graduate schemes We offer a number of opportunities for those leaving university or who are still studying. If you’re looking to gain valuable insight into the industry while completing your degree, you can join us for a 10–12-week summer placement or for a 10-month undergraduate programme.

Our two-year graduate programme consists of four six-month placements in your field of interest, and this can include external placements and the option to work overseas.

What we are looking for Our recruitment process is strengths based and is aligned to our values – integrity, passion, innovation, team spirit and commitment. We are looking for those who would fit well within our culture and embody these values. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

In association with brightrecruits

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The National Mathematics & Physics School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme offers physicists – both new graduates and career changers – high-quality, bespoke teacher training. Why work for us As we only train physics and mathematics teachers, you will benefit from a specialist course focused on teaching you how to teach your chosen subject (physics or maths). Training is led by experts from some of the best schools nationally, in a unique collaboration between the state and independent sectors. 100% of our 2019 graduates had secured a teaching post before the end of their training. NMAPS will help successful trainees secure permanent teaching posts.

Training and development Our School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme offers a highquality, bespoke route to both QTS and PGCE for physicists. Full-time trainees will spend four days a week training hands-on

LOCATIONS Our expanding network currently operates in nine UK hub areas: Bolton, Cheadle Hulme, Chiltern (High Wycombe and Oxford), Dulwich, Guildford, Humberside and Lincolnshire, North London (Barnet and Camden), Oundle and Warwick

POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Trainee physics teacher, trainee maths teacher. Full- and part-time training is available

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS Physics or a related subject

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Via UCAS at www.ucas.com

CLOSING DATE All year round

in school, supported by a mentor. One day a week will be spent with other NMAPS trainees, on a specialist subject knowledge and pedagogy training programme, delivered by experienced, practising teachers. During their ITT year and beyond, trainees will benefit from career and professional association support and an alumni network.

What we are looking for The importance of high-quality maths and physics teaching to the future prospects of pupils cannot be underestimated. We are therefore looking for trainee teachers who are passionate about their subject and have the desire to share that with young people of all abilities. Applicants should be resilient, articulate and interested in contributing to the wider school community. Applicants may be new graduates or career changers, with a physics or closely related degree (e.g. engineering). Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

CONTACT National Mathematics & Physics SCITT Wycombe High School Academies Trust Marlow Road High Wycombe Bucks HP11 1TB, UK Tel +44 (0)1494 897330 E-mail enquiries@nmapscitt.org.uk www.nmapscitt.org.uk

Categories • Education & teaching

In association with brightrecruits

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LOCATION Nottingham, UK


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR GNSS engineer; software engineer (application and firmware levels); project manager

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS Our staff typically have qualifications (degree/Master’s/PhD) in physics, computing, geomatics, electronics and electrical engineering, and aerospace. We also consider those with degrees in non-technical subjects to work in project management and marketing

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Please email your CV and cover letter to recruitment@nsl.eu.com

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT NSL (Nottingham Scientific Ltd) Sir Colin Campbell Building Innovation Park Triumph Road Nottingham NG7 2TU, UK Tel +44 (0)115 748 6897 E-mail recruitment@nsl.eu.com www.nsl.eu.com

Categories • Aerospace • Astronomy, cosmology & space science • Armed forces and defence • Computational science • Earth & environmental science • Electronics & semiconductors • Engineering & instrumentation • Mathematics & statistics • Programming • Software engineering • Space exploration • Technical sales & commercial • Telecommunications

NSL specialize in the development of robust, reliable and cost-effective satellite navigation (GNSS) applications and technology that enable organizations and individuals to maximize the benefits of high-accuracy navigation and positioning. Our products and services contribute to improving the safety of citizens, national-security strategies and the way business is conducted. Why work for us Come and work in the fast-growing space industry at the forefront of technology development within the UK and EU space industry. NSL’s reputation as the leading GNSS company is outstanding and if you join us you will soon be working on a variety of different exciting projects. Our technology is used extensively across many markets including space, satellites, aviation, road and autonomous vehicles, defence, maritime and rail, IoT, robotics, smartphones, and guidance and tracking.

Training and development NSL originated from the University of Nottingham more than 20 years ago and we have recently returned taking office space at the university’s Innovation Park. Education, training and personal

development is key to our success. We offer internal training, opportunities to attend third-party training courses as well as national and international sectorrelated conferences and summer schools.

Graduate schemes We offer a one-year graduate programme during which you will learn about GNSS technology, our products and services. As a graduate at NSL, you become an integral part of the business from day one. We operate in a dynamic and fast-paced environment meaning that your days will be completely varied. We encourage graduates to contribute to a wide range of projects and interact with all functions across the organization to support their development.

What we are looking for We look for graduates with commitment and enthusiasm who want to be part of a high-tech, innovative organization. Our graduate programme will prepare you with the skills that you need to progress and develop within NSL and the space industry.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Physics World  Careers 2020

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Your new career in operational research

Operational research (OR) is the science and art of better decision-making.

You’ll love a career in OR if: • you like problem-solving • you like analysing data • you want a job that applies maths to real-world situations. OR practitioners work in finance, central and local government, healthcare, defence, retail, sport, transport, manufacturing, marketing, the service sector – pretty much everywhere good decisions need to made. Operational researchers also work as academics, researching cutting-edge methods and techniques for improving decisions and solving problems.

Working in OR could be for you if you have: • A numerate degree • Strong data analysis and problem-solving skills, particularly when working with large or complex datasets • Strong communication skills, verbal and written, especially

the ability to explain complex ideas to those from a nontechnical background • The ability to identify and troubleshoot problems,

providing recommendations for solutions and identifying ways to increase efficiency and productivity • Good organisational skills with attention to detail

Find out more at www.theorsociety.com/pwstudents or get in touch: education@theorsociety.com

The OR Society The Operational Research Society is the home of the OR and analytics community. We offer benefits including free student membership, careers information, access to the latest publications and literature and opportunities to volunteer and gain experience for your CV with our outreach programmes. We also promote further study opportunities and graduate OR placements and career vacancies from multiple employers and industries.

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Explore the extraordinary, every day

Would you rather be engineering solutions for radios or for defeating drones with radio waves?

Make a difference addressing some of society’s biggest technical challenges

Visit www.qinetiq.com/careers

(Page 85)


QinetiQ is a company of scientists and engineers committed to listening, understanding and responding to our customers’ needs. This enables us to use our depth of experience, and our unique science and engineering expertise, to equip customers with powerful solutions to their most pressing challenges. Why work for us We understand that people want diversity from a career, so we’ve created a flexible working environment, where we offer opportunities to work on different projects and give people the freedom to innovate and try new things. Our peoples’ depth of expertise and their passion for defence and security makes the critical difference for our customers. We constantly encourage staff to think and do things differently, to always look for enterprising, agile ways to create real benefit. Collaborating with and learning from our world-renowned experts makes QinetiQ an exceptionally rewarding place to work; where no two days are the same.

Training and development We encourage our people to challenge themselves, realize their full potential

In association with brightrecruits



POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Physicists, optical scientists, systems engineers, software engineers, combat systems engineers, mission systems engineers, business analysts, project managers, data scientists, big data, dev ops, network, communications, training, synthetic environments and simulation engineers, cyber intelligence, cryptosecurity

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS Science degree or equivalent

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

and to be proud to deliver outstanding performance for our customers. The QinetiQ Academy provides opportunities for further growth, and everyone are encouraged to develop technical skills and complete professional training.

Graduate schemes Our two-year Graduate Development Programme gives graduates access to more than 250 rotational placements, unique facilities and a strong support network to help develop their career.

HOW TO APPLY Visit qinetiq.com/careers

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT QinetiQ Cody Technology Park Ively Road Farnborough Hampshire GU14 0LX, UK Tel +44 (0)1252 392000 qinetiq.com/careers

What we are looking for We’re looking for outstanding technical people, creative and analytical thinkers, decision makers, influencers and excellent communicators. Working at QinetiQ is more than just a job – we’re making a difference in addressing some of society’s biggest technical challenges. Our purpose is to “save lives, protect sovereign interests, deliver where others can’t”. This is why we exist and the reason why we all get out of bed in the morning. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Aerospace • Armed forces and defence • Engineering & instrumentations • Mathematics & statistics • Modelling • Optics, lasers & photonics • Science policy & patents • Software engineering • Space exploration • Technical sales & commercial

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The International Graduate School in Quantum Science and Nanomaterials (QMat) is located at the University of Strasbourg in France. Why work for us The continuing miniaturization and integration of information technologies requires a better understanding and control of the quantum nature of matter. By exploiting quantum effects we can create new devices and materials that will shape the future of technology and positively impact society. QMat prepares the next generation of quantum scientists and engineers for this task, by putting outstanding MSc and PhD students at the forefront of research combined with an engaging training programme bridging physics, material science, chemistry and engineering.

Training and development We run an internationally recognized Master of Physics and PhD programme. Study in English at the crossroads of Europe and at the forefront of physics, materials science, chemistry and engineering. Learn from leading experts in fundamental and applied science: quantum technology; subatomic physics; nanomaterials; nanoscience; device engineering and more. Courses are integrated with individual research projects. Our state-of-the-art research facilities

LOCATION Strasbourg, France


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Master study scholarships in physics


PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the EU

include cleanrooms, advanced microscopes and quantum laboratories. There will be enhanced involvement and networking through student-led initiatives and international partnerships.

HOW TO APPLY For more information, visit qmat.unistra.fr

CLOSING DATE Deadline in March (international students) and May (European students) each year

Graduate schemes QMat is an enhanced training programme in physics covering a broad range of topics connected to quantum science and nanomaterials. Specializations in the M2 (second-year Master’s) include astrophysics; sub-atomic physics and astroparticles; radiation physics, detectors, instrumentation and imaging; condensed matter and nanophysics; and materials and nanoscience. Each specialization includes an extended six-month internship in a QMat research laboratory.

CONTACT Quantum Science and Nanomaterials International Graduate School (QMat) 23 Rue du Loess Strasbourg France 67200 Tel +33 03 88 10 70 81 E-mail qmat@unistra.fr qmat.unistra.fr

What we are looking for Each year we offer typically 15 Q-Master scholarships, for students entering at the M1 level (first-year Master’s) and 15 for the M2 level. To be eligible, you should a hold a BSc in physics or equivalent and proof of proficiency in English. The selection and awarding of Q-Master scholarships is primarily based on prior academic performance, motivation for the subject and a desire to pursue your PhD in Strasbourg.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Accelerators, neutron & light sources • Astronomy, cosmology & space science • Atomic & molecular science • Biophysics & bioengineering • Computational science • Education & teaching • Electronics & semiconductors • Energy & renewables • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Metrology & measurement science • Nanotechnology • Optics, lasers & photonics • Physical chemistry • Quantum science & technology

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The RIS Programme is delivered by the Brilliant Club, an award-winning charity that works to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds that progress to highly selective universities. RIS offers a tailored route into teaching exclusively for PhD graduates, specifically designed to utilize their academic expertise to the benefit of pupils, schools and universities. Why work for us As part of the RIS programme, you will: •   Complete our Research Leader in

Education Award, a fully funded, three-year programme of professional development designed around the PhD skillset. •   Create and deliver Uni Pathways, a

university-access intervention based on your PhD, aimed at increasing target pupils’ chances of attending a highly selective university. •   Take one day of protected time each

week to work towards the RLE and Uni Pathways. •   Receive honorary academic status at a

research-intensive university, providing access to research facilities and a network of academic support. •   Benefit from competitive financial

support, including generous funding options for your training year.



DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS All candidates must hold a PhD in the subject that they intend to teach and must have submitted, or be on course to submit their thesis and complete their viva, by 1 August 2020

HOW TO APPLY Complete the application form at www.researchersinschools.org

Training and development Following our initial summer training course in August, we offer a structured, three-year programme of training and development. You’ll qualify as at teacher at the end of year one, and throughout the programme you’ll work towards our Research Leader in Education Award. This award will support you to develop your leadership skills and, through adapting your research skillset to teaching, enable you to create and deliver impactful classroom interventions. Additionally, your year-two project will be worth 30 Master’s credits.

CLOSING DATE All year round. Rolling deadlines: early applications encouraged

CONTACT Researchers in Schools 17th Floor, Millbank Tower 21–24 Millbank London SW1P 4QP, UK Tel +44 (0)207 939 1947 E-mail apply@researchersinschools.org www.researchersinschools.org

What we are looking for We are looking for PhD researchers with the potential to become great teachers. In particular, we look for candidates with a commitment to the aims of our programme and a clear, demonstrable desire to begin a worthwhile and rewarding career in teaching.

You must have submitted, or be on course to submit, your thesis and complete your viva by 1 August 2020. You must hold a minimum of a C grade or equivalent at GCSE maths and English, or be prepared to sit an equivalency test.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • All scientific and engineering disciplines • Education & teaching

In association with brightrecruits

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LOCATION New Zealand


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR PhD studentships (various); postdoc researchers (industrial materials chemistry; HTS machines); space propulsion engineer; research technicians

HOW TO APPLY Send all enquiries to the Institute manager at jeannie.redman@vuw.ac.nz

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Robinson Research Institute 69 Gracefield Rd Lower Hutt New Zealand 2010 Tel +64 4 463 0080 E-mail RRI-admin@vuw.ac.nz www.wgtn.ac.nz/robinson

Categories • Aerospace • Energy & renewables • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Medical physics • Modelling • Nuclear, fusion & energy • Optics, lasers & photonics • Space exploration

The Robinson Research Institute is New Zealand’s premier academic research institute. We are internationally recognized for the impact of our applied research into superconductivity and electromagnetic technologies. Our world-leading programmes in materials and engineering deliver globally sought-after graduates and transform tomorrow’s industries. Why work for us The multidisciplinary Robinson Research Institute conducts New Zealand’s leading high-technology research programmes. Around 30 scientists and engineers contribute to our mission in our laboratories located in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.

You will work alongside career researchers focused on solving “realworld” industry problems, from space technologies and fusion energy, through to transport and medical applications. You will carry out real discovery research and make genuine advances to science. Training and development We provide an exceptional environment for young researchers. We offer positions from internships and research assistants through to PhD studentships and academic research positions.

The breadth of these opportunities comes from the Institute’s unique mix of internationally connected research, which spans the entire spectrum from fundamental science to the engineering, manufacturing and development of technology.

While working at Robinson Research Institute, you will gain industry-relevant practical experience, lead research projects, and have the opportunity to connect with commercial and academic partners.

Who we are looking for We welcome applicants with a background in solid-state physics, materials science, computational modelling, mechanical and electrical engineering, and mechatronics. Strong candidates will have a creative and innovative mindset, with an established publication record in leading refereed journals. We are looking for excellent, driven members of our team, including: research assistants; PhD and Master’s students; research technicians; postdoctoral research fellows: from interns to trainees, from students to graduates, from PhD to postdocs, all in a wide variety of specializations. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Physics World  Careers 2020

In association with brightrecruits

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LOCATION Harston, Cambridge, UK


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Physicist, chemist, software consultant, software engineer, electronics consultant, electronics engineer, software test engineer

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Visit www.sagentia.com

Sagentia is a product-development and technology consultancy. We work with clients to develop technically complex products that are easy to use and commercially viable. This involves understanding and analysing early stage science and technology, generating new product concepts and models, and then taking these all the way through to full development. Why work for us We use science and technology to help companies make better R&D decisions and develop more successful products for their markets. This can involve working with clients in a number of ways: from identifying areas for innovation and designing new technologies, through to developing products and services, and bringing them to new or existing markets. You will get the opportunity to gain incredible knowledge and work with likeminded colleagues, be part of a great team culture and workplace.

Training and development One of the great things about Sagentia is that we are small enough that if you make a difference, you will be noticed. Being part of Science Group consultancy means that we are big enough to have a whole range of opportunities where you can develop

your career. We offer: •   Core training courses to expand

graduates’ knowledge •  Career and salary reviews •   Technical, commercial and operations

career paths •   Opportunity to work in multidisciplinary

teams alongside experienced technical and market experts •   A feedback and support process to

allow personal growth and development

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT Sagentia Ltd Harston Mill Harston Cambridge CB22 7GG, UK Tel +44 (0)1223 875200 E-mail careers@sciencegroup.com www.sagentia.com

Graduate schemes Whether you’re an experienced hire or a graduate, we are always looking for exceptional people to join our team. If you don’t see a vacancy to fit, but feel you could bring enthusiasm and curiosity to our teams, then we are always happy to hear from you.

What we are looking for Our best recruits are smart and curious. Those who thrive here bring a depth of knowledge in their field and relish variety. For us, this means working with a team of diverse professionals on a broad and constantly changing range of R&D challenges. Our working environment is creative and innovative with a solid commercial focus. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Computational science • Electronics & semiconductors • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Mathematics & statistics • Medical physics • Modelling • Optics, lasers & photonics • Physical chemistry • Plasma science & technology • Programming • Quantum science & technology • Software engineering

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Enthusiastic? Creative? Committed?

Could you be the future of wind and marine energy research?

Find out more about our new world-leading CDT PhD programme covering all aspects of

wind and marine renewable energy, both above and below

the water. We also offer tailored MSc opportunities.

e: drew.smith@strath.ac.uk t: 0141 548 2880

www.strath.ac.uk/engineering/ electronicelectricalengineering/ windmarineenergysystemsstructures

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r r a y

Af L o n d o n

r t e s y o

C o u

LOCATIONS UK: Edinburgh, Oxford, Strathclyde

POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Four-year PhD scholarships in wind and marine energy systems and structures. Positions available at Edinburgh, Oxford and Strathclyde universities

We are a leading international technological university located in the heart of Glasgow, the biggest city in Scotland. The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering is internationally recognized for our research excellence, industry engagement and firstclass teaching programme. Why study with us A new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) at the University of Strathclyde will train researchers to PhD level in wind and marine energy. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a total of 70 PhD students will be recruited for four years of training and research. These research students will enjoy a comprehensive training programme and an accredited IET/IMechE scheme leading to CEng status.

The new CDT joins together two successful EPSRC CDTs, Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Renewable Energy Marine Structures, their industrial partners and strong track records of training more than 130 researchers to date in offshore renewable energy. It is a collaboration between the universities of Edinburgh, Oxford and Strathclyde, and will create a comprehensive, world-leading centre covering all aspects of wind and marine renewable energy, both above and below the water.

Our graduates will be future leaders in industry and academia worldwide, driving development of the offshore renewableenergy sector, helping to deliver the government’s carbon reduction targets for 2050 and ensuring that the UK remains at

In association with brightrecruits

the forefront of this vitally important sector.

This multidisciplinary programme brings together graduates from various science and technology disciplines, to create a unique community of researchers. Training covers all aspects of wind and marine energy systems, including the wider socioeconomic context. The CDT currently has students from the following backgrounds: electronic and electrical engineering; mechanical and aerospace engineering; civil and environmental engineering; physics; mathematics; structural engineering; design, manufacturing and engineering management; chemical and process engineering; naval architecture, ocean and marine engineering; renewable energy.

What we are looking for Studentships are available to UK and eligible EU citizens with (or about to obtain) a minimum of a 2.1 or a Master’s degree in physical science or engineering. These studentships will commence each year in October and will cover university fees and provide an attractive stipend.

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind and Marine Energy Systems is committed to achieving and promoting equality of opportunity in its learning, teaching, research and working environments, and to ensuring these environments support positive relations between people, and a culture of respect. We value the diversity of our staff and students, and are committed to encouraging everyone to realize their full potential.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS UK and eligible EU citizens with (or about to obtain) a minimum of a 2.1 or a Master’s degree in physical science or engineering

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to study in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Strathclyde: www.strath.ac.uk/ engineering/electronicelectrical engineering/windmarineenergy systemsstructures. Edinburgh: www. eng.ed.ac.uk/postgraduate/degrees/ cdt/wind-and-marine-energy-systemsand-structures. Oxford: www.ox.ac. uk/admissions/graduate/courses/ dphil-wind-marine-energy-systemsstructures?wssl=1

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT University of Strathclyde Royal College Building 204 George Street Glasgow G1 1XW, UK Tel +44 (0)141 548 2880 E-mail drew.smith@strath.ac.uk www.strath.ac.uk/engineering/ electronicelectricalengineering/ windmarineenergysystems www.eng.ed.ac.uk/research/ institutes/ies

Categories • Aerospace • Computational science • Electronics & semiconductors • Energy & renewables • Mathematics & statistics • Physics

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Graduate Careers

Target the best candidates for your graduate vacancy



Contact Natasha Clarke today to find out

how to get your vacancy noticed. E-mail natasha.clarke@ioppublishing.org

Tel +44 (0)117 930 1864

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LOCATION Basel area, Switzerland


DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS For PhD School: Master’s degree in physics, chemistry, biology or related field. For study programme: high school diploma

The Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) at the University of Basel funds nanoscience research as part of an interdisciplinary degree course and a PhD programme, and in projects with industry partners. All students are widely integrated into the activities that address cutting-edge scientific topics in nanoscience and nanotechnology, embedded in classical disciplines such as physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and engineering. Why study with us The SNI offers internationally recognized, comprehensive, and hands-on degree programmes in nanoscience. The Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes attract highly motivated students and provide an excellent interdisciplinary education with a broad background in all natural sciences in a very supportive environment.

In the SNI PhD School, students from all over the world work on a diverse range of projects, for example on quantum computing, spintronics, molecular electronics, graphene, quantum sensing, nanocontainers for medical applications, solar cells, single-cell proteomics, nanofluidic devices, and many more. An established selection process involving external and internal senior scientists ensures excellent PhD projects.

Undergraduate and graduate students become part of the SNI community with regular opportunities for personal development and scientific exchange within the whole SNI network,

including all research institutions in north-western Switzerland.

Training and development The SNI offers a broad interdisciplinary education with additional tailormade courses to improve personal development and skills such as scientific writing, communication, and presentation techniques. Small working groups guarantee personal and individual supervision.

The PhD programme includes regular SNI conferences, such as the SNI Annual Event and a winter school. These introduce students to the interdisciplinary scientific community and offer ideal opportunities for scientific and personal exchange, including partners from industry.

HOW TO APPLY Apply online when new PhD positions are announced. New positions and the online application tool are available from September–December every year on www.phd.nanoscience.ch

CLOSING DATE 31 December 2020

CONTACT Swiss Nanoscience Institute University of Basel Klingelbergstrasse 82 4056 Basel Switzerland Tel +41 61 207 3906 E-mail andreas.baumgartner@unibas.ch www.nanoscience.ch

Who we are looking for Excellent and motivated undergraduate and graduate students who are not interested only in their particular working area, but are also fascinated by other fields in the natural sciences. •   If you are interested in the nanostudy

programme, please visit www.nanoscience.ch/studium •   Information on new positions in the SNI

PhD School and the online application tool are available from September to December every year at www.nanoscience.ch/phd Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Atomic & molecular science • Biophysics & bioengineering • Electronics & semiconductors • Materials science • Nanotechnology • Physical chemistry • Quantum science & technology

In association with brightrecruits

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Careers in Data Analytics and Scientific Software

For STEM Graduates and Postgraduates

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LOCATIONS UK: Oxford, Ashby de la Zouch, Stevenage, Warrington


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Data scientist/software developer

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS BSc (minimum 2.1), MSc or PhD in science, mathematics or engineering

Tessella is the Analytics World Class Centre of the Altran Group. We are scientists and engineers who enjoy solving the real-world technical challenges faced by industry-leading companies at the forefront of science and technology. Using a combination of deep domain knowledge and technical expertise, including data science, analytics and software engineering, we work with our clients to find new ways to unlock the value held within their data, enabling better-informed business decisions. Why work for us A career at Tessella provides an opportunity to solve a variety of science and engineering problems for world-leading companies. You will apply the knowledge you have gained during your studies and use a range of skills to create, develop and deliver solutions that truly make a difference. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package with a range of flexible benefits. We also have a good work-life balance and support flexible working requests where possible.

Training and development Our work is exciting and rewarding and provides plenty of opportunities to learn and develop. You will be assigned to projects based on your existing skills and experience, but you will also learn new domains and technologies, and apply

innovative thinking and transferable skills to solve new challenges.

Projects are varied and over the course of their careers our consultants can perform a range of roles depending on their aspirations, from data scientist and software developer to project manager and business analyst. All staff receive an annual training allowance of 150 hours, which can be used to learn new technical and soft skills, often leading to recognized professional qualifications.

What we are looking for We are looking for high-achieving graduates and postgraduates to join us. You should have: •   BSc (minimum 2.1), MSc or PhD in

science, mathematics or engineering. •   An understanding of big data and the

ability to interpret complex data using a variety of analytical, statistical or machine-learning techniques. •   Programming skills in one or more of:

Python, C, C#, C++, Java, R, MATLAB. •   Excellent interpersonal skills and the

ability to explain complex concepts to clients and colleagues from all backgrounds. •   The eagerness and capacity to quickly

learn new domains and technologies to solve new challenges.

Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Apply online at jobs.tessella.com or send your CV and a covering letter to jobs@tessella.com

CLOSING DATE We recruit throughout the year

CONTACT Tessella 26 The Quadrant Abingdon Science Park Abingdon Oxfordshire OX14 3YS, UK Tel +44 (0)1235 555511 E-mail jobs@tessella.com jobs.tessella.com

Categories • Computational science • Mathematics & statistics • Modelling • Software engineering

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• Software Developer • Graduate Analyst • Marketing & Communications • Account Manager • Technical Operations




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LOCATION Leeds, UK, although international travel is required


POSITIONS RECENTLY RECRUITED FOR Software developers, business analysts, marketing and communications, account managers, and technical operations

DESIRED DEGREE DISCIPLINES/CLASS We accept candidates from any degree discipline with a minimum 2.1, but find that STEM students fit into our software developer and analyst roles particularly well

TPP is a global health IT company, working on cutting-edge technology to transform lives across the world. We work on pioneering products, including digital health software, apps, artificial intelligence and ground-breaking research. TPP have had great success in the UK and are working internationally to tackle global health challenges. Why work for us We are an award-winning healthcare IT company based in Leeds that is consistently ranked as one of the top graduate employers in the country. TPP was placed first in The Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For, and twice was named Top Company for Graduates 2017/18 by TheJobCrowd, the leading graduate review website. We have outstanding benefits, which include a fantastic holiday allowance and annual trips abroad, as well as a £45,000 starting salary.

Training and development At TPP we believe in a hands-on approach rather than textbook training. This means

that you will be able to get involved in a variety of interesting projects from your very first day. You will be supported by experienced developers at each stage and will benefit from our very open culture, where everyone is on hand to help.

Graduate schemes Graduates at TPP start working on real projects straight away – that’s why we advertise our roles as graduate careers rather than schemes. You will be working on real technology that is affecting more than 7000 NHS organizations in the UK and more than 200,000 users.

What we are looking for We are looking for super-bright, geeky graduates who have a passion for problem solving and are interested in working in a role where they can apply their logic to make a real difference to healthcare in the UK and abroad. No experience is required, but we do ask for A*AA at A-level and a 2.1 in any subject at degree level. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

PRE-REQUISITES Eligible to work in the UK

HOW TO APPLY Visit tpp-careers.com

CLOSING DATE All year round

CONTACT TPP TPP House 129 Low Lane Horsforth Leeds LS18 5PX, UK Tel +44 (0)113 20 500 82 E-mail careers@tpp-uk.com tpp-careers.com

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Categories • Computational science • Software engineering

Physics World  Careers 2020

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Descended from the British Welding Research Association (BWRA), TWI Ltd grown into one of the foremost independent research and technology organisations. We span innovation, knowledge transfer and problem resolution across all aspects of welding, joining, surface engineering, inspection and whole-life integrity management.


The National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) is a state-of-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI. NSIRC unites academia and industry, working closely with lead academic partner Brunel University London and more than 20 other respected universities, as well as founder sponsors BP and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.The collaborating partners provide academic excellence to address the need for fundamental research, as well as high-quality, industry-relevant training for the next generation of structural integrity engineers.’

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LOCATIONS UK: Cambridge, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, Aberdeen, Port Talbot; and offices located internationally (see website)

HOW TO APPLY Please visit www.twi-global.com/ careers/home

CLOSING DATE All year round

TWI is a world-leading independent research and technology organization that provides industry with engineering and manufacturing solutions for structures, incorporating joining and associated technologies. About us TWI is one of the world’s leading independent research and technology organizations, with expertise in materials joining and engineering processes. We develop innovative solutions for real industry problems that can have a profound impact on the world and peoples’ lives.

As a non-profit distributing company, limited by guarantee and owned by its members, TWI can offer independent advice and is internationally renowned for employing multidisciplinary teams to implement established or advanced joining technology or to solve problems arising at any stage – from initial design, selecting materials, production and quality assurance, through to service performance and repair.

TWI works with companies representing virtually all sectors of manufacturing industry, from more than 70 countries around the globe; as well as housing a professional institution, The Welding Institute, with a separate membership of 6000.

About NSIRC The National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) is a stateof-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI. NSIRC unites academia and industry, working

closely with leading UK and international universities, as well as founder sponsors BP and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. The collaborating partners provide academic excellence to address the need for fundamental research, as well as highquality, industry-relevant training for the next generation of engineers.

Providing a direct path from academia to industry is one of the key attributes that NSIRC seeks to provide. Through the structure of the postgraduate courses on offer, the organization is able to create an environment that provides important academic learning, as well as crucial training for industry, with students working on live projects and within their chosen fields.

CONTACT TWI Ltd Granta Park Great Abington Cambridge CB21 6AL, UK Tel +44 (0)1223 899000 E-mail contactus@twi.co.uk or recruitment@twi.co.uk www.twi-global.com/careers/home

NSIRC Careers website www.nsirc.com/study-with-us NSIRC e-mail enquiries@nsirc.co.uk

Why work for us Our work is varied and offers innovation and challenge in helping to solve real industry problems that can have a profound impact on the world and peoples’ lives. We believe that developing our people to reach their full potential is paramount to our success as an independent research and technology organization.

What we are we looking We are always looking for talented individuals to join us across a range of openings including engineering, research, administration and customer services, apprenticeships, corporate and business support, marketing and business development, training and examinations. Profile can be viewed at brightrecruits

Categories • Education & teaching • Engineering & instrumentation • Materials science • Oil & gas • Software engineering • Technical sales & commerical

1 0 1

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Physics World  Careers 2020

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Get in touch

Want to be involved in the 2021 edition? Contact us today.

Matin Durrani Editor-in-chief +44 (0)117 930 1002 matin.durrani@ioppublishing.org

Edward Jost Head of media business development +44 (0)117 930 1026 edward.jost@ioppublishing.org

Tushna Commissariat Careers editor +44 (0)117 930 1836 tushna.c@ioppublishing.org

Chris Thomas Group advertising manager +44 (0)117 930 1264 chris.thomas@ioppublishing.org

1 0 2

Laura Gillham Marketing specialist – media +44 (0)117 930 1240 laura.gillham@ioppublishing.org

Natasha Clarke Senior sales executive, UK and North America +44 (0)117 930 1864 natasha.clarke@ioppublishing.org

Sarah Andrieu Senior sales executive, Central and South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa +44 (0)117 930 1819 sarah.andrieu@ioppublishing.org

Physics World  Careers 2020

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(Page 104)

Inside this publication from Physics World we highlight the career opportunities for those with a background in physics and related subjects.

This bumper-sized book includes helpful careers advice, real-life case studies, as well as an extensive

employer directory powered by brightrecruits.

careers 2020