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Postdoctoral Research Associate, BLI15-1

Diamond Light Source

Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

Job Description

The XPDF (I15-1) Beamline at Diamond Light Source is the first dedicated X-ray Pair-Distribution-Function instrument of its kind in Europe. This new beamline has recently started performing user experiments to study the local structure of materials from a vast range of scientific fields such as catalysis, energy materials, and pharmaceuticals.

We are seeking a PDRA with strong research interests in local structure analysis with the emphasis on in-situ studies at non-ambient conditions, e.g. gas pressure, flowing liquid or increased temperature range. Suitable candidates should be familiar with the applications of synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction and preference will be given to those with hands-on experience of using or developing in-situ sample environments. It is expected that the successful candidate will establish in-house and external collaborations to increase the range of scientific applications which can be studied on the beamline. The post will be for three years.

To support in the development of new sample environments; using and improving existing sample environments; assisting in the operation of the beamline; keeping abreast of new experimental trends; conduct own research related to local structure analysis.

Working with the I15 beamline team in the following areas:

  • Development of new sample environments for X-ray PDF data collection;
  • Maintaining and improving existing sample environments;
  • Assisting in the operation of the beamline;
  • Pursuit of a research programme on the study of related to local structure determination, including the analysis and publication of the results;
  • Keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally;
  • Assist the beamline staff in maintaining and running the beamline peripheral laboratories;
  • Occasional support of the research projects of users, who will come from a diverse scientific background. (This will include occasional duties as local contact for users).

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • Appropriate PhD degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials or Earth Sciences, or equivalent qualification;
  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction;
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels;
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Self-motivated.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Hands-on experience of using or developing apparatus for in-situ experiments;
  • Experience of total scattering methods;
  • Detailed knowledge of scattering theory;
  • Experience with PDF analysis programs such as PDFgui and RMCProfile;
  • Experience in Python, Jython, Java or C++;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.

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