Research Software Engineer for Plasma Edge Modelling

UK Atomic Energy Authority
Abingdon, UK
15 Aug 2019
22 Aug 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Research Software Engineer for Plasma Edge Modelling

Job Ref:

Job Title:
Research Software Engineer for Plasma Edge Modelling

Job type:
FTA 2 years FT

Culham, Oxfordshire

£33,441 - £50,936 pa (inclusive of MPP) + excellent benefits including outstanding pension scheme

Closing date:
29th September 2019

Are you an experienced software engineer or plasma edge modeller who cares about improving the quality and effectiveness of HPC research software?

Would you enjoy collaborating with other physicists - understanding their goals, and building clear, well-tested software for research projects?

Would you like to work with friendly and committed people on software that will help make fusion energy a reality?

It is an exciting period at the UK Atomic Energy Authority: our new experiment MAST-Upgrade (MAST-U) is at an advanced stage of commissioning and it will explore the spherical tokamak route to fusion and test novel plasma exhaust concepts; and JET, the largest tokamak on the planet, is preparing for record-breaking fusion experiments with deuterium-tritium plasmas.

UKAEA has opportunities for a research software engineer to join the Integrated Scenarios and Transport Unit to develop and exploit state-of-the-art computational tools for modelling tokamak plasmas to enhance our understanding of fusion experiments. Sophisticated modelling of the edge plasma, using advanced tools like the JINTRAC code to model core and edge transport self-consistently, is essential for high fidelity predictions of fusion performance. In the edge this requires coupling a multi-fluid plasma transport code (e.g. SOLPS or EDGE2D), with a kinetic Monte Carlo code (e.g. EIRENE) to describe neutral particle fuelling.

For a period of 2 years, you will be responsible for developing plasma edge modelling code(s) to ensure UKAEA`s edge modelling capability incorporates the features needed to model the advanced plasma exhaust concepts to be explored in MAST-U.

On-the-job training, as appropriate, will ensure that you can fulfil the key accountabilities for this post:

- Develop edge modelling code(s) that handle a double null divertor configuration

- Be a local expert in plasma edge modelling and the codes

- Maintain and document local installations of the edge codes

- Interface the edge code(s) to the integrated transport modelling suite, JINTRAC

- Collaborate with other developers at UKAEA and in collaborating laboratories

- Develop new features needed for MAST-U, and optimise algorithms (e.g. for HPC)

- Exploit edge modelling (and JINTRAC) for scientific studies of MAST-U plasmas

- Support other scientific users of the developed edge modelling tools

As the post-holder you will be encouraged to disseminate your work internally, in publications and at conferences as appropriate.

At the UK Atomic Energy Authority, we strive to make everyone feel welcome and fully supported. Our Ambassadors are actively promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the organisation to help make our organisation an employer of choice.

Knowledge skills and experience

- University degree in a relevant scientific discipline and:
- Either PhD level knowledge in edge plasma modelling
- Or substantial experience developing scientific codes and algorithms for HPC
- Demonstrable outputs (publications and/or software) in areas relevant to the role
- Experience in scientific software development (ideally FORTRAN)
- Ability to work effectively in a diverse team of software developers
- Independently capable of planning own projects
- Excellent understanding of good software engineering practices and Quality Assurance systems
- Including version control, profiling tools, testing frameworks and debuggers
- Willingness to (and ideally experience of) work on large legacy codes written by others
- Demonstrable problem-solving skills
- Effective oral and written communication skills

Consideration for the more senior level appointment will require strength and depth in the above, together with:
- Either substantial post-doctoral experience in edge plasma modelling (or equivalent) with demonstrable high-quality outputs and strong expertise in the field
- Or extensive experience developing scientific codes and algorithms for HPC
- Established experience of independently planning own projects
- Demonstrable skills in advanced problem solving and in developing numerical algorithms
- Excellent oral and written communication skills

- Knowledge of fusion, divertor physics, and spherical tokamaks
- Specific user/developer experience in edge multi-fluid or kinetic neutrals codes, especially as advanced user and/or developer of SOLPS, EDGE2D and/or EIRENE
- Knowledge and ideally experience of parallel programming
- Excellent publication track record in area relevant to the role
- Experience with the LINUX operating system
- Experience with version control system GIT
- Experience of working with IMAS or the ITM modelling framework.
- Experience with C/C++, IDL, Python, Script-Languages
- Experience with parallelization using MPI

Special requirements:
Selection Method(s):
- As part of the selection process you may be expected to complete work-based simulation exercises and a personality profile either online or onsite.

- Please be advised that this vacancy may close earlier than stated if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.
- Please note that the UK Atomic Energy Authority do not pay travel expenses for interviews.

-The UK Atomic Energy Authority actively promotes equality and values diversity in our workforce. We operate a number of flexible working arrangements (such as part-time working/job share/home working). Flexible working may be available with this role, please discuss with the hiring manager or HR if you have any concerns.

- PLEASE NOTE THE LEVEL 4 ROLE OFFERS A SALARY OF £33,441 - £37,579 (inclusive of MPP) AND THE LEVEL 5 ROLE OFFERS A SALARY OF £45,543 - £50,936 (inclusive of MPP).

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