Detector Development for Muon and Neutron Applications Industrial Placement


Internship 1 year Didcot, UK

Uploaded 12 Oct 2021

Job Description

Within STFC, ISIS is part of the National Laboratories directorate. The National Laboratories provide research facilities and capabilities that, because of their scale, complexity and cost, are appropriately operated as a national research resource. The ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source is the world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. It provides scientists and engineers with a facility to determine the structure and dynamics of materials at the molecular/atomic level, using beams of neutrons and muons. 

The Neutron Detector group has a meticulous research and development programme to meet the demands for new radiation detectors at ISIS. At ISIS the properties of any given detector have to be carefully matched to the specific scientific techniques performed on the neutron or muon instrument they serve. The successful student will contribute to this programme, working alongside experienced scientists to develop and evaluate the potential of new detector technologies. 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities  

The Neutron Detector Group has two positions available. The first position is the development of detectors for Muon spectroscopy applications. The second position is the development of micro pattern gas detectors for neutron scattering applications. 

Within the muon detector section of the group, an extensive development program is underway to deliver detectors for our new SuperMuSR muon spectrometer. This program will be at a key stage where we have to adapt the chosen detector technology to the requirements and constraints of SuperMuSR. Results acquired by the successful candidate will be crucial input for the final detector design. 

In the group’s gas detector section, nitrogen filled GEM based detectors are under development for the LOKI beam line at the European Spallation Source in Lund (Sweden). Additionally, 3He filled µRWELL detectors are being investigated for use on ISIS beam lines. The challenge is to successfully process the very small and fast signals from these detectors to achieve the required performance. 

The successful candidates will investigate methods to produce detectors with the required performance and at an acceptable cost. This is typically done by designing and constructing a number of small prototype detectors, experimentally determining the characteristics of these detectors and optimising the design in our suite of laboratories. Detector characteristics that will be measured include: detection efficiency, gamma sensitivity, intrinsic detector background, detector resolution and count-rate capability. At the end of the project a prototype detector will be built to verify the performance on a more realistic scale. A successful detector will be awarded beam time on an ISIS instrument. 

The successful candidates will be responsible for carrying out the experimental programme, with both hands-on experimental responsibilities as well as data analysis tasks. Help and advice will be provided by the supervisors. You are also encouraged to present the results of your project in regular meetings with your line manager and in section meetings.  

Person Specification

In order to apply for this role you must have:  


  • At university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry
  • Right to live and work in the UK
  • Studying for a degree in physics or another physics related degree

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Experience with or interest in experimental physics.
  • Interest in experimental physics related to ionising radiation
  • Basic computer skills

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes 

  • Good communication skills
  • Demonstrate good team working capabilities
  • Open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them
  • Ability to take initiative and to work effectively with limited supervision at times
  • Resourcefulness and determination to pursue an experimental development programme and enjoy problem solving

Special Requirements 

  • Willingness to work with ionising radiation


  • Knowledge, Skills and Experience
  • Experience using electronics for processing electronic signals, such as oscilloscopes
  • Experience with data analysis

Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role.