Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC242515
Location Edinburgh See on Map
Salary £18946 - £18946
Date Posted 25 August 2017
Grade RC-STU
Contract Type Student - Sandwich Course
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 30 October 2017
Interview Date

Salary: £18,946
Grade: RC-STU
Contract Type: Fixed Term for 1 year
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 30th October 2017
Interview Date: TBC


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest science research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and technology.

Each year we offer opportunities to undergraduate sandwich students to gain practical experience, working alongside technical experts at the forefront of scientific research. We offer an invaluable experience with exposure to world class science and technology and the opportunity to develop working relationships that continue well after your placement has finished.

The UK Astronomy Technology Centre is the national centre for astronomical technology. We design, build and commission instruments for the world's major telescopes on behalf of the UK astronomy community.

We also project-manage UK and international collaborations to develop the latest astronomical facilities.

Our scientists carry out observational and theoretical research into fundamental questions such as the origins of planets and of galaxies.

The UKATC is based at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, which is one of the STFC national laboratories. The National Laboratories provide research facilities and capabilities that, because of their scale, complexity, strategic character or cost, are appropriately operated as a national research resource. The primary mission of the laboratories is to facilitate national research capability, and complement and collaborate with the university research base

Summary of Key Duties:

  1. be part of a development team developing a real time controller for an adaptive optics system for the European Extremely Large Telescope
  2. perform a feasibility study for using deflectometry for metrology of optical surfaces in astronomy applications
  3. research and design a system to provide the exact location of a point in 3D space for use in precision positioning systems.


  1. you will put together a project to identify options for reducing some of the key risks on the real time controller and produce prototypes to demonstrate the pros and cons of different approaches
  2. develop test hardware and test sample optics to identify the main advantages and disadvantages of deflectometry over other methods.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  1. Real time control of electronics hardware
  2. adaptive optics
  3. optics and optical metrology.



  • at university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course in a multidisciplinary engineering  course such as Photonics, Optronics or Mechatronics and is also required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry 
  • right to live and work in the UK.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  1. Real time control of electronics hardware
  2. adaptive optics
  3. optics and optical metrology
  4. design of experiments and good laboratory skills
  5. being analytical.

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes


  • analytical, structured and planning skills.


In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme and generous leave allowance are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

From April 2018, STFC will be part of UK Research and Innovation. UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The aim is to create a system that maximises the contribution of each of the component parts and creates the best environment for research and innovation to flourish. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation agency in the world. More information can be found online here.

Applications are handled by UK Shared Business Services. To apply please download the application form and save it to your pc. You must upload the completed form and a covering letter to support your application. Please save all your documents with the IRC reference number in the filename and your name.

STFC Sandwich Student Application Form

You must be on a sandwich degree and be taking the industrial placement as a recognised sandwich year to be eligible. You must also have the right to work in the UK. Please ensure that you include a reference from your University as part of your application form.

You can apply for up to three Sandwich student placements; this will require you to complete ONE application form however please ensure that you upload the application form to all three placements and save the relevant reference number (e.g. IRC205817) in the filename of each application that you upload.

Closing date: 30th October 2017
Interview/assessment date: TBC

As this job does not fulfil the Home Office Code of Practice criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK.  At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK. You can check your eligibility here: