UKAEA Science / Physics / Materials Summer Placement 2023

Overview of Responsibilities

We offer excellent opportunities for motivated and enthusiastic undergraduate students studying at UK Universities to join our 8-12 week summer placement scheme. Our scheme gives you a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of one of the most advanced sources of sustainable and clean energy. During your summer programme, you will experience a  broad range of diverse tasks, work on real projects, and gain invaluable experience within the fusion energy sector.

Students can start their placements either on the 5th or the 26th of June 2023. This will be discussed with candidates during the recruitment process.

We need you to help us develop the ultimate source of electricity!

Our summer scheme is designed for students entering their final year of studies (September 2023) with potential opportunities post-graduation, and other year groups.

UKAEA offers a nurturing and supportive community for you to gain some valuable work experience in a fascinating and rapidly evolving industry.

UKAEA is committed to supporting all members of our community, especially with respect to mental health awareness and promoting well-being. Our qualified Mental Health First Aiders are trained to provide guidance and ensure the highest levels of confidentiality.

What will the summer scheme cover?

The placements on offer are:

Science, Physics and Materials

  • Machine Learning /Simulation / Thermal Hydraulics – Utilising machine learning techniques for the validation of fusion-relevant thermal-hydraulic simulations against an experimental dataset.


  • Advanced Computing – utilising machine learning techniques for the validation of fusion-relevant thermal-hydraulic simulations against an experimental dataset. 


  • Proton projectile benchmarking


  • Mathematical modelling of tritium inventory in engineering processes and transport behaviour.


  • Materials Design: solve challenge issues in designing materials under fusion environment via computation and modelling.


  • Collaboration with Imperial College London on the oxidation of STEP-relevant materials. The experimental work will involve X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman Spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS).


  • Use dual-digital image correlation (dual-DIC) to on-line monitor the tensile response of a corrosion resistant coating on a Eurofer-97 specimen. Analysis of the strain data by using specific DIC software and experimental work (SEM-EBSD-EDX). Operate independently a SEM and correlate DIC data with SEM-EDX-EBSD data.


  • Experiments on diffusion and permeation of hydrogen isotopes in fusion materials often give widely differing results even in the case of the same material under similar conditions. For the practical purposes of evaluation of tritium loss in fusion power plant, it is important to estimate how the uncertainty in these parameters influences uncertainty in hydrogen diffusion and retention. The results of this project will help to identify parameters that have the largest influence on hydrogen retention, and thus prioritize experimental and simulation studies to evaluate these parameters.


  • Investigation and comparison of nuclear data libraries

Plasma Physics

  • Data Analysis and Software Development – Use Python-based wavelet toolboxes for the analysis of timeseries data.


  • Investigate the applicability of a simple model to predict the plasma pedestal density. the simple model is known as the neutral penetration model and makes a key yet simple prediction relating – the density of pedestal height and width. Use experimental L-mode (a type of operating mode in tokamak plasmas) data to investigate whether this scaling is observed experimentally. 
£9.86+ per hour
Summer Placement Scheme Generic
Type of Employment

Additional Information

What we offer

  • A competitive salary  
  • A culture committed to being fully inclusive, supported by a Being Inclusive Strategy and Inclusion Ambassadors 
  • Dedicated Early Careers events and group networking opportunities  
  • Being part of the Early Careers community at UKAEA 
  • Support with homeworking resources as required

We welcome applications from under-represented groups, particularly from individuals from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds, including nationality and citizenship, people with disabilities, (visible and hidden) and women. The Executive team with support from our EDI ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ (EDI) partner and Inclusion Ambassadors, is actively promoting EDI and taking steps to increase the diversity of our people through reinforcing best practice in recruitment and selection, and revaluating approaches where it is clear we can remove barriers to success. We are easily accessible by car and are a 10-minute walk from Culham Railway Station in Oxfordshire.

Please be advised that this vacancy is due to close on Friday 6th of January 2023. We may close earlier than this date if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received, so please apply now! 

Please note all employees working at the UK Atomic Energy Authority will be required to complete an online Disclosure Certificate application as part of their clearance – The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks will show the details of all current criminal convictions (convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) or will confirm that there are no such convictions.

current opportunities

Browse some of our current job vacancies below.

Materials Scientist (3 Year FTA)

UKAEA Culham, Oxfordshire

HPC Computational Engineer

UKAEA Culham, Oxfordshire or Rotherham, Yorkshire

What can I expect from the application process at UKAEA?

Once you have submitted a formal application via our website, all CVs will be reviewed shortly after the closing date of the advert.

  • Submit online application

  • Phone interview

  • Face-to-face or virtual interview

  • Other assessments

Company Description

By 2050, the planet could be using twice as much electricity compared to today. Are you interested in contributing to shape the future of the world’s energy? If so, read on.

Fusion, the process that powers the sun and stars, is one of the most promising options for generating the cleaner, carbon-free energy that our world badly needs. UKAEA are at the forefront of realising energy from fusion, working with industry and research partners to deliver the ground-breaking developments that will underpin tomorrow's fusion power stations with the aim of bringing fusion electricity to the grid.

As we work towards our mission and goals, UKAEA has devised values that capture the spirit of how we work. These values include being: Innovative, Committed, Trusted and Collaborative.

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