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Didcot, Oxfordshire Diamond Light Source
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire - primarily based onsite

About Us

Diamond Light Source is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world. It houses the UK's synchrotron light source, producing beams of light 10 billion times brighter than sunlight with a spectral range spanning far-IR to hard X-rays for probing the structure and composition of matter. From viruses and vaccines to alternative energy solutions and nanotechnology, Diamond underpins research and innovation for more than 8000 scientists.

Our software systems facilitate operations at all levels, including the low-level control of synchrotron and beamline hardware, the planning, execution and monitoring of experiments, data archiving and retrieval, data processing and visualisation, the application for beamtime, and capture of remote experiment plans and samples. Our software engineers work alongside our scientists to develop innovative and robust solutions to keep Diamond at the forefront of scientific research.

About the Role

We currently have opportunities for Software Systems Engineers and Senior Software Systems Engineers to join our Beamline Controls Group. The successful engineers will work in a research-focused environment alongside world leading scientists and professional engineers to address technically challenging problems as we deliver new beamlines for Diamond-II.

The accelerators and photon beamlines are controlled through a distributed, heterogeneous computing environment, using embedded systems for direct control of the instrumentation, together with Linux workstations for the operator interfaces. These systems make extensive use of open-source software, including the EPICS Distributed Control System tool kit. The distributed control systems comprise a wide range of technical domains such as motion control, instrumentation, robotics, and automation, as well as data acquisition.

You will contribute to the development and operational support of distributed control systems for Diamond's photon beamlines and experimental stations. This includes tasks like requirements gathering, software design, development, documentation, and commissioning new solutions.

You will liaise closely with scientists, engineers and technicians designing, building, and operating the photon beamlines.

Software applications and services are typically implemented in languages such as C, C++ and Python as well as domain-specific languages for automation, motion control and robotics. You will have the opportunity to work alongside the Group's Core Development Team, developing the software that will control and synchronise experiments for Diamond-II: software which will underpin science on all Beamlines, working from the hardware level up to experiment enabling scanning services. This diverse stack gives opportunities to work with a range of technologies:

Containers and Kubernetes
Hardware triggered synchronisation using FPGAs
Scan sequencing logic
Python software development
Continuous integration and deployment
High speed detector support
Machine Learning
Robot kinematics and rout planning

Applicants will be considered at either Grade 4 or 5, depending on the strength of your skills, experience, and qualifications.

About You

You will be qualified to degree level, or demonstrate significant equivalent experience, along with experience in the full Software Development Lifecycle, using a modern high-level language, and with an understanding of good software design principles and design for usability.

You should have experience with the technologies and programming languages mentioned above, ideally with some experience working with interfaces between hardware and software, for example with IoT, Robotics or other Instrumentation and Automation systems.

Experience of working with large and complex code bases would be an advantage, as would experience with application development on the Linux OS, and real-time systems.


Diamond offers an exceptional benefits package to support staff in achieving a positive work/life balance. This includes 26 days annual leave plus Christmas closure, public holidays, 2 annual volunteering days and flexible working hours. We also offer an excellent defined benefit pension scheme. Staff also have access to a range of amenities on site including a nursery, cafes, a restaurant and sports and leisure facilities. A relocation allowance may also be available where applicable.

To Apply

Please use the online application process to apply and tell us why you believe you are suitable for this role.

The initial closing date for applications is 7th April 2024, however applications will be reviewed and interviewed on an ongoing basis until this vacancy is filled.

Other information
Further company benefits
Life at Diamond
Nuvos Pension Scheme

Diamond is open to different ways of working and we are committed to supporting our employees to have more flexibility and autonomy over where, when and how long they work.

Where relevant, and possible for the role, we will consider flexible working arrangements, secondment and job share opportunities.

Diamond attract talented individuals from around the world and currently employ 44 different nationalities. Reflecting trends in our sector we employ more men than women (77% men and 23% women as at March 2021). Therefore, we particularly welcome applications from suitably qualified women.

If you are disabled and would like to be considered under the Disability Confident Scheme, please let us know via the online application process.

Diamond are members of Working Families (the UK's work-life balance organisation), we have also achieved the Athena SWAN Bronze award and Disability Confident Level Two.
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