We’re a diverse mix of individuals but we share the same goals.We’re incurably curious (we can’t help it). We’re always questioning things, always thinking about what we can do to drive knowledge forward and find real-world applications.
Watch one (or all!) of the short videos below and across the site to learn more about what we do and the people who do it. Please note all of our videos have subtitles, these can be enabled by clicking on the cc button.
13 years. After I finished my Masters in Physics from the University in Pune, India, I then worked in India, Russia and at CERN. From CERN I came to Daresbury.
I knew about Daresbury because of working in the area of light sources and have read many papers from world leading experts in this field from Daresbury.
I started as a senior accelerator physicist and my primary task was to build a linear collider team working on a large international project. I had a key leading role in that project.
I became Group Leader of the Accelerator Physics Group in 2010 and continue in that role today. I manage and lead a team of people in this area of science.
ASTeC covers broad range of skills; both in the design, operation and technologies of light source and intense proton beam facilities. The local test facilities help us to develop new technological and accelerator physics advancements. We collaborate with other facilities internationally and carry out underpinning R&D to look into applications of future facilities or improving existing facilities.
For me the obvious ones are ALICE, EMMA, VELA, CLARA. These are all accelerators located on Daresbury Laboratory site.
Yes, it’s all massively exciting and inspiring. A lot of the work we do is novel, creative and the first of its kind. Given the reputation of STFC, we are sought out for accelerator design and research. It is not possible to do this outside of STFC in the UK. University staff in the Cockcroft Institute work on similar projects but the focus is different.
Throughout my career with STFC I have stayed within ASTeC and have been given lots of opportunities, in terms of the range of work and projects I’ve been involved with. There are wide-ranging opportunities to develop your career – I’ve had the opportunity to develop my management and leadership skills.
Yes, although I haven’t moved away from ASTeC, there would be opportunities in ISIS or Diamond Light Source. I am motivated and inspired in my work with ASTeC.
Yes, you have freedom to develop yourself and heavily influence the direction of your career. We work on a number of projects at any one time. Although each is novel and different, there are commonalities – there is always an element of learning.
Having an experimental facility to work with, not just using simulations. We work a lot with the Technology Department, as they underpin our scientific facilities. We have unique access to both the academic and technical expertise at Daresbury.
I was the European leader for one particular area of the International Linear Collider (ILC) project. It was challenging as well as interesting to be part of the global international design team. Also the work I did on the new light source – coming up with aspects of design in a very tight timescale.
Yes for everything I’ve said throughout. The work we do has the potential for massive impact. It gives you challenge and support, opportunities to specialise and develop your career and work with world leading scientists and engineers. Why would you not want to work here?
Since 2009, I have been working at STFC as a project scientist, initially working in conjunction with the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry, now with the Hartree Centre. My current focus is the use of atomistic and mesoscale modelling, coupled with high performance computing, to help overcome industry focussed challenges.
Every day, the Hartree Centre collaborates with industrial clients and research partners on projects that enable them to produce better outcomes, products and services, and to do that faster and cheaper than conventional R&D workflows. All areas of science associated with scientific computing are carried out by the Hartree Centre.
The Hartree Centre is setting the standard globally on how scientific computing can benefit industry focussed R&D. The model adopted here is being explored by other countries as the standard way to engage with industry.
There are some great examples on the STFC website.
Within STFC there are so many possibilities to build networks with other scientists working in similar (or different) fields! STFC is connected not only to industry but to numerous academic groups. The career you build at STFC is different to a normal academic route, however.
If you have a desire to develop, a desire to build your career then you can at STFC. Those who seek this pathway are always supported in this organisation.
The atmosphere at STFC can be electric. Lots of passionate people working with new and exciting ideas leads to fantastic motivation and dedication. It is an incredibly respectful place to work.
STFC is the most flexible and supportive place I can imagine working. My wife has ongoing health problems and on numerous occasions I have had to work flexibly (work from home, last minute hospital appointments etc) and I have been supported by all levels of management and staff on all occasions, no exceptions. Don't think this means that you don't have to do your work though!!!
Firstly, there is the diversity of scientific projects and the ability to get involved in many of these. Second is the collaborative way we work both internally and externally. Thirdly there is the flexibility provided and the work life balance. Fourth is the ability to build a career. Finally, the knowledge that you make a difference.
Projects I was involved with were presented as examples of Hartree’s ability to make a positive impact on the UK economy through industry research and collaboration. This helped secure funds for the Hartree Centre in 2012. I then had the chance to demonstrate the impact of my work to the Chancellor and the Science Minister in 2015.
I am an HR Advisor for Central Laser Facility at STFC. My role is critical to people management; identifying the people potential, facilitating staff development and ensuring policies and procedures are applied uniformly and fairly. My role is also to keep management informed of any potential issues so they can put corrective actions in place. But chiefly I see my role as being that of a ‘solution provider’ to management so together we can draw the best out of the staff working at STFC.
I started my career at STFC as an agency temp working as an HR Assistant. Initially this was a stop-gap arrangement. Then I found it to be a place that catered to the needs of both the individual and the organisation. My career aspiration, having moved from a management role, was to get the opportunity to make a difference to the business. Happy to say, I was made a permanent member of staff, then given a career development opportunity in October of last year. This eventually resulted in my promotion to the HR Advisor role this year.
My journey was supported by a range of development opportunities. I have been through courses and training that most organisations would shy away from investing in. STFC identifies the clear link between inputs and outputs. The more you invest in your employees the greater the chance they return every penny on your investment.
I have access to both internal and external learning and development opportunities. These learning opportunities cover a wide spectrum. I have enjoyed financial management training, soft skills training, and formal professional certifications. I continue to benefit from the fantastic informal learning opportunities by virtue of working in a very dynamic and experienced team.
The teams are very dedicated - the reason they are here is because they all feel immensely proud of the difference they are making in the field of science and technology. I am, for instance, very proud to be supporting CLF (Central Laser Facility) and consider myself really fortunate to be able to support such a great team of scientists, engineers, support staff and technicians.
What inspires me most is what goes on in the world of Science. Being a part of the fantastic world class initiatives, watching staff you work with achieve their accolades. I value the time and efforts of every individual on site at STFC. Each one of them is helping STFC make a significant difference in the bigger world.
I am most proud of achieving the first step in my professional journey – that of working as an HR Advisor in an organisation I absolutely enjoy working in. On a more personal note I am proud of getting inspired by some very active people in my team and going back to running, something I had enjoyed in the past and didn’t find time to do for a good many years.
Yes. STFC is constantly moving, it is working to do things better, more efficiently, more professionally and in a more inclusive fashion. It provides you with opportunities and supports you with training. What more can you ask for?
I’m the Senior Public Engagement Officer at Daresbury Laboratory.
I’m telling people about the great work we do. It’s so important that we involve and inspire the public so they understand how taxpayers’ money is spent and how we’re making a difference to their lives.
I also visit schools or invite them to the campus for workshops, talks and tours. We’re inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, particularly about the Sci-Tech campus.
I’ve built strong relationships with the scientists and engineers, so I can keep the public informed of all the very latest activities and projects. Many of our experts become ambassadors in our outreach programme, which really adds value to our public engagement. Especially when we organise bigger events.
I started off in numerous admin roles (finance, cash office, payroll). Then I moved into the Scientific Computing Department, which was a real turning point for me. It gave me experience in event planning for national and international workshops. After a couple of years, I got the chance to work in Public Engagement. Everyone thought an external-facing role would really suit my outgoing personality. That was in 2012 and I haven’t looked back since!
Absolutely. The on-the-job support and training are really helpful but there’s also scope for formal training. There are processes for reviewing performance and managers are specifically trained in giving guidance to support and develop their team.
Yes, every year I’m given regular opportunities for personal development. This year, I was asked to attend the Cheltenham Science Festival. I learned so much about different kinds of science outside the STFC. I’ve also been an ambassador for STFC and met a variety of prominent experts in the field.
It’s great. Lots of interaction, socially and professionally. People are passionate about what they do, so dedication and motivation go hand in hand. It’s a fast-moving, unique environment to work in.
The flexibility’s great – as long as you get the work done! I have worked evenings and weekends in the past but I get that time back at a later date.
I’m inspired by the people around me and feel proud to get our message out. Our people are so dedicated. They collaborate with other UK facilities and work on high-profile, international projects. Many of these people live in my local community! I also love the fact we’re changing young people’s attitude to science and showing them the variety of jobs available.
It’s not just a good place to work, it’s a great place to work! It’s a stimulating and highly inspiring environment. I’ve learnt so much working here and couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.
To further develop the STFC Daresbury Public Engagement programme and inspire even more people.
Yes, without question. It’s just such an exciting, motivating and inspiring environment. We can – and do – make a difference.
I’m the Head of Impact Evaluation, which involves demonstrating the social and economic impact of our research and technology by generating studies and reports. I have a small team and our main audience is the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
By demonstrating impact, we’re also showing our credibility. That means we have more chance of securing science funding from the Government. My work also shows that we are making the most of taxpayers’ money.
I work with our scientists and engineers to understand their science and the impact it has. I then translate that into the kind of language and impact numbers that Government can understand and use. My team is part of the ‘Strategy, Planning and Communications Directorate’ which sets the strategy for the organisation, sets out the plans to deliver the strategy and communicates what STFC does to the outside world.
Well, I think so. My career’s spanned 12 years so far. After university I worked as an engineer in a wafer fabrication facility, followed by roles at PPARC (Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council) and CCLRC (the Council for the Central Laboratories for the Research Councils). The two councils merged to form STFC in 2007. I started to get involved in impact evaluation and was made Impact Programme Manager in 2009 – the only person in STFC with this role! I now head up the whole activity and cover all STFC’s projects.
Definitely. Every role I’ve had in STFC has been newly created, so I’ve had the freedom to shape and manage things the way I want. I’ve been promoted twice and worked at all four of our major sites. When the STFC recognised that I needed support, I was able to recruit two team members.
It’s a great atmosphere. Everyone’s very dedicated to their jobs and to producing world-class science and engineering. We’re at the cutting edge of science and everyone’s very passionate about the science we deliver.
Yes, we have a flexi-time system which really helps me as a parent with a child at nursery. The maternity leave is also very generous, and good annual leave means I can spend plenty of time with my daughter.
Obviously, the best part of my job is being involved in the world-class research and technology we deliver. It’s definitely a challenging job and I feel as if I’m always learning and developing. I also love travelling and I’ve had the opportunity to go to some lovely places across Europe. Working in Edinburgh is also great; it’s such a lovely site and a great bunch of people.
If I’m ever having a bad day, I take a step back and think about the amazing science we deliver. We’re always uncovering new information about the impact we’ve had, such as digital animation and early methods of laser eye surgery. These came from our programmes!
STFC is generally seen as a leader in the impact evaluation field and I’ve been a key part of that. I’ve had people in Government referencing and praising studies which I’ve written, which is a good feeling.
It’s a cliché, but my daughter. She’s the most important thing in my life and a wee star!
There’s still a lot of work to do in my current role, so in the next couple of years I’ll continue to develop our approaches and methodologies. Over the longer term, I’d like to move into a more strategy-based role and gain more seniority in the organisation.
I definitely would. My field is a relatively new subject area so there are no set ways of tackling it. This means I have the freedom to develop our approaches and methodologies. It’s a challenge of course, but it’s very rewarding. I’m fully resourced and receive all the support I need to deliver my programme so, yes, it’s a great place to work.
I’m the Head of Business Opportunities at International Facilities in the Programmes Directorate.
Basically, I help companies engage with the large international facilities STFC funds on behalf of the UK.
I’ll assist these companies with the tender process by advising them of any opportunities and introducing them to key buyers. I also work with my international counterparts to ensure the facilities have fair and transparent procurement rules.
My role helps to increase the benefits that the UK receives from investing in international science facilities.
I work with colleagues throughout STFC to ensure that the UK is well presented at the international facilities we fund. Our team enables STFC to manage the UK interests in international facilities at organisations such as CERN, ESRF, ESO and ILL. It’s essential for the scientific and engineering communities which rely on these facilities that we ensure effective governance and participate in the decision-making.
After my PhD in physics, I joined STFC to work at the ISIS neutron source. I managed a project to coordinate the development of new instrumentation for neutron sources across Europe. I then managed a doctoral training centre at UCL which focused on the interface between life sciences, healthcare, physics and maths. I rejoined STFC in 2009 and moved to STFC’s innovation team.
When a vacancy for the industry liaison role came up, I thought it would be really interesting to work with facilities like CERN and it was clearly an area where someone could make a difference.
Very supported indeed. I feel lucky to work with such amazing colleagues who are enthused about what they do. It makes a huge difference. Being selected to be on the Accelerated Development Programme (ADP) has given me a great insight into senior management and high-level decision-making. It’s really helping my personal and career growth.
I’ve had plenty! I’ve taken training courses in project management, specific IT packages, and the CRISTAL suite of personal and managerial development courses. Through the ADP, I’ve attended a negotiation skills course. It’s such a useful skill. It’s allowed me to reframe discussions with others in a whole range of scenarios.
Learning through observing others is a great way to develop. Taking part in various boards and committees - both within STFC, externally and internationally – has been a huge part of my development. The ADP also allocates each member a mentor and being able to access that experience has been very useful.
There are plenty. For instance, my role (and the work within my team) is about increasing the impact from STFC science. It involves brokering relationships between suppliers and potential buyers, working closely with facilities to understand their future requirements, liaising with industry and reporting to government.
Yes, right now I work across multiple sites so I get a great chance to learn what the wider organisation is doing. In Programmes, there’s a core and connected scheme. People have their ‘core’ role but can work in another Programmes area, in a connected way, on specific projects for one or two days a week. It’s an interesting way of becoming involved in new projects and broadening experiences.
I’m so proud of the work we do. Over the last 10 years, UK companies have won nearly £200 million in contracts from our international subscriptions including CERN, ESO, ILL and ESRF. These contracts have benefitted hundreds of companies and it’s great to have played a part in that.
I’m the Electrical Engineering Group Leader in the Technology Department.
Our department underpins all the science research within STFC and we support STFC-funded projects internationally. We also do work with (and for) industry, for example testing high-voltage earth sticks for accelerator equipment and general electrical distribution.
We’ve recently collaborated with ISIS, the neutron spallation source at RAL, to design, build, test and (eventually) install the Neutron Imaging and Diffraction Instrument – IMAT. This will be used for precision alignment of experimental targets that weigh up to a tonne and will offer everything from neutron radiography to energy-selective imaging.
It’s important. We have specialist skills in precision motion control, high power pulse applications and high stability DC power converters. These skills are in high demand both in the UK and internationally - the expertise isn’t readily available. Working in the Technology Department at STFC opens up a huge range of career opportunities as the skill sets are transferrable to the public and private sector.
There’s so much! Power electronics and precision motion control, high voltage technology, PSS and accelerator technologies…it’s truly diverse and your work package varies massively from week to week. There are huge opportunities to be actively involved in creative and novel engineering techniques.
We’re called upon throughout the UK - and internationally - to work with new and existing facilities and projects because of our expertise and reputation.
Definitely not. Some HEIs and commercial companies are specialists in some of the engineering disciplines, but they don’t cover the range of integrated technologies that are required for our projects.
It’s really exciting and so unique and inspiring to work with world-leading scientists, engineers and professionals. There are plenty of opportunities to develop new skills and to interact with a diverse range of people.
Really good. I joined as a graduate engineer and after two years joined the Nuclear Structure Facility. I then transferred to the SRS a few years later. I’ve had a number of promotions and, five years after I started, STFC supported me to become a Chartered Engineer. They’re hugely supportive of continuing professional development.
There are plenty of opportunities. I’ve worked on projects in France, Germany and Switzerland, and collaborated with organisations in USA, including San Francisco and Chicago.
Absolutely. It’s extremely inspiring to see and understand the potential impact of the work you’re involved in. Take the prototype accelerator EMMA at Daresbury for example. My team was responsible for all the electrical engineering and the potential impact was to improve cancer treatments. A lot of the work we do can have a massive, long-term impact on people’s daily lives.
Yes there’s incredible flexibility. The working conditions are fantastic and you’re encouraged to have a good work-life balance. Most of the work is project-based (rather than production-based) so you can plan your own workloads. Daresbury is in rural Cheshire, on the banks of the Bridgewater Canal, and there are lots of clubs and social activities which create a great working atmosphere.
Yes, it’s a fabulous environment to thrive and develop and make a great contribution to our society.