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Technical Specialist in laser based systems for atmospheric measurement

33,309 - 40,927 a year
Grade 6
Contract status
Fixed term
Hours of work
Full-time (flexibility available)
Based at
University of York campus
Interview date
To be confirmed
Posted Date
Apply by
Job Reference

Role Description


The University of York’s Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories (WACL) wish to recruit a Technical Specialist to build, test, and deploy, custom laser induced fluorescence instruments for the sensitive detection of oxides of atmospheric nitrogen and sulphur. The position is funded as part of a recent award to build a novel suite of laser-based instrumentation for the UK FAAM research aircraft, and is available from October 2022 for a period of 36 months. You will work closely with Dr Pete Edwards and Dr Stuart Young, and as part of a wider technical team, including specialists in laser, mechanical, electrical and software engineering.

WACL is the largest dedicated atmospheric chemistry facility in the UK, home to more than 65 researchers with interests in all aspects of atmospheric chemistry. As an experimentally intensive research facility, WACL has more than £3M in state-of-the-art equipment, much of which is custom built or modified, and supports an exceptional research environment with a wide range of interdisciplinary expertise.

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most successful academic departments at York. The Department was placed in the top 10 UK chemistry departments in the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results, with the majority of its research and impact being rated as world leading (4*). As a Department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award.


In this role, you will develop and test several laser induced fluorescence instruments, based on custom built fibre laser systems, and then deploy them aboard the UK research aircraft. Working as part of an experienced technical team, you will take the lead in constructing novel instrumentation and carrying out rigorous instrument testing to ensure performance is sufficient for the scientific goals. This highly varied role will primarily involve the physical construction and testing of custom fibre laser systems and the assembly of the laser induced fluorescence sampling and detection systems, including development of control software. This project offers an opportunity for a self-motivated person to join the large and vibrant group in WACL and to contribute to the world-leading research being carried out by this team.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • A first degree in physics or chemistry, or related discipline, and a PhD or equivalent experience in a related subject (e.g. laser physics or physical chemistry) is desirable
  • Experience of building custom instrumentation
  • Knowledge of a range of analytical techniques, including laser spectroscopy
  • Specific knowledge of the operation of a laser laboratory; awareness of health and safety issues
  • Ability to plan and prioritise own work
  • Attention to detail and a commitment to high-quality work
  • Highly developed oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work with others within a team environment and independently using own initiative

For informal enquiries: please contact Dr Pete Edwards on  or Dr Stuart Young on 

The Department of Chemistry values all employees for the qualities and skills they bring to the workplace and aims to be a diverse and egalitarian community in which all can thrive.

The University strives to be diverse and inclusive  – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University. 

We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork

Athena Gold 2017 



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With world-class activity across the spectrum from the physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences to the humanities, we have been recognised as one of the top 100 universities in the world, gaining outstanding results in official assessments of our research and teaching.