Research Assistant/Associate in Nuclear Engineering of Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors

University of Cambridge Department of Engineering

A position exists for a Research Assistant/Associate in the Department of Engineering, central Cambridge. The post holder will contribute to the development of an advanced Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR). European Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor project (ESFR-SMART) has been recently awarded an extension by another four years through a successful application for the Horizon Europe research grant scheme. ESFR-SMART concept has many advanced design features, however, complexities of the design may lead to higher construction and operation costs. The newly proposed project (ESFR-SIMPLE) aims to simplify the ESFR design through reducing its size, which will reduce the complexities and costs. Furthermore, a smaller size will provide opportunities for greater extent of modularisation and factory manufacturing of components. The ESFR-SIMPLE project will also focus on the power plant load following and energy storage capabilities for more efficient integration into the future low-carbon electricity grids, with a large proportion of intermittent renewable power generators.

Cambridge University is a partner in the ESFR-SIMPLE project.

The key responsibilities and duties for this position are:

  • to lead the interaction with the project partners in acquiring knowledge of SFR technologies relevant to this project;
  • to develop detailed neutronic and thermal hydraulic models for performance assessment of SFRs;
  • to develop analysis tools for assessment of specific safety features of the considered designs;
  • to prepare manuscripts and reports; and
  • to undertake a range of project management activities

The candidate will have obtained (or be close to obtaining) a PhD in Nuclear Engineering. Other skills, qualifications and experience required to perform the role include expertise in reactor physics and thermal hydraulics of nuclear systems; knowledge of sodium-cooled fast reactor technology; experience in developing mathematical, numerical and computational models; the ability to work as part of a team, with excellent communication skills.

Appointment at Research Associate level is dependent on having a PhD. Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD will be appointed at Research Assistant level, which will be amended to Research Associate once the PhD has been awarded.

Salary Ranges: Research Assistant: £27,116 - £31,406, Research Associate: £33,309 - £40,927

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 32 months in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), publications list and a covering letter in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we may not be able to consider these as part of your application. Please submit your application by midnight on the closing date.

If you have any questions of a techincal nature about this position, please contact Prof Eugene Shwageraus ( or if they concern the application process, contact Mrs Jo Boyle (

Please quote reference NM32965 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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