Researcher in Solid Mechanics

Lund University Faculty of Engineering


Researcher in Solid Mechanics (Test beamline)

Faculty of Engineering, LTH, The Department of Construction Sciences

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

Subject description

Lund University is seeking qualified candidates for a researcher position in a joint project with the European Spallation Source (ESS). The successful candidate will contribute to the final design and early operation of the neutron Test beamline (TBL), which will be the first beamline to become operational at the ESS. The primary purpose of the TBL is characterisation of the newly built spallation neutron source at the start of operations. After fulfilling these initial objectives, the TBL will be a test platform for different aspects of the ESS operations, as well as supporting the user program. The project will be carried out between the Division of Solid Mechanics at Lund University and ESS and is jointly funded by Tillväxtverket and ESS with in-kind contribution from Lund University.

Work duties

The project is a collaboration between the Division of Solid Mechanics at Lund University and the Neutron Instruments Division at ESS, which is responsible for designing, constructing and then operating neutron instruments of the ESS.  The TBL is being constructed with the primary purpose of characterizing the target-reflector-moderator system and to verify the performance of the neutron source as a function of operating parameters, such as proton beam power, stability, pulse length and beam rastering, as well as the moderator conditions. Comparison between the measured and simulated neutronic performance of the moderator will be an important reference for the different neutron scattering instruments. The TBL will also aid in optimization of instruments and methods to take full advantage of the unique long-pulse time structure of the ESS neutron source. The TBL should ultimately support the user program more directly, e.g. by aligning and characterizing single crystals and performing exploratory imaging or diffraction studies of samples to be measured at one of the user instruments. It will also serve as a local characterization station to support technical developments in areas such as neutron optics, polarization, shielding and detectors.  As the facility matures, the modular design of the TBL will allow adaption to fulfill additional objectives.

The main task of this researcher position is to support the development work taking place to ensure successful functionality of the TBL by the start of neutron production, as outlined above. The successful candidate will work closely with the TBL instrument scientist at ESS. A strong collaboration with the Target Division, responsible for the target and moderator assembly, and the teams responsible for the neutron user instruments currently under construction is essential. Furthermore, the successful candidate should develop their own independent research involving neutron scattering/imaging techniques in collaboration with researchers at the Division of Solid Mechanics.

Expected work duties include:

  • Creating a virtual description of the TBL under different operating conditions, using Monte Carlo particle and neutron ray-tracing simulations.
  • Contributing to the choice, integration and commissioning of TBL detector(s), including testing at operating neutron sources prior to ESS operation.
  • Developing and testing hardware interfaces that enable preliminary characterization of samples to be measured at other ESS instruments. (e.g. single crystal alignment).
  • Developing and testing techniques that benefit from the ESS long-pulse time structure.
  • Contributing to commissioning of the TBL and, subsequently, developing its use for commissioning of components to be installed and used in the user program of other instruments.
  • Developing independent research encompassing neutron scattering/imaging techniques in collaboration with researchers at the Division of Solid Mechanics.


Appointment to the position requires that the applicant has a PhD within the subjects of physics, material science, engineering or chemistry. The candidate should have at least three years experience in neutron scattering, as well as a keen interest in the development of neutron instrumentation and experiments.

The candidate should have documented experience in the following areas:

  • English speaking and writing;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Neutron scattering experiments;
  • Independent work in projects with other researchers and research groups.

Additional desirable skills:

  • Experience in programming (python, C++ or similar);
  • Experience in treatment of neutron (time-of-flight) data;
  • Experience in instrument design and/or Monte Carlo ray-tracing and/or particle simulations of instruments,
  • Experience in operating and developing neutron instrumentation, particularly for time-of-flight;

We will place great emphasis on personal suitability for the position and work environment. The evaluation will take into account, among other things, problem solving and analytical skills, collaboration skills and initiative. A proactive approach and ability to work both independently and as part of a team are important.

The selection will be based on evaluation of skills and experience in neutron methods, neutron instrumentation and data analysis. Communication skills and the ability to work independently will also be evaluated.

Terms of employment

Fixed-term employment, 2 years, 100 %.

Instructions for application

The application must contain a personal letter with justification as to why you are interested in the employment and in what way the research project matches your interests and your educational background. The application must also contain a CV, diploma or equivalent as well as other things that you wish to refer to (copies of grades, information for references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

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Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment As soon as possible
Salary Monthly
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2021/1066
Stephen Hall, Solid Mechanics, +46 46 222 45 89
Andrew Jackson, ESS, +46 46 222 45 04
Published 20.Apr.2021
Last application date 12.May.2021 11:59 PM CET

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