Research Associate

Job Description

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is seeking to appoint a fixed-term Research Associate funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council and by the Horizon 2020 programme.

You will be a member of the Particle Physics and Particle Astrophysics group (PPPA) in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and will be working on the Short-Baseline Near Detector (SBND) at Fermilab (50% of the time) and on simulations and optimization of a muon tomography system for border controls (50%).

SBND is the ‘near’ detector in the neutrino detector complex at Fermilab that will measure neutrino-argon interaction cross-sections with high precision, and together with ICARUS will search for sterile neutrinos. SBND is expected to start collecting physics data in 2024.

The main objective of the Horizon 2020 project SilentBorder is to design, build, and test a prototype system based on muon tomography to identify materials in cargo. The group in Sheffield is participating in the modelling of cosmic rays and in the optimisation of the scanning system.

You will have a PhD or will be working towards a PhD in particle physics. You are expected to have good knowledge of particle physics and programming skills in Python and/or C++. Experience in programming (simulations and/or data analysis) using standard particle physics tools, such as GEANT4 and ROOT, as well as the knowledge of and experience with the simulation and analysis software LArSoft designed for liquid argon experiments will be an advantage. The candidate is also expected to be familiar with experimental techniques used in particle physics.

You will work alongside Prof Vitaly Kudryavtsev and Dr Rhiannon Jones on the analysis of data from the SBND detector. The successful candidate may need to travel to Fermilab to take part in the commissioning and operation of SBND.

Further details of the group’s research activities on SBND can be found at

For the muon tomography project, the successful candidate will work with Prof Vitaly Kudryavtsev on the Monte Carlo modelling of cosmic rays for the muon tomography system and, in particular, on the optimisation of the design of a large-scale scanner based on the results of the modelling and the prototype performance.

Further details about the SilentBorder project can be found here:

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