Computational Modelling Physicists

  • Job Reference: R19672
  • Date Posted: 11 September 2023
  • Recruiter: AWE
  • Website:
  • Location: Reading, Berkshire
  • Salary: £31,000 to £60,000
  • Sector: Government & Defence, Science & Technology
  • Job Type: Permanent

Job Description

AWE's Physics function is expanding, and we are looking for physicists at various stages of their careers, to join us! AWE offers a diverse and unique scientific computing platform on a scale that only a handful of sites across the UK offer. It utilises multiple small development and large HPC platforms with novel architectures that are routinely used for code porting and research related activities.

Computational Modelling Physicists

Location: Reading/Basingstoke area (Potential opportunities for hybrid working in some roles)


Junior Physicists (recent graduates): £31,000 - £35,000 (depending on your suitability and level of experience)

Experienced Physicists (PHD or graduates with post-grad experience): £36,000 - £44,000 (depending on your suitability and level of experience)

Senior Physicists (experienced physicists with qualifications coupled with experience in industry): £45,000 - £60,000 (depending on your suitability and level of experience)

Closing Date: 09th October 2023

As part of our People Promise, AWE (one of the best 25 big companies to work for in the UK) has a range of benefits to suit you. These include:

  • Time to recharge your batteries with 270 hours of annual leave (plus every other Friday off work)
  • Consideration for flexible working arrangements so that your work may fit in with your lifestyle. Just let us know on your application if you wish to work part time
  • Opportunities for Professional Career Development that include funding for the annual membership of a relevant professional body, access to mentors and training
  • Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health Services
  • A generous defined contribution Group Personal Pension (we will pay between 9% and 13% of your pensionable pay depending on your own contribution)
  • Life Assurance
  • Discounts - access to savings on a wide range of everyday spending
  • Special Leave Policy including paid time off for volunteering, public service (including reserve forces) and caring for your family
  • A host of voluntary & core benefits to suit your health and wellbeing - more information available on our careers site

In support of our important mission to support current and future nuclear deterrent, security and threat reduction programmes, we have new opportunities available in the following disciplines:

  • Computational Physics: The Computational Physics Group provides the bespoke software and underpinning expertise used to model nuclear weapon and experimental physics at AWE. They deliver large-scale, highly parallel applications to solve physics problems, modernising and improving the efficiency, performance and robustness of these applications, providing direct user support and developing new and novel algorithms to solve physics problems of interest.

  • High Performance Computing: The High Performance Computing group provides the supercomputing hardware and software that enables the modelling and simulation capabilities to support AWE's Programmes. The group provides a complete supercomputing solution for calculations required by AWE's scientists and engineers e.g. persistent file stores, visualisation, networks and high-end desktops as well as actual supercomputers, and we have some of the most advanced and powerful supercomputing facilities in the world.

  • Design Physics: The Design Physics Group underpin theoretical and modelling capabilities to enhance the understanding of the complex physical processes associated with nuclear weapon function, whilst applying them to the current and future product designs. They use state of the art multi-physics codes to model hydrodynamics, radiation transport and nuclear processes using a range of experimental data to benchmark the predictions. A role within this group involves working as part of a team, alongside independent research. A strong physics and mathematics background and an inquisitive nature are particularly relevant to this discipline.

Whilst not to be considered a checklist, we are interested in hearing from candidates who can demonstrate knowledge or experience in several of the following areas:

  • A degree in Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, or other numerate discipline; equivalent NQF level 6 qualification or equivalent experience

  • A knowledge of complex physics processes and/or experience in applying numerical modelling codes/tools to investigate these

  • Experience of working in Unix/Linux environment

  • Familiarity with C, C++, Fortran or similar high-level language

  • Strong scripting skills (preferably Perl, Python and Bash) and a willingness to improve them

  • Knowledge of good software development practices including the use of tools to support this purpose

  • Experience of developing large scale, highly parallel codes through mechanisms such as MPI, OpenMP or Cuda

  • Experience of developing physics-based algorithms and analysis of results

  • Knowledge and understanding of HPC computer architectures (CPU, GPU, caches, memory) and developing software on them

  • Optimisation and the running of large scientific calculations

  • Software testing experience

  • Methodical approach to problem solving with strong abilities to draw together and interpret data from a variety of sources to reach a conclusion

  • Able to work independently and unsupervised, as well as within a team to achieve common goals

  • Flexible, self-motivated and the ability to handle multiple tasks

  • Able to provide technical input within own field of expertise that can influence project, team or end user

  • Strong communication skills verbal and written

Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role.