Postdoctoral Research Associate
The Edinburgh University Press
Edinburgh, GB
7h ago

Job Purpose

To support the Principal Investigator in achieving the goals of the ATLAS project, under their direction

Main Responsibilities

  • Undertaking a specific role in the research project under supervision
  • Taking responsibility for some elements of the planned research
  • Planning and carrying out a work programme appropriate to the research activity
  • Developing own research portfolio in related areas
  • Contributing to the writing of bids for research grants
  • Contributing to dissemination and publication of personal and / or research team findings as appropriate
  • Planning and Organising

    You will be expected to take a leading role in ATLAS data analysis and technical development activities.

    The post holder works within the context of a clear framework defined by the research programme, but within that framework are expected to plan and organise their own work, regularly reporting progress to the Principal Investigator.

    Problem Solving

    The post holder will make well defined but creative contributions to the research programme, and so need to solve problems on a daily basis in order to complete their own work.

    In collaboration with the PI and other colleagues on the research programme, they will also share in the process of solving broader problems.

    Decision Making

    The post holder is required to deliver their agreed contributions to the research programme with relatively little detailed input, and so need to make decisions on a daily basis.

    In collaboration with the PI and other colleagues on the research programme, they will also share in decisions concerning broader issues.

    Key Contacts / Relationships

  • PI of grant or equivalent project supervisor
  • Co-workers on the same project, including PhD students
  • National and international collaborators
  • Occasionally head of research group or relevant institute
  • Support staff (admin and technical)
  • Industrial partners and outreach contacts where appropriate.
  • Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

    Essential :

  • Possess, or be about to obtain, a PhD in Experimental Particle Physics.
  • Experience with particle physics data analysis.
  • Ability to conduct excellent research.
  • Experience of publishing particle physics data analysis results in peer reviewed journals.
  • Experience in scientific programming e.g. Python, C++, ROOT or similar.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication / presentation skills.
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
  • Desirable :

  • Experience of particle physics experiment software.
  • A background in collider physics.
  • Analysis experience at the LHC.
  • Job Context and any other relevant information

    We are a rapidly expanding group in the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. You will make substantial contributions to our physics programme using Higgs boson signatures or other exotic final states.

    You will perform key development work in tracking and simulation for the upgraded ATLAS detector. Expertise, or the willingness to learn, tracking or simulation software is particularly important.

    You will perform and take a visible role in both novel data analysis and technical work.

    The ATLAS Edinburgh group

    The group has an international reputation and expertise in Higgs physics. The group played a leading role in the Higgs discovery (four-lepton final state) and measurements of its properties.

    Our group members have held several ATLAS Higgs convenerships : including H to tautau (Farrington), Higgs prospects at the high-luminosity LHC (Martin), the H to WW group (Mills) and the H to ZZ group (Harrington).

    We pioneered the off-shell Higgs width measurements that constrained the Higgs width to 40 MeV (a factor of 100 improvement).

    Currently, the group its effort in the high resolution diphoton signature (unique in ATLAS UK). We have produced results for several high impact publications and presented on behalf of the collaboration recently at ICHEP2020 and ICHEP2018.

    We also have strong expertise in searches for beyond the Standard Model particles : dibosons, right-handed W / heavy neutrino signatures, non-commutative black holes and dark photons.

    We are carrying out technical work to extend current tracking and triggering methodologies to search for Long Lived Particles decaying to tau leptons under the auspices of an ERC funded project (called OPEN3GEN), led by Prof Farrington.

    The group has a long-standing expertise in ATLAS simulation with Prof. Philip Clark having been simulation convenor for more than four years.

    We have developed a novel approach to particle physics simulation within an Integrated Simulation Framework (ISF). This allows making hybrid simulations, where different simulators are taken to match different spatial regions and particle types.

    We are leading the development of a precise parameterised simulation for ATLAS called FastCaloSim to be used as the default for ATLAS physics analysis.

    This uses novel techniques in fast simulation i.e. principal component analysis and advanced regression techniques. We have also developed a generative adversarial neural network approach.

    To harness this improvement, we designed and led a fast production chain (including fast digitisation, truth-seeded reconstruction and pileup emulation).

    The ultimate aspiration is 1 Hz level Monte Carlo production speed in ATLAS.

    We have substantial expertise in the ATLAS trigger menu and monitoring. We are leading the development of a multi-threaded software framework for the upgraded High-Level Trigger and have coordinated the Trigger Menus & Performance group (Leonidopoulos).

    For upgraded ATLAS tracking detector (ITk) we made key contributions to the final design, leading the performance studies and convening the ATLAS upgrade tracking group (Mijovic).

    We have responsibility for the Pixel endcap services (Eisenhardt). We did initial designs of the pixel wheel bus tapes, and for the Pixel modules, the hybrid flex connectors.

    Currently the ATLAS group is led by five academics and a senior research fellow (hardware specialist). It consists of seven postdoctoral research associates, eight PhD students, two engineers (one electrical and one mechanical) and two technicians.

    We have a substantial clean room infrastructure, including probe station and wire bonding capabilities. In addition, local access to substantial electronic and mechanical workshops.

    As well as the ATLAS experiment, the Edinburgh Experimental Particle Physics group also collaborates in LHCb, DUNE, HyperK, GridPP, Watchman and LUX-ZEPLIN.

    There is a prolific theoretical particle physics group. The PDFs used by ATLAS are developed by the NNPDF collaboration led by Edinburgh theory group (Ball and Del Debbio).

    The team pursues leading-edge research to develop improved uncertainty estimates and is part of the larger Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics.

    Edinburgh is home to the recently launched Higgs Centre for Innovation which brings together world-class research in astronomy and particle physics and the instrumentation expertise that underpins it, with business incubation facilities and laboratories suitable for commercial use.

    Scientists, engineers and students collaborate to improve our understanding of fundamental physics and will engage with companies to drive technological advancement.

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