Research Associate Improved X-ray cargo imaging using a novel high-throughput fast-detector setup

Job Reference : S&E-11445
Location : Manchester
Closing Date : 08/03/2018
Salary : £31,604 - £38,833 per annum, depending upon experience
Employment Type : Fixed Term
Faculty / Organisational Unit : Science & Engineering
Division : Nuclear Physics
Hours Per week : Full-time
Contract Duration : 1 March 2018 until 31 December 2020

This work aims to improve the ability of security x-ray screening equipment to identify contraband and illicit material hidden within high-density cargo. A novel high-efficiency fast-detector setup will be used to form high-quality scan images using advanced signal-processing algorithms and a high-throughput digital-electronics system. The set up will be capable of identifying individual x-rays and providing energy information, which is currently unavailable for high-energy cargo screening systems. This information is critical to determine whether the x-ray is part of the primary beam which should be used in the image formation (signal) or whether it is a scattered x-ray (noise) and should not. The project employs knowledge exchange to combine the strengths of an academic partner in gamma-ray spectroscopy and detector development with an industrial partner, Rapiscan Systems, who produce security screening equipment for a global market.

The work will involve the design and simulation (Monte-Carlo) of a new fast-detector setup. Based on these simulations, detectors crystals will be assembled onto SiPMs and a new electronics and data acquisition flash-adc system will be purchased. Transmission x-ray data will be recorded, initially with the Daresbury compact linac and subsequently at Rapiscan Systems. Pulse processing algorithms will be developed and applied to high count rate pulses recorded by the flash-adcs in order to extract both the x-ray energy and time of interaction. This data will be combined with the Monte-Carlo simulations in order to produce improve cargo images.

The School is strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for gender equality in higher education. The School holds a Silver Award which recognises their good practice in relation to gender; including flexible working arrangements, family-friendly policies, and support to allow staff achieve a good work-life balance. We particularly welcome applications from women for this post. Appointment will always be made on merit. For further information, please visit:                                              

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Name: David Cullen


General enquiries:


Tel: 0161 275 4499

Technical support:


Tel: 0161 850 2004

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date

Further Particulars



This position is now closed. We are no longer accepting applications for this position.