Research Trainee, Superconducting Circuits for Space
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

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Alkuperäinen julkaisupäivä 7.1.2021

Let’s make science work for hope next summer! – VTT Summer of Changemakers traineeships

Let’s face it, 2020 was a mess. But this summer, we can make a change for the better. Join a community of world-class problem solvers, tackling the greatest challenges of our time. Together, we can turn these challenging times into a hopeful future. Apply now for the VTT Summer of Changemakers traineeships.

Do you want to start changing the world for the better next summer? Are you all about science and technology or passionate about business and people? Would you like to develop your skills and use them to tackle the greatest challenges of our time?

VTT Summer of Changemakers 2021 is looking for you. We offer over 30 truly meaningful summer traineeships, where you get to challenge yourself and build your career in a community of brilliant minds. We are one of Europe’s leading research organisations. We turn global challenges – from climate change and resource sufficiency to industrial renewal and smart healthcare – into sustainable growth with the latest and best tools of science and technology. Now, we are looking for passionate changemakers – you – to join us as summer trainees.

Do you want to be the next Research Trainee, Superconducting Circuits for Space?

The VTT Quantum Systems team designs, fabricates, experiments with and delivers electronic circuits and sensors, mostly based on superconductivity or photonics. We work on Quantum Computer hardware and interface circuits, radiation detectors and medical sensors, among other topics.

VTT is the likely supplier of the SQUID-based interface circuits for the superconducting X-ray camera X-IFU on board the Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics ATHENA, a mission by the European Space Agency (ESA). We need more hands to help in building the test systems for the SQUID flight hardware, and to help in the SQUID technical development, in particular testing.

What would your responsibilities include?

First, you would learn how to work with SQUIDs and related skills. Once you have gained understanding of the basics, you would start debugging electronics and cryostat cabling, performing EMI hunting and similar tasks. Later on, you will design simple PCBs and design full SQUID readout systems, including electronics cards, cryostat wiring and cryogenic hardware. In the background of this work, there will always be the physics of SQUIDs and superconducting Transition Edge Sensors.

After your summer traineeship, there are likely possibilities to continue the work and grow to take some responsibilities on screening the larger quantity component deliveries to the ESA / X-IFU consortium, two or three years from now. There are also possibilities to combine the position with writing a Master’s thesis on the topic. Let us know if that is relevant to you and we can discuss the details in the interview.

Who we are looking for?

To succeed in the position, you have following background and skills:

  • Master of Science studies in Physics or Engineering Physics close to final phase, with hands-on experience in electronics, for example as a hobbyist
  • Alternatively, Master of Science studies in Electrical Engineering close to final phase, with an interest in Physics demonstrated through hobby projects or equivalent.
  • Good written and oral skills in the English language.
  • Skills in low temperature techniques, in working with high vacuum and handling of unpackaged microchips will ultimately be necessary. Existing experience with them is advantageous, but we will teach you the required knowledge.


It helps if you

Have collaboration skills, but also willingness to work independently. Have networking and communication skills, to interact with the members of the international X-IFU team. Are self-driven, willing to learn new things, well-organised, and practical. You have operated an oscilloscope and a multimeter before; possibly also a spectrum analyzer. You know which end of a soldering iron to grab. You have used printed circuit design software before. The working language at VTT is English; however willingness to learn Finnish in the long term will help you mingle with the team.

Why should you join us?

  • We offer a team of professional co-workers with a welcoming atmosphere and shallow hierarchy. You may want to navigate to #VTTpeople on YouTube for some testimonies.
  • We offer a viewpoint to an European megascience project - the ATHENA mission.
  • We offer an opportunity to work in the vicinity of a world-class microchip foundry for superconducting and photonic devices, with glimpses of and opportunities in other projects exploiting foremost frontiers where Physics and Electrical Engineering meet.

All VTT Summer of Changemakers traineeships are paid and the duration is usually between 3 and 6 months. The exact starting date can be discussed. Positions are filled as soon as we find the right candidate.

Please read more of VTT Summer of Changemakers from here:

Interested and want to hear more?

Come, curious minds and clever changemakers! Prepare your CV and cover letter, and send in your application by 7th February. Let’s change the world for the better next summer.

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