Meet some of our Apprentices at STFC Scientific Computing
07 Feb 2023
- Briana Doherty



If you are looking for an apprenticeship, you won’t find anywhere quite like the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to begin your career.




​STFC's computing apprenticeship scheme offers structured training, a real job from day one, and the opportunity to gain a recognised degree-level qualification. It allows young people to kick-start their tech careers in an exciting, creative, and collaborative culture.

Each year Scientific Computing employs a number of apprentices. Briana Doherty asked five of our current and past apprentices about their experiences within the scheme.

Trust and commitment is important... 


Kieran Howlett joined STFC's apprenticeship scheme over two years ago and is currently working with the Cloud Operations Group on an etherpad instance for cloud users. Etherpad is an open-source variant of google docs that allows collaboration between users. Kieran thinks the best part of his role is that you can assist your team in the development and maturity of their service. Seeing others use the service he worked on is very satisfying for him.​

Kieran felt that joining STFC would be a great opportunity for him. He says “The main appeal for me to join Scientific Computing was the commitment, not just within Scientific Computing, but from STFC as a whole towards their apprentices. They give you multiple ways to improve, and the overall job looked enticing to be a part of. During the interview phase and whilst looking online, I found that STFC trusted their apprentices to succeed, and if they feel you are right for the job, they will employ you after your course has finished".

In the future, Kieran hopes to work within the IT industry, providing high-quality support to end-users so that they have the best possible experience.

Upskilling to gain further qualifications. 


Georgia Lomas joined STFC in 2019 as a Business Administration Apprentice where her role was to coordinate events, help run the seminar series, and provide general admin support for Scientific Computing. In 2020, Georgia secured a permanent role within Scientific Computing's Admin Team. She has been given the opportunity to gain further qualifications and experience through an upskill apprenticeship. She is now due to graduate with a Chartered Management Degree in July 2023.

Georgia says, “The apprenticeship programme has given me some amazing opportunities to develop my knowledge and skills; being supported through my qualifications while having the chance to work with and learn from professionals not only in my local groups, but also across the wider organisation and externally with academic institutions and businesses- often liaising with world-leading researchers".

New challenges and experiences. 


Rowan Moss began his apprenticeship just four months ago. He is currently working in the Grid Tools Team, which manages data for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Rowan is keen to encourage other young people to start a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. He said, "STEM is as important as ever – there will never be a lack of need for STEM careers. The variety of interesting opportunities presents a fascinating and diverse working career. In my current role, seeing the work that I do being used by people all over the world is pretty surreal".

As apprentices rotate through roles in various departments every six to twelve months, Rowan is excited to gain more experience in different areas. 

Earning whilst studying for a degree. 


Matthew Richards has recently completed his apprenticeship. He worked in the Data and Software Engineering Group in Scientific Computing as an apprentice software engineer. He helped develop the backend of a new internal service, DataGateway, which was released in 2021. This is a web portal that allows scientists to access their data produced by facilities such as ISIS Neutron and Muon Source and Central Laser Facility.

As an apprentice, Matthew spent one day a week studying for his fully funded degree. He had the opportunity to study various modules including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. He says, “Instead of following the typical university route, I came to STFC on their computing apprenticeship, as it allowed me to study for a degree in the subject whilst gaining on-the-job experience. Having this real-world experience was important to me as I can appreciate how different classroom learning is to what goes on in the industry." 

Matthew is now a full-time member of staff in STFC Scientific Computing's Data and Software Engineering Group.

Playing games can lead to a career! 

SKERN Lodge - Viktor.jpg

Viktor Bozhinov graduated from his apprenticeship scheme two months ago and is now a graduate software engineer working for Scientific Computing's Data & Software Engineering Group. His daily responsibilities involve helping to design, implement, and support a wide range of software that enables researchers to catalogue and ​discover their experimental data. This includes collaborating with colleagues to understand and create software solutions that meet the specific needs of researchers. He says the best part of his role is “being able to contribute to the scientific community and assist researchers in discovering the secrets of the universe!" Seeing the impact of the software he helps to design, implement and support on facilitating researchers' work is incredibly rewarding to him.  

Viktor became interested in STEM subjects by playing games. He said, “Playing games from an early age sparked my interest in STEM. As I grew older, I started taking apart computers, trying to understand how all the different components worked together. This led me to be more curious about how computer software was made, and this curiosity is what ultimately sparked my passion for programming".

To find out more about STFC apprenticeships, check out the website:

Or download our Apprentice Information Leaflet.​

Contact: O'Sullivan, Marion (STFC,RAL,SC)