Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC241061
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £26297 - £26297
Date Posted 26 April 2017
Grade RC-C
Contract Type Graduates
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 29 May 2017
Interview Date

Salary: £26,297
Grade: RC-C
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 29th May 2017

Assessment Centre Date: 15th June 2017


STFC’s award winning graduate scheme offers structured training, a real job with real responsibilities from day one and a direct route to professional accreditation. It will allow you to use your degree in a dynamic, creative and collaborative culture.

RAL Space Department at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory develops space instruments and ground-based astronomy instruments for agencies including ESA, NASA and ESO and other commercial customers.  The Mechanical Engineering Group (MEG) within the Department requires a graduate mechanical engineer to join the team of engineers working on a number of different projects.

Summary of key duties

The role of a mechanical engineer within RAL Space involves:

  • design of space and ground-based hardware plus associated test equipment from concept through to production, testing and delivery
  • supervision of the mechanical aspects of assembly, integration and testing, taking a hands-on approach where appropriate
  • contribution to the creation of proposals for new projects with conceptual CAD models, analyses, cost, mass and schedule estimates.

As a Graduate Mechanical Engineer you will be enrolled on the IMechE MPDS, with the aim of achieving C.Eng. status.  You will be given technical and non-technical training appropriate to your previous experience, the requirements of the work and of the MPDS.



The responsibilities of a Graduate Mechanical Engineer will rapidly increase as your experience grows.  Depending on the projects you are involved with, these responsibilities will include: 

  • ensuring that the mechanical designs meet the requirements, through analysis and test
  • generating documentation to demonstrate compliance with requirements and presentation of designs and results at project reviews
  • producing accurate detailed drawings for parts and assemblies to enable manufacture and assembly
  • supervising the procurement of mechanical parts
  • management of the mechanical tasks to ensure the work meets the technical requirements and is completed within schedule and budget constraints.

Experience, knowledge, skills required:

  • Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering (or similar subject) – predicted 2:1 or above.  A degree which includes aspects of space, vacuum or cryogenic engineering would be desirable
  • degree course(s) accredited by IMechE as acceptable for C.Eng. status without further study
  • A-level (or equivalent) Mathematics and Physics at Grade B or above
  • practical design and analysis experience, ideally resulting in the manufacture and test of your design
  • use of 2D- and 3D-CAD and FEA tools (SolidEdge and ANSYS preferred).

Shortlisting Criteria


  • Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering (or similar subject) – predicted 2:1 or above, which is accredited by IMechE as acceptable for C.Eng. status without further study
  • graduated within the last 18 months of this application
  • A-level (or equivalent) Mathematics and Physics at Grade B or above
  • right to live and work in the UK.


  • degree includes aspects of space, vacuum or cryogenic engineering
  • graduate member of IMechE (or higher).



  • good communicator (in English)
  • project work, including mechanical design and analysis
  • some use of 3D-CAD and production of 2D drawings to relevant standards
  • interest in engineering activities related to the work of RAL Space.


  • practical design and analysis experience, including use of a 3D-CAD tool (SolidEdge preferred) and FEA (ANSYS preferred)
  • production of hardware and experience of workshop techniques
  • knowledge of advanced materials and production techniques
  • experience of engineering work environment.



  • good communication skills, able to influence people at all levels
  • demonstrate good team working capabilities.

Interview Criteria



  • good communicator, written and oral (in English)
  • enthusiasm and pride in work
  • professionalism.


  • engineering related hobby
  • interest in and enthusiasm for space and astronomy activities.



  • able to identify design drivers
  • knowledge of materials
  • ability to analyse and solve problems
  • knowledge of 2D drawing standards
  • evidence of technical writing skills
  • presentation skills – general and technical.


• knowledge of advanced materials and production techniques.



  • the willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical
  • demonstrates a drive and determination to achieve results
  • open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them 
  • demonstrate good team working capabilities
  • compliance with requirements to travel to sites other than RAL, including overnight absences abroad.


STFC’s Graduate scheme is accredited by the; Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Physics and the British Computer Society.

Every graduate is provided with a mentor to help support them through the graduate scheme and to become chartered.

You’ll get the chance to work on cutting-edge projects with international collaborators.

A work life balance, with 30 days annual leave, plus 10.5 public and privilege holidays.

In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme and generous leave allowance are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages:

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV, ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded. No Agencies.

Please ensure that your CV:

  • is no longer than 2 sides of A4
  • includes your full name, contact details and if you are a non EEA national your current immigration status
  • includes full details of your degree and your A levels or equivalent, i.e. 
    •  subjects and grades
    • dates achieved
    • name of the school or college and university where you studied
  • brief details of key modules and projects completed as part of your degree course
  • brief details of work experience and/or gap year activities
  • brief details of your broader interests, hobbies, travelling especially where these demonstrate leadership and teamwork. Please include any awards or particular achievements.

Please ensure that your covering letter:

  • is no longer than 1 side of A4
  • tells us why you want the post you are applying for
  • tells us why you think we should choose you.

Please include the relevant reference number (e.g. IRC241061) in the filename of each document you upload for all vacancies you apply for.

Closing date: 29th May 2017
Assessment Centre Date: 15th June 2017

Please note that you must have the right to live and work in the UK to apply for this role.

As this job does not fulfil the Home Office Code of Practice criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK.  At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK. You can check your eligibility here:

We want to make our application process as easy for you as we possibly can. If you experience any problems in applying for this job, or have any feedback for us about the application process, please contact our Recruitment Hotline on 01793 867000 (8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday). Please quote the appropriate IRC reference number when calling.