Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC241065
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £30056
Date Posted 02 May 2017
Grade RC-D
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 29 May 2017
Interview Date 09 June 2017

Salary: £30,056 - £32,670 (dependent on experience)
Grade: RC-D
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 29th May 2017
Interview Date: 9th June 2017


The RAL Space Millimetre-wave Technology Group (MMTG) Precision Development Facility (PDF) is seeking an experienced CNC machinist/technician to support the production of high tolerance component manufacture in support of its extensive programme of development work. A primary focus is the fabrication of component technology that operates at millimetre wavelengths. Corresponding devices form the basis of scientific research instrumentation that is used in a variety of applications, including radio astronomy and atmospheric remote sensing. You will be expected to support these specific activities and the wider precision machining requirements of RAL Space. Additionally, the PDF provides strategic support in areas of manufacturing to other departments within STFC and liaison with industry is sometime necessary. Machining techniques and concepts that are not normally readily available in an industrial environment are often used.

The RAL MMT Group, which is located within one of Europe’s largest space science departments is a world-class research team that has invested in some of the very latest CNC technologies. This is a rare opportunity to join a dynamic group of individuals that develop and deliver internationally leading instrumentation projects. It is also an opportunity to become a part of a leading scientific research establishment (STFC) and to support it and other Research Councils that form the UK government Research Council structure.

List of Duties/Work Programme/Responsibilities:

  • you will report directly to the PDF manager, and will be expected to show a high degree of initiative and personal responsibility
  • you will be highly motivated, flexible in attitude and will be able to produce components to the most exacting tolerances in an up-to-date, temperature controlled environment, and using highly advanced machinery and machining techniques including the use of micro-milling machines and mini-jig borers
  • a methodical and careful approach to the work and an ability to follow procedural steps, in some cases to ISO 9001, is also required.

Key aspects of the work involve:

  • the programming and setting of CNC machines to produce high-precision components required for scientific research and potentially for use in space
  • the design, development and manufacture of novel bespoke jigs and fixtures
  • the assembly and inspection of miniature devices using optical microscopes and non-contact measuring machines
  • the design, development and manufacture of micrometre accurate miniature cutting tools using surface grinders, diamond lapping, and purpose made jigs and fixtures
  • close support working with scientists and engineers in order to develop novel machining and manufacturing techniques is support of their component and system engineering needs
  • training apprentices in appropriate machining and manufacturing methods.

Contacts and Communication:

  • must have good oral and written communication skills and be willing to document work as necessary.

Shortlisting Criteria



  • Apprenticeship in Engineering
  • HNC/HND in Engineering.


  • degree in Mechanical Engineering

Personal Skills and Attributes


  • setting, operating and programming CNC machines on at least one of these controllers; Heidenhain, Fanuc and WinMAX found on KERN, Hardinge, HAAS and HURCO CNC machines
  • manufacture of precision miniature components
  • offline programming using CAM software e.g. One CNC, Delcam PowerMill
  • familiarity with computer operating systems and applications such as Microsoft Office
  • good writing and oral presentation skills and an ability to work effectively with other team members is also required, along with an attention to detail, dexterity in handling precision miniature components. Also a prerequisite is an ability to seek and accept change and undertake continuous self-assessment and improvement.


  • experience in multi-axis CNC machining
  • manual milling, turning and grinding techniques
  • metrology of parts using CMM
  • CNC Wire EDM
  • optical inspection using stereo microscopes.

Special Requirements


  • fit and able to carry out ordinary manual handling duties relating to a workshop environment

Interview Criteria

Knowledge and Experience


  • expert and proven extensive knowledge of setting, programming and operating CNC machines required to manufacture precision parts
  • use of PC applications including CAD/CAM software and Microsoft Office
  • expert in the understanding of engineering drawings.


  • using high specification metrology equipment including CMM’s

Personal skill and Qualities


  • proven ability to work confidently as part of a team
  • proven ability to organize and communicate work effectively
  • ability to adapt to change and seek continuous improvement.


  • full UK driving license.

An excellent index linked pension scheme, 30 days leave allowance and flexible working are offered, as well as an on-site nursery, subsidised restaurant, gym and sports facilities.

Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

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:

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.

The closing date for applications is 29th May 2017. The interview/assessment date for this vacancy is 9th June 2017 and will be held at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

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.