Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC251124
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £38318 - £48962
Date Posted 20 September 2019
Grade RC-E
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 27 October 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £37,789 - £48,962 (dependent on skills and experience and inclusive of annual role-based allowance)
Grade: E
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date:  27th October 2019

Working at the forefront of scientific endeavor isn’t possible without a dedicated team of engineers able to turn abstract scientific ideas into reality. At the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) ISIS facility, a leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences, each problem requires a unique solution, taking advantage of the latest technologies to deliver the seemingly impossible. Our engineers have the freedom to choose their own solution, and the responsibility to take it to completion.

About The Role

We currently have a vacancy as Mechanical Design Section leader in our Sample Environment group as part of the ISIS Design Division. This role will work closely with fellow engineers, scientists and technicians, leading a team of specialist engineers to specify, design, procure and develop bespoke equipment and complex systems for the facility.

You implementing a forward looking plan for the section to ensure it is well placed to deliver the future needs of ISIS as well as developing and implementing new working practices. You will be responsible for the safe delivery of all sample environment equipment onto the beamlines this will include pressure, vacuum, cryogenic and elevated temperature systems. You will also be responsible for taking top level development ideas and managing the complete development process through engineering concept, design, procurement, installation/commissioning, testing and final reporting as well as all project activities related to this.

Further duties will include:

  • Carrying out appropriate engineering calculations and simulations to ensure the development brief is met
  • Preparing work instructions for staff carrying out development and test programs
  • Managing tendering, procurement and delivery of approved designs, equipment and services
  • Preparing and presenting reports on designs and test programs for peer and stakeholder review
  • Managing and coordinating multi-disciplinary staff carrying out programs of development and testing.

About You


Ideally a degree in mechanical engineering or a good quality HNC with associated experience, i.e. proven involvement in the design of mechanical equipment and the manufacturing and assembly of related parts.


You will be enthusiastic with a good vision of how the section should be run and how it could be improved. 
You would have experience in managing small to medium teams, along with development of the staff within the teams, a good understanding of the safety aspects of mechanical design along with good project management skills.

A good grounding in mechanical engineering is essential with specific experience in mechanical stress calculations, thermodynamics for both elevated and cryogenic temperatures, vacuum technology and mechanism design being desirable. Knowledge of material applications would also be a benefit, especially in materials such as ceramics and advanced grades of alloys. Some applied involvement in the testing of equipment, or at least the method of testing would also be beneficial.

You will need to show examples of both academic and hands on experience, along with the necessary people management skills to deliver projects within multi-disciplined teams.

Specific skills:

  • People and project management skills, with a good awareness of budget control, estimating and scheduling work
  • Performing stress and thermal calculations, and reviewing the work of others
  • Experience of managing simultaneous projects and delivering within very short timescales
  • Pressure, cryogenics, mechanisms, materials and vacuum vessel design experience
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Criteria will be assessed through shortlisting (S), at interview (I) or both (S&I)


  • Degree/HND or above with relevant experience (S)
  • Knowledge of fundamental mechanical engineering principles, e.g. materials, stress / strain, fluid mechanics, heat transfer (S&I)
  • Experience in a mechanical design environment: developing, designing, procuring, testing and reporting on the development of technically challenging engineering equipment (S&I)
  • Experienced in performing engineering calculations and simulations (S&I)
  • Experience of developing and carrying out test programmes to prove new designs (S&I)
  • Experience of managing and directing staff engaged on development projects (S&I)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and communications with different disciplines (I)
  • Self-motivated with good organisational skills (I)
  • Quality of cover letter - written English and relevance. (S)


  • In-depth knowledge in one or more of: pressure vessels, cryogenics, vacuum engineering, materials engineering, sample manipulation (S&I)
  • MEng in relevant engineering discipline (S)
  • Degree is IMechE/IET Accredited for CEng. (S)

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent

We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities

We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

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