Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC255558
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £31305 - £34028
Date Posted 18 November 2020
Grade UKRI-Band D
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 20 December 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £31,305 - £34,028 per annum (plus a role-based allowance of £2,000 per annum)
Grade: Band D
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 20th December 2020

As part of UK Research and Innovation, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations and operates at a number of sites within the UK, including the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) and many more around the world. RAL is home to about 1,200 staff that work with a community of more than 10,000 scientists and engineers mainly from the research sector, which spans the scientific spectrum including energy, security, materials healthcare, life-sciences and the environment to address important challenges facing society.

The Central Laser Facility (CLF) is one of the world’s leading laser centres, providing scientists mainly from the UK and continental Europe with access to an unparalleled range of state of the art laser technology. The CLF has around 180 staff and its function - user facility, international research – makes it a very friendly, outgoing, externally facing sort of place. It has a welcoming and inclusive culture, and you will find that people will naturally help and support you.

The CLF is building a new laser centre - the Extreme Photonics Applications Centre (EPAC) and is seeking new team members to help to build this and to contribute to our existing facilities. EPAC is an £81M facility that will use lasers developed by our team to drive new types of novel particle and radiation beams that can be applied to a wide range of problems in science and industry. We are looking for people like you - engineers at all stages of their careers to be a part of our friendly and enthusiastic team.

STFC is an award winning employer and RAL is a superb place to work – there is pioneering work going on all around the site and the environment, facilities and conditions are excellent. RAL has a real buzz and the people working here have a profound sense of pride in what they achieve. Alongside an excellent working environment and comprehensive continued professional development STFC offer’s a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance. This includes 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas shut down, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, an exceptional career average defined benefit pension scheme, and social and sporting activities and societies. Full details can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

The Engineering Division within CLF provides mechanical and electrical engineering solutions to enable laser scientists and Facility users to utilise the laser technology for R&D and fundamental research.

The diverse range of research utilising lasers covers things like: climate modelling, fundamental physics, medical imaging, oncology, security etc. and this requires a vast range of engineering systems to deliver it. These systems include vacuum, cryogenics, high pressure gasses, exotic gases, motion control systems, diagnostic systems, optical systems and mechanical and electrical services.  

The quantity and complexity of international projects and experiments are increasing, forcing an expansion in the engineering team to deliver;

  • Mechanical or electro-mechanical assembly and installation (and where necessary machining)
  • Maintenance and operation of facility plant and services
  • Testing and commissioning of multi-disciplinary engineering systems.

Working within the CLF Mechanical Engineering Technician team, you will be responsible for the safe assembly, installation and operation of mechanical and electrical devices. You will manage the installation and problem solve any unforeseen issues that arise. You will work under the broader remit of a project engineer or manager.

You will be a good communicator and able to work with engineers, scientists and suppliers. 

Candidates would have a broad understanding of engineering and it would be beneficial to have specific in-depth knowledge in one or more of the following areas:

  • Vacuum technology
  • Gas and pressure systems
  • Motion control systems
  • Optical systems
  • Machining and materials
  • Cryogenics.

The duties of the role include:

  • Using engineering drawings to assemble and install mechanical and electrical equipment
  • Managing an installation plan and processes to meet project requirements
  • Managing testing and commissioning plans
  • Ensuring safe and efficient operation of relevant plant and services
  • Following STFC safety codes and mandatory regulations and where appropriate documenting testing or certification results
  • Reviewing and providing feedback on designs or manufacturing drawings
  • Producing risk assessments, method statements and lifting plans as required
  • Research and procurement of engineering hardware as required
  • Communication with suppliers and facility stakeholders
  • Discussing requirements with scientists and providing innovative thinking and solutions. 

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.

The following criteria will be assessed at either shortlisting (S), at Interview (I) or both stages (S&I)



  • HNC/NVQ Level 3/BTEC or equivalent in mechanical engineering and experience working in an engineering field. (S)

Knowledge and Experience


  • Experience working in a mechanical engineering or multi-disciplinary engineering environment (S&I)
  • Have a good understanding of fundamental mechanical engineering principles, such as: (S&I)
    • Materials
    • Machining
    • Assembly
  • Have a good understanding of safe systems of work and associated documentation and procedures. (S&I)


  • It is not expected that the candidate will have all of the following attributes, but some understanding or experience of one or more items below will be beneficial for the role:
    • Experience of working in a highly complex technical environment or scientific research environment (S&I)
    • Able to check or produce 2D manufacturing drawings (I)
    • Knowledge of safety related issues and procedures (S&I)
    • A broad understanding of other engineering disciplines (civil, electrical etc.) (S&I)
    • Experience of producing risk assessments, lifting plans and method statements. (S&I)

Personal Skills and Attributes


  • Good communication skills with staff at all levels (I)
  • Good organised approach to work (I)
  • Strong self motivation and good teamwork skills (I)
  • Innovative and inquisitive with a desire to gain skills in a broad range of areas (I)
    • Vacuum technology
    • Gas and pressure systems
    • Motion control systems
    • Optical systems
    • Machining and materials
    • Cryogenics.

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 aims to provide a pay and reward package that motivates staff to the best of their ability. The reward and benefit package includes a flexible working scheme, an excellent Defined Benefit 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.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis.

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