Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC242620
Location Edinburgh See on Map
Salary £26297 - £26297
Date Posted 31 August 2017
Grade RC-C
Contract Type Graduates
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 30 October 2017
Interview Date

Salary: £26,297
Grade: RC-C
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date 1: 30th October 2017
Assessment Centre Date:


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest science research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and technology.

Our graduates join us in a permanent position, starting a real job from day one. Graduates enjoy two years of formal soft skills together with technical training and development, as well as a direct route to professional accreditation. STFC graduates have the opportunity to build on their degree, taking their understanding, knowledge and skills to a whole new level in a dynamic, creative, collaborative culture.

The UK Astronomy Technology Centre is the national centre for astronomical technology. We design, build and commission instruments for the world's major telescopes on behalf of the UK astronomy community.

We also project-manage UK and international collaborations to develop the latest astronomical facilities and telescopes.

Our scientists carry out observational and theoretical research into fundamental questions such as the origins of planets and of galaxies.

The UKATC is based at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh which is one of the STFC national laboratories. The National Laboratories provide research facilities and capabilities that, because of their scale, complexity, strategic character or cost, are appropriately operated as a national research resource.
The primary mission of the laboratories is to facilitate national research capability, and complement and collaborate with the university research base.

Summary of Key Duties:

  • assist project systems engineer performing requirements engineering and management
  • develop together with the systems engineer the architecture of scientific systems
  • identify key system modelling requirements and model products
  • assist with the allocation of design performance and error budgets to the detailed designers
  • contribute to design activities
  • contribute to assembly, integration and verification activities
  • develop reliability models and ensure the maintenance and support provisions are sufficient.


  • understand the key needs of the astronomers and through analysis and discussion with engineers of all disciplines check the feasibility of the idea and develop the technical requirements supporting the science
  • create manageable product breakdowns with well-defined interfaces that can be most easily managed. This requires sensitivity to the aims of the various consortium partners and to the practicality of building the system in an efficient manner
  • set up the main performance models such that the top level performance can be predicted at all phases of the project
  • assist in identify the main technical risks and mitigation plans and ensure that these are understood by the whole team. Ensure that mitigation plans are carried out
  • design and perform validation tests of major hardware and software elements
  • carry out trade off studies through prototype testing and analysis.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  • excellent analytical and problem solving skills including the ability to create mathematical models
  • creative
  • good conflict resolution and decision-making skills
  • good written and verbal communication skills
  • modelling
  • experience in a range of laboratory test methods
  • a mixed disciple engineering degree such as Photonics, Optronics or Mechatronics engineering first degree.




  • obtained first degree bachelors or Masters, (not doctorate) in a multidisciplinary engineering field such as Mechatronics, Photonics, Optronics, Astronomical Instrumentation or Applied Physics (STEM subjects) in either 2017 or be due to receive it in 2018  
  • expected or have achieved a 2:1 or above
  • the right to live and work in the UK.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • analytical and problem solving skills
  • practical laboratory test experience
  • good all round knowledge of physics.


  • creative and an aptitude for gaining practical problem solving engineering experience
  • mathematical modelling experience
  • knowledge of optics, electronics, mechanical engineering and software.

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes


  • enthusiastic
  • hard working
  • good written and verbal communication skills
  • good conflict resolution and decision-making skills.

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

We offer 30 days leave allowance, plus 10.5 public and privilege holidays. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s Career Pages.

Every graduate is provided with a mentor to help support them through the graduate scheme and to become chartered. Providing you perform well and make good progress with your training plans, you will be promoted after two years with us, receiving a significant salary increase.

From April 2018, STFC will be part of UK Research and Innovation. UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The aim is to create a system that maximises the contribution of each of the component parts and creates the best environment for research and innovation to flourish. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation agency in the world. More information can be found online here.

In order to apply for this role you must have:

  • obtained your first degree bachelors or Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant subject in either 2017 or be due to receive it in 2018
  • expect to or have achieved a 2:1 or above
  • the right to live and work in the UK.

Please apply online only. Please submit a CV and cover letter outlining your suitability for this role.

Please ensure that your name and the IRC reference are included in the file name description of each document uploaded. Please also state where you saw this role advertised. No Agencies.

We recruit on a rolling basis therefore we recommend you to apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Applications will be reviewed and considered on an on-going basis until our assessment centres are filled.

Rolling Closing Date 1: 30th October 2017

To find out more about our graduate assessment process please visit our Graduate Page.