Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC249894
Location Edinburgh See on Map
Salary £30782 - £38478
Date Posted 17 June 2019
Grade RC-D
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 22 July 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £30,782-£38,478 per annum (depending on skills and experience)
Grade: UKRI-D
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 22nd July 2019

About the role

We are looking to recruit a Mechanical Design Engineer to work in the Mechanical Engineering Group of the UKATC at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh site.

This engineering design role involves working as a key part of a team of 13 to support our existing instrument program. This includes development of instruments for the VLT and the ELT telescopes, earth observation and space telescope projects under development.

This will involve proposal, evaluation and development of conceptual opto - mechanical systems to meet project requirements and goals. This will include development of mechanical layouts, parts and manufacturing drawings using 3D CAD.

Training will be given in specialist areas or expertise.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • working from information supplied by a Senior Mechanical Engineer, customer or consortia member, you will undertake the complete design of sub-systems and your components
  • information will be in the form of basic outline drawings, sketches, specifications or verbal instructions. Tasks will be defined in terms of technical goals and requirements and you will be required to propose and evaluate solutions
  • CAD will be used to produce solid models, layouts, detailed manufacturing and assembly drawings
  • structural and thermal analyses will be performed by CAE and traditional methods. While commercial software and text-book techniques will generally be used, you must adapt these methods for the special circumstances of low temperature precision engineering where required. You must have a clear understanding of the fundamental principles of structures, materials, and engineering tolerance: there are few design codes available
  • documentation will be produced including drawing lists, design reports, technical specifications for work to be sub-contracted, test procedures, reports and operation and maintenance manuals
  • you will take part in design reviews, vendor liaison, assembly/integration/testing, commissioning and on occasions the installation at overseas telescopes of individual instruments or sub systems
  • you will liaise with laboratory technicians, workshop staff and scientists to ensure the successful manufacture, inspection and assembly of components and systems. On occasions this will involve co-ordination of the activities of project staff outside the design office.

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.

Shortlisting Criteria


  • minimum HNC level qualification in Mechanical Engineering and/or 1st or upper 2nd class honours degree in Mechanical or Aeronautical Engineering or equivalent experience
  • extensive experience as a Design Engineer is required including work in at least one of the following fields: precision mechanisms, optics, structures and cryogenics
  • hands-on experience of testing and commissioning
  • previous management experience of technical team or activity.


  • experience of "Autodesk Inventor"
  • experience of ANSYS FEA software.

Interview Criteria


  • conceptual design, problem solving
  • design of precision parts
  • use of CAD, Inventor
  • producing manufacturing drawings
  • structural/thermal analysis
  • familiarity with relevant manufacturing technology
  • experience of opto-mechanics
  • vacuum and cryogenics
  • exhibit ability to understand and discuss relevant technical issues
  • strength of materials and material selection
  • knowledge of tolerances
  • thermal properties
  • technical problem solving
  • demonstrable numeracy and literacy skills
  • ability to carry out design analysis
  • experience using FEA for design analysis, structural, thermal, vibration, ANSYS
  • evidence of report writing
  • clear and confident oral communication
  • experience of managing technical activities.

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.

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 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.

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