Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC252796
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £15631
Date Posted 11 February 2020
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 29 March 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £15,631 (pro rata)
Contract Type: Fixed Term (4-12 Weeks)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 29th March 2020


STFC – RAL Space – Space Systems Engineer - Summer Placement

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest 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, technology and Engineering. For more information on STFC please view one of our videos -

STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

Each year we offer opportunities to undergraduate students to gain practical experience,working alongside technical experts at the forefront of scientific research. We offer an invaluable experience with exposure to world class science and technology, and the opportunity to develop working relationships that continue well after your placement has finished.

The ARIEL mission is an exoplanet spectroscopy mission being developed by the European Space Agency (ESA). The mission’s objective is to look at planets travelling around distant stars and discover the details of their makeup and atmosphere.The spacecraft aiming to achieve this objective has a payload composed of a complex space telescope with highly accurate instruments, which will enable scientists to perform this cutting edge research.

The payload is being developed by a consortium of European institutes, all of which are providing hardware and expertise. STFC/RAL Space is managing the payload consortium, which includes the systems engineering activities for the payload. Due to the complexity of the payload and the size of the consortium, thorough and complete systems engineering practices are necessary to achieve mission success.

In the field of Systems Engineering, Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is a concept which has achieved increasing amounts of traction but is not heavily exploited in the European space industry. If applied correctly, MBSE can allow for better and more efficient systems engineering throughout the product life cycle. SysML is the modelling language most commonly associated with MBSE, and its connection with the widely used UML means that a growing number of software packages support it.

More information can be found about the ARIEL mission below:

In order to explore if MBSE can be beneficial to the development of the ARIEL payload, the successful applicant will:

  • Investigate MBSE and learn the fundamentals of SysML (this may include self-learning or instruction)
  • Become familiar with the ARIEL Payload by working alongside other members of the ARIEL project team, reading documentation and attending meetings
  • Create a SysML model of a part of a space instrument (for example a mechanism)
  • Create a SysML model of the ARIEL Payload
  • Complete a design report describing the model
  • Prepare a presentation describing the work that has been completed and evaluating the applicability of MBSE to the ARIEL Payload.

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.


  • Currently be at university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK (STFC Placement vacancies do not fulfil the Home Office Code of Practice criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status, we will therefore be unable toapply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK)
  • Studying a degree in aerospace/mechanical/electrical/software engineering, computer science or physics (or equivalent)
  • Familiarity with computer programming, ideally within a modelling environment (Simulink, Matlab, etc) or directly with UML or SysML
  • Knowledge of space systems and the space environment, ideally including scientific payloads
  • Knowledge of Systems Engineering, ideally including Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE).

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.

Please submit a CV and Cover letter outlining your suitability for the role, ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded. When writing your cover letter, please think about the following:

  • Why are you suitable for this project?
  • How can you contribute to the success of the project?
  • Why do you want to work at STFC?

You can apply for a maximum of two roles.

Note: To apply for more than one vacancy, you must actively select the apply now button on each applicable vacancy.

Closing Date: 29th March 2020

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:

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