Senior Mechanical Engineer

University College London/ Mullard Space Science Laboratory
Dorking, Surrey
£41,526 to £49,553 per annum
Closing date
24 Oct 2020
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Job Description

Job Title:          Senior Mechanical Engineer

Grade:             8

Salary:             £41,526 to £49,553 per annum. The post is initially funded for two years and is expected to continue after this period pending funding. The starting date is as soon as possible.


Location:          The post is based at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, located in Holmbury St Mary, near Dorking in Surrey




Department of Space and Climate Physics


Text Box: Department of Space and Climate PhysicsReports to:

Head of Mechanical and Thermal Engineering


An exciting opportunity has arisen for the post of Senior Mechanical Engineer in the Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Group in the Department of Space and Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory) to support the laboratory’s space science instrumentation programme. The applicants are required to have an honours degree in mechanical engineering or have equivalent experience. The candidate should also have a good understanding of finite element modelling and running FE analyses.

The Mullard Space Science Laboratory is located on its own campus in the beautiful Surrey Hills, surrounded by woodland. MSSL is the UK's largest university space research group. Space science is a discipline that demands highly innovative technologies and MSSL has an international reputation for excellence in this area. UCL was one of the first universities in the world to become involved in making scientific observations in space. Since MSSL was established in 1966, we have participated in over 40 satellite missions with the European Space Agency, NASA (US), Japan, Russia, China and India, and flown over 230 rocket experiments.

The Department is family friendly and applications would be welcome from applicants seeking part-time opportunities. The Department has recently become an Institute of Physics Juno Practitioner. The aim of Project Juno is to recognise and reward physics departments, schools, institutes and organisations that can demonstrate they have taken action to address gender equality in physics and to encourage better practise for all staff.

Main purpose of the job

The post holder will work within project teams to develop and analyse instruments or subsystems of instruments as required for the laboratory’s space projects. The work carried out will support either instrument development during the study phase of space programmes, fulfil instrument design requirements during the build phase or support mechanical test programmes.

Duties and responsibilities:

The postholder’s main duties will be to

  • Evaluate design concepts and evolve them using FEM and FEA
  • Work within projected teams to gain an understanding of space instrument mechanical interfaces and design requirement
  • Assess feasibility of proposed instrument design by numerically evaluating concepts
  • Support instrument testing, write test procedures and test reports
  • Experience using CAD software to access CAD designs
  • Use requirement documents as input for procedures and analyses
  • Support instrument mechanical design engineer, thermal engineer and project manager
  • Work with other engineering disciplines within the lab and within a project to meet the requirements

Note that we provide for training in the use of the software currently utilised within our department, this currently includes CATIA (Basic training) and MSC/Patran-Nastran. UCL actively supports training and development on an annual basis.

Note also that this post is not a research post nor are we involved with any type of CFD.

The post holder will be required to actively follow UCL policies including Equal Opportunities, attend staff meetings and training as required, maintain an awareness of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations, and carry out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job, the title of the job and the grading as requested by the line manager or Head of Department. This job description reflects the present requirements of the post.

The post holder also has a responsibility to carry out their duties in a resource efficient way and actively support   UCL’s Sustainability Strategy, policies and objectives within the remit of their role.




Person specification


Essential or Desirable

Experience and knowledge


Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent experience


Ability to come up with design concepts together with a design engineer and able to evolve them by means of FEA


Experience in creating and maintaining FEM models and files


Be able to interpret engineering drawings


Mechanical analysis capability to evaluate design concepts and the ability to create detailed FEM models for stress and stiffness calculation and issue analysis report outlining design margins with regard to the required inputs, be it static or dynamic (sine / random vibration)


Experience in writing test procedures and generate test reports


Substantial experience working in the aerospace industry


Proven track record of instrument or mechanism analysis and reporting


Practical experience working with hardware and assist in assembling as well as test support


Experienced in working with requirement documents and define requirements


Skills and abilities


Being able to work with CAD models and advise design engineers


Good written and oral communication skills (working language is English)


Proficiency with common computer operating systems and the use of MS Office applications


Experience in FE modelling and analysis within the aerospace industry


UCL Ways of Working


Good interpersonal abilities and proven capability to work collaboratively


Be organised and keep track of your work


Actively seek solutions to any bullying, harassment and discriminatory behaviours in your team


Encourage staff to develop and progress within the organisation


Make timely and data-led decisions


Manage multiple projects, leading regular reviews and making changes when necessary









The post is graded as Grade 8, the salary for which ranges from £41,526 to £49,553 per annum.  Progression through the salary scale is incremental. Cost of living pay awards are negotiated nationally and are normally effective from 1st August each year.

Terms and Conditions and Staff Benefits

Please follow the links in the advertisement for information on UCL Terms and Conditions for staff and Employee Benefits.

Diversity in the Workplace

UCL recognises that in our society, individuals and groups are discriminated against both directly and indirectly on the grounds of: age, colour, disability, ethnic origin, gender, HIV status, marital, social or economic status, nationality, race, religious beliefs, responsibility for dependants, sexual orientation, trades union membership or unrelated criminal convictions.

To counteract discrimination, UCL is committed to actively opposing all forms of discrimination, raising awareness and tackling the causes and consequences. It is committed to providing a learning and working environment in which the rights and dignity of all its members are respected and which is free from discrimination, prejudice, intimidation and all forms of harassment including bullying; to making staff and students feel valued, motivated and enabled to do their best work and to creating a safe, welcoming working environment accessible to all.

The need to continuously update and improve our knowledge and skills in regard to assuring diversity means that all our courses include and address relevant aspects of the diversity agenda as required.

The online training consists of a package called Diversity in the Workplace and provides essential, up to date information about Diversity in UCL. It takes about an hour to complete. Completion is a requirement for all new starters within 6 weeks of joining UCL; details will be provided with their contract of employment.




Informal enquiries should be made to Berend Winter (

Applications should be completed on line However if you are having difficulty accessing the on-line recruitment system please contact Suzanne Winter ( for advice.

Supplementary Information

The UCL Ways of Working for professional services supports colleagues to be successful and happy at UCL through sharing expectations around how we work – please see to find out more.

Please use these links to find out more about:

Employee benefits:


Further information about UCL:


Further information about the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences:


Further information about the Department:





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