Electrical Controls Engineer

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire
£31,305 to £34,028 per annum
Closing date
31 Jan 2021

View more

Job Details

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Salary: £31,305 to £34,028 per annum
Hours: Full time or Part time
Contract Type: Open Ended
Location: Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire 



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 and engineering.

Working at the forefront of scientific endeavour is not possible without a dedicated team of engineers able to turn abstract scientific ideas into reality. At STFC’s ISIS facility, a world-leading scientific research centre, each problem requires a unique solution, taking advantage of the latest technologies to deliver the seemingly impossible. Our engineers and technicians have the freedom to choose their own solution, and the responsibility to take it to completion.

We now have an opportunity for a Controls Engineer to join the ISIS Controls Group, which is part of the ISIS Electrical Systems Division. The Group provides both large-scale distributed and stand-alone control and drive systems throughout the ISIS accelerator, target and neutron/muon beamlines utilising a wide range of technologies. You will be part of the team that is responsible for the design, build, installation and support of PLC-based machine interlock, plant and drive control systems throughout the facility. You will work as part of a team of design engineers in bringing new designs into reality and engage directly with scientific and engineering colleagues. You will have the knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to carry out design, implementation and project management activities for new installations and upgrades. As part of the team, you will provide assistance with all aspects of work being undertaken, as well as playing a key role in carrying out essential support and maintenance activities to ensure that the facility remains operational. As part of the wider group, you will also be encouraged to use and develop your skills in a variety of other types of control systems, using expertise in EPICS, Electronics, LabVIEW and Safety Interlock Systems.

Successful applicants will be appointed at Band D of STFC’s staffing hierarchy, depending on the strength of your controls/electrical knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications.

List of Duties / Work Programme / Responsibilities

  • Design and develop of PLC-based interlock, plant and motor control systems 
  • Oversee / undertake the manufacture and assembly of control system hardware, such as PLC control panels, sub-racks & junction boxes, PCB assembly and cable termination
  • Specify logic sequences and carry out the programming of PLCs and HMIs
  • Produce test schedules and complete the installation and testing of new or upgraded control systems
  • Project-manage new installations and upgrades to systems
  • Prepare drawings and technical documentation, using AutoCAD, Meridian and other standard office software packages
  • Carry out fault-finding, maintenance and repair of operational control systems and drives supported by the team
  • Organise a small lab and maintain inventory of spares
  • Provide appropriate technical information to and supervise contract staff and subcontractors for the manufacture of electrical control panels and peripheral equipment
  • Procure materials, components and spares
  • Work in a safe, tidy and responsible manner, according to STFC safety, health and environmental requirements.

Contacts and Communication

The successful candidate will be required to communicate effectively with a variety of multi-disciplined staff.

Special Requirements

The successful candidate may be required to:

  • Work in radiation-controlled areas
  • Work in areas containing strong magnetic fields
  • Work in areas of confined space
  • You must be willing to carry out occasional travel within the UK and overseas. The team provides out of hours on-call support to resolve faults and problems during the silent hours, and such a willingness to take part in the ISIS on-call system would be a distinct advantage.

Person Specification

The below criteria will be assessed at Shortlisting (S), Interview (I) or both (S&I)


  • HNC or above in an appropriate electrical engineering discipline, or a recognised electrical engineering apprenticeship with relevant equivalent experience (S) x2
  • A knowledge of electrical/controls principles and techniques (I) x2
  • Relevant experience working on electrical control systems, including carrying out installation, testing, commissioning, maintenance and fault-finding (S&I) x2
  • Relevant project experience relating to the design and delivery of PLC-based control systems (S&I) x2
  • Fully conversant with engineering drawings and circuit diagrams (I) x2
  • Proficient in the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages such as AutoCAD (S&I) x2
  • Experience of programming PLCs and HMIs - conversant with PLC ladder logic (S&I) x2
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – able to liaise with staff at all levels (I)
  • Evidence of good English oral and written skills and computer literacy (S&I) 
  • Familiarity with BS7671 IET wiring regulations (S&I)
  • Able to demonstrate health and safety awareness and safe working practices relevant to the role (S&I) x 2
  • The ability to find and rectify faults on PLC-based control systems. The use of initiative, attention to detail and a methodical approach to problem-solving is required (I) x 2
  • A proven ability to work confidently as part of a team and alone (I)
  • Able to schedule their own work, cope with multiple, simultaneous projects and react to changing requirements (I)
  • A willingness to work in radiation areas. (I)  


  • HND or a degree in electrical engineering (S)
  • Conversant with PLC languages other than ladder logic (I)
  • Experience in programming Omron or Schneider Electric PLCs (S&I)
  • Experience in working in large scientific or industrial facilities (S)
  • PAT testing experience (I) 
  • Knowledge of ATEX protection concepts (S&I) x 0.5
  • CompEx Ex01-Ex04 or CompEx Ex12 qualified (S) x 2
  • Experience of LabVIEW-based systems (S&I) x 0.5
  • Previous experience working with drive technologies (S&I) x 0.5
  • Experience of managing contractors and liaising with suppliers (I)
  • Quality of cover letter (S)
  • A willingness to take part in the on-call system and to work outside ‘normal’ hours as workload dictates. (I)

How to Apply
Online applications only for this role. Please submit your CV and a covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation to join STFC and the role you’re applying for. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.


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 and engineering. 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.

At STFC, our engineers provide the technology that allows our world-leading science to make a real difference in areas that really matter: from cancer treatment to airport security, high-tech jobs to hydrogen powered cars, energy generation to accident scene emergency care, our impact is felt in many aspects of daily life. We provide and exploit space and astronomy technology, a world-leading neutron scattering facility, ultra-fast supercomputers, amazing scientific instruments and some of the most powerful lasers in the world. We work with industry and academia throughout the UK, Europe and the world.

STFC can offer you an excellent working environment. Our laboratories are based in beautiful rural locations in Cheshire, Oxfordshire and in Edinburgh, with great amenities and quality of life for you and your family. We are at the centre of burgeoning high-tech campuses buzzing with economic investment and even more promise for the future. Our people enjoy attractive benefits and plenty of opportunity for development. Whether you are beginning or furthering your career, we can offer you excellent opportunities to test out and broaden your skills and experience and to gain real technical and managerial expertise working in dynamic team and project environments.

Contact Us
  • United Kingdom

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert