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Head of Mechanical Engineering Design (Nuclear Fusion Systems)

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, (UKAEA)
Abingdon Rd, Culham, UK
£66,897 to £70,874 (inclusive of MPP) + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
Closing date
23 Sep 2021
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Job Details

Company Description

By 2050, the planet could be using twice as much electricity compared to today. Are you interested in managing a team contributing to shape the future of the world’s energy? If so, read on.

Fusion, the process that powers the Sun and stars, is one of the most promising options for generating the cleaner, carbon-free energy that our world badly needs. UKAEA are at the forefront of realising energy from fusion, working with industry and research partners to deliver the ground-breaking developments that will underpin tomorrow's fusion power stations with the aim of bringing fusion electricity to the grid.

As we work towards our mission and goals, UKAEA has devised values that capture the spirit of how we work. These values include being: Innovative, Committed, Trusted and Collaborative.

Job Description

Who are we looking for?

We are seeking an experienced and influential engineering manager with a track record of delivering high technology science or engineering projects to time, budget, safety and quality. Managing a team of circa 280 people (made up of staff and contractors, direct and indirectly), you will be responsible for shaping the way engineering design, of primarily mechanical systems, is undertaken at UKAEA.

You will be responsible for getting involved in the execution of new fusion engineering projects, by steering delivery strategies and providing pragmatic peer review and oversight of design approaches. You must have a broad and deep understanding of design and related engineering processes, standards and industry best-practice and will seek to lead and select areas of focus for improvements to design approaches and tools.

You will have demonstrable experience in examining, challenging and bringing pragmatism to design review activities. You will be strategic and innovative in your approach, with commercial acumen in placing and executing engineering design contracts and frameworks. If you are keen to provide technical leadership for engineering design related activities within a complex and diverse portfolio, we are keen to hear from you.

What will you be responsible for?

- Providing the people resource at the centre of engineering projects over the full project life cycle from concept through design and installation to commissioning.

- Managing all design activities to deliver to quality, time and budget, ensuring that relevant design and quality standards are met and to the technical requirements specified

- Understanding and developing the capability and capacity for design across UKAEA and being instrumental in steering programmes towards execution strategies that utilise internal and external engineering capability in an optimal way

- Act as a central reference point for design queries and assistance, maintaining an awareness of best industry practice in design, including deployment of a digital engineering strategy

- Playing a lead role in implementing improvements to the UKAEA's design culture

- Ensuring that the operational issues of the Design Engineering Unit are managed, focusing on the interface with programme/business stream leaders, project teams, technology and interface issues.


Essential skills, experience and competence required

- Demonstrable breadth and detailed understanding of design and related engineering processes, practices, current standards and industry best-practice

- An understanding of the management of and best practice with respect to digital engineering tools

- Background knowledge and understanding of fusion science, technology and engineering and modern manufacturing processes

- A track record of delivering high technology science or engineering projects to time, budget, safety and quality

- A track record of specifying, commissioning and managing design work from 3rd party organisations.

- Engineering team management in both line management and project capacities

- Experience of upgrading live plant and associated safety practices

- Engineering Degree

- Membership of a professional engineering institution at chartered level

Desirable skills, experience and competence

- Experience in the nuclear sector or similar

- Experience of working with mildly activated (radioactive) plant

- Experience of working in Nuclear Fusion or another pioneering technology

- Fellow of a professional engineering institution

- Training in engineering legislation such as PED/PSSR/CDM/DSEAR/CE Marking

Additional Information

What we offer

- A competitive salary 

- A culture committed to being fully inclusive, supported by a Being Inclusive Strategy and Inclusion Ambassadors

- An Employee Assistance Programme and trained Mental Health First Aiders, with a full calendar of health and wellbeing initiatives

- Flexible working options including family friendly policies  

- Emergency leave (paid)

- 30.5 days’ annual leave (including privilege days and 3 days between Christmas and New Year) increased with length of service

- Wide range of career development opportunities (e.g. professional registration, internal promotions, coaching and mentoring programme) 

- Outstanding defined benefit pension scheme 

- Annual corporate bonus scheme 

- Relocation allowance (if eligible)

We welcome applications from under-represented groups, particularly from individuals from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds, including nationality and citizenship, people with disabilities, (visible and hidden) and women. Our dedicated ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ (EDI) partner, with the support from our Inclusion Ambassadors, is actively promoting EDI and taking steps to increase the diversity of our people through reinforcing best practice in recruitment and selection, and revaluating approaches where it is clear we can remove barriers to success. We are easily accessible by car and are a 10-minute walk from Culham Railway Station in Oxfordshire.

Please be advised that this vacancy is due to close on 23rd September 2021. We may close earlier than this date if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.

Please note all employees working at the UK Atomic Energy Authority will be required to complete an online Disclosure Certificate application as part of their clearance – The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks will show the details of all current criminal convictions (convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) or will confirm that there are no such convictions.


Do you want to help shape the future of the world's energy? If so, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy is the place to be and we can offer a range of career opportunities. These include scientific and engineering roles, as well as technical and administrative positions supporting our research programme.

We have professionally accredited training schemes for graduate engineers and apprentices, and strong links with universities around the UK for PhD placements, as well as job vacancies for various positions when they occur, working in a friendly international environment. 


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