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Thermal Engineer

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Didcot, Oxfordshire, England
£31931.0 - £44166.0 per annum
Closing date
24 Oct 2021

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Job Details

Thermal Engineer

Salary: Band D £31,931 min - Band E £44,166 max (plus a special allowance depending on experience)
Full time or Part time (minimum 20 hours per week)
Location: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire


This is an incredible opportunity for you to work on projects that will go into space!

You can find out more about RAL Space and the facilities we operate at:


The Thermal Engineering Group (TEG) supports projects in the department and also manages a facility for production of Multi-layer Insulation. We work on a broad range of projects, having inputs at all stages of their lifecycles, from initial concept to operation. Current projects include the Mid-Infrared Instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope, the SPEQTRE cubesat, blackbody calibration equipment for Meteosat Third Generation and the cryogenic test facility for the Ariel science payload.


Engineers in our team have responsibility for thermal design, analysis and verification activities to develop thermal control system architectures to meet project requirements. This will include preparing thermal models (we use ESATAN-TMS and Systema/Thermica), analysis by hand calculation and using software, managing thermal testing, correlation/reduction of thermal models, writing project documentation and communicating with customers.


Duties and Responsibilities

Working within the department ISO9001 quality management system, duties include:

  • Management of thermal work packages and/or small projects
  • Analysis and development of thermal control system architectures
  • Development of thermal models
  • Planning, preparing and leading thermal test campaigns
  • Correlation and reduction of thermal models
  • Planning and demonstrating verification of thermal requirements
  • Conceptual design for future projects
  • Finding opportunities for new work and preparing or contributing to proposals
  • Authoring technical reports and communicating results in a range of audiences.


Knowledge and experience

You will hold a degree in an appropriate technical discipline and have experience as a thermal engineer.


You will need have a good understanding of heat transfer processes, strong numerical and analytical skills, and have experience with thermal analysis packages. Significant experience of space thermal engineering software (such as ESATAN-TMS, Thermica) is required for a band E position.


You will often be working in a multi-disciplinary team so an understanding of other space systems is advantageous. We are also interested in applicants that have experience of leading development of Multi-layer insulation systems for space hardware.


You will be able to demonstrate excellent communications skills, both written and oral. You will need to be able to think creatively, with an ability to solve sometimes complex and unusual problems requiring lateral thought.



STFC recognises and values employees as individuals and provides provides a whole host of family friendly benefits including a flexible working scheme, an excellent Defined Benefit pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance, plus 10.5 public and privilege days and a number of other benefits.


The Closing date 18th October 2021


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.

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