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Instrument Technician/Engineer

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Hampshire, England
£25702 - £34709 per annum
Closing date
17 Jan 2022

Job Details

Instrument Technician/Engineer

RAL Space: Chilbolton Observatory, Hampshire

Salary: £25,702 - £34,709

Contract Type: Open-Ended

Hours: Full-Time

The STFC Chilbolton Observatory in Hampshire is recruiting for an innovative and enterprising person to fill the role of Instrument Technician/Engineer to support research activities at the observatory. The observatory, as part of the RAL Space Department at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory works at a world-class level in the areas of atmospheric science, meteorology, radar, radio astronomy and radio communications research. It will benefit your application if you have an interest or experience in some of these areas.

The Observatory maintains and operates a 25-metre diameter steerable antenna, which is required to have a high level of operational readiness, so on-call support may be required. It is necessary to access parts of the antenna in exposed locations 30 m above the ground.

Key Responsibilities

The role will include installation, modification, maintenance, fault finding and repair of a variety of the instruments ranging from rain gauges and laser ceilometers to test equipment and the 25m steerable antenna. A small, but important part of the role is routine maintenance and cleaning (bi-weekly) of the meteorological instruments to ensure that high quality data is collected for the national programme.

We are looking to fill the role with somebody who has a strong background in electronics that includes analogue and digital electronics, instrumentation, data acquisition, microcontroller applications and motor control. We would also like you to have a diverse range of skills in other areas (mechanical fitting, electrical wiring, circuit fabrication, programming).

You should be practically skilled, have the ability to use hand and power tools safely, and be able to work methodically with good attention to detail and to keep safe. We operate as a small team so you must be prepared to work flexibly in support of the varied range of activities on-site. There may be a requirement to support instrument deployment and maintenance on sites remote to the Observatory, both within and outside of the UK.

To be employed at the higher pay band, you will also:

  • Manage and refine the processes (data quality checks, instrument repair and calibration, and development of software) for the meteorological data delivery at the Observatory,
  • Manage small projects,
  • Manage the Electronics laboratory,
  • Support the preparation of bids for new projects.

Person Specification


  • A recognized engineering apprenticeship or other relevant qualification
  • A strong background in electronics
  • Relevant practical experience
  • Ability to work as part of a small multi-disciplinary team


  • Ability to take responsibility for delivering small projects
  • Additional skills such as mechanical fitting, electrical wiring, circuit fabrication, programming
  • A working knowledge of Python
  • Familiarity with RF and microwave components, systems and test equipment

What we offer

STFC offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days' annual leave, flexible working hours and an exceptional pension scheme.

To find out more about this role and information on how to apply:

Applications are handled by UK Shared Business Services, to apply please visit our job board.

The closing date for applications is 23rd January 2022


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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