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Principal Mechanical Engineer

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, (UKAEA)
UKAEA Culham, Oxfordshire
£60,317 to £63,855 (inclusive of MPP) + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
Closing date
15 Sep 2022
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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 contributing and helping 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.

RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments) is based at Culham, within UKAEA, specialising in remote handling and automated systems. RACE’s objective is to create an internationally recognised centre of technical leadership for Remote Applications in Challenging Environments, delivering complex solutions, developing new technologies and supporting UK industry.

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

Job Description
Who are we looking for?

We are recruiting for a Principal Engineer to provide technical and project leadership on large, complex, cross-disciplinary projects within RACE, influencing the direction of UKAEA Projects and the customer organisation. In this senior system engineering role you will provide specialist technical knowledge and direction in a complex field of Remote Handling in a safety regulated, high-radiation environment.

You'll also propose, define, manage, and deliver the major projects and lead the project teams and serve as a point of authority across the multiple disciplines working on the projects and advise on technical solutions, designs and/or critical plant operational issues.

RACE are currently undergoing transformative growth due to increased involvement in a number or remote handling sectors. This is a chance to join an enthusiastic and innovative team working on truly novel challenges not seen in many industries with real world benefits. With a focus on developing remote handling systems for the next generation of power stations and research projects relating to robotics and autonomy, this role will support the UK effort to apply novel technologies to all challenging and harsh environments for the protection of people and advancement of industry.

What will you be responsible for?

- Providing specialist technical knowledge and direction in complex UKAEA and international programmes such as DEMO and ITER
- Leading an engineering team of multiple disciplines, motivating and curating the right working cultures.
- Responsibility for project budgets and deliverables, ensuring delivery to required specification, time and cost parameters.
- Acting as the engineer in charge or responsible officer for review, decisions or sign-off on complex/critical plant, processes, project activities, milestones and reports ensuring quality and consistency of output.
- Contributing engineering expertise to business development proposals and decisions.

Essential skills, experience and competence required

Proven track record managing engineering teams developing complex high technology systems.

- Proven capability in engineering analysis.
- Proven record of delivering complex projects to time and budget.
- Experience with working to design standards including Eurocodes and compliance.
- Leading teams and supervising other staff.
- Good communication and technical writing skills.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- A relevant engineering degree or equivalent.

Desirable skills, experience and competence

- Awareness of the design constraints imposed by nuclear environments, particularly fusion.
- Design of handling and control systems for massive flexible systems, integrating control and dynamic analysis.
- Experience with radiological safety cases.
- Experience with relevant environmental factors such as high gamma radiation and remote handling.
- A good working knowledge of remote handling and the maintenance of large complex plant.
- Chartered Engineer status with a suitable professional institution preferred.

Additional Information
What we offer

Our comprehensive benefits package includes a vibrant culture committed to being fully inclusive, an Employee Assistance Programme and trained Mental Health First Aiders, Flexible working options including family friendly policies, Emergency paid leave, Generous annual leave allowance (30.5 days) increased with length of service, wide range of career development opportunities, outstanding defined benefit pension scheme; Corporate bonus scheme and a 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 and women. The Executive team with support from our ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ (EDI) Partner and 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.

Please be advised that this vacancy is due to close on 15/09/2022. 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 or will confirm that there are no such convictions.

Note for applicants who are applying for employment with UKAEA either from outside the United Kingdom or who have spent time outside the United Kingdom in the last five years. Please visit the UK Government website. If the country you are resident in or have resided in is not listed on this website or that the UK Government is not aware of how to obtain a criminal records check from that state then we are unable to process your application.


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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