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STEP Lead Technology Integration & Realisation Engineer

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, (UKAEA)
UKAEA Culham, Oxfordshire
£78,096 to £82,814
Closing date
6 Oct 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.

STEP is an ambitious programme to accelerate the delivery of sustainable Fusion Energy. The programme aims to deliver an integrated concept design for a fusion powerplant based on the Spherical Tokamak. It will develop and identify solutions to the challenges of delivering fusion energy, benefiting from Culham's breadth of expertise and its suite of research facilities.

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 seeking an ambitious, creative and inspirational chief technologist to provide strategic leadership, driving technological progress through reduction of uncertainty and performance increases, making real impact to both the commercial viability and the success of the plant design. As the Technology, Integration and Realisation Lead, you will have great positivity and enthusiasm, and an ability to foster that spirit within the team.

This is a broad entrepreneurial role which ranges from deep technical review of STEPs most challenging problems, managing and empowering individuals and teams to resolve technical challenges, working with and managing suppliers, driving organisational change as the programme develops, to settings standards and expectations for delivery and driving delivery of the development programmes. You will need to be innovative and resourceful, collaborating across the development programme and with funding bodies. Each day presents technical and managerial challenges of high complexity, interacting with diverse technical and non-technical disciplines, numerous stakeholders, incomplete or immature information and no clear correct answers.

You will directly impact the outputs, decisions and the level of risk accepted by the STEP programme board and UKAEA Executive for what is likely to be a multi-billion GBP, first of a kind commercial fusion power plant.

What will you be responsible for?

- Providing vision and creativity necessary to face up to this unique challenge which defies all traditional design conventions and inability to prototype a first of a kind
- Being the controlling mind of a complex portfolio of technology development activities
- Working closely with supply chain, academia and research organisations to build key relationships in the pursuit of technological and capability development needed in the quest for commercial fusion
- Being the primary point of contact between STEP and UKAEA business units on technology development matters
- Significant matrix management responsibility both within STEP and within the wider UKAEA organisation

Budget Responsibility

The leadership and decision making from this role heavily shapes the expenditure a of multi-billion GBP first of a kind demonstration fusion power plant budget. At this exceptional level, this will change and influence decisions that impact the entire organisation and possibly the wider industry of fusion engineering.

Essential Background

- Direct experience in fusion technology across a wide range of disciplines/topic areas
- Experience in engaging with Government, Industry, External Research Establishments e.g. Funding Bodies, EPSRC, Academic Institutions, etc.
- Experience in planning and delivering technologies from low maturity levels to high maturity levels
- Understanding of a holistic fusion powerplant design, and how technology decisions influence design decisions
- Able to be both detail-oriented & consider the ‘bigger’ picture, dependent on the situation
- Clear drive for personal growth, organisational learning and continuous improvement
- Clear and effective communicator at all levels (workshop to executive & external stakeholders)
- Comfortable with decision making and effective in delegation
- Personal resilience (determination, able to work under pressure, comfortable with differences of opinion and able to mediate)
- Via formal logic, self-awareness and knowledge of biases, able to influence and persuade others to alternate points of view
- Champion of ALARP, pragmatism, challenge/speaking up and working with appropriate levels of rigour.
- Advanced degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent experience)
- Fellowship of a recognised professional body in a relevant discipline or working towards Fellowship.
- Chartership of a recognised professional body in a relevant discipline

Desirable Background

Extensive technical knowledge of a number of the following Technology Realisation topic areas:

- Materials Development
- Component Development
- Systems Demonstration
- Digital/Computational Analysis
- Manufacturing Capabilities
- Supply Chain Capabilities
- Codes and Standards or Design Manual Development

Aware of and able to develop effective relationships with the many internal and external stakeholders, the interacting delivery teams and supporting business functions that must work together for success.

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 06/10/2022. 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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