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Senior Instrumentation and Controls Engineer

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Didcot, Oxfordshire, England
£39748.0 - £44748.0 per annum
Closing date
28 Dec 2022

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Job Details

Senior Instrumentation and Controls Engineer
Salary: £39,748 to £44,748 per annum (included specialist allowance of up to £5,0000 dependent on skills and experience)
Benefits: 30 days holiday + 8 bank holidays + 2.5 privilege days + exceptional defined average salary pension + work life balance
Hours: Full time
Contract Type: Open Ended.
Location: Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire
Closing Date for applications: Sunday 1st January 2023


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe's largest research organisations. We are trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we are driving ground-breaking advances in science and engineering.


Working at the forefront of scientific endeavour is not possible without a dedicated team of engineers able to turn abstract scientific ideas into reality. At STFC's ISIS facility, a world-leading scientific research centre, each problem requires a unique solution, taking advantage of the latest technologies to deliver the seemingly impossible. Our engineers have the freedom to choose their own solution, and the responsibility to take it to completion.


We now have an opportunity for a Senior Instrumentation and Controls Engineer to join the ISIS Controls Group, which is part of the ISIS Electrical Systems Division. The Group provides both large-scale distributed and stand-alone control and drive systems throughout the ISIS accelerator, target and neutron/muon beamlines utilising a wide range of technologies. You will play a leading role as part of the team that is responsible for the specification, design, build, installation and support of both custom-built PLC-based and externally sourced neutron chopper drive control systems throughout the facility. You will have a proven track-record in the design and delivery of drive-based projects within a scientific or industrial environment and will have the knowledge, experience and enthusiasm necessary to take a lead role in the ongoing development of these systems. You will have a high level of competence and confidence to manage and maintain current installations, whilst also keeping up to date with new technological developments to ensure that ISIS systems remain at the forefront of technology. As part of the wider group, you will also be encouraged to use and develop your skills to support a variety of other types of control systems including PLCs, EPICS, LabVIEW and Safety Interlock Systems.


Successful applicants will be appointed at Band E of STFC's staffing hierarchy, depending on the strength of your controls/electrical knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications.


Duties will include


  • Specify, design and develop single and double axis electrical drive control systems for ISIS neutron choppers, including integration with existing ISIS controls/timing infrastructure and higher-level EPICS-based control systems.
  • Prepare and check engineering drawings and technical documentation using AutoCAD, Meridian and other standard office software packages.
  • Programming of electrical drive control systems ultilising a variety of industrial PLC and specialist controls programming and configuration software packages.
  • Produce test schedules and oversee the installation, testing and commissioning of chopper control systems around the facility.





  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent in an appropriate electrical engineering discipline or an HNC/HND with additional proven underpinning knowledge and understanding (S&I)
  • A sound knowledge of electrical and drive-based controls principles, theories, techniques and communications protocols. (I)
  • A sound knowledge of instrumentation including position feedback devices, temperature, flow or vibration sensors (I)
  • Familiarity with BS7671 IET wiring regulations. (S&I)

Technical Skills:


  • Fully conversant with engineering drawings and circuit diagrams (I)
  • An advanced standard of computer literacy in the use of office software, CAD packages e.g. AutoCAD and specialist PLC and drive programming software (S&I)
  • Experience in designing control panels, with associated knowledge of panel-building, wiring, cable termination (S&I)
  • Fully conversant with ladder logic, with significant experience of programming and debugging drive-based PLC systems and Human Machine Interfaces for use in an industrial or scientific environment

Project Experience


  • Proven project experience in designing and delivering drive-based control system projects and managing them within specified timescale / budget / quality criteria
  • Fault-Finding
  • A proven track-record in being able to diagnose and rectify complex faults on PLC-based motion control systems. The use of initiative, attention to detail and a methodical approach to problem-solving is required
  • Be willing to work flexibly as workload dictates and to play a leading role in the ISIS on-call system





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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