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Mechanical Engineer

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Didcot, Oxfordshire
£42,840 to £47,124 (Band D) or £53,818 to £59,199 (Band E) per annum
Closing date
4 Apr 2024

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Science and Technology Facilities Council

Salary: £42,840 to £47,124 (Band D) or £53,818 to £59,199 (Band E) per annum (dependent on skills and experience)
Hours: Full time or Part time (minimum 30 hours per week)
Contract Type: Open Ended
Location: This role will be based at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire, due to the nature of the work.

Come and do the kind of engineering that made you want to be an engineer. Stretch your technical skills while building human understanding. Promote sustainability and create new materials. Alongside world-leading scientists and technologists, shape projects that improve lives in the UK and far beyond.

Put simply, come and discover the impact you can make when you’re equipped, encouraged and inspired to perform to your very best. 

The Central Laser Facility (CLF) is one of the world’s leading laser centres, providing scientists mainly from the UK and continental Europe with access to an unparalleled range of pioneering laser technology. The CLF has around 180 staff and its function - user facility, international research – makes it a very friendly, outgoing, externally facing sort of place. It has a welcoming and inclusive culture, and you will find that people will naturally help and support you. 

An exciting opportunity exists to join the CLF, to work on a new project called Vulcan 20-20. The Vulcan high power laser facility sits at the heart of the CLF, and for decades has been internationally recognised as a globally leading laser facility, providing access for UK and international researchers working on a wide range of topics in high energy density and plasma science. 

The CLF has recently secured funding for an ambitious £82M upgrade to the Vulcan facility (termed Vulcan 20-20) to increase its power to 20 PW, and its energy to 20 kJ. It will be the highest power laser in the world. We are looking for people like you to help design, build and maintain a wide range of engineering systems for Vulcan 20-20.

As a Mechanical Engineer your responsibilities will include either supporting (Band D) or leading (Band E) the following:

•    design of vacuum systems and hardware used in high vacuum
•    design of high purity gas systems and gas infrastructure
•    design of motion systems for large optics
•    design of chambers and structures
•    work package management and management of safety (Band D)
•    staff management, project management and management of safety (Band E)

You should be a self-motivated individual with excellent communication skills. The job involves working closely with research scientists, electrical engineers and leading university research groups from Europe and the UK. 

We ask some of the biggest questions in the universe, to answer some of the biggest challenges in the world. Together, our scientists, technologists, engineers and business-support team explore the unknown across every field you could think of. And they turn what they find into work that changes the world around us. 

What could you achieve with the world-leading facilities and experts of one of Europe's largest research organisations by your side? Join us and discover what's possible.

STFC values their employees by offering a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege holidays, flexible working hours, exceptional average salary pension scheme, social and sporting activities and societies and a subsidised restaurant. 

Person Specification

The following criteria will be assessed at Shortlisting (S), Interview (I) or both (S&I)

Essential for Band D

•    HNC or HND, or equivalent degree (BEng), in mechanical engineering along with experience working in an engineering field (S) 
•    experience working in a mechanical engineering or multi-disciplinary engineering environment  (S&I)
•    have an understanding of fundamental mechanical engineering principles, such as: Materials, Stress/Strain, Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer (I)
•    experience of CAD and producing manufacturing drawings (I)
•    able to multi-task and prioritise against a heavy workload and achieve demanding targets (I)
•    knowledge of safety related issues and procedures (I) 

To be considered for the higher band, in addition to the above criteria, you should also have:

Essential for Band E

•    HNC or HND, or equivalent degree (BEng), or MEng in mechanical engineering along with extensive experience working in an engineering field & evidence of responsibility (budgets/management/risk/safety) (S) 
•    ability to perform engineering calculations  (I)
•    previous experience in the management of projects and/or people (I)


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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