Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

Graduate Mechanical Design Engineer

Early Careers
210000VL Requisition #


Science and Technology Facilities Council


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 outstanding diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science, technology and Engineering. For more information on STFC please view one of our videos - 

Our graduates join us in a permanent position, starting a real job from day one. Graduates enjoy two years of formal soft skills together with technical training and development, as well as a direct route to professional accreditation. STFC graduates have the opportunity to build on their degree, taking their understanding, knowledge and skills to a new level in a dynamic, creative, collaborative culture.

Summary of Key Duties and Responsibilities
We are looking to recruit a Graduate Mechanical Design Engineer to work in the Mechanical Engineering Group of the UKATC at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh site. 

The engineering design role involves working as a key part of a team to support our existing instrument program. This includes development of instruments for the VLT and the ELT telescopes, Earth observation and space telescope projects under development.

The role will involve proposal, evaluation and development of conceptual opto- mechanical systems to meet project requirements and goals. This will include development of mechanical layouts, parts and manufacturing drawings using 3D CAD. 

Training will be given in specialist areas or expertise.

Duties Include 
1. Working from information supplied by other members of the project team, customer or consortia member the engineer will undertake the design of sub-systems and their components. Information will be in the form of basic outline drawings, sketches, specifications or verbal instructions. Tasks will be defined in terms of technical goals and requirements and evaluation of solutions. Effort and cost estimation will also be undertaken.

2. CAD will be used to produce solid models, layouts, detailed manufacturing and assembly drawings,

3. Structural and thermal analyses will be performed by CAE and traditional methods. He or she must have a clear understanding of the fundamental principles of structures, materials, and engineering tolerancing: there are few design codes available.

4. Documentation will be produced including drawing lists, design reports, technical specifications for work to be sub-contracted, test procedures, reports and operation and maintenance manuals.

5. The postholder will take part in design reviews, vendor liaison, Assembly/Integration/Testing, commissioning and on occasions the installation at overseas telescopes of individual instruments or sub systems.

In order to apply for the role you must have:


  • Obtained first degree bachelors or Integrated Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant subject in either 2020, 2021 or be due to receive it in 2022 
  • Expected or have achieved a 2:1 or above 
  • The right to live and work in the UK
  • Knowledge of the principles of mechanical engineering gained either through university modules or work-place experience, including design CAE, strength of materials, GPS
  • Strong communication, organisational and presentational skills, enabling the succinct transfer of information to a wide and diverse audience
  • Good interpersonal skills and self-confidence


  • Knowledge of Quality Assurance and Safety, Health & Environment (SHE) Management Systems
  • HND/NND mechanical engineering
  • CAE specific skills AutodeskCAD/vault /visualisation, inventor, ANSYS FEA

Please note that we will close this position early should we receive enough applications. Please apply sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

The STFC is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we’re trusted to support, enable and undertake ground-breaking projects in an outstanding diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving progressive advances in science, engineering, computing and technology. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale. 

For more information about STFC please visit 

You can also visit our careers site 

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation. 

More information can be found at  

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. 

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