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Thermal Engineer

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Salary: Band D £31,931 min – Band E £44,166 max (plus a special allowance depending on experience) Full time or Part time (minimum 20 hours per week) Permanent Location: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire

This is an incredible opportunity for you to work on projects that will go into space!

You can find out more about RAL Space and the facilities we operate at: 

The Thermal Engineering Group (TEG) supports projects in the department and also manages a facility for production of Multi-layer Insulation. We work on a broad range of projects, having inputs at all stages of their lifecycles, from initial concept to operation. Current projects include the Mid-Infrared Instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope, the SPEQTRE cubesat, blackbody calibration equipment for Meteosat Third Generation and the cryogenic test facility for the Ariel science payload.


Engineers in our team have responsibility for thermal design, analysis and verification activities to develop thermal control system architectures to meet project requirements. This will include preparing thermal models (we use ESATAN-TMS and Systema/Thermica), analysis by hand calculation and using software, managing thermal testing, correlation/reduction of thermal models, writing project documentation and communicating with customers.


Duties and Responsibilities

Working within the department ISO9001 quality management system, duties include:

·      Management of thermal work packages and/or small projects

·      Analysis and development of thermal control system architectures

·      Development of thermal models

·      Planning, preparing and leading thermal test campaigns

·      Correlation and reduction of thermal models

·      Planning and demonstrating verification of thermal requirements

·      Conceptual design for future projects

·      Finding opportunities for new work and preparing or contributing to proposals

·      Authoring technical reports and communicating results in a range of audiences.

Knowledge and experience

You will hold a degree in an appropriate technical discipline and have experience as a thermal engineer.

 You will need have a good understanding of heat transfer processes, strong numerical and analytical skills, and have experience with thermal analysis packages. Significant experience of space thermal engineering software (such as ESATAN-TMS, Thermica) is required for a band E position.

You will often be working in a multi-disciplinary team so an understanding of other space systems is advantageous. We are also interested in applicants that have experience of leading development of Multi-layer insulation systems for space hardware.

You will be able to demonstrate excellent communications skills, both written and oral. You will need to be able to think creatively, with an ability to solve sometimes complex and unusual problems requiring lateral thought.


STFC recognises and values employees as individuals and provides provides a whole host of family friendly benefits including a flexible working scheme, an excellent Defined Benefit pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance, plus 10.5 public and privilege days and a number of other benefits. 

The Closing date 24th October 2021