Lead Engineer for ST Engineering R&D

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
Culham, Oxfordshire
£70,000 - £75,000
06 Jul 2018
28 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Lead Engineer for ST Engineering R&D

Job Ref: 2918

Job type: Permanent, Full Time

Location: Culham, Oxfordshire

Salary: £70,000 - £75,000 p/a dependent on experience + excellent benefits including outstanding pension.

Closing date: 28th July 2018


Fusion, the process that powers the Sun, is a key element of the international strategy to solve the world`s energy challenge, aiming to provide safe and plentiful electricity to the grid without greenhouse gas emissions. At Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, which is part of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, we are amongst the world`s leaders in this endeavour, integrating science, technology and engineering to drive fusion towards commercialisation in the coming decades. In particular, we have pioneered the spherical tokamak approach to fusion energy, which offers the potential for a more compact reactor with lower capital cost. Following a £50M+ upgrade our MAST-U tokamak is designed to assess this potential.

We are seeking an inspirational and innovative research engineer to provide leadership for the advanced engineering R&D that underpins and influences the direction of the UKAEA Spherical Tokamak programme. There are two main functions in the role: to lead internationally-recognised engineering research and development to design a next step spherical tokamak, and to provide engineering leadership to help deliver the spherical tokamak programme through MAST-U. The next step spherical tokamak is envisaged to be a nuclear facility, capable of demonstrating effective tritium breeding and fusion power generation. 

Responsibilities of the role will include:

- Lead the engineering design for a future spherical tokamak reactor, developing innovative integrated engineering solutions for whole fusion plant concepts and key systems.

- Work with Business Development to build relationships with industry partners, helping to ensure a UK supply chain fit to develop the pathway to a spherical tokamak reactor.

- Build collaborative relationships with UK university engineering departments.

- Develop international collaborations with appropriate partners to further enhance the engineering R&D profile of the Authority.

- Publish research results in peer reviewed journals and present findings at international conferences.

- Provide specialist / deep technical knowledge and direction in a complex area, namely Spherical Tokamak engineering, influencing the work of the Authority and international fusion programmes.

- Identify, define and analyse different courses of action to deal with issues that have not been encountered previously, typically requiring flexibility with truly analytical interpretative, innovative and evaluative thinking. Multiple solutions are implied, planning is required.

- Train the future generation of advanced engineers and technicians by identifying and implementing projects at all levels on Spherical Tokamak endeavours (e.g. apprenticeship, graduate, PhD, Post-Doc, etc).

For further information on why UKAEA is a great place to work please review our recruitment video via the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77D3F3ILl98

Knowledge skills and experience


- Advanced degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent experience) such as chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science, physics, etc

- Membership of recognised professional body in a relevant discipline

- Delivery and exploitation of innovative engineering for research and development 

- Extensive experience of delivery across the plant lifecycle for complex plant in industrial and/or research settings 

- A broad and deep understanding of design and related engineering processes, practices, current codes, standards, norms and industry best-practice.

- Track-record working within and leading multi-disciplinary teams with various specialisms often where no technical precedence exists requiring cognitive management of uncertainty.

- Technical Risk Assessment & Management for competing requirements 

- The ability to develop a track record of research publications in peer reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences

- Ability to influence and persuade others to alternative views on complex issues.

- Build teams fostering a collaborative environment working together effectively with the interdependent goals and common values and norms.

- Realising best in class product by championing an inclusive environment that values diverse opinions at every level to see beyond the status quo.

- Able to be both detail-oriented & consider `bigger` picture, dependent on the situation


- Technical knowledge of any of the following: 

Functional Product / Mechanical Material Testing; Vacuum Systems; Pressure Systems; Control & Instrumentation including Safety-Critical Automation; Isotopes of light elements (H, D, T, 3He, 4He); Radiological Shielding Structures; Fission Reactor / Tokamak Design & Operation; High Voltage Electrical Systems; Magnet Systems.

- Qualification/membership in any of the following: IOSH Managing Safely, CDM Regulations, Quality control, root cause, and continuous improvement tools (e.g. 5 whys, Kaizen, 6 sigma)

Special requirements:


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 (convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) or will confirm that there are no such convictions.

Please be advised that this vacancy may close earlier than stated if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.

The UK Atomic Energy Authority actively promotes equality and values diversity in our workforce. We operate a number of flexible working arrangements (such as part-time working/job share/home working).

Please note UKAEA do not pay travel expenses for interviews.