Tokamak Design Authority / Chief Engineer (MAST-U)

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
Culham, Oxfordshire
£54,896 - £68,098 pa
28 Sep 2018
16 Oct 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Tokamak Design Authority / Chief Engineer (MAST-U)

Job Ref: 2758

Job type: Permanent, Full Time

Location: Culham, Oxfordshire

Salary: £54,896 - £68,098 pa (including MPP), dependent on experience plus industry leading benefits including an outstanding pension scheme

Closing date: 16th October 2018


Nuclear fusion, the process that powers The Sun, could play a big part in our carbon-free energy future. UK Atomic Energy Authority is the world`s leading nuclear fusion research establishment, with unique science facilities and exciting technology development platforms. Our mission is to deliver the ground-breaking developments that will underpin tomorrow`s fusion power stations and to place UK industry at the forefront of the future global energy economy. 

UKAEA seeks a new Tokamak Design Authority / Chief Engineer for the MAST-U nuclear fusion experiment. MAST-U is an impressive, innovative facility recently achieved via a ~£50M investment from UK government, which could accelerate the realisation of fusion power plants via radical solutions for key physics and engineering design challenges such as the divertor. 

Versatile applicants from diverse backgrounds are welcome, The successful candidate will be technically astute; an effective communicator, able to build teams from across engineering and science disciplines to proactively and reactively resolve complex plant challenges; be driven towards delivery with quality yet able to pragmatically balance this with the schedule and cost challenges of the Programme owners; operate as a technical and behavioural role model with expected impact across UKAEA. 

Key accountabilities and responsibilities for the roles include: 

-Design Basis: `Design Authority` for the assigned facility to technically accept or reject all changes to the plant baseline, ensuring those changes are implemented effectively and assessing degradation through life on an ongoing basis 

-Technical Risk Management: Develop the operational envelope of the facility with an appropriate balance of technical risk between safety, performance, reliability and lifetime 

-Processes & Standards: Oversee the effective application of UKAEA engineering processes and standards to the facility whilst identifying, on an ongoing basis, opportunities for improvement

-Reviews, Inquiries & Lessons Learned: Initiate, lead and drive to completion technical incident reviews and inquiries for unexpected plant performance with high technical, programmatic or safety impact. Includes a responsibility to utilise such reviews to highlight and disseminate lessons learned throughout UKAEA. 

Note that whilst knowledge and experience of tokamak devices is pertinent, it is not a pre-requisite to be considered for the position.

At UKAEA we strive to make everyone feel welcome and fully supported. Our Ambassadors are actively promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the organisation to help make our Organisation an employer of choice. UKAEA has a graded career structure and our mentoring scheme will enable you to reach your true potential.

For further information on why UKAEA is a great place to work please review our recruitment video via the following link:

For full details on the role, UKAEA and our benefits please download the application pack by clicking the apply button.

Knowledge skills and experience


Knowledge & Experience

-Extensive experience of delivery across the plant lifecycle for complex plant in industrial and/or research settings (e.g. space, aerospace, petro-chemical, nuclear power, radioisotopes processing, etc) 

-Knowledge of relevant industrial regulations, codes, standards and norms

-Track-record working within and leading multi-disciplinary teams with various specialisms (e.g. Operations; Safety Case; Asset Management & Maintenance; Quality Assurance; Radiation Protection & Health Physics; Safety & Environment)

Education, Training & Memberships

-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


Knowledge & Experience

-Specific technical knowledge of tokamak (or other similar plant) design, build and through life operation 

-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; High Voltage Electrical Systems; Magnet Systems.

- Demonstrable experience of: 

- Technical Risk Assessment & Management for competing requirements (Reliability, Safety, Performance, Lifetime, ...)

- Delivery and exploitation of innovative engineering for research and development

Soft Skills & Traits

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

- High standards with respect to delivering with quality and compliance

- Clear drive for personal growth, organisational learning and continuous improvement

- Comfortable with decision making and effective in delegation

- Personal resilience (determination, able to work under pressure, comfortable with differences of opinion and able to mediate conflict)

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

Education, Training & Memberships

- IOSH Managing Safely

- CDM Regulations

- Quality control, root cause, and continuous improvement tools (e.g. 5 whys, Kaizen, 6 sigma)

- Audit

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.

Selection Method:

- It is foreseen that initial remote interviews will be held with subsequent need to attend a final on-site as required. 

- As part of the selection process you may be expected to complete work based simulation exercises and a personality profile either online or onsite.


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

- Please note UKAEA do not pay travel expenses for interviews

- 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). Flexible working may be available with this role. 


-Applying relevant technical expertise and experience to autonomously resolve the most complex / critical plant and safety issues, both as an individual and leading multi-discipline teams. Such actions will serve to demonstrably reduce risks to the facility and business; 

- Exhibiting leadership behaviours that motivate individuals to deliver their best and encourages commitment to the organisation`s objectives. Such behaviours will not only ensure effective delivery to the MAST-U and Chief Engineer functional needs but also that offer an exemplar for UKAEA ;

-Formulating new ways of working, policies, procedures and knowledge that apply and impact across UKAEA;

-Visibly champions the proactive transfer of knowledge, leading by example in identifying potential in others and active contributions (e.g. mentoring, coaching, training) to enable career paths that meet individual and organisational needs;

-Maintains a political awareness related to their area of specialism, applying influence and emotional intelligence to orchestrate effective relationships with the many internal stakeholders relevant to the role. In doing so, promoting cooperation and collaborative efforts across organisation/departmental/team boundaries to enable delivery. 

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