Operations Support Engineer (IRC241197)

Assessment Centre Date: 15th June 2017

STFC’s award winning graduate scheme offers structured training, a real job with real responsibilities from day one and a direct route to professional accreditation. It will allow you to use your degree in a dynamic, creative and collaborative culture.


The Satellite Operations Group (SOG) is looking for an Operations Support Engineer. SOG currently provides operations support for :

  • The payloads of the four Cluster satellites
  • The quality assessment of imagery taken by the GERB satellites
  • The RAL Ground Station

In the past SOG has provided operations support for:

  • The payloads for the two Double Star satellites
  • The Mars Express satellite
  • The Ukube-1 CubeSat (ground station and Mission Operations).

SOG has always provided an excellent value-for-money service and the main reason for this is that its Engineers do not simply follow a button-pushing script. Rather, they all have an understanding of the science goals and technical capabilities and idiosyncrasies of the missions being supported. This allows a deep engagement with the mission itself enabling an agile response to unexpected operational or mission circumstances. Moreover, the SOG Engineers themselves have been intimately involved in the design, implementation and validation of the various ground-support systems, processes and documentation. This is one way the deep understanding of missions is engendered and is the paradigm for future new missions.

At SOG, the appointee will join a team which is already providing operational support to the above mentioned live missions. The graduate in this post will help to ensure the continued delivery of excellent services across these and future missions.

Welcome to STFC

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Summary of key duties and responsibilities

You will initially join the Cluster Joint Science Operations Centre (JSOC) – the team supporting Cluster payload operations – to participate in the generation of the weekly consolidated payload command schedule.

This involves:

  • Becoming familiar with the JSOC system and understanding its operational architecture and schedule
  • Becoming familiar with the Cluster mission concept and its science goals
  • Becoming familiar with the Cluster payload characteristics (there are eleven different payload on each satellite)
  • Providing inputs to the regular Progress Reports required by ESA and attending Progress Meetings with ESA.

Once the initial JSOC familiarisation and training period is over the appointee will be introduced to the operational environment of the RAL Ground Station to provide operational support as needed. There may also be scope to provide support for the GERB quality checking process.

RAL Space intends to remain fully engaged in delivering operational services for payloads, missions and through its ground stations and is looking to increase its involvement in supporting future CubeSat missions/constellations. There will be ample scope for the successful appointee to become part of this future initiative at all levels from system design and implementation through to actual operations.

SOG working environment

SOG has around ten staff who provide support for the existing missions using a variety of desktop (Windows based) and server (Solaris and linux based) platforms.

Experience, knowledge and skills required

  • A solid scientific background with a degree in a science or computing would be an advantage
  • Excellent organisational skills and the ability to multi-task
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Self-motivated with a pro-active approach to problem solving
  • Able to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Diligent with excellent attention to detail
  • Some programming experience would be useful

Opportunity Overview

  • Closing Date: May 29, 2017
  • Salary: £26,297
  • Location: Didcot (London)
  • Region: London and South East
  • Type: Graduate Programme

Disciplines accepted...

  • Chemistry
  • Computer & IT
  • Physics
  • Science

To Apply

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