Graduate Opportunity

Graduate Mechanical Design Engineer


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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. 

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.

What soft skills will you learn?

From teamwork to communication, and from technical learning to becoming a STEM ambassador – Ben Bealing from STFC reveals the variety of skills you can learn on the company's graduate programme. To watch the full Gradcracker/STFC webinar, click here.

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 programme. 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 Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant STEM 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

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