Thomas McCarron

Spacecraft Thermal Engineer

"Every role is satisfying and provides you with so many opportunities to challenge yourself and grow."

What attracted you to STFC?

The work-life balance is fantastic and the current graduates are so enthusiastic about the STFC graduate scheme.

What are the most interesting aspects of your job?

I get to design and test real things that will be sent into space; from early concept designs all the way to finished products ready for launch.

What’s been the highlight of your time so far?

Setting up thermometry on the SPICE instrument for the Solar Orbiter mission.

What’s given you the most pride so far?

Building a thermal model of the SCOPE coronagraph from scratch; I had never done something like that before and it was very satisfying to see it come together.

What is the best part of the STFC culture?

The support here is brilliant; everyone is friendly and helpful with anything and everything.

What do you like most about working here?

Seeing space-bound instruments on a day-to-day basis, actually having a hand in helping them work and eventually fly.

What learning and development opportunities are there for you as a graduate?

The STFC strongly encourages you to pursue professional accreditation with a recognised institution. They help you to do this by offering you any opportunities you feel you need to develop and grow.

What is it like to work at STFC?

Fun and engaging.

Tell us about your role in presenting the work STFC does to the general public? 

I occasionally run tours of RAL Space or represent them at outreach events.

What STFC benefits do you value most?

Annual leave allowance, flexi-time, professional development.

What would you say to a potential applicant?

The STFC is an amazing place to start your career in Science and Research. Every role is satisfying and provides you with so many opportunities to challenge yourself and grow.

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