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Spacecraft Dynamic Testing Industrial Placement

Aerospace/Aeronautics/Physics.

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About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we ask the biggest questions in the universe to find answers that change the world around us. We seek understanding.

STFC's three top tips

Find out what you can do to really impress recruiters at the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) – from Early Careers Talent Acquisition Manager, Ben Bealing.

To watch the full Gradcracker/Science & Technology Facilities Council webinar, click here.

We’re proud of the impact we make. And we’re committed to helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy. Being part of all this means contributing to work that pushes boundaries and creates possibilities.

You’ll work with, and learn from, true experts. Whatever your role, you’ll be free to question, and encouraged to share ideas. And, in a positive and supportive culture, you’ll discover just what a difference you can make when you’re equipped and inspired to excel.

We’re a place where curious minds thrive. Not bound by profit, we explore ideas that others don’t, ask questions that others won’t, and discover answers that others are not equipped to find. And, alongside Mars landings and black holes, we also explore diverse, international projects in everything from science and engineering to computing and technology.

Whether it’s at the cutting edge or behind the scenes, our work is intellectually challenging. It’s very often ground-breaking. And it’s endlessly, irresistibly fascinating.

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation. 

The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) RAL Space department carries out an exciting range of world class space research and technology development. We’ve had significant involvement in over 200 space missions and operate at the very forefront of UK Space Research. 

The UK is has invested £99m in the National Satellite Test Facility, nearing completion at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell. This facility will provide a world class set of co-located facilities for the assembly, integration and testing of space payloads and satellites.

The facility will have the capability to conduct Vibration, Acoustic, Thermal, Pyroshock, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and antennae testing for payloads up to 7 tonnes within clean room conditions. This new investment adds to the existing facilities operated by RAL Space department.

The NSTF is currently in the final fit out phase, moving into facility commissioning in 2022. The operation of both the new and existing environmental test facilities are the responsibility of the Environmental Test Division, with the Dynamics Group being responsible for a range of test types including vibration, shock, direct field acoustic noise and mass properties.

In order to support the transition to operations of the new facilities new test procedures will need to be developed and it is envisaged that all tests will be supported by numerical models to enable virtual testing.

Working within the Dynamics group of the Environmental Test Division at RAL Space, this placement involves supporting the team and assisting with vibration and pyroshock testing campaigns of spacecraft equipment for both internal and external customers, including the setup of equipment and test items.

Duties could include working in a small group to set up test rigs for testing and operate it software for data capture and analysis, working alongside customers to meet their requirements for the test, and providing them with useful, relevant test data and information.

The placement will join the team in an exciting transition - the commissioning process for the new National Satellite Test Facility, and can contribute to the preparation of the large vibration and acoustic testing facilities for the first large satellite tests!

Throughout the year placement, a growing understanding of spacecraft dynamic testing will allow you to work on some more independent projects such as micro-vibration work or development of shock test techniques.

Overview of our industrial placement scheme

STFC’s exceptionally diverse range of placements allow you to work alongside world leading engineers, scientists and technicians in highly collaborative environments. Whichever you choose, you’ll become a critical member of the team in which you will be exposed to exciting projects and challenges from the beginning. You’ll be supported every step of the way by our dedicated Early Careers Team who will also ensure you benefit from a range of personal development opportunities. 

Summary of responsibilities

  • Assisting other test engineers in preparing and carrying out vibration tests
  • Operating analysis equipment and software for capturing and processing data
  • Developing analysis and test methods to improve the breadth or understanding of test operations

You must be enthusiastic and highly motivated. You should be able to work well as part of a team as well as working independently. A strong interest in physical testing of spacecraft structural response is essential

In order to apply for this placement, we are looking for the following:

Essential:

  • Currently be enrolled on an undergraduate degree course 
  • Be required or have requested to take a placement year 
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the placement 
  • Good experimental, mechanical or maker skills, experience or demonstrated aptitude 
  • Good communication skills 
  • Aptitude for working and communicating effectively within a small team 

Desirable:

  • An understanding of dynamics of structures including the effects of frequency and damping
  • A keen interest in engineering and science in the space industry 

Part of our application process involves submitting your CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter should address your suitability for the opportunity based on how you meet each essential criteria stated in this advert.

We would recommend you to submit your application as soon as possible as we reserve the right to close this vacancy once we have received sufficient applications.

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

Benefits

STFC offers a benefits package crafted to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas closure and flexible working hours. 

  • Work Life Balance
  • Flexible Working Hours
  • Subsidised restaurant and coffee outlets
  • Paid Emergency Leave

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded.

Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. 

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Job ID Number: 220000XC
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Opportunity Overview

  • Deadline: October 30th, 2022
  • Starting: June 2023
  • Multiple vacancies
  • Starting Salary: £20,129 + benefits
  • All grades
  • 12 months
  • Didcot (Oxfordshire)
    (Show map)

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Aeronautics
  • Aerospace
  • Physics

Also Accepting...

  • All STEM disciplines

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