Lead/Senior Optical Systems Engineer

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Job Announcement Text: 

Lead/Senior Optical Systems Engineer


Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot

£38,318 - £58,308 (dependent on skills and experience and inclusive of annual allowance)

Full time/Part Time (minimum 26 hours per week)

Open ended


About the role

RAL Space, UKRI’s space laboratory based at the STFC Harwell Campus, enjoys an exciting range of world-class space research and technology development. We have had significant roles in over 210 space missions and are at the forefront of UK space research.

The Optical Systems Group is responsible for the conception, design, development, procurement, assembly, integration and test of optical systems for space instrumentation in Space Science, Solar Research, Earth Observation, Planetary Science and Optical Communications.

The work spans the entire project life-cycle, from early stage conceptual R&D right through to instrument verification and calibration, and potentially post-launch mission support. In addition, RAL Space has key roles in ground-based astronomical instrumentation through the UK’s Astronomy programme. New RAL Space projects with significant optical engineering requirements include ARIEL (an Exoplanet mission for ESA), Lagrange (an ESA Space Weather mission to monitor potentially disruptive solar activity of Earth-infrastructures) and a Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) secure communications technology demonstrator (a UK-Singapore collaboration).

We also have roles in the R&D of first-light instruments for the European Extremely Large Telescope. The emphasis of our work is on the design and engineering of new, one-off, state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Your work will range from design studies for future instruments through to alignment and test of flight hardware and you can expect to follow projects from the concept stage right through to successful operation. There will be the opportunity for travel, both in the UK and abroad, and you may occasionally be required to spend several weeks at customers’ facilities supporting integration and test activities. Working at altitude may also be required.

About you

As a minimum, you should have a degree (or equivalent) in optics, physics or a related discipline, with a demonstrable understanding of optics, both in theory and in practice.

You should have experience beyond that of degree level and show a sound knowledge of industry standard software, alignment and testing techniques and optical manufacture and procurement. Knowledge of space or ground-based astronomy projects from an engineering perspective would be an advantage.

We require an Optical Systems Engineer that can be ‘hit the ground running’ when they arrive and then quickly get up to speed as they will be expected to be the main optical engineer on designated projects.

The Lead Optical Systems Engineer requires a significantly higher level of experience with a proven track-record in designing and delivering optical instruments. They should also have significant team and project leadership experience.

About Us

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest science research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and technology.

As part of UK Research and Innovation, STFC offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance. This includes 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas shut down, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, an exceptional defined benefit pension scheme, and social and sporting activities and societies.

How to Apply

Applicants are required to include a cover letter outlining their suitability for this role.

Applications are handled by UK SBS; to apply please click the apply button. Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on +44 (0)1793 867000.

The closing date for applications is 27th October 2019. 

Pay Compensation
Salary Min: 
$38318.00 (USD)
Salary Max: 
$58308.00 (USD)
Compensation Notes: 
Salary in GBP
Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
No Status Given (Opted Out)
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