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6 months ago
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Salary: £48877 - £62454
Location: Didcot
Job type: Permanent
Category: Test Jobs
Brief Description

Salary: £48,877 - £62,454 plus excellent benefits
Grade: UKRI - F
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Full time/Flexible hours considered
Closing Date: 1st September 2019

About Us

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.

RAL Space was recently awarded £99m from the UK Government to develop the National Satellite Test Facility (NSTF), which is now in the early construction phase. 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 Antennae, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), Vibration, Acoustic, Thermal and Pyroshock testing for payloads up to 7 tonnes within clean room conditions.

This significant new investment adds to the existing facilities operated by RAL Space department, part of STFC, within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). We offer 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. Full details can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

About the role

The role of the Antennae and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Test Group Leader is to take overall responsibility for the operation of the planned Antennae and Electromagnetic compatibility testing facilities to be operated by the Environmental Test Division. This role reports in to the Environmental Testing Division Head.

As Group Leader you will lead a team of test engineers to operate the facilities and run tests for defined campaigns. Dependant on the scale of the test requirements this will either be conducted as a stand-alone test direct to customer requirements, or as part of a larger test campaign. As Group Leader you will hold technical responsibility for agreeing the test program, ensuring technical engagement is applied at the bid stage appropriately, signing off at defined points within the bid and delivery stages.

We are expecting to operate the majority of the facilities to ECSS-Q-ST-20-07C. As Group Leader you will ensure that the test facilities are operated and maintained within the overall quality requirements of the Environmental Test Facilities, working closely with the RAL Space Quality function to ensure compliance and maintain this compliance through the lifetime of the facilities.

A critical part of ensuring that the facilities are suited to the needs of the users, the group leader will engage with the wider testing community to keep abreast of technical developments, propose and agree adoptions where identified, drive technical developments in their subject area, proposing and championing investments at small and large scale. The group leader will also play a significant role in defining roles in detail, recruiting staff and inducting them into the organisation as part of bringing the new facilities into operation.

As Antennae and EMC Test Group Leader you will take responsibility for:

* direct line management of the group, requiring you to:
* conduct, document and maintain competence assessment of staff to perform the roles
* create and maintain training plans for staff within the group
* create and maintain resource plans
* create and maintain shift plans (where required)
* create and agree roles with ETD division head and recruit staff to vacancies identified

* the technical performance and operation of equipment, requiring you to:
* create and maintain the technical performance envelope of the equipment
* create and implement maintenance plans
* create and maintain calibration plans
* engage with the wider test community identifying and agreeing future developments

* the safe operation of the equipment by:
* ensuring Health and Safety standards, STFC codes & policies are applied. Briefing staff on latest changes and new information
* creating and maintaining risk assessments for facilities as well as specific test campaigns.

* responsibility for the creation and maintenance of the operational procedures relevant to the equipment
* acting as technical authority at bid review for the test facilities, either in person or through a defined technical delegation framework
* creating and maintaining an operational budget and agree with ET Division Head
* you will also assist with the management and administration of the wider groups in ETD.

Key contacts and communications will be with:

* other Group Leaders within ETD (TVAC, Dynamics, Infrastructure)
* Test Programme Managers
* Quality Assurance Function
* business development staff (at early bid stage)
* customers at bid and when under contract stages (as technical function)
* Safety Function within RAL Space.

Personal Skills and Attributes

* ability to lead a group of test engineers working with a wide range of customers, keeping a strong customer focus within the bounds of the contracted service
* excellent communication skills both written and verbal
* ability to listen to requirements, engage and influence on a technical basis
* understanding of the project delivery function
* ability to create structured documentation and lead others to follow procedures
* responsible approach to health and safety management
* dedication, self-motivation, positive attitude, fulfilling commitments
* able to multi-task and prioritise against a heavy work load and achieve demanding targets
* able to motivate and empower others
* innovative skills, able to see novel solutions to problems.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.
The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria


* you will either be educated to degree level (or equivalent) in a related field, or have a vocational qualification alongside substantial relevant experience
* demonstration of technical leadership in a related field
* demonstration of management of medium sized technical teams
* experience of operating test facilities (either antennae or EMC measurement)
* broad technical understanding of Antennae/EMC and Radio Frequency (RF) testing including the typical technologies used in operation.


* significant experience of test facility operation
* experience of working under defined quality assurance practices. Direct experience of ECSS-Q-ST-20-07C would be a significant advantage
* both Antennae and EMC testing operational experience
* significant experience of managing a test function of a similar scale and complexity
* deep technical understanding of the technologies used in Antennae and EMC testing.

As part of the role and to represent the facilities and RAL Space, opportunities exist for a limited amount of international travel. Due to the requirements of some test campaigns security clearance may be required.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent

We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities

We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

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