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Job summary

Job ID
Posting Date
UK Shared Business Services
Engineering services
Job type
Full time
28,200.00 - 30,600.00  per year

UK Shared Business Services

Mechanical Design Engineer

Job description

Salary: £28,200 - £30,600 per annum
Contract Type: Fixed Term (3 years)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 4th March 2018

About the role:

We are seeking a talented Mechanical Design Engineer to help drive further innovation, development and commercialisation of our current and future microfluidic sensor technologies and other oceanographic sensing and sampling equipment. Working as a member of the mechanical design office, you will be part of an existing wider team of forty research staff, engineering staff and graduate students equipped with world class fabrication, testing and design facilities together with instrumentation and analytical laboratories and access to sea going and polar research logistics.

You will make full use of your knowledge of engineering materials and their properties and have a broad knowledge of relevant manufacturing techniques. You will use your skills in classical and computer aided design, analysis and simulation to take a responsible role in ensuring that designs are optimised and fit for purpose in the demanding and hostile marine environment.

Your work will encompass the complete design and development cycle from rudimentary concept through prototyping, detail design, production of engineering drawings and parts lists, build and test and on to deployable systems. You may have opportunity to support these systems at sea or at other field locations as part of a commissioning team.

You will work closely with OTEG’s Electronics and Software, Multidisciplinary and Analytical Science teams and you will be expected to share your mechanical experience with and offer support to these teams to maintain a fully integrated development group. Similarly, you will take full advantage of the wider expertise in the group to enhance your own work through a broader understanding and appreciation of OTEG’s wider remit.

About you:

We are seeking applicants who can demonstrate a track record of innovative, elegant design solutions for a range of applications using the latest research and computer aided design and analysis. You will have a broad spectrum of skills and have a flexible approach, demonstrating your ability to deliver novel solutions to complex problems and to quickly master new techniques. You will be creative and forward-thinking in seeking solutions to apparently conventional engineering problems in non-conventional ways.

Ideally you will also have experience in the design of test procedures and setup of test apparatus, including competent use of measurement equipment and instrumentation, in order to carry out ‘real-world’ performance testing of your designs against agreed requirement specifications.

Competence in the use of Autodesk Inventor 2015 or a very similar 3D solid modelling CAD package is essential. Demonstrable experience in the design of pressure tolerant and corrosion resistant mechatronic devices for the marine environment would be a distinct advantage, as would experience of patent writing and other commercialisation activities. A degree or equivalent experience in Mechanical Engineering or closely related discipline is essential.

What we can offer you:

We are committed to making the NOC a great place to be, where our people succeed and deliver great work. The NOC is committed to being recognised as a flexible employer to support employees’ work and personal commitments where possible. Our flexi-time system and flexible working policy contribute to this important aim.

In return for your talents, we offer a competitive remuneration package, including a RCUK pension scheme, 30 days annual leave with a further 14 Public/local days off and free car-parking. Opportunities for further training and development are supported.

For more information visit working at NOC.

About us:

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC), part of the Natural Environment Research Council, is a national research organisation, delivering integrated marine science and technology from the coast to the deep ocean and is one of the top five institutions of its kind in the world.

With sites in Liverpool and Southampton, it is the UK’s leading centre for sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development.  Working closely with its partners and associates, it provides capability to meet needs across the UK marine science community ().

For general enquiries regarding this role, please contact Kevin Saw () by email only.

From April 2018, the NOC, a component part of the Natural Environment Research Council, will be part of UK Research and Innovation.  UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England.  The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world.  More information can be found online at . From April 2018, you will be employed by UK Research and Innovation.

Our Commitment as an Employer:

The NOC is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. People with disabilities and those from ethnic minorities are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome. The NOC is an Investors in People organisation and is working towards achieving Bronze status for Athena SWAN – a scheme that recognizes excellence in women's employment in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in UK higher education. There is a guaranteed Interview Scheme for suitable candidates with disabilities.

Essential and Desirable Criteria:


Qualifications and Knowledge:

  • degree in Mechanical Engineering or closely related discipline (Masters, or bachelors at 2.1 or above).

Experience related to position:

  • sound knowledge of design principles, engineering materials and methods of manufacture, computer aided design and simulation applied to complex multidisciplinary engineering design problems
  • proven device development (mechanical design through to demonstration and deployment).


  • proven ability to solve engineering, manufacturing and organisational problems
  • ability to manage own time effectively
  • ability to effectively communicate design ideas to peers and stakeholders and to engage in critical review of your own and others’ work.


  • ability to take initiative and to respond to opportunities
  • ability to get the best out of colleagues and co-workers as both a leader and member of a team
  • awareness of IP protection and mechanisms for commercialisation of devices.

Desirable Criteria:

Qualifications and Knowledge:

  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering R&D/design or closely related discipline or equivalent research experience in an academic or industrial setting.

Experience related to position:

  • experience of development and deployment of autonomous underwater instruments or microfluidic systems for environmental applications.


  • awareness of IP protection and mechanisms for commercialisation of devices.

Other Requirements:

  • willingness to work off-site and outside of normal hours from time to time as required
  • willingness to work at sea for short periods, very occasionally. This will require mandatory training in Personal Survival Techniques and the ability to pass an ENG1 medical examination.

Job Purpose:

  • engage in innovative Mechanical Engineering design and development relating specifically to OTEG’s core microfluidic sensor development projects but also more widely to a range of oceanographic sensing and sampling equipment
  • take a responsible role in ensuring designs are optimised through a sound knowledge of engineering materials and methods and skilled use of classical and computer aided engineering analysis and simulation
  • work as part of the Mechanical Engineering team and closely with the Electronics and Software, Multidisciplinary and Science teams in developing ideas from rudimentary concepts through to deployable systems, supported by in-house prototype manufacturing and testing facilities
  • be responsible for carrying out or arranging out-sourced manufacture, test, inspection, assembly and commissioning of designed systems. Testing and commissioning may involve participation in sea trials both locally and world-wide
  • to disseminate your work internally and externally through training, documentation, peer reviewed publications, patents and licensing agreements with companies. You will support others in the group through training, design engineering, fieldwork, administrative functions and supervision of students and junior staff as required
  • to identify safety related, personal development and technical training needs and to ensure these are transmitted to line management 
  • you will be aware of and comply with all relevant Health and Safety legislation, regulation, Codes of Practice and local policy applicable within the working environment ashore and at sea
  • you can produce risk assessments and safe systems of work in all areas of consequence with respect to Health, Safety and Pollution as required within the working environment
  • review and update existing safety documentation whenever necessary.

Key Accountabilities/Primary Responsibilities:

  • deliver complete and high quality mechanical designs and systems supported by classical and computer aided engineering calculations and design analysis
  • assist with the specification and procurement of out-sourced equipment and components
  • to be aware of and comply with all relevant Health and Safety legislation and to identify safety related, personal development and technical training needs and to ensure these are transmitted to line management
  • project management i.e. to manage timelines, deliverables, milestones, finances, resources
  • contribute to the production of peer reviewed publications, patents, and knowledge exchange activities (e.g. working with commercial partners) and project plans
  • work as part of a team by providing training, engineering, fieldwork, and administrative support
  • development of best practice and skills in the group and for yourself
  • maintain: a detailed log book; reference library; documentation on standard operating procedures, protocols and methods; libraries of common component/system drawings, design calculations, testing/research and manufacturing details.

Expectations of all staff:

  • comply with Research Council and NERC policies at all times, including Equal Opportunities Policies and ensure that duties are carried out in accordance with relevant policies, procedures and guidance documents as directed by NOC
  • promote and demonstrate a personal commitment to NOC values and People Strategy
  • promote and demonstrate a personal commitment to Working with Respect – NOC Guidance
  • attend relevant seminars, workshops and training events and maintain professional development by completing CPD (Continuous Professional Development) appropriate to the role
  • maintain a safe working environment by attending Health and Safety training as required and follow local codes of safe working practices and actively contribute to embedding a safety culture across NOC
  • adopt and promote awareness of NOC’s environmental aims and other initiatives
  • carry out other duties within the scope, spirit and general purpose of the post and adopt a flexible approach to work
  • as duties and responsibilities change this job description will be reviewed and revised in consultation with you
  • undertake such other duties within the scope of the post as may be reasonably requested by your manager.

Applications are handled by UK Shared Business Services.

To apply, please attach an up to date CV and covering letter explaining how your skills and experience meet the requirements of the role.

We want to make our application process as easy as we possibly can. If you experience any problems in applying for this job, or have any feedback for us about the application process, please contact the UK SBS Recruitment Team on 01793 867000. Please quote the relevant IRC reference number when calling.

Or, tell us why you don't wish to apply for this job.