The Science and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) RAL Space is looking to put your skills to the test as the first positions for the National Satellite Test Facility open to applications.
The NSTF will be the UK's largest facility for testing satellites before they go into orbit. The new facility expands on the existing capabilities at RAL Space and applicants will join an established team of space test experts at the heart of the Harwell space cluster.
In the run up to the facility becoming operational in 2021, 35 additional staff will be recruited to RAL Space to work in the facility. While some of the roles will require experience in the space sector, it's not all rocket science with roles and training opportunities for new graduates and apprentices.
Matt Fletcher, Head of Environmental Test at STFC RAL Space said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to join what will be the UK's flagship satellite testing facility, to engage with the build, the commissioning and to deliver the transition to full operations. The team working in the National Satellite Test Facility will get involved in a huge range of satellite developments from different organisations, and provides the opportunity to say 'I was part of the team who made this happen' when launches and successful operation of missions occur in the future."
RAL Space are looking for a mix people with technical, managerial, facility management and quality assurance skills as well as the softer skills to work with international customers.
New recruits will be operating the UK's largest Thermal Vacuum Chamber that will be able to test spacecraft up to 7 tonnes in the extreme temperatures and conditions they will face in space. Others roles are in the expanding vibration and new pyro-shock facilities, where satellites will be tested to ensure they can withstand the violence of launch. There will be new jobs running other vital new test facilities including EMC and antennae, acoustic, mass properties as well as the clean rooms.
The UK government has invested £99 million to establish the NSTF through the UK Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The investment supports the UK's Industrial Strategy to help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs with investment in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future by strengthening the UK space sector's world-leading position in satellite manufacturing.
RAL Space sits at the heart of the Harwell Space Cluster in Oxfordshire, which has seen a growth to more than 80 companies employing 800 people since 2010. With employee growth at 13% per annum for the last two years it is clear the space industry at Harwell is already having a positive impact on local employment.
The NSTF will fill a significant gap in the UK's aerospace capabilities and could attract more than 1000 jobs to Harwell or elsewhere in the UK as leading satellite manufacturers will be able to build and test more technologically advanced spacecraft right here in Britain.
For those looking to apply for a unique career at the centre of the UK's space industry, STFC offer a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days' annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas closure, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, an exceptional pension scheme, and social and sporting activities and societies.
The first jobs will be advertised later this month: http://www.stfccareers.co.uk
Top: Working in the Thermal Vacuum Chamber at RAL Space. Credit: Gatsby - Technicians Make it Happen
Bottom: Working in the vibration facility at RAL Space. Credit: Gatsby - Technicians Make it Happen