Mechanisms Engineer

Company Details

Thales Group is a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets.

About Us

Thales people architect and deliver satellite-based systems that help position, connect and observe our planet, and push the boundaries of our understanding of planet’s resources. Our systems are in orbit at 400 km, 20000 km, 36000 km and beyond to the edges of the solar system.

Together we offer fantastic opportunities for committed employees to learn and develop their career with us. At Thales UK, we research, develop, and supply technology and services that impact the lives of millions of people each day to make life better, and keep us safer. We innovate across five major industries; Aerospace, Defence, Ground Transportation, Security and Space. Your health and well-being matters to us and that’s why we offer you the flexibility to do what’s important to you; whether that’s part time hours, job sharing, home working, or the ability to flex your start and finish times. Where possible, we support a working pattern that suits your lifestyle and helps you reach your ambitions.

Primary Purpose of Role

  • To support the design and development of space Mechanisms:
  • To learn from more experienced staff members with a view to becoming a design expert or Architect.

To perform or assist with the design of space Mechanisms, components, equipment and GSE, including:

  • Mechanical Design of space hardware and ancillary equipment (ie, test hardware).
  • Analysis
  • Sizing and design justification
  • Testing, including de-risking and verification.

Principal Relationships

Relationships will be required to be built and maintained with the following principals:

  • Mechanism  Architecture Team Leader
  • Mechanical/Thermal Team Engineering Manager
  • Project Managers and Workpackage Managers
  • Team members and Architects from other disciplines
  • Suppliers
  • Customers, including Space Agencies and commercial entities
  • Collaborators

Key Responsibilities and tasks

  • Perform the Mechanical and Thermal design of space Mechanisms, components, equipment and GSE.
  • Perform or oversee the calculations needed for sizing and verification of Mechanisms and components, including hand calculations, FEA, Thermal Analysis, Rigid Body Analysis as required.
  • Support the technical evolution of space Mechanisms projects at equipment, subsystem and systems level, from conception through to delivery.
  • Support planning activities for Mechanisms development projects.
  • Assess new suppliers, materials, components, data, software and methods for spacecraft Mechanisms.
  • Generate the documents and review materials needed to support projects and reviews.
  • Perform the communications, inputs and outputs needed for the technical team, including documents, meetings and reviews.
  • Support of budgets and risk registers.
  • Generate technical specifications and interface requirements (ie, for motors, gearboxes, bearings).
  • Manage subcontractors, including inputs to the procurement and selection process and the support of reviews of suppliers’ developments and deliveries.
  • Manage FM production issues, generating methods for dealing with NCs.
  • Increase knowledge and experience in the area and increase the level of project and technical responsibility.

Key Performance Indicators

KPIs for the role will be specifically developed with the role holder however these will cover:

  • Delivery of designs and associated documentation within the constraints of Project schedules.
  • Robust Mechanism Designs which meet project requirements with minimal need for iteration or re-work at late stages.
  • Quality of documentation.

Experience and Skills

An Engineer with several years’ experience in the space industry, with an interest to develop as a mechanisms Architect.

The following is necessary for the role:

  • Experience as a Mechanical Engineer in a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Experience of Mechanical design, including 3D CAD generation of parts and assemblies from conception to final review.
  • Experience of 2-D manufacturing and assembly drawings.
  • Good knowledge of materials and their properties.
  • Experience of design calculations or analysis using FEA methods to size and justify Mechanical designs.
  • Knowledge of the space environment and how it impacts on Mechanical design.
  • Experience/knowledge of manufacturing techniques for prototyping and also production (conventional and advanced) and how these affect the design.

The following would be an asset:

  • Experience of Mechanism design and development.
  • Vibration or Thermal-vacuum testing.
  • Experience/knowledge of typically-used parts and materials – including actuators, bearings, lubricants, flexible couplings harnesses and hoses, thermal protection, position sensors, launch lock devices, metals, composites, coatings – as well as the industry suppliers for these.


The following is necessary for the role:

  • A recent Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from a recognized University with a minimum 2:1 or equivalent.

The following would be an asset:

  • Membership of a professional Institution.


  • Displays energy, drive, agility and resilience in achieving work-related goals under difficult circumstances. Enjoys or thrives on developing and performing through teamwork, and promoting improvements and change.
  • Ability to interface well and influence effectively at all levels including internally and externally with customers, partners and suppliers
  • Willingness and ability to learn as much as possible about their area of responsibility, including new design rules, software and technical knowledge.
  • Ability to manage and forecast their own work and the work of others in order to meet project deadlines.
  • Curiosity and pro-activeness.
  • Will have a collaborative approach, be a clear and proactive communicator and a good listener.

In line with Thales’ Baseline Security requirements, candidates will be asked to provide evidence of identity, eligibility to work in the UK and employment and/or education history for up to three years. Some vacancies may require full Security Clearance which can require further evidence to be provided. For further details of the evidence required to apply for Baseline and Security Clearance please refer to the Defence Business Services National Security Vetting (DBS NSV) Agency.

At Thales we provide CAREERS and not only jobs. With Thales employing 80,000 employees in 68 countries our mobility policy enables thousands of employees each year to develop their careers at home and abroad, in their existing areas of expertise or by branching out into new fields. Together we believe that embracing flexibility is a smarter way of working. Great journeys start here, apply now!


Tagged as: mechanical design, space mechanisms, 3d cad, space environment, manufacturing techniques, manufacturing/assembly drawings, mechanism design/development, vibration/thermal-vacuum testing

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