Senior Instrumentation and Controls Engineer

  • Full Time
  • Posted 2 months ago
  • Applications have closed
  • Salary: £39,748 to £44,748 per annum (included specialist allowance of up to £5,0000 dependent on skills and experience)

Company Details

Job Reference Number: 220001AX

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

Working at the forefront of scientific endeavour is not possible without a dedicated team of engineers able to turn abstract scientific ideas into reality. At STFC’s ISIS facility, a world-leading scientific research centre, each problem requires a unique solution, taking advantage of the latest technologies to deliver the seemingly impossible. Our engineers have the freedom to choose their own solution, and the responsibility to take it to completion.

We now have an opportunity for a Senior Instrumentation and Controls Engineer to join the ISIS Controls Group, which is part of the ISIS Electrical Systems Division. The Group provides both large-scale distributed and stand-alone control and drive systems throughout the ISIS accelerator, target and neutron/muon beamlines utilising a wide range of technologies. You will play a leading role as part of the team that is responsible for the specification, design, build, installation and support of both custom-built PLC-based and externally sourced neutron chopper drive control systems throughout the facility. You will have a proven track-record in the design and delivery of drive-based projects within a scientific or industrial environment and will have the knowledge, experience and enthusiasm necessary to take a lead role in the ongoing development of these systems. You will have a high level of competence and confidence to manage and maintain current installations, whilst also keeping up to date with new technological developments to ensure that ISIS systems remain at the forefront of technology. As part of the wider group, you will also be encouraged to use and develop your skills to support a variety of other types of control systems including PLCs, EPICS, LabVIEW and Safety Interlock Systems.

Successful applicants will be appointed at Band E of STFC’s staffing hierarchy, depending on the strength of your controls/electrical knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications.

Duties will include

  • Specify, design and develop single and double axis electrical drive control systems for ISIS neutron choppers, including integration with existing ISIS controls/timing infrastructure and higher-level EPICS-based control systems.
  • Prepare and check engineering drawings and technical documentation using AutoCAD, Meridian and other standard office software packages.
  • Programming of electrical drive control systems ultilising a variety of industrial PLC and specialist controls programming and configuration software packages.
  • Produce test schedules and oversee the installation, testing and commissioning of chopper control systems around the facility.
  • Project management for the timely delivery of neutron chopper drive system installations and upgrades to improve the performance and reliability of the ISIS Facility instrument suite. Responsible for maintaining the reliability of existing installations and providing strategic insight into future system developments.
  • Manage support capabilities for ISIS neutron chopper systems, including ensuring continuous availability of hardware spares and fully trained staff, and provide expert operational support for these and other PLCs designed and supported by the Group
  • As a Nominated Person (Electrical), you will be responsible for the effective management of risk and safety measures for you and your team. This includes providing high quality health and safety documentation relating to the Section’s equipment and work commitments.
  • Manage and supervise the work of contract staff and subcontractors in the manufacture and installation of electrical control panels and peripheral equipment.
  • As part of the wider team, you will also design, manage and provide expertise in the provision of new and upgraded PLC and Human Machine Interface (HMI) control systems to monitor and improve the performance/reliability of the ISIS accelerator, including the design of interlock and plant control systems.
  • As a senior engineer, you will also play a key role in helping to support and develop other staff within the Group.
  • You must be willing to work in radiation controlled environments and carry out occasional travel within the UK and overseas. The position requires a leading role to be played in provision of out of hours on-call support during ISIS user cycles to resolve faults and problems. An additional on-call allowance is available for this.



  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in an appropriate electrical engineering discipline or an HNC/HND with additional proven underpinning knowledge and understanding (S&I)
  • A sound knowledge of electrical and drive-based controls principles, theories, techniques and communications protocols. (I)
  • A sound knowledge of instrumentation including position feedback devices, temperature, flow or vibration sensors (I)
  • Familiarity with BS7671 IET wiring regulations. (S&I)

Technical Skills:

  • Fully conversant with engineering drawings and circuit diagrams (I)
  • An advanced standard of computer literacy in the use of office software, CAD packages e.g. AutoCAD and specialist PLC and drive programming software (S&I)
  • Experience in designing control panels, with associated knowledge of panel-building, wiring, cable termination (S&I)
  • Fully conversant with ladder logic, with significant experience of programming and debugging drive-based PLC systems and Human Machine Interfaces for use in an industrial or scientific environment (S&I)

Project Experience

  • Proven project experience in designing and delivering drive-based control system projects and managing them within specified timescale / budget / quality criteria (S&I)
  • Fault-Finding
  • A proven track-record in being able to diagnose and rectify complex faults on PLC-based motion control systems. The use of initiative, attention to detail and a methodical approach to problem-solving is required (S&I)
  • Be willing to work flexibly as workload dictates and to play a leading role in the ISIS on-call system (I)

Management / Leadership

  • A proven ability to lead a team and work effectively within it or on your own. A high level of drive, enthusiasm and focus on the timely achievement of goals. Ability to utilize organisational systems effectively (I)
  • Proven people management skills in managing members of a team. Ability to motivate staff, build teams and solve personnel issues, with a solution-focused attitude (S&I)
  • Communication
  • Advanced interpersonal skills – particularly in communicating, with evidence of good English written and oral skills. (S&I)

Health & Safety

  • Able to demonstrate an excellent health and safety awareness and to provide evidence of implementing and promoting safe working practices relevant to the role, including provision of risk assessments and method statements and working to safe systems of work. (I)
  • Be willing to carry out occasional work in controlled radiation areas, under strict ALARP controls. (I)


30 days holiday + 8 bank holidays + 2.5 privilege days + exceptional defined average salary pension + work life balance

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we ask the biggest questions in the universe to find answers that change the world around us. We seek understanding. We’re proud of the impact we make. And we’re committed to helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy. Being part of all this means contributing to work that pushes boundaries and creates possibilities. You’ll work with, and learn from, true experts. Whatever your role, you’ll be free to question, and encouraged to share ideas. And, in a positive and supportive culture, you’ll discover just what a difference you can make when you’re equipped and inspired to excel.

We’re a place where curious minds thrive. Not bound by profit, we explore ideas that others don’t, ask questions that others won’t, and discover answers that others are not equipped to find. And, alongside Mars landings and black holes, we also explore diverse, international projects in everything from science and engineering to computing and technology. Whether it’s at the cutting edge or behind the scenes, our work is intellectually challenging. It’s very often ground-breaking.  And it’s endlessly, irresistibly fascinating.

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation.

Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’.

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application.

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us.

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