Test Operator


Direct Entry Job Permanent Didcot, UK

Uploaded 15 Sep 2020

Job Description

About Us

The Science & Technology Facilities Council is a partner organisation within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI is an entity that brings together nine partnersto 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 UK has invested £99m in the National Satellite Test Facility, in construction at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell. This facility will provide a world class set of co-located families for the assembly, integration and testing of space payloads and satellites. The facility will have the capability to conduct Vibration, Acoustic, Thermal, Pyroshock, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and antennae testing for payloads up to 7 tonnes within clean room conditions. The NSTF is currently in the early construction phase, anticipated to finish construction in 2020, and moving into facility commissioning in 2020/21.

About the role

You will be operating a range of test activities in Thermal Vacuum Testing groups in our existing and future facilities. You will work under the direction of a Principal Test Engineer with them present for the larger campaigns, or for lower complexity testing. During the test campaigns there will be the requirement for 24hr shift working, the current practice is a 12 hour shift pattern, for which additional payment will be made. There may also be the requirement to be on an on-call rota to support testing and there would be additional payment to recompense for this function.

The duties and responsibilities are:

  • Possible direct line management responsibilities for junior test operators
  • Responsible for preparing and conducting the tests
  • Responsible for the safe operation of the equipment 
  • Support the creation and maintenance of the operational procedures relevant to the equipment
  • Support the Principal Test Engineer at bid stage for the test facilities

What we offer

STFC offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, exceptional pension scheme, social and sporting activities and societies, a subsidised restaurant and good public transport links. 

How to Apply

Applicants are required to include a cover letter outlining their suitability for this role. 

Applications are handled by UK Shared Business Services, to apply please click the apply button. Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on +44 (0)1793 867000.

The closing date for applications is 11th October 2020

Person Specification

You will be able to demonstrate technical competence in a related field with demonstrable commitment to safe, clean and orderly working. You will have the ability to work with test hardware, tools and workshop equipment and have the ability to follow written procedures.

You will also be an excellent communicator both written and verbal with a strong customer focus within the bounds of the contracted service. You will be dedicated, self-motivated with a responsible approach to health and safety management and be able to multi-task and prioritise against a heavy workload. 

Shortlisting Criteria (S), Interview Criteria (I) or both (S&I)


  • Demonstration of technical competence in a related field (S&I)
  • Ability to support required day/night shifts and weekends (S&I)
  • Demonstrable commitment to safe, clean and orderly working (I)
  • Demonstrated ability to work with test hardware, tools and workshop equipment (S&I)
  • Ability to follow written procedures. (I)


  • Broad technical understanding of test techniques including the typical technologies used in operation (S&I)
  • Hands on test and production/test facility or laboratory experience (S&I)
  • Technical understanding of the technologies used in the specific testing environment (I)
  • Testing operational experience in a related field (S&I)
  • Ability to operate thermal cycling chambers and thermal vacuum chambers (S&I)
  • Knowledge and experience in thermal data acquisition setup (S&I)
  • Knowledge and experience in leak testing, vacuum and cryogenics (S&I)
  • Knowledge and experience in using QCMs and RGAs (S&)
  • Experience working with cleanrooms (S&I)
  • Ability to utilize test instrumentation and control components: pressure transducers, thermocouples, RTDs, flow meters, relays, solenoid valves, etc. (I)
  • Ability to utilize power supplies, digital volt meters, data loggers, oscilloscopes, counters, and stepper motor controllers (S&I)
  • Experience working with a quality management system (e.g. ISO 9001 or EN9100) (S&I)
  • Experience of working under defined quality assurance practices. Direct experience of ECSS-Q-ST-20-07C would be a significant advantage. (S&I)