Senior Mechanisms Engineer


Direct Entry Job Permanent Oxford, UK

Uploaded 14 Jan 2021

Job Description

AVS Is proud to be one of the world's leading companies in the design and development of bespoke equipment for Space and large Science and Research infrastructure across the globe.

Our success is based on our people. We build trust through our technological and scientific competencies, strong dedication to our work, and are conscious about the importance of these qualities to enable our clients to achieve scientific and technical breakthroughs.

AVS conceives and develops unique mechanisms, instruments and robotics for Earth Observation, Exploration, Telecommunication and Science missions as well as Ground Support Equipment and In-orbit servicing applications. We are also working towards a new, extensive catalogue of space products covering thermal applications, mechanisms and Propulsion systems, which enhance and create mission opportunities and capabilities.

The variety of engineering and scientific knowledge at AVS allows us to work with exceptional teams and incredible technologies worldwide. 

AVS is an approved supplier of the majority of worldwide Space primes (Airbus, OHB, TAS, VO, etc.), institutions (NASA, ESA, UKSA...) and science facilities (CERN, ESO, STFC, etc.). 

Some recent developments include:

  • Two instruments onboard the NASA M2020 Perseverance Rover: full system, mechanisms, MAIT and qualification testing.
  • Innovative thermal control solutions for future EU GEO telecom satellites.
  • Disruptive water electrolysis propulsive RACS for a brand-new EU GEO platform.
  • ISRU and exploration payload technologies (gantry-rovers, extraction of oxygen, sample acquisition, cable-robots, mechanisms…)
  • Gripper / End-effector of the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission onboard the SFR (launch 2026).
  • MITICA, the world’s largest and most powerful ion source in the planet for the Nuclear fusion tokamak of ITER.

In order to deliver such complex solutions, AVS seeks for highly qualified and technology passionate candidates to join our team in Oxfordshire in a permanent basis, and to keep upfront with the latest technologies and developments in Space.

Job description

Are you fascinated about Space? Do you have experience developing Mechanical systems and/or Mechanisms in Space? A Space Mechanisms Engineer is required to support / lead the increased demand of complex mechatronic and mechanisms developments for a wide range of Space systems, customers and applications. This is a full-time role based at the new AVS facilities in Westcott, with fully dedicated MAIT facilities. Although we offer flexibility to be based in AVS’ Harwell offices 2-3 days per week. 


  • Trade-offs for the selection of the best mechanisms and conceptual architecture and design.
  • Definition of mechanism architectures and designs from specifications.
  • Responsible for the design and capability of the mechanism design to meet the technical requirements.
  • Lead engineer from the concept definition to the detailed design of Space mechanisms.
  • Technical management of other mechanical, design, manufacturing engineers and drafters in Space mechanisms projects.
  • Responsible for the adequate increase of TRL of the mechanism and components.
  • Support to system engineers and definition, implementation of the development and verification approach, producing corresponding documentation, i.e. design, development & verification plans, design reports, ICD, VCD, test plans, etc.
  • Technical support to Business Development for mechanisms proposals and developments.
  • Technical support to MAIT for the fabrication, assembly, integration and tests of mechanisms.

Person Specification


  • 2:1 Master’s or higher degree in Engineering, science or maths. 
  • Minimum 3 years’ experience working as Mechanical / Mechanisms engineer within the space industry (note: experience of other disciplines within the space industry will also be considered)
  • Able to communicate effectively and professionally with technical customers and other mechanisms experts to produce, challenge and verify technical, functional, and test requirements and manage expectations.
  • Able to work with tight deadlines and with several projects in parallel. 
  • Excellent technical writing, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Able to manage time, work within a team and work autonomously when required.
  • Knowledge of ESA ECSS standards for Space mechanical systems and mechanisms


  • First degree(s).
  • Masters in Engineering (MEng) and MPhys or MSc in Space related topics. 
  • PHd or DEng in Engineering: mechanical, design, materials, etc.
  • Knowledge and publication on ESA ESMATS or similar symposiums.
  • Ideally >3 years of experience developing complex Mechanisms for Space applications in Space industry. 
  • Experience with complex mechanisms for flight programmes. 

Also Required:

CAD software, e.g. Solidworks, CATIA

FEM / FEA software, e.g. ANSYS, Patran / Nastran

Mechanisms and computing software, e.g. ADAMS, Simulink, Matlab