Mechanical Engineer

Job reference:
BAS 21/115
Contract type:
Full Time
Open Ended
£31,931- £39,915 per annum
We offer generous benefits
Engineering and Technology teams
Cambridge but with periods at sea or in polar regions
Closing date:
19 September, 2021 11:59 pm


Do you want the opportunity to work in a small dynamic team of engineers who design, develop and build unique equipment to support our science? We are looking for an enthusiastic person who will be responsible for the specification, design and procurement of new instrumentation. Ideally you have a proven background in developing ideas using solid modelling CAD software and an innovative approach to design and prototype engineering. Experience with Autodesk Inventor would be an advantage but training will be provided for the right candidate. The work is extremely varied, designing bespoke equipment for the use in the polar-regions on land, at sea and in the air. In your role you will be the point of contact for in-coming projects taking ideas from a conceptual phase through to the final product, including documentation and in some cases field trials and support. Another part of your job will be the maintenance and support of our marine science equipment mainly used on our polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

You have to be able to work in a team with both internal staff and external collaborators as well as sub-contractors. You will have a flexible approach and be able to manage your own work load and work to tight deadlines when required.

You will be based mainly in Cambridge, but you will work for up to 3 month/year in the polar regions supporting our science programmes on our polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough, or on one of our Antarctic stations or possibly deep field.
If you are a person who likes to work in a challenging and varied environment and have a range of engineering skills and experience we would like to hear from you.

Who we are

British Antarctic Survey enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. We employ a wide range of skilled science, operational and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica, on ships and aircraft, and in the Arctic. We work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. We embrace diversity and equality of opportunity and are committed to building inclusive and diverse teams that represent all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible.

British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science as well as to keep the lights on, feed the research and support teams and keep everyone safe! If you are looking for an opportunity to work with amazing people in amazing places, then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.


The role of the Mechanical Engineer is to take the professional lead for mechanical engineering project work within BAS.


ONC / HNC in Mechanical engineering (or equivalent)


Technical duties:

  • Specification, design and procurement of new instrumentation.
  •  Development of new systems and equipment to meet customer requirements
  • Initiation and monitoring of in-house projects to ensure design standards are achieved.
  • Maintenance of all marine science equipment to be used on the SDA and the support of marine equipment on science cruises.
  • Ensuring installations on BAS ships, aircraft and Antarctic Stations are completed to specification and on schedule.
  • Supporting systems in the field including provision of all necessary spares and maintenance.

Management Responsibilities:

  • To act as a point of contact for in-coming projects.
  •  Management of mechanical projects to ensure objectives are achieved and delivery schedules are met.
  • Preparation of work plans to include project work, small job requests.
  • Liaison with other members of the group, Staff and external collaborators.
  • Ensuring external contractors meet specified objectives.
  • Monitoring the use and selection of subcontractors to ensure that quality and standards are achieved.
  • Management of the preparation of documentation including manuals, reports, method statements and inter-departmental procedures.
  • It is essential that the individual appointed to the job is able to undertake a wide range of tasks and duties.
  • Other duties as appropriate.

Please quote reference for any queries: BAS 21/115
Publication date: 23rd August 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 19th September 2021
Interview Date: 5th October

At BAS, our vision is to be a world-leading centre for polar science and operations. Making our vision a reality depends on the excellence and diversity of our staff. We are committed to creating a workplace where all our staff can flourish and succeed. BAS is a Disability Confident employer, we are proud to hold a bronze Athena Swan award and we are a member of enei, the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion.

We appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family and carer-friendly policies. Plus a flexible working policy for those who may wish to amend their working pattern or arrangement.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Proficient in written and spoken English language. - Essential
  • Able to communicate with a wide range of staff & suppliers. - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • CAD experience. Preferably solid modelling. - Essential
  • Must be able to use office packages. - Essential
  • Working knowledge of Autodesk Inventor. Training will be provided if required. - Desirable [2]

Decision Making

  • Good analytical skills. Make sound judgement based on practical experience and knowledge. Must provide solutions and not problems. - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Able to work in teams, scientific customers, contractors and suppliers. - Essential
  • Able to cope with the challenges to work on ships and in polar regions. - Essential
  • Experience of working in small team or remote region workings. - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Able to manage their own work load – Must be self-motivated. - Essential


  • ONC / HNC in Mechanical engineering (or equivalent) - Essential

Resource Management ability

  • Self-motivated and able to use resources effectively and efficiently. - Essential
  • Ability to work on their own or as part of a team. Experience in the use of sub-contractors. - Desirable [1]

Skills / Experience

  • Extensive practical experience of mechanical design and development of mechanical equipment and systems. - Essential
  • Experience of developing prototypes and special purpose devices for use in scientific experiments. - Essential
  • Knowledge of computer aided design systems. - Essential
  • Good problem solving skills. - Desirable [1]
  • Able to provide innovative and practical solutions to design problems. - Desirable [1]
  • Experience working on research vessels in a marine equipment support role. - Desirable [1]
  • Experience / knowledge in the use of sub-contractors for manufacturing mechanical equipment. - Desirable [1]
  • Working knowledge of H&S systems in the work place. - Desirable [1]

In order to apply, please complete and upload all the application forms listed below. If you experience any issues in uploading your Application Form, please email us your complete application, making reference to the job reference and title.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, please visit this website before applying.

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Apply by post:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.