Principal Design Engineer (Grade 3)

Aircraft Research Association (ARA) is a unique SME and the UK’s leading independent transonic wind tunnel with a passionate workforce of engineering and aerodynamic professionals. We are a leading specialist in aerodynamic research providing complementary services and solutions to international aerospace and defence clients. Our clients include Saab, Bombardier, Boeing, Turkish Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Comac and BAE Systems.

Typical projects include producing scaled-down military and civilian aircraft models, comprising multiple parts, which are assembled together and used as highly accurate forces/pressures measuring devices within the on-site high-speed (transonic) wind tunnel.

Aircraft Research Association (ARA), is the UK’s leading independent transonic wind tunnel and we are looking to recruit an experienced and ambitious Principal Design Engineer to lead the development of mechanical design solutions in a multi-disciplinary environment. This involves taking the lead in load calculation and stress analysis and be the Technical Lead for designated projects.

Reporting to the Design Engineer Team Lead the successful candidate must have strong stress calculation abilities, as well as a commanding understanding of static loading application as well as a solid background in applied stress analysis both static and dynamic. We are looking for someone who has a natural creativity and curiosity for mechanical design.

Ideally we would like to them to have some project management and MRP systems’ experience, however, these are not critical for the role.

Salary range: £45,000 – £55,000 (depending on experience)

Typical hours: Full time, 38 hours per week

This is a varied and demanding role and it involves a number of duties and responsibilities:

  • Operate primarily as a senior level Design engineer in the mechanical design of wind tunnel test subjects in accordance with customer specification
  • Carry out design activities with minimal direction from the Design Team Leader, working within budget and to project schedule
  • Be a technical authority on stress analysis and load calculation
  • Deliver Written reporting on the above
  • Facilitate the effective communication with key stakeholders and the management of expectations across the business
  • Be the technical lead for projects as required by the Design Team Lead or Head of D&M
  • Maintain a close working relationship with the Project Manager and all other key stakeholders within the project
  • Contribute to helping to develop, improve and maintain the skills and capabilities of the design team such that it can be considered world class by its customer basis.

What we would like to see:

  • A 2.1 or above in a relevant Mechanical Engineering discipline
  • Relevant prior experience in working as the Technical Lead in a project based environment
  • Knowledge of design for manufacture
  • Demonstrable problem solving ability in a logical, competent and timely manner
  • Have a desire to succeed, see those around them success and be driven by continuous improvement
  • Knowledge of relevant software packages preferably Catia, Isight, Matlab, Abacus, other FEA
  • Have some commercial awareness and client relationship experience
  • Ideally experience of 6sigma and Lean manufacturing processes

This is an exciting permanent opportunity for the right person to be part of a successful and highly skilled engineering company, working 38 hours per week, Monday to Friday.  In return, we offer a range of benefits including: a competitive salary and pension scheme; flexible working options (normal hours are 0800hrs to 1621hrs); free parking; employee assistance programme; private health insurance and 26 days’ annual leave plus Bank Holidays (increasing with length of service after 5 years’ service)

The successful candidate must satisfy security clearance requirements – including the last 5 years continual UK residency.

Aircraft Research Association Ltd is proud to be an Equal Opportunities Employer. We recognise the value in an inclusive and diverse workforce and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified people.

If you think you are the person we are looking for, please complete the form below.

Contact us

Aircraft Research Association Limited

Manton Lane, Bedford, England MK41 7PF

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