Senior/Principal Mechanical Engineer – 12 Month FTC

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.

At ARA we are always looking to bring talented people with relevant experience and knowledge into our organisation. We have some interesting and technically demanding projects ahead of us over the coming months, and we are actively seeking talented and motivated Senior or Principal Mechanical Engineers looking for a new challenge. This represents an exciting opportunity to work alongside dynamic and multi-disciplinary teams among technical experts, acting as technical lead for the procurement of new solutions.

Successful candidates will be working across a wide variety of projects including those addressing plant and equipment repair and refurbishment, process improvement, and new equipment, across a broad range of industrial plant, machinery and wind tunnel test equipment, including:

  • Rotating machines and associated drives ranging from a few kilowatts to 17MW.
  • Hydraulic systems, including hydraulic power units, circuits, and actuators.
  • Pneumatic systems, including air compressors (ranging from 7 bar to 250 bar), circuits and actuators.
  • Cooling systems, including water pumps, heat exchangers, evaporative cooling towers and chillers.
  • Air drying systems.
  • Lubrication systems.
  • Water treatment plant.
  • Mechanical structures.
  • Heat pumps.

Salary: Competitive

Typical hours: Full time, 38 hours per week

Contract Length: 12 months fixed term

Location: Bedford

Key responsibilities:

  • Understand the design intent of existing plant, machinery and wind tunnel test equipment, and their operating regimes and maintenance requirements.
  • Design and implement new mechanical engineering elements of plant, machinery and wind tunnel test equipment, ensuring documentation and engineering justifications are maintained appropriately in accordance with company processes.
  • Understand and characterise existing plant, machinery and wind tunnel test equipment such that its integration with new equipment can be ensured.
  • Review telemetry and data gathered from operational equipment to understand performance.
  • Maintain and upgrade the mechanical and process engineering elements of legacy plant and equipment, taking a pragmatic approach to introducing new and effective fixes to old technical or safety problems.
  • Perform analysis of the mechanical aspects of systems such as stress, structural, fluid flow and thermodynamics.
  • Maintain a high level of safety consciousness within all activities and be prepared to become involved with safety initiatives around site as required.
  • Observe all safety requirements around high-energy systems such as high voltages, lasers and high pressure air/hydraulics.

 What we would like to see:

  • Degree (Bachelors or Masters) qualified in Mechanical Engineering or closely related subject.
  • 5 – 10 years’ industrial experience post degree in a similar role.
  • Highly numerate and confident with analytical methods.
  • Understanding of industrial machinery such as hydraulic power units, air compressors, and other rotating machines.
  • Understanding of the application of formal design control and change procedures.
  • Appreciation of the importance of continuous improvement.
  • Ability to interpret and apply industry standards and legislative requirements.
  • Experience or a working knowledge of mechanical design software, such as CATIA, or modelling languages such as Matlab etc. (other tools may be more appropriate)

This is an exciting 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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