Test Rig Design Lead - Mechanical Testing

Location: Derby, Derby or Warrington, Warrington

Organisation: Engineering

Department: Development Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Plant Engineering

Required Security Clearance: BPSS

Test Rig Design Lead – Mechanical Testing

This is more than just a job; this is a legacy.

The Development Engineering organisation is accountable for proving that the SMR power station design meets its objectives and requirements.  This encompasses not just the domain of nuclear engineering, but the broader range of engineering functions necessary to deliver a major infrastructure project.  The team’s remit includes defining the Verification Strategy for the power station, and also executing any verification activities that involve testing - and these range from laboratory-type tests through to highly complex system-level rig tests in some world-leading facilities.

This is a once in a generation opportunity to be at the centre of proving the design of a new nuclear power station and establishing a world class testing capability.  Talented individuals are invited to join the innovative, dynamic, and open culture of the SMR Test Capability Team to deliver this opportunity.

Reporting to the Test Capability Manager, the Test Rig Design Lead will be responsible for technical and programme delivery of one or more test rigs.  The role will involve leading a multidisciplinary engineering team to develop test rig designs through a gated review process, providing technical guidance and supervision, and engaging with internal and external stakeholders. 

There are opportunities within the RR SMR programme to lead the design of a variety of mechanical test rigs which are required to verify the design of the SMR Power Station.



Rolls-Royce SMR was established with one clear goal - to deliver clean, affordable energy for all.

Rolls-Royce SMR offers a radically different approach to delivering nuclear power. A 90% factory-built solution, drastically reducing project risk, shortening construction times and increasing delivery certainty.

The Rolls-Royce SMR is a world-class global product for a global market - using established nuclear technology developed by a UK-based team building on decades of engineering, manufacturing and nuclear reactor design experience.

About the position

  • Lead a multidisciplinary engineering team to develop test rigs from preliminary concepts through to detailed design, supporting implementation and operation; this will require the use of systems and process engineering techniques.
  • Lead conceptual designs, detailed designs, manufacturing specifications, operational documentation and validation evidence.
  • Provide guidance and supervision to Rig Design Engineers in the generation of:
  • Rig requirements.
  • Engineering assessments and analyses for: installation schemes, supporting structures, thermal systems, mechanism designs, component specification and selection, optioneering, heat transfer and heat balances.
  • Safety assessments such as HAZOPs and FMECAs to ensure the test rigs are safe by design.
  • Design documentations such as P&IDs, component drawings, system descriptions, engineering design definitions and operating philosophies.
  • Design for all life-cycle attributes (such as manufacture, assembly, maintenance and decommissioning).
  • Ensure quality is maintained throughout the design process by undertaking local technical reviews.
  • Support the procurement team to identify and select suppliers and external facilities to deliver the test rigs.
  • Build strong collaborative working relationships with suppliers.
  • Develop robust plans for the assigned test rigs. Prioritise team activities to ensure delivery to cost, quality and schedule.
  • Work closely with the programme management team to track progress and manage changes to the plan.
  • Understand and articulate design and programme risks, managing them as appropriate with the Test Rig Design Manager.
  • Act as technical authority for the assigned test rigs and represent the Test Capability Manager at technical and project reviews when required.

Qualification and Experience

  • Qualified to degree level or equivalent in engineering, physical sciences, or a related discipline.
  • Chartered Engineer (or equivalent) or working towards professional accreditation.
  • Good knowledge of mechanical engineering fundamentals.
  • Mechanical design experience, including responsibility for technical and project leadership in a relevant field. This could be gained from any relevant industry.
  • Familiarity with systems engineering principles is desirable.

Confidence can sometimes hold us back from applying for a job. But we'll let you in on a secret: there's no such thing as a 'perfect' candidate. If you feel you meet 75% of the requirements for this role, we would love to hear from you.

Also, if you are considering a career move or a sector-jump, please get in touch, we welcome applications from people with transferable skills.

Pay and Benefits

A highly competitive salary is on offer along with a performance related bonus.
A range of flexible benefits are available to choose from, enabling you to create a bespoke package to suit your needs.

Travel: the location of work can be either Derby or Warrington.
Flexible working / hybrid and remote working patterns are available with agreement.
Working hours are 37.5 hrs per week with some additional hours as and when required.

Who we are

Rolls-Royce SMR’s small modular reactor (SMR) programme is the first of its kind in the UK.

A Rolls-Royce SMR power station will have the capacity to generate 470mw of low-carbon energy, equivalent to more than 150 onshore wind turbines. It will provide consistent baseload generation for at least 60 years, helping achieve the Government’s target of 24GW of nuclear energy by 2050.

In addition to stable base load power, Rolls-Royce SMRs will be able to provide energy for the manufacture of green hydrogen and synthetic fuels, to support the path to Net Zero and the decarbonisation of transport.

Out technology is based upon well-established Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) technology, in use all over the world, but Rolls-Royce SMR’s unique approach will see the reactor components built in factory conditions and assembled on site.

Our factory-built model is entirely scalable, as demand increases, we invest in further factories using the same design and management systems used for all our SMRs.


When fully operational the Rolls-Royce SMR programme is forecast to create 40,000 regional UK jobs by 2050 and generate £52bn in economic benefit.  

Having begun the design assessment process with the UK regulators, the organisation is at a point where it needs to significantly increase its workforce, offering candidates the opportunity to work with cutting edge technology within a world-class team.

How to apply

Rolls-Royce SMR is an equal opportunities employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

However you identify or whatever your path here, please apply if you see a position that interests or excites you. Come join us and help us build a global company where we're all proud to belong. Confidence can sometimes hold us back from applying for a job. But we'll let you in on a secret: there's no such thing as a 'perfect' candidate.

Rolls-Royce SMR is a place where everyone can grow, so whatever background you bring with you, please apply if this is a role that would make you excited to come into work every day.

If you are not yet ready to apply, but would like to find out more, please contact kris.charnock@morson.com to arrange a confidential conversation with a recruitment partner.