Core Design Physicist - Rolls Royce SMR

Location: Derby, Derby or Warrington, Derbyshire, Warrington

Organisation: Engineering

Department: Capability Engineering, Development Engineering, Integration Engineering, Plant Engineering

Core Design Physicist

Derby – Hybrid Working (mainly remote)
£40,000 - £70,000 plus package

We are Rolls-Royce SMR and we’re doing something that’s never been done before - we’re revolutionising an industry. That’s a once-in-a-career opportunity for those excited by such a challenge. This is more than just a job; this is a legacy.

We are now recruiting for Core Design Physicists at various levels of seniority (up to Principal level) to be involved in delivering an industry leading, cutting-edge design project for a new type of power station.

Reporting to the Core Design Lead, the Core Design Physicists will be responsible for supporting the progressive design of the RR SMR Reactor Core.


The role involves working as part of the Core Design team of analysts to study and optimise the design of the reactor core, and associated systems. The Core Design team includes multiple disciplines including Reactor Physics, Thermal Hydraulics, Fuel Performance and Criticality.


The Core Design Physicist will be required to build models of the core and interpret results to support ongoing design decisions, with the aim of successfully delivering required work packages to pass GDA Step 2 and GDA Step 3 through meeting regular internal deliverables and holding regular gated reviews. In addition, at a Senior / Principal level, individuals will be expected to be able to work autonomously and support junior staff in their work, providing project supervision and technical checking.


This role will thus ideally suit an individual with a strong academic background in in Nuclear Engineering or Nuclear Reactor Physics (or possessing equivalent, relevant work experience).


The role(s) will be based in Derby, though most of the role can be performed remotely, with occasional (1-2 times/month) need to visit the office.

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.

Key Selection Criteria


  • Strong academic background in in Nuclear Engineering or Nuclear Reactor Physics (or possessing equivalent, relevant work experience).
  • Good planning and organising skills to manage all activities and deliverables.
  • Ability to integrate well within a project team in a commercial environment and communicate effectively within the team and external to the team.  This will include working in collaboration with external partners and suppliers and communicating with regulators where required.
  • Have knowledge and awareness of Export Control requirements
  • Working with due regard to Health, Safety and Environment to ensure that work complies with all necessary corporate, business and legislative requirements and procedures.


Pay and Benefits


We anticipate a paying a salary of between £40,000 - £70,000, allied with a performance related bonus of up to 12.5%, an attractive pension scheme with 12% employer and 6% employee contributions and 28 days holiday. You will also receive a flexible benefits allowance of £2,200, enabling you to create a bespoke package to suit your needs.


We are Rolls-Royce SMR

Rolls-Royce SMR is a rare employer because it blends the world-class brand of Rolls Royce with an exciting start-up that has a hugely challenging mission. We’re doing work that contributes to the survival of the planet. Because of our mission, there’s a pace and energy that is palpable, and our leaders draw you in with their passion, energy, and determination.

We’re one of a handful of employers who can genuinely say we’re a strengths-based organisation – our people are here because of what makes them great, and our job is to help them make the best contribution of their careers doing work they love.

The start-up mentality coupled with our strengths-approach to people means there are opportunities to grow in ways and jobs you probably would be barred from doing in more traditional companies.

Each Rolls-Royce SMR power station will have the capacity to generate 470MW of low carbon energy, equivalent to more than 150 onshore wind turbines and enough to power a million homes. It will provide consistent baseload generation for at least 60 years, helping to support the roll out of renewable generation and overcome intermittency issues

Our Culture


At Rolls-Royce SMR, we are committed to ensuring that our teams reflect the communities we serve and that everyone can be themselves at work. We know that diverse teams are more innovative and get better results, and that our people can thrive and be more successful in truly inclusive cultures. Join us and help shape our culture. Find out more about our inclusion pledge.


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 and help shape our culture.

Our Application Process

Due to the safety regulations within the nuclear industry, applicants will be required to participate in additional screening. These are:


  • Obtaining Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) clearance
  • Satisfactory completion of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Satisfactory completion of a basic financial probity check


Your candidate experience is at the utmost importance to us. If you are not yet ready to apply but would like to discuss any of the above or require any reasonable adjustments (e.g. being able to apply in a different format), please contact [email protected] to arrange a confidential conversation with a recruitment partner.

Candidate Pack