Role description

Thomas Thor are working in partnership with Morson Talent and Rolls-Royce SMR (Small Modular Reactor) to recruit a Safety Systems Design Technical Lead to join their team in Derby or Warrington, who will be responsible for the technical and programme delivery of the designs for the Reactor Plant Safety Systems.

The Company

Rolls-Royce SMR is a start-up joint special purpose vehicle (SPV) business, specifically created to design, construct and deliver a new fleet of Small Modular Reactors power plants that will be a critical and strategic player in the race to Net Zero carbon emissions globally. Spun out of Rolls-Royce with its pedigree in engineering excellence but also attracting world class inward investment this is an exciting new business with an optimistic opportunity to be a global player in the coming years. Their Intellectual Property and resource expertise has grown from an organization that has already designed and delivered over 35 nuclear reactors for use in the UK’s Royal Navy Submarine program. That’s combined with the knowledge and unique aerospace experience of manufacturing expertise, supply chain management and logistics.

SMR is an integrated power station, that takes well understood, existing nuclear technology and applies a factory-based philosophy to its fabrication and assembly to provide clean, affordable energy for all. Just one SMR can power one million homes for sixty years!

The role

Technical scope will nominally include:

  • Emergency Core Cooling;
  • Passive Decay Heat Removal;
  • Leak Protection Systems;
  • Shutdown Decay Heat Removal Systems;
  • Reactor Scram;
  • Emergency Boron Injection.

The successful candidate will lead a team of engineers to ensure the delivery of the reactor cooling system designs for the SMR programme. The role will involve developing system design concepts through gated design reviews, providing technical guidance and supervision to system design team, and engaging with external stakeholders on the nuclear system design. The systems group lead will be responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of the safety systems designs and associated documentation to the Office of Nuclear Regulation as part of the Generic Design Assessment.

Key Responsibilities

  • Apply technical expertise to lead the design of system solutions from preliminary concept through to detailed design definition; this will include experience of trade-off studies to ensure an optimum design solution is produced.
  • Build and manage a high performing team of engineers to deliver the design of the reactor plant systems.
  • Develop, implement and improve the ways of working, including tools, processes and culture.
  • Define and manage engineering requirements on reactor plant components, installations, controls and instrumentation.
  • Develop and implement verification & validation strategies for the assigned reactor systems at the various stages of design maturity.
  • Collaborate with other design teams to achieve a coherent and optimised power station solution.
  • Develop robust plans for the assigned systems design team. Prioritise team activities to ensure on time delivery, cost and quality for all project deliverables.
  • Understand and articulate design and programme risks, managing them as appropriate with the Reactor Systems Design Manager.
  • Ensure quality is maintained throughout the design process by undertaking local technical reviews and governance. Provide inputs to the main project technical review gates.
  • Act as technical authority for the assigned reactor systems and represent the Design Manager at technical and project reviews when required.
  • Work with due regard to Health, Safety and Environment. Comply with corporate, business and legislative requirements. Champion company values, including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Qualified to degree level or equivalent in Mechanical Engineering or a related discipline.
  • Chartered Mechanical Engineer (or equivalent) with design experience including responsibility for technically leading systems design programmes.
  • Process system design experience, including responsibility for technical and project leadership in a relevant field.
  • Sound knowledge of relevant design codes, including systems engineering.


  • Nuclear industry experience
  • Expertise in thermal hydraulic and excellent knowledge of reactor system design, operation and safety cases.

Their commitment to inclusion

Central to their operations is the creation of an inclusive workplace with a colleague community that is representative of the diverse regions in which we operate. They are committed to equality of opportunity for all employees and applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and marriage and civil partnerships.

6+ years’ experience in international technical recruitment. Enjoy working on senior level technical roles that prove challenging to fill. Specialized in the nuclear industry – new build projects, having a particular interest in advanced nuclear technology. Focused on building strong relationships with candidates and clients to ensure a positive candidate experience and effective account management.

Daria Farcas