Principal Research Engineer - Cryogenics

Date: Mar 24, 2022

Location: Bristol, GB

Company: GKN Aerospace Careers

Details and Applications - click here

Every day, around the world, we help aircraft fly further, faster and greener.  We’re the world’s leading tier one aerospace supplier of systems and components. With over 15,000 employees across 41 manufacturing sites in 13 countries serving over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers with sales of £2.8bn. Together as “One GKN” we’re moving our business and industry forward developing technologies that rapidly decarbonise aircraft, and innovating to help build a new generation of planes that produce zero emissions.  We’re putting sustainability at the heart of what we do; driving our objective to becoming a net zero greenhouse gas emissions business before 2050.

Job Summary

Sitting within our H2GEAR workstream at our state of the art Global Technology Centre in Bristol, you’ll really make a difference to the future of aviation. The GTC is our £32m, world leading, state-of-the-art technology research and development facility where we conduct research, manufacturing process development and carry out high-rate representative manufacture (TRL 6+). Our work supports rapid, site-based, technology insertion and customer showcase, using our technology proving ground with digital architecture and collaborative ecosystem. .

Our new Principal Research Engineer (Cryogenics) will design and develop cryogenic systems both on and off the aircraft. They will design the integration of cryogenic systems with the aircraft electric propulsion and fuel systems and be a key part of the design, development, specification, integration, test, and operation of cryogenic test facilities for the H2GEAR programme.

Job Responsibilities

Carry out thermodynamic calculation and analysis to assess conceptual designs for cryogenically cooled aircraft systems.

Generate design calculations and models of aircraft cryogenic systems, including fuel storage and distribution, secondary cooling circuits, heat exchangers, and component level cooling, for integration into an overall cryogenic system model.

Work with external bodies (universities, government laboratories, companies) to secure materials testing facilities and capabilities for the programme.

Generate IP for applications of cryogenics in aerospace.

Work with other groups within GKN to ensure the implications of cryogenic cooling are understood and accounted for at the early stages of design. 

Work across GKN and with external suppliers to develop a robust and effective cryogenic facility for ground-based testing.

Participate in the testing, commissioning, and operation of the ground-based test facility and cryogenic subsystems for the aircraft.

Development of the Health, Safety and Environment standards within the project for the handling of cryogenic fluids and hydrogen.

Job Qualifications


Degree in Engineering or Physics with a substantial thermodynamics content plus experience working in a relevant environment.

Experience in the analysis of thermodynamic systems from first principles, including pressure drop and heat transfer.

Experience of high vacuum suitable for cryogenic systems.

Familiarity with multi-physics modelling (ANSYS, COMSOL) of thermal systems.

Familiarity with the properties of fluids, solid and structural materials at low temperature.

Experience in the design and assembly of cryostats.

Some practical experience in the handling of cryogenic fluids.

Hazard identification and safety analysis of cryogenic systems. 

Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications.

Ability to design and set up experiments and fixtures for testing.  “Hands on” experience is required.


Master's Degree or PhD in a field related to cryogenics or applied superconductivity.

Experience in transportation systems with aerospace an advantage.

Experience in aerospace functional/physical fuel systems specification, development and test.

Knowledge in Lightning Indirect Effects as well as testing for Fuel Tank Safety.

Electrical Systems Integration an advantage including requirements on bonding and grounding of equipment.

Proficiency in RBE tools, e.g. DOORs, Teamcenter or other.

Experience in CATIA v5 interrogation as well as PTC Windchill.

Able to maintain an organized and clean work environment.

Willing to support University research including Internships and Masters projects.

What We’ll Offer
Once you’re on board you’ll get the following perks and benefits:
•    Hybrid working – giving you the opportunity to balance home and office working
•    Industry Leading Pension Scheme = we’ll match your contributions up to 8% on a 1 : 1.5 basis
•    Life Assurance 8 x salary
•    5 weeks' holiday + bank holidays
•    Income protection
•    Shopping discounts
•    Cycle To Work Scheme
•    Employee Assistance Programme
•    A collaborative, dynamic working environment 
•    Annual bonus scheme 

A Great Place to work needs a Great Way of Working
Everyone is welcome to apply to GKN.  Through our commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging and by living our five powerful principles we’ve created a culture where everyone feels welcome to contribute.  It’s a culture that won us ‘The Best Workplace Culture Award’ last year.  By embracing and celebrating what makes us unique we encourage everyone to bring their full self to work.

We’re also committed to providing an accessible recruitment process, so if you require reasonable adjustments at any stage during our recruitment process please get in touch and let us know.

Hybrid Work Approach
We understand our employees thrive by working differently, what works for one may not work for another, offering different ways of working is core to us creating a great employee experience. We’re pleased to provide a hybrid working approach enabling you to balance your time between working remotely and working in our offices.  We’re also keen for our employees to achieve a work life balance so we’re happy to discuss flexible working options with you should the role be able to accommodate it. 

To apply: