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Principal Research Engineer - Hydrogen Safety

Posted 24 May 2024
Work experience
0 to 7 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
Degree level
Required language
English (Fluent)

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GKN Aerospace is reimagining air travel: going further, faster and greener! Fuelled by great people whose expertise and creativity sets the standards in our industry, we’re inspired by the opportunities to innovate and break boundaries. We’re proud to play a part in protecting the world’s democracies. And we’re committed to putting sustainability at the centre of everything we do, opening up and protecting our planet. With over 15,000 employees across 41 manufacturing sites in 12 countries we serve over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers. There are no limits to where you can take your career.

Job Summary

We are seeking to recruit a Principal Research Engineer (Hydrogen Safety), responsible for leading hydrogen safety compliance and research activities for development of airborne liquid hydrogen storage and distribution systems. The successful candidate will lead research on hazards posed by introduction of hydrogen on aircraft, conduct hazard reviews, quantitative and qualitative risk assessments, identify appropriate means of protection and lead development of hazard mitigation and management systems. They will initiate and conduct industrial research projects to develop hydrogen safety knowhow and sponsor /manage academic activities to enable definition of safety requirement and design solutions for airborne hydrogen applications. You will be required to scope out deliverables for academic partners, internal resources and subcontractors and manage them to ensure delivery on time, correct cost and quality. Identify skills and knowledge gaps propose research projects, industrial partnerships and means for addressing the gaps.

Job Responsibilities

  • Lead Hydrogen safety activities in support of systems engineering activities through identification of process and operational hazards posed by process fluids e.g. GH2, LH2, He, etc.
  • Develop quantitative risk models to aide definition of and compliance to civil aerospace certification regulations
  • Define hazard mitigation means, layers of protection and support to definition of component specification to fulfil system level safety objectives
  • Consult, review and advise on process safety assessment for hydrogen test rigs
  • Ensure development and evolution of hydrogen safety requirements and their alignment with functional safety requirement to enable optimisation of end products
  • Review and sign off hydrogen safety compliance evidences to support sign off of permit to fly documents
  • Define validation plans and ensure compliance through analysis, simulation and/or test as appropriate in support of system qualification and certification planning activities
  • Act as the focal point to regulator for securing relevant permits in accordance with applicable regulations (e.g. COMAH, ATEX, and DSEAR etc.)
  • Conduct trainings and mentor colleagues on hydrogen process safety standards, assessment tools and methods
  • Identify and implement continuous improvements for improved safety performance

How You'll Contribute

To help us make a difference, you’ll bring your passion and talent for what you do along with the following skills, experience, qualifications and attributes:


  • Master’s Degree in engineering with
  • Experience of process safety related to hydrogen
  • Experience of conducting process safety activities e.g. HAZID HAZOP, QRA and ALARP analyses, Bowtie Assessments etc. *
  • Experience of compliance demonstration for process safety regulations e.g. COMAH, DSEAR, ATEX and UK PSSR/PED etc. *
  • Experience in functional and physical development of process systems
  • Experience in process safety engineering for hydrogen systems
  • Experience of process engineering and pressure vessels related safety codes
  • Experience of process systems equipment and associated safety considerations
  • Experience writing developing design standards for fluid and or control systems
  • Experience reading schematics and writing specifications for systems and components (including hardware)


  • PhD in Process Safety or Chemical Engineering related topic
  • Substantial experience of process safety for flammable fluids including hydrogen preferably in chemical process, science or aerospace industry setting.
  • Experience of handling LH2 or other cryogenic fluids.
  • Experience of statutory obligations, particularly DSEAR, ATEX, COMAH and associated approved codes and practice and British standards including BSEN-600-79
  • Experience of process safety implementation for cryogenic propellants in an aerospace environment. * Experience of implementing and assessing safety features on process systems equipment from an explosion risk perspective. *
  • Knowledge of considerations for design of LH2 systems, including H2 discharge and leakage management.
  • Certified facilitator of safety assessment reviews for HAZID HAZOP, QRA
  • Experience in system compliance demonstration through use of ALARP analyses and Bowtie Assessments.
  • Experience of pressure vessel design and safety demonstration in accordance with UK PSSR, Pressure Equipment Directive or equivalent international regulations.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and experience of statutory obligations, particularly DSEAR, ATEX, COMAH and associated approved codes and practice and British standards including BSEN-600-79
  • Willing to support University research including Internships and Masters Projects
  • Experience of holding approval authority for safety sign off

We are looking for people who want to make a difference, talented members with the skills and passions to become the best of the future in what they do. To be successful in this role you must have Strong design, analytical, and troubleshooting capabilities, someone whom can identify complex problems, decompose them and solve them. You will be energetic and self-motivated with the ability to work independently and in a team environment.

What We'll Offer

Once you’re on board you’ll get the following perks and benefits:

  • Competitive salary dependant on experience
  • Opportunity to earn up to 15% bonus
  • 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
  • 25 days holiday + bank holidays
  • Income protection
  • Shopping discounts
  • Cycle To Work Scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • A collaborative, dynamic working environment

As well as a competitive package we’ll offer you a world of opportunity. We want to see your career fly! We’ll support your career progression by providing you with learning and development opportunities. That’s the beauty of being part of a global business, once you’re on board you never know where you career journey may take you!

We’ll offer you fantastic challenges and amazing opportunities. This is your chance to be part of an organisation that has proven itself to be at the cutting edge of our industry; and is committed to pushing the boundaries even further. And with some of the best training on offer in the industry, who knows how far you can go?

A Great Place to work needs a Great Way of Working

Everyone is welcome to apply to GKN. We believe that we can only achieve our ambitions through a coming together of diverse minds who enjoy collaborating in an inspirational environment. 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’. 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.

We are the place where human dreams, plus human endeavour, shape the future of aerospace innovation and technology.


With 50 manufacturing locations in 15 countries, we serve over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers. We design and manufacture innovative smart aerospace systems and components. Our technologies are used in aircraft ranging from the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world to business jets and the world’s advanced 5th generation fighter aircraft.

1,000 employees