Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail National Oceanography Centre
Reference Number IRC245885
Location Southampton See on Map
Salary £28200 - £32430
Date Posted 11 July 2018
Grade NERC-6
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 29 July 2018
Interview Date

Brief Description

IT/Software Engineer
Salary: £28,200 - £32,430 depending upon skills and experience, additional allowances may be available for exceptional candidates.
Full time (37 hours per week)

About the role:

We are seeking an IT/Software Engineer to join our experienced team of enthusiastic engineers who are developing and operating Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and other deep towed equipment at the National Oceanography Centre.

We operate our systems worldwide, deploying our research equipment in both the Arctic, Antarctic and the deep oceans in between. Our systems have explored sub-surface mud volcanoes and surveyed, photographed and sampled the world’s deepest discovered hydrothermal vents. The focus of the team’s work is to support the marine scientist community in its efforts to understand the deep ocean, and to monitor the associated resources.

This role will be a hands-on role supporting the ROV and deep towed equipment at sea as well as maintaining services and upgrading the systems back at base. During sea-going operations, you will work with an experienced team and will have the opportunity to fly and control the ROV in order to photograph and sample the deep oceans of the world.

About you:

As an IT/Software Engineer you will:

  • have completed an HNC/HND in a directly relevant IT/Software discipline or a degree in a related discipline with relevant experience
  • have a good working knowledge of computer systems, networking and Windows/Linux operating systems. Development experience using C/C++ would be desirable and a knowledge of LabView would be beneficial.

You should be interested and willing to enhance your programming skills as required to meet the software/infrastructure development requirements of the team.  There will also be opportunities to work with the MARS development teams to enhance the capabilities of the ROV and marine robotic systems more broadly.

You will be expected to maintain the ROV and deep towed equipment (both hardware and software) and take the lead on IT/software development tasks. A basic understanding of digital and analogue electronics would also be beneficial, as would hardware/software integration.

As an IT/Software Engineer you should be highly motivated, able to use your own initiative, possess excellent oral and communication skills and be able to work both independently and as part of a small team. 

You will also trouble shoot and fix software and/or electronic/electrical problems as they arise.  Sometimes these need to be fixed under tight time constraints and arduous conditions, so a practical can-do attitude is essential.

Other information:

The starting salary for this position will be between £28,200 and £32,430 per annum (Band 6). Depending upon skills and experience, additional allowances may be available for exceptional candidates. This may also include an allowance of approximately £8,000 at current rates for time spent at sea (approximately 90 days).

Please note we are not able to sponsor candidates for this role, who require a right to work in the UK.

About us:

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is a national research organisation, delivering integrated marine science and technology from the coast to the deep ocean and is one of the top five institutions of its kind in the world. With sites in Liverpool and Southampton, it is the UK’s leading centre for sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development.     

NOC is part of the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), which is one of the nine partners within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). For more information visit

What we can offer you:

At the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) we know that the quality of our science and the impact that we want it to have depends entirely on the knowledge, skills and engagement of our people. The NOC is committed to flexible employment practices to support employees’ work and personal commitments where possible. Our flexi-time system and flexible working policy contribute to this important aim.

In return for your talents, we offer a competitive remuneration package, including a RCUK pension scheme, 30 days annual leave with a further 14 Public/local days off and free car-parking. Opportunities for further training and development are supported.

For more information, visit Working at NOC.

Our Commitment as an Employer: 

The NOC is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. There is a guaranteed interview scheme for suitable candidates with a disability and we welcome applications from ethnic minorities currently under-represented. The NOC is an Investors in People organisation, and has signed up to the Athena SWAN charter principles to take action to address gender equality.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC), part of the Natural Environment Research Council, is a national research organisation, delivering integrated marine science and technology from the coast to the deep ocean and is one of the top five institutions of its kind in the world.

With sites in Liverpool and Southampton, it is the UK’s leading centre for sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development. Working closely with its partners and associates, it provides capability to meet needs across the UK marine science community (

Shortlisting & Interview criteria

Qualifications and Knowledge:


  • qualified to HNC/HND or higher in a directly relevant engineering discipline or degree level or higher in a related discipline with relevant experience.


  • recognised engineering apprenticeship in a relevant environment.

Experience related to position:


  • competent with Linux and Windows operating systems, networking and PC IT systems
  • familiarity with networking and Ethernet based networks.


  • programming experience in C and C++, particularly within embedded systems
  • programming experience in Labview and python. Experience in the interpretation and design of electronic circuits and systems
  • experience in electronic fault finding, to component level, using electronic test equipment
  • working knowledge of Programmable Logic Controllers
  • experience of working in the offshore environment in a technician role.



  • computer IT and office skills
  • ability to clearly communicate engineering concepts verbally and in writing.


  • printed circuit board design skills
  • practical production skills e.g. soldering - wiring
  • practical design experience.



  • high degree of initiative allied to a disciplined approach to problem solving and task prioritisation under conflicting demands
  • ability to take initiative and produce well thought out proposals
  • ability to deal with multiple projects and professional relationships – work effectively within a team including researchers and non-engineers.

Other requirements:


  • ability to work away from home for extended periods with up to 90 days sea time per year his will require mandatory training in Personal Survival Techniques, Proficiency in Designated Security Duties the ability to pass an ENG1 medical examination
  • strong awareness of safety and environmental issues
  • you will be the holder of a valid passport
  • you will have the ability to apply for a US Visa (ESTA) or C1D Visa, where required.


  • familiarity with ROV, AUV’s and towed underwater platforms.

Context or Background:

Through development and adoption of new technologies, the overall aim of the MARS group is to greatly improve the efficiency with which we operate Robotic vehicles and Platforms in the world’s oceans. The focus is to help scientists in their efforts to understand major issues such as global climate change, the sequestration of carbon and monitoring of ocean resources.

Job Purpose:

Reporting to the Head of ROV Operations Group, you will assist in the operational running of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and Scientific Platforms. The role will be based within the ROV Operations Group, but may on occasion provide support more widely across MARS through project-based work.

To ensure the effective running of software, hardware and networking of the ROV team’s infrastructure. The role will involve development, test, maintenance, fault-finding and repair tasks associated with the design and operation of marine robotic systems. 

The role may also involve supporting other MARS equipment, and more broadly other sea systems equipment when necessary.

Expectations of the role:

The successful candidate will be a core member of the Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) team and will be responsible for designing and operating the NERC ROV and Scientific Platforms.

You will work with colleagues in the ROV Operations Group and in other MARS groups on the design and building of new components and vehicles. You will also work with other staff in the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre (MRIC).

You will work with science users in NOC partner institutes, other NERC institutes, universities and overseas organisations on MAS development and deployments and collaborate with the national and international Marine Robotics Systems community including academia, the commercial sector and defence.

There is a need to work off-site and outside of normal hours from time to time, as required. You will be required to work at sea for up to 90 days per year.

Key Accountabilities/Primary Responsibilities:

As part of the embarked technical team in support of NOC cruise programme you will primarily support the ROV team’s equipment to ensure that the day to day science/technical objectives are achieved.  This will involve:

  • mobilising and demobilising the equipment on various vessels
  • flying, navigating and controlling the ROV and other deep towed equipment
  • trouble-shooting software/electronic problems as and when they arise
  • assisting with fixing break-downs and failures in the equipment as required
  • when necessary you will be also required to perform a similar function in support of others MARS & sea systems equipment
  • develop and maintain a detailed understanding of the networking, computer systems and software associated with the ROV team’s equipment
  • develop and maintain a working understanding of the complete ROV systems
  • undertake pre and post cruise servicing and maintenance of the computing systems and operational software
  • install and integrate additional computing, instrumentation or electronic systems
  • when necessary update or design and develop new software and computer systems to enhance the capabilities of the ROV team’s equipment
  • participate in the cruise planning process as required in order to understand the Principal Scientists’ expectations and contribute to group planning repair, maintain and prepare other MARS equipment as required to meet the cruise programme
  • provide specialist engineering skills and design/procurement advice as appropriate for the development, production, purchase and/or commissioning of new MARS capabilities, including components, software or procedures
  • produce technical and operational reports and/or documentation describing project work undertaken, including safety considerations and any requirements for operation and maintenance
  • to work at vessel mobilisations, refits or recertification periods in connection with maintenance, modification, repair or development of national marine equipment pool equipment, and to attend suppliers’ premises as required
  • to support the production of financial estimates for maintaining assigned systems in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications and safety standards
    maintain up to date knowledge of emerging technology in your discipline through continued professional development.

Act as Senior Technical Officer during Expeditions, when fully trained in the duties of this role.

Expectations of all staff:

  • comply with Research Council and NERC policies at all times, including Equal Opportunities Policies and ensure that duties are carried out in accordance with relevant policies, procedures and guidance documents as directed by NOC
  • promote and demonstrate a personal commitment to NOC values and People Strategy
  • promote and demonstrate a personal commitment to Working with Respect – NOC Guidance
  • attend relevant seminars, workshops and training events and maintain professional development by completing CPD (Continuous Professional Development) appropriate to the role
  • maintain a safe working environment by attending Health and Safety training as required and follow local codes of safe working practices and actively contribute to embedding a safety culture across NOC
  • adopt and promote awareness of NOC’s environmental aims and other initiatives
  • carry out other duties within the scope, spirit and general purpose of the post and adopt a flexible approach to work
  • as duties and responsibilities change this job description will be reviewed and revised in consultation with you
  • undertake such other duties within the scope of the post as may be reasonably requested by your Manager.

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Closing date: 29th July 2018

If after interview we have a greater number of suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we may hold suitable applicants on a reserve list for 12 months for all the grades and locations advertised. This reserve list will be used for future vacancies in NOC that require the same (or similar) skills, experience, competencies and are of the same grade as the advertised posts. These could be offered to candidates on the reserve list without a new competition (but there will be no guarantee of a job offer).

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