Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC247838
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £38318 - £42576
Date Posted 12 March 2019
Grade RC-E
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 14 April 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £38,318 to £42,576 (This post is eligible for a Recruitment and Retention Allowance of £3,000)
Grade: RC-E
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full time or Part time (at minimum 26 hours per week)
Closing Date: 14th April 2019

Our salary scales have recently been updated and are reflected on this advert.


Since the early 1960’s, RAL Space has supported over 210 space missions. Recent notable missions include the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) for the James Webb Telescope and the Ptolemy instrument for ESA’s Rosetta mission.

RAL Space provides high quality research and technology development, space test facilities, instrument and mission design, and carries out studies of science and technology requirements for new missions. Part of this work includes the development of space qualified, advanced electronic and electrical systems.

The Advance electronics group - one of the groups that make up the Imaging systems division - is responsible for nearly all electronics development.

Some notable space based projects undertaken by the Advanced Electronics Group would include:

  • Rosetta – Design of a highly miniaturised mass spectrometer for the Ptolemy lander. Numerous electronics sub-systems were designed at RAL Space with mass, power and miniaturisation a prime concern
  • STEREO – Design of the electronics for a NASA/NRL Solar Coronagraph and highly sensitive Heliospheric CCD imaging satellite, monitoring Coronal Mass Ejections and their propagation towards Earth
  • Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) – continued development of space qualified CCD camera electronics for the high profile NASA’s solar imaging satellite, studying solar activity in resolutions beyond those previously achieved
  • SPICE – a high resolution imaging spectrometer. We designed and developed the Front-end electronics to control and read out two CMOS sensors used within the instrument
  • RAMAN – We provided two electronics cards for the RAMAN spectrometer as part of ESA’s ExoMars Rover Pasteur payload. This work included the front-end electronics CCD controller and a digital processor board that provided overall command and control of the Raman Instrument
  • McLaren – a cold atoms project to build a highly advanced quantum based gravimeter. We are designing the electronics systems to control lasers, magnetic coils and other sub-systems to achieve an instrument with levels of sensitivity capable of even detecting gravitational changes due to a person standing next to it.

The long-term objective is the mapping of Earth’s gravity and other celestial bodies in finer detail, using the instrument on board a satellite in earth orbit.

Our expanding project portfolio requires us to recruit an experienced electronics engineer to work on a wide diversity of instrumentation for our current and future space science, Earth observation and ground-based astronomy programmes and our Cold Atom research programme.

List of Duties/Work Programme/Responsibilities:

You will be an experienced electronics engineer with up to date knowledge of digital and analogue design and will be proficient in the layout of complex multi-layer boards. You will also have good working knowledge of analytical analysis, computer modelling, VHDL design and have practical bench test experience. A working knowledge of the design requirements for space applications would be an advantage, but this is not essential.

Management responsibilities within a project, e.g. roles such as Technical lead, will become a major part of the job, so existing experience of project management and people management would be advantageous.

Our engineers are often required to represent RAL Space to our external customers, suppliers, VIP visitors and at outreach events, so we look for excellent verbal and written communication skills.

In return, we can offer the successful you an exciting career, working at the forefront of space technology. You will have project responsibility from the outset framed within a close support network of more senior engineers.

We always value individuals who seek out training opportunities and those who stay in touch with the latest developments in their field. Those candidates showing evidence of an active “continuing professional development” programme within their current position will hold an advantage.

Your duties will include, but will not be limited to:

  • advanced analogue and digital circuit design
  • layout of complex, multilayer circuit boards
  • functional testing of assembled boards
  • VHDL design work
  • the production of manufacturing drawings and parts lists
  • taking a lead role in design reviews
  • writing specifications, test plans, test reports and other documentation as required
  • carrying out FMEA, reliability, parts stress and worst case analyses
  • contributing to proposals for new work
  • presenting their work at project reviews and progress meetings, which may be within the UK or overseas
  • representing our department to customers and partners.

Contacts and Communication

You will ultimately report to the Electronics Group Leader.

You will also report to, and work alongside, the Project managers and Project Technical Leads for the projects assigned to them. In addition, the you would be required to attend meetings with other engineers and managers from outside our organisations (for example our customers) where the you would present and discuss their work.

You will, at some point take, on line manger responsibilities for our graduates and/or sandwich students.

Personal Skills and Attributes



  • a First degree in Electronic Engineering. A minimum grade of 2:2 (or equivalent) is required.


  • evidence of technical advancement and development through the award of C.Eng. or equivalent.

Knowledge and Experience

You should have extensive knowledge and experience in some or all of the following areas.


  • in-depth analogue and digital design
  • layout of complex, multi-layer circuit boards
  • the use of electronics CAD tools, especially schematic capture and circuit simulation
  • practical skills such as verification and testing and fault finding of circuit boards and sub systems to component level
  • excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • excellent PC literacy skills; Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.


  • working knowledge of electronics system requirements for space applications
  • working knowledge of VHDL and/or Verilog
  • FMEA, reliability, parts stress and worst case analyses
  • project management experience
  • people management experience.

Personal skill and Qualities

You should be:

  • highly self-motivated
  • a strong solutions focus individual able to work effectively within a team
  • able to provide evidence of continuing professional development
  • an inventive and lateral thinker
  • able to demonstrate experience of management/leadership skills.

Special Requirements:

  • be willing to work in a cleanroom environment
  • willingness to travel within the UK and overseas.

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 Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting Criteria


  • to be able to describe in-depth and up-to-date analogue and digital design experience
  • to be able to detail experience of PCB layout, especially of complex, multi-layered boards
  • to be able to describe prior use of electronics CAD tools, especially schematic capture and circuit simulation
  • extensive practical skills in the area of verification and testing of circuit boards and components.


  • working knowledge of electronic system requirements for space applications
  • experience working with VHDL and/or Verilog
  • working knowledge of FMEA, reliability, parts stress and worst case analyses
  • project management experience
  • people management skills.

Interview Criteria


  • to be able to demonstrate in-depth analogue and Digital design expertise
  • to be able to describe experience of PCB layout, especially of complex, multi-layered boards
  • prior use of electronics CAD tools, especially schematic capture and circuit simulation
  • high level of practical skills such as verification and testing of circuit boards and components
  • excellent communication skills.


  • a working knowledge of electronic system requirements for space applications
  • experience working with VHDL and/or Verilog
  • a working knowledge of FMEA, reliability, parts stress and worst case analysis.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits
UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent
We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities
We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

If you would like to receive this advert in an alternative format (e.g. large print, Braille, audio or hard copy), are unable to apply online or do not wish to create an account but would still like to apply for a specific role, please contact us by telephone on 01793 867000.

If you have not already logged into iRecruitment (including as a current employee) you will be re-directed to the login/register page by clicking the "apply now" button. If you don't have an account with us, by choosing to register you consent to UK SBS processing the information you provide as part of the Recruitment Service. You can select appropriate job alerts and notifications as part of your account preferences, and you are able to close your account (withdraw consent) should you wish to do so. Before starting your online application and inputting your personal details, please read our Privacy Notice which contains full details of how your information is processed once you have made an application.