About the Role

NPL is at the forefront of developing the next generation of atomic clocks, which operate at optical frequencies. Already surpassing current primary standards in performance, these optical clocks are expected to lead to a future redefinition of the second and, consequently, to changes in the way we maintain and disseminate the national time scale UTC(NPL). For this purpose we develop and operate femtosecond optical frequency combs and an international fibre link between London and Paris. Together these enable us to compare our optical clocks not only within NPL, but also with those developed in other European laboratories.

New facilities planned for our Advanced Quantum Metrology Laboratory (AQML) will enable us to test and evaluate atomic clocks and laser systems being developed as part of the UK quantum technologies programme. In the longer term, our vision is that the AQML will sit at the hub of a pan-UK fibre-optic network providing research institutions and industrial customers with accurate time and frequency signals that are directly traceable to UTC(NPL).

About You

NPL’s Time & Frequency group is looking for a highly motivated engineer/scientist to work on time and frequency distribution through optical fibres. In addition, to be at the forefront of developing the next generation of atomic clocks, NPL is the only precision timing centre in the UK and fulfils a vital role by maintaining the national time scale, known as UTC(NPL). NPL has been actively disseminating UTC(NPL) to the nation for several decades and has recently developed NPLTime®. NPLTime® is a precise time signal, directly traceable to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and certified at the user end, providing a trusted “common clock” with absolute time in any location using fibre-optic networks. We are actively engaged in promoting, scientifically as well as strategically, a pan-European fibre-optic network linking NMIs, research institutions and industrial customers.

The successful candidate will join a team of multi-disciplined engineers and scientists to help deliver NPLTime® service and to contribute to other projects relating to time dissemination. To support our new service, we are looking for an enthusiastic and proactive engineer/scientist to shape the service to the required technical, scientific and quality standards.

Join the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) at an exciting time of growth where you will have a great opportunity to maximise impact from science. 

Main responsibilities for the role will include:

  • Provide scientific and technical expertise in commissioning and maintaining network timing systems at NPL and remote locations as well as perform calibrations of time and frequency synchronisation devices
  • Work with engineers and scientists to deliver the service to time, cost and quality with focus on the customer in accordance with the NPL quality system
  • Contribute in a proactive manner to root cause analysis and solution finding to prevent continuous issues as well as focus on continuous improvements
  • Assist in monitoring performance, analysing and interpreting data to produce technical reports

To be successful in your application to this exciting opportunity we are looking to identify the following on your profile and past history:

  • Degree level in Physics, Engineering or equivalent Applied Science (BSc, BEng or equivalent). A postgraduate degree will be an advantage.
  • A working knowledge of atomic clocks and precision timing
  • Experience of Ethernet and fibre optic network infrastructure and operations would be desirable

Personal attributes sought for this role:

  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Good communication, including both verbal and written
About The Company

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefitsNPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.