About the Role

The Optical Frequency Metrology Goup at 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 open up this capability to academic and industrial users, enabling them 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).


You  will initially join the team operating the London-Paris fibre link and driving the development of optical time and frequency transfer at NPL.  You will be involved in European collaborative research (EMPIR project TiFOON) and will take technical responsibility for specific tasks. You will also be involved in the day-to-day running and development of our evolving fibre network.


This is an opportunity to learn about and become involved in many of NPL’s time & frequency-related activities, and ultimately to shape the future of how time is measured. Most of the work is highly collaborative, bringing together multiple teams from within the group and/or other European laboratories.

About You
We are looking for a physicist with strong hands-on skills or a curiosity-driven engineer with strong analytical skills. You should be qualified to degree or PhD level in physics, electronic engineering or a related subject. Preferably you will have research and development experience in a relevant field.
Demonstrable practical experience is required in one or more of the areas below. Additional background knowledge of any of the areas and of time and frequency metrology generally is advantageous.
• Analog electronics (design and prototyping)
• Embedded design (in particular FPGA – mainly programming)
• Fibre optics and photonics
• Radiofrequency techniques
• Wireless or optical coherent communications
You will work in a laboratory and need to have the ability to perform manual work. The role is based in Teddington, but you will be expected to travel occasionally to locations in the UK and abroad to perform maintenance and laboratory work, as well as for conferences and meetings.
Interviews will be held on 2nd, 4th, 9th or 13th December. We will be reviewing applications prior to the closing date. Please note we may close the vacancy before the end date.

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.