About the Role
The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the UK's National Measurement Institute, and is a world-leading centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards, science, engineering and technology available NPL is the home of UTC(NPL), and is responsible for the generation and dissemination of precision time across the UK.
The Earth Observation, Climate & Optical (ECO) group at NPL is a world leader in the theory, methods and practice of metrological traceability of Earth Observation (EO) instrumentation and their data products. ECO projects span the full life cycle of EO instrumentation traceability; from pre-flight calibration, in-orbit validation, inter-operability together with L1 and higher derived product/information quality assurance.

We are entering a very exciting time in ECO with metrology playing an increasingly key role in climate studies. Recently the European Space Agency announced that it will provide funding for the NPL-originated TRUTHS (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio- Studies) satellite mission, which is a hyperspectral imager mission (320 nm – 2500 nm) with a unique on-board SI traceable calibration system that allows the imager to be continually re-calibrated throughout its mission life. This will ultimately improve the uncertainty of EO measurements by a factor of 10, which is critical to understanding and mitigating the impact of climate change.

As a result, the ECO group is recruiting several new roles across a range of experience levels and technical capabilities. The available roles include:

  • A scientific lead in development of our Optical Ground Support Equipment (OGSE);
  • A senior scientist in the development of the TRUTHS on-board optical calibration system;
  • A senior scientist for maintaining and developing the in-house underpinning measurements facilities, with a particular focus on the infrared spectral region;
  • Research scientists with experience in the development of L2 surface reflectance products;
  • Research scientists focused on developing and implementing post-launch sensor-to-sensor inter-calibration system in preparation for TRUTHS (graduate to senior levels considered);
  • Research scientists for performing metrological analysis of space instrumentation (graduate to senior levels considered);
  • A research scientist to develop EO quality assurance methods applicable to vegetation and other biophysical ECVs including higher level information products.
  • Research scientists applying data analytical Artificial Intelligence techniques to EO.
About You
 Person specification

All candidates should have a significant blend of the following:

  • Degree (or equivalent experience) in Physics, Earth Science or Engineering
  • Strong understanding of the physics of the types of sensors and detectors used on Earth observation satellites;
  • Strong scientific and mathematical skills;
  • Good understanding of the metrological principles;
  • Pragmatic, with due consideration of time, cost and quality requirements;
  • Good communication skills (oral and written) and able to work within a team.

In addition, for senior roles the following requirements are particularly key:

  • Demonstrated experience in at least one of the listed roles applied to Earth Observation;
  • Collaborative with other senior scientists and able to encourage and coach junior scientists/engineers.
  • Able to provide technical leadership across a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Can think strategically and pragmatically.

Some roles may require travel to international locations for conferences, meetings and other project related activities. Some roles may require you to work in optical measurement laboratories that will be dimly lit and require you to perform visual alignment and manual handling tasks.

Please note: these role are being advertised across multiple salary zones, offer and salary will be dependent on experience.
Applications will be reviewed, and interviews conducted throughout the duration of this advert therefore we may at any time bring the closing date forward. We encourage all interested applicants to apply as soon as practical. 
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.