About the Role
Put simply, we set the standards by which everything is measured. In doing so, the National Physical Laboratory is helping to combat issues on a global scale such as climate change, curing diseases and the development of cutting-edge communications technology. At NPL, we touch ordinary lives in extraordinary ways and you could too.

Research is what drives our business. And it will be up to you to develop and lead your team, setting your technical area’s strategic direction and ensuring your vision is delivered. When it comes to solutions, you don’t just rely on established methodologies. To get the results you seek, you’re willing to challenge what we do and how we do it, so that we’re expanding our capability. In doing so, you’ll be able to drive collaboration – internally and externally – to enhance activity and optimise commercial opportunities. Your passion for your work, means you already have a great network though which you’ll promote our work, representing NPL and speaking wherever you’re needed. As your work progresses, and new learnings established, you’ll make sure you bring the team with you – training and developing them so that they grow with us. Your technical leadership will shape the interests of the UK. 
About You

Air Quality is a significant issue for the UK and global societies; this is reflected in its increasing prominence on international, national and local government agendas. NPL provides crucial operation of several UK Air Quality Networks, delivers essential metrological support to UK and overseas industries and is a recognised science and technology leader in the domain. We participate in European projects to explore and develop traceability and calibration techniques for measurements of properties such as aerosol particle size distribution, concentration, composition, and black carbon.

In response to the growing global importance of Air Quality, we have brought together expertise from across NPL into a new Air Quality and Aerosol Metrology group. We are planning for significant expansion of the area to meet the anticipated demand for our work. Our highest priority, and the subject of this vacancy, is to recruit a highly qualified and experienced Air Quality scientist into a senior leadership position. The role includes contributing to development of our Air Quality strategy, building and maintaining relationships with partners in Government, Industry and Academia, and leading research and other projects involving state-of-the-art measurement systems to build the UK’s knowledge of Air Quality. Alongside technical skills, the successful candidate will have a commercial awareness which they will use when working alongside NPL’s strategy and commercial teams to identify new business.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • A degree or higher degree in Physics, Chemistry or Engineering;
  • Extensive relevant experience, gained through employment and/or postgraduate research;
  • A proven track record in the development of measurement methods and systems for characterising aerosols and particulates under real-world conditions;
  • Excellent understanding and experience in the use of aerosol measurement techniques for properties such as particle size distribution, concentration, composition, and black carbon;
  • A portfolio of scientific publications in aerosol measurements;
  • Awareness of the standardisation of aerosol and particulate measurement methods;
  • Commercial awareness that enables identification of industrial exploitation routes and business opportunities;
  • Ability to translate business opportunities into scientific programme proposals, identifying technical requirements and exploring concepts using a methodical approach;
  • Experience of leading, planning and delivering complex, industry focused research projects from conception to fruition.

Personal Attributes:


  • Ability to adapt and apply knowledge to new challenges;
  • Excellent leadership, team working and relationship skills;
  • Ability to network across organisations;
  • Strong communication and presentation skills;
  • Evidence of extensive networks across the Air Quality community;
  • Ability to use knowledge and ideas to solve problems.
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.

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

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.