About the Role

Could you design, assemble and test an engineering package that would enable an ultra-stable laser to withstand the rigours of a launch into space? We have an exciting opportunity for an engineer to join our expanding team within NPL’s Time & Frequency Department to do just this.

You will work closely with our scientists and engineers to develop high specification instrumentation. Specifically, you will be part of a small team designing and modelling an engineering package for compact and transportable optical reference systems for ultra-stable lasers. A key aspect of this role will be to understand the behaviour of NPL’s patented compact optical cavity under levels of shock and vibration, temperature cycling and radiation encountered during space deployment.

You will be expected to take a hands-on approach, and will be involved in the assembly, technical characterisation and environmental testing of the laser stabilisation package. Much of this work is collaborative and you will be liaising with our European and UK partners within European Space Agency projects. The work you do will have a direct impact on space science and technology such as future satellite navigation, space tests of fundamental physics and satellite monitoring of glacial changes in the earth’s polar regions. You’ll also have the chance to provide engineering advice to other projects in the Department.

You’d be joining our Time & Frequency Department (www.npl.co.uk/time-frequency) at an exciting time. We have some of the most precise optical atomic clocks in the world which will one day re-define the second and are developing compact atomic clocks for use in GPS denied environments. We also provide timing services to financial institutions for share trading and are embarking on the development of a new timescale facility that will underpin our Critical National Infrastructure. We are also developing optical cavity reference techniques for use in detecting earthquakes using the existing undersea fibre cable network.

About You

The ideal candidate will be a graduate in mechanical engineering or a related subject who is a rigorous problem solver able to work both independently and as part of a team. You will be capable of using finite element modelling to assess the behaviour of complex systems and use the understanding gained to suggest and implement design improvements within CAD software.

Essential skills:

  • Graduate in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering or a closely related field with at least 2 years’ experience working in a relevant role (or a PhD in a relevant field)
  • Demonstratable experience of working with CAD software such as SolidWorks in a project environment
  • Demonstrable experience of the use of finite element analysis (FEA) tools e.g. Comsol for vibration analysis or electromagnetic field modelling within a project environment
  • Ability to work closely with scientists and engineers to develop high-specification instrumentation
  • A rigorous approach to problem solving, ability to work independently and as part of a team, as well as excellent written and verbal communication

Desirable skills:

The following skills would be beneficial, although training can be provided

  • Awareness of environmental testing
  • Knowledge of electronics design
  • Knowledge of lasers and fibre optics, and optical design software such as Zemax.
  • Experience with vacuum technology
  • Experience with product development (e.g. familiarity with the concept of technology readiness levels TRL)
About The Company

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.

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 About 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 benefits. NPL’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.