About the Role

Whether you’re talking about length, mass, time, temperature, electric current, amount or the brightness of light, the National Physical Laboratory sets the standards by which these things are all measured; including Time (www.npl.co.uk/time-frequency). We provide timing services for navigation, astronomy, satellites, to financial institutions for share trading and other Time and Frequency dissemination projects, many being GNSS-related.

As Senior Engineer, you will join a multi-disciplinary team of Scientists and Engineers in our National Timing Centre - NPL to develop new Time and Frequency infrastructure within the UK. You'll have a pivotal role in creating robust systems for ground- and satellite-based Time and Frequency dissemination, based on Atomic Clocks located at several UK sites.

This will include testing and implementation of:

  • Satellite communication
  • Optical fibre, and
  • GNSS-based and monitoring subsystems

Excitingly, this role offers opportunities to partner with external organisations and work from multiple sites within the UK. Your key responsibilities will include:

  • Leading a team of System Engineers and Scientists to deliver high-quality projects to time, quality and cost
  • Design and implementation of hardware and software for satellite communication, optical fibre and GNSS-based time and frequency transfer techniques for comparing distant atomic clocks
  • Developing novel time dissemination systems, equipment and applications to support UK sovereign and industry needs
  • Collaborating with wider teams to innovate high-specification solutions
  • Interacting with internal and external stakeholders to determine their needs and meet their expectations

Find out more at NPL Time & Frequency Recruitment

We are now working in a hybrid way, with a mix of remote and office working. We strive to offer a great work life balance - if you are looking for full time, part time or flexible options, we will try to make this work where it is business possible. This will be dependent on the kind of role you do and part of the business you work in.In addition, there is a wide range of benefits available to you as an NPL employee.

About You

The successful candidate will have experience in the following:


  • A degree in a relevant field of Science or Engineering
  • Experience in Time and Frequency measurement/Time scales.
  • Leading Systems Engineering processes; including requirements, design and implementation
  • Team management
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, managing your time according to priorities
  • A rigorous approach to problem solving and the ability to develop solutions to difficult problems
  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Good customer facing skills
  • An inquisitive mind


  • A postgraduate degree in a relevant field of Science or Engineering; such as satellite navigation systems (GNSS), SATCOM, communications or systems engineering
  • Postgraduate experience (industrial or R&D) in software engineering applications, such as Python, LabVIEW or MATLAB
  • Professional experience within an Engineering or R&D environment
  • Experience of working on Systems Engineering projects from start to completion
  • Practical knowledge of SATCOM, optical fibre, and GNSS-based systems
  • Real-time monitoring and control of electronic hardware
  • Experience in atmospheric propagation of radio/microwave signals or Space science/systems
  • Experience of working on software for robust operational systems

Please note:  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.

If you are applying for this position and you have been displaced by the Ukrainian crisis, please apply and email [email protected] or text 07976873073 highlighting you are applying under the "We support Ukraine" initiative - Ukraine employment support – NPL

About Us

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is a world-leading centre of excellence that provides cutting-edge measurement science, engineering and technology to underpin prosperity and quality of life in the UK. 

NPL and DSIT 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 black, Asian and minority ethnic 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. 

At NPL, we believe our success is a result of the diversity and talent of our people. We strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, as part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we hold memberships and accreditations to ensure we’re creating an environment where all our colleagues feel supported and welcome, please see our Diversity & Inclusion page.

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. Our values are at the heart of what we do, and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success. 

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. 

[Internal Job Title: "Senior Engineer"]