About the Role

Our world-leading Time & Frequency department seek an experienced and practicing Senior Scientist / Engineer. 

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.

You will be joining our team at an exciting time - we maintain the UK’s National Time Scale, UTC (NPL), and are currently developing a new resilient Time Scale facility that will underpin our Critical National Infrastructure. This will address the risks associated with our dependency on global navigation satellite systems (such as GPS) that are vulnerable to both natural and intentional interference.

As Senior Scientist / Engineer, you will join a multi-disciplinary team of Scientists and Engineers in our National Timing Centre to develop new Time and Frequency infrastructure within the UK. You'll enjoy 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

Key responsibilities:

  • 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
Excitingly, this role offers opportunities to partner with external organisations and work from multiple sites within the UK.
About You

We believe that diversity and unique perspectives are key to the success of our science projects. For this role, we particularly encourage applications from candidates underrepresented in STEM disciplines, in particular women, disabled, black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates. 

Reporting to a Principle Scientist, you’ll play a pivotal role in the design of critical UK infrastructure that pushes the boundaries of measurement accuracy for the UK’s new resilient Time Scale.

To be successful in this role, you will have the following skills, experience, and qualifications: 


  • Experience in Time and Frequency measurement/Time scales.
  • A degree in a relevant field of Science or Engineering
  • Leading Systems Engineering processes; including requirements, design and implementation
  • Team management
  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Good customer facing skills
  • A rigorous approach to problem solving and the ability to develop solutions to difficult problems


  • 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.

About Us

We actively recruit citizens of all backgrounds, but the nature of our work in this specific area means that nationality, residency and elevated security requirements are more tightly defined than others. You will be asked about this throughout the recruitment process. To work in this role, you will need to have a SC clearance with no restrictions, or you must have the ability to obtain a SC clearance.

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"]