Sparkworks Lasers Subsystem Lead

  • Location Bristol
  • Salary Competitive Salary & Benefits
  • Hours Full-time
  • Contract Permanent
  • P8262B
  • Closing date 7th Feb 2021

Are you passionate about the defence world and advanced technology?

Would you like to develop your skills in a highly challenging environment? If so…
The Opportunity

Sparkworks is the part of future systems that develops disruptive capabilities. Its current focus is; RF Directed Energy Weapons (RF DEW), Laser Directed Energy Weapons (LDEW), Low Observability (LO) and Emerging Technologies. Its aim is to mature concepts using new and unusual tech, deliver prototypes, demonstrations and trials, ultimately delivering step changes in capability to the UK and friendly nations. A number of opportunities exists for System Design engineers who can employ their ability to see the bigger picture whilst understanding the detail to many and varied challenges at all stages of the CADMID cycle.

What are we looking for?

We seek a systems engineer with the following attributes:
  • A technical and practical way of thinking, possibly with a physics background, coupled with system design experience and an ability to see how things fit together
  • A passion for understanding the details of how things work and an ability to work well with advanced suppliers in specialist technical domains
  • A proven ability to liaise with a diverse range of specialists both internally and externally to ensure a design is credible and will work with the rest of the system as it matures and evolves (specialists may include mechanical, electrical, software, safety as well as laser specialists, beam director specialists etc)
  • Drive to ensure timely delivery on cost
  • Creativity, imagination & problem solving skills
  • Adaptability & willingness to deal with fluidity in fast paced environments
  • Attention to detail
  • Record of successful technical work delivered individually and/or as part of a team
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and often from a blank sheet of paper
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, backed by working knowledge of Office software
  • Proven delivery of technical programmes
  • Ability to step back from day to day aspects, view the bigger picture context and navigate a successful course through complex and changing requirements
  • Laser knowledge and understanding beneficial but the right technical and system design attributes are the most important aspects
  • A candidate who additionally possesses a science background and a passion for technology would be particularly suited to the role.

Example activities that this role could be required to tackle would be:
  • Generate a specification for a laser beam director bearing in mind system needs and constraints as well as achievable performance standards within supply base
  • Confirm that the laser output and beam director are compatible
  • Manage supplier interactions and ensure timely delivery of compliant laser subsystem
  • Devise a testing programme for the subsystem you are responsible for, analyse the results and critically assess the performance, then support the understanding of what that means for the complete system performance

What’s in it for you?
  • Interesting and exciting work, giving you the opportunity to work on some truly innovative and world-class technology
  • Opportunities to be involved in projects through their full lifecycle, from bid to customer delivery
  • Frequent opportunities to gain visibility for you and your work at the highest level both inside and outside the company
  • Having a varied ‘day-job’
  • Excellent training opportunities in a broad range of relevant subjects; achieved through formal training courses and/or on-the-job training
  • Opportunities to move within the team to gain experience of new areas (technical, project management, systems engineering, trials)
  • Opportunities to develop new skills through interaction with specialist areas within MBDA
  • Being part of something unique, deeply technical and forward looking

What would you get?

*Flexible working *opportunities for career progression *paid overtime (subject to level) *great bonus scheme *comprehensive pension scheme *annual salary review *fantastic working environment and site facilities *social, charitable and sporting activities.

The Role

The Laser Subsystem Lead role is a technical system design role responsible for the specification, oversight and delivery of key parts of the Laser demonstrator being developed by the Sparkworks team and key suppliers. The current capability demonstrator is known as Dragonfire and has been reported in the public domain if you would like to know more. Follow on programmes in this domain to take this initial capability further are planned and this role is an exciting opportunity to be part of a world leading, potentially world changing, new capability development.

What’s great about the team?
  • Become part of a very diverse team of highly motivated scientists and engineers, who are genuinely interested in their fields
  • Frequent exposure to high-profile, fast-paced projects
  • Access to a large laboratory suite supported by state-of-the-art test equipment.
  • Enjoy a high level of autonomy
  • Have ready access to in-house experts to supplement knowledge
  • Contribute to high-level VIP visits in support of senior management
  • Opportunity to attend international conferences to keep abreast of developments in the field
  • Undertaking this role you would be joining a dynamic, focussed team responsible for the development of our future business. The chance to exploit innovative and novel techniques in the development of the company’s future portfolio.

MBDA is an award winning company; committed to providing an inclusive working environment where our employees can be themselves and everyone has equal opportunity to reach their full potential. We value difference and know that a diverse community makes for greater innovation and brings a breadth of skills, experience and perspectives.

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Please Note: MBDA UK requires all employees to achieve the appropriate clearance relevant to the role.

If you think you'd be perfect for this role, we'd love to hear from you‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎


MBDA is the only company capable of designing and producing missile systems to meet the current and future needs of the armed forces over land, sea and air. Through our expertise, we have become a trusted partner to the Ministry of Defence and work closely with the military to ensure that they have the capability they need, in order to protect our freedoms.


We share a unique responsibility that brings purpose to everything we do.

We work with purpose, knowing that every advancement provides better, smarter and more effective defence capabilities to our home nations and their allies. Whether you are Lead Engineer or Business Support Officer, your work is vital in ensuring that our armed forces have the equipment they need, when they need it.
" At MBDA you always have to bear in mind that we are all a part of a very important process that defends our freedoms. "

Supportability Engineer, Customer Support and Services.


With over 60 years combined experience through our predecessor companies and over 10,000 employees across Europe and the USA, we are trusted suppliers of missile and missile systems to the defence sector.

We work with purpose, knowing that every advancement provides smarter and more effective equipment for the armed forces over land, sea and air.


We value difference.

Our work has a far-reaching impact, and we all make a difference every day. Our values-led culture welcomes a diversity of skills, experience and perspectives, where everyone has the opportunity contribute, grow and succeed.