Electronics Engineer - Optical Frequency Metrology

Job Details

About the Role

Could you design and develop electronics to support our research programme in next-generation atomic clocks and frequency transfer? We have an exciting opportunity for an electronics engineer to join our expanding team within NPL’s Time & Frequency Department to do just this.

You will work closely with scientists to develop and build a broad range of analogue and digital solutions that enable progress in cutting-edge science. You will take ownership of the design process, focusing on solutions rather than working to specifications. You will work alongside other electronics engineers but should be capable of tackling problems independently and organising and documenting designs and parts lists.  Examples might include: PID control, phase-locked loops, RF synthesis and detection, custom AD/DA daughterboards for FPGA platforms, microcontroller programming or low-noise amplifiers.  

You will join the Optical Frequency Metrology Group within the 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 could even lead to the SI second being redefined.  We also operate femtosecond optical frequency combs and a number of optical fibre links to allow frequency transfer to destinations across the UK and Europe.  Frequency transfer techniques are being further developed for use in detecting earthquakes using the existing undersea network of optical fibres.  We are currently expanding our team, building a new test and evaluation facility that will allow academic and industrial end users to have access to our state-of-the-art optical frequency standards.

About You

We are looking for an electronics specialist with strong hands-on and communication skills. You should be qualified to degree level in electronics engineering, physics or a related subject. Preferably you will already have experience of providing support for research teams.

Skills we are looking for:

  • Analogue and digital electronics (designassembly and testing)
  • PCB layout (e.g. KiCAD)
  • Embedded design, particularly microcontrollerand FPGA
  • Programming, particularly Python, C/C++, LabView
  • Experience with RF/microwave electronics
  • Knowledge of EMI and low-noise, high precision techniques
  • Digital signal processing techniques, including the implementation of FIRfilters
  • Desire to work closely with scientists to develop appropriate specifications and designs
  • A rigorous approach to documentation and storage of designs, including those developed by others

You will work in a laboratory and need to have the ability to perform manual work. The role is based in Teddington, but you may be expected to travel occasionally.

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 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.


NPL is a unique organisation that sits at the intersection between scientific research and real world applications. We foster a collaborative culture and work to deliver the best science and technology available.

NPL's reputation relies on the great people and exceptional scientists who work for us. The scientists here are experts in their fields and the support staff are committed to maximising the impact of our science.

Why work at NPL? World-class centre of excellence Ranked in the top three measurement institutions in the world, NPL maintains the UK's primary measurement standards and contributes to international standards such as the world time system.

Be a part of history
NPL has a long history of scientific excellence in fields such as ship design, aircraft development, radar, computing, communications, electronic networking and global positioning.

Develop emerging technologies
Work to develop and support technologies that make use of scientific advances in biotechnology, new materials and quantum physics.

Solve industrial challenges
Collaborate with some of the biggest names in industry, solving problems vital to improving quality of life, trade competitiveness and environmental protection.


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