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Weapon Systems Engineers and Scientists

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
Dstl Portsdown West Fareham, PO17 6AD and Dstl Porton Down Salisbury, SP4 0JQ
£25,052 - £47,007
Closing date
28 Nov 2022

Job Details

Job summary

At Dstl we protect lives. We take innovative Science and Technology (S&T) and use it to keep the country safe.

Do you have a background in science and engineering? If so, Dstl’s Weapons Systems Group is looking for passionate individuals to fill a range of roles which include: Air Defence Analyst/EngineersGuidance and Control SpecialistsLand Guided Weapons EngineersRadio Frequency Seeker EngineersSenior Aerodynamics/Propulsion Engineers and Weapon Systems Engineers.

We are looking for individuals with strong technical and analytical skills and leadership ability to help us develop innovative solutions. Working closely with our military customers and industry partners there are many opportunities for travel, trials and for staff secondments to industry and other Ministry of Defence (MoD) organisations. We recognise the outstanding skills and aspirations of our people and are able to present them with an unparalleled range of opportunities to develop both the UK’s military capabilities as well as their own.

Dstl's Weapons Systems Group helps MoD by assessing, understanding and demonstrating new technologies and how systems can be integrated across environments (domains). We strive to create common, modular and re-usable technologies and systems. Our work includes guidance, navigation, control, novel and laser effects, human integration, networking and hypersonics. We also link with other technology and information programmes.

If you are interested in applying for any of our roles, please apply through Civil Service jobs with your CV stating clearly which role(s) you are applying for. You will be expected to use the relevant job description set out in the attachment at the end of this page to explain how your skills and experience meet the requirement for the role.

Dstl recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion as people from diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas. We are committed to building an inclusive working environment in which each employee fulfils their potential and maximises their contribution.

We particularly welcome female and ethnic minority applicants and those from the LGBTQI community, as they are under-represented within Dstl at these levels.

Job description

In these roles you will
• Use your technical knowledge and skills to provide our customers with evidence-based advice and non-biased assessment of technology.
• Use your creativity and analytical skills to generate solutions to customer needs. You will anticipate and enthusiastically address challenges.
• Use your customer liaison skills to build strong working relationships with DE&S, end users (Armed Forces) and industry to ensure that requirements, specifications and delivered solutions are fit for purpose.
• Assist your colleagues with their development, share skills, knowledge and understanding across your team to build our capability.
• You may find yourself involved with setting requirements for work to be delivered by our industry partners, and working alongside them to ensure successful delivery.

At higher levels:
• You will lead and empower a team of Dstl scientists and engineers.
• You will be responsible for setting project technical direction, monitoring progress and mentoring project team members on technical issues where appropriate. You may look across projects to ensure a coherent approach is followed.
• You will help to assure the quality of work through appropriate application of standards, procedures and checks.
• You will take a leading role in customer engagement, understanding and deciding how to respond to their requirements.
• You have a good understanding of industry and their working practices, including partnering with industrial suppliers.

• You will work closely with Dstl Project Managers to deliver to time cost and quality. You may also set technical objectives, manage project technical risks and to help identify levels of resource support required. You will support your local management in the maintenance and development of technical capability within the division.

Person specification

We are looking for people who have:
The passion and motivation to deliver pioneering, innovative capabilities into the hands of our front-line personnel. We want people who can employ a combination of deep technical knowledge along with good communication skills to work closely with the team and our customers, be they civilian or military.
If you have previous experience, we will look to you to drive innovation and delivery, and lead and develop those around you.

Essential Technical Skills
We expect you to hold a degree or have equivalent proven experience in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

We are looking for people with knowledge of:
• Computational modelling
• Analysis
• Targeting
• Weapon systems
• Defence

Essential Skills
You will have highly developed communication skills, with the ability to adjust your style to the needs of different audiences.
You will be accomplished and passionate about building positive relationships with colleagues, customers and partners in other organisations.

Essential Experience
You have worked on complex and non-routine problems, drawing together disparate information and making meaningful technical assessments, ideally in an engineering environment.

At the higher levels:
• You have provided professional advice in complex situations where there are no easy answers.
• You have lead project technical and safety aspects, and assured the standard of work.
• You have developed requirements for technical solutions which meet customer needs.
• You have assessed technologies against requirements.

Opportunities to explore Chartership will be available to all candidates.
It would be beneficial if applicants were working towards or already hold Chartership and Membership of a relevant professional body, such as the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), or the Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE).

A successful candidate will:
• Form and influence a network of technical specialists to support and advise them on the delivery of fit for purpose engineering solutions
• Engage closely with UK PLC engineering and science capabilities to form a cadre of industry partners who can support Dstl in answering some of our most pressing questions
• Understand the emerging technology picture, realise the threats and opportunities that it represents, and provide impartial advice to the end user on effective exploitation
• Communicate the potential benefits and the impacts on capability of these options to our Military Customers

At Dstl, our vision is to have a modern way of working efficiently, accommodating and enabling our people to create, collaborate and deliver innovative science and technology with our partners, working in a way they need to wherever they need to. This role is largely office based, but will involve travel to customer sites (e.g. Air Command) and also sites belonging to technology suppliers. Such sites may be outside of the UK!

Important Information
Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be UK Nationals who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to undertake the projects we are involved in to protect us from security threats. For this reason, only UK Nationals will be able to apply for this role. If you are an international or dual-national candidate, and you think you have the skills we need, please consider applying to any of our government, security or defence partners.

This role will require full UK security clearance and you should have resided in the UK for the past 5 years. For some roles Developed Vetting will also be required, in this case you should have resided in the UK for the past 10 years.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Working Together
  • Developing Self and Others
  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Please state which role you are applying for, these are listed below, the criteria for these roles can be found in the document attached to the Job advert. Using the criteria for your preferred role, please explain how your skills and experience meet t
  • Please provide an example of a relevant technical challenge you have overcome and describe how you approached solving it.


Dstl’s full range of great benefits can be found in the information pack which includes:

  • Financial: An excellent pension scheme starting from 26% employer contribution (find out more here). In Year Rewarding Achievement bonuses and thank you vouchers. Rental deposit scheme and cycle to work scheme.
  • Flexible working: Full flexibility working options include alternative working patterns, compressed hours, job shares and annualised hours. Remote working may be available dependent on role.
  • Flexible working hours: Ability to bank hours in a 12 month reference period including the ability to accrue and use 3 days per calendar month.
  • Annual leave: 25 days pro rata (rising to 30 after 5 years) plus 8 public holidays with the ability to buy/sell 5 additional days per annum.
  • Family: Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks with full pay, an additional 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid
  • Learning and Development: Dstl encourages and supports charterships, accreditations and provides employees access to fully funded apprenticeships up to level 7 (Masters Degree). Dstl will pay for 2 memberships with relevant bodies/institutions. Employees also have access to Civil Service Learning.
  • Facilities: Onsite parking, EV Charging points, restaurants, cafés and gyms.

The information pack can be found attached to the job specification on Civil Service Jobs. 

Our Diversity Networks

We have a number of support networks to ensure all employees feel supported at work. These include the following:

  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Network
  • Race, Faith and Culture Network
  • Parents and Carer Support Network
  • Alternative Working Network
  • Gender Equality Network
  • New Starters Network
  • Enabled Network, for people with visible and non-visible disabilities.


About us

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is the science inside UK defence and security. A proven national asset, Dstl is an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) providing world class expertise and delivering cutting-edge science and technology for the benefit of the nation and allies.

Who we are

Dstl is one of the principal government organisations dedicated to science and technology in the defence and security field.

Dstl supplies specialist services to MOD and wider government, working collaboratively with external partners in industry and academia worldwide, providing expert research, specialist advice and invaluable operational support.

We are innovative, collaborative and impactful.

Our responsibilities

Our responsibilities include:

  • supplying sensitive and specialist science and technology services for MOD and wider government
  • providing and facilitating expert advice, analysis and assurance on defence procurement
  • leading on the MOD’s science and technology programme
  • understanding risks and opportunities through horizon-scanning
  • acting as a trusted interface between MOD, wider government, the private sector and academia to provide science and technology support to military operations by the UK and her allies
  • championing and developing science and technology skills across MOD

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