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Engineers - Platform Systems

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire and/or Dstl Portsdown West, Fareham, Hampshire
£25,052 - £57,480
Closing date
16 Jan 2023

Job Details

We are Dstl, we are UNIQUE and we’re recruiting up to 50 Engineers

Do you have an inquisitive mind?

  • Do you like to understand how something works?
  • Do you want to do something worthwhile with global impact?
  • Do you want to save lives?
  • Does working on classified activities interest you?
  • Interested in Aerodynamics, Avionics, AI, Autonomous Vehicles, Armour, Aircraft Flight and Mission Systems, Ballistics, Electronics, Gun Technology, Hypersonics, Missiles, IED's, Sensors, Stealth or Survivability?
  • Want to shape the technology used in next generation of UK Armed Forces fighter jets, tanks, submarines and ships?

The Reason

With a rapidly changing world and long term shifts in the balance of military power it is vital our Armed Forces continue to remain world-leading and have access to the most cutting edge and capable equipment. The recent Spending Review prioritises the modernisation of our Armed Forces' Weapons and Mission Systems across Sea, Land, Air and Space. This has resulted in a very significant additional investment in Science and Technology which has led to exciting opportunities within Dstl.

Want to REALLY make a difference?

Dstl who?

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is the science, technology and engineering arm of the UK’s Ministry of Defence.
At Dstl, we harness science and technology to protect our nation – bringing together the best people with the best ideas, and applying them in unexpected ways. Because we provide the UK government with specialist science and technology research, advice and analysis, what we do is often sensitive and collaborative. Much of our work is operationally critical and has the potential to save many lives.

Together with other forward-thinking organisations around the country and overseas, we conduct leading weapons and UK military platforms research, and support UK Operations now and into the future. Here, you’ll contribute to providing threat assessments and undertake research and development to support and evolve UK Armed Forces capabilities to protect the UK and its allies. It means applying your skills and knowledge to advance the tools, techniques and tradecraft we use.

If you enjoy working with complex systems, have an appetite for problem solving and a desire to understand how things work, join us in the quest to make the UK a Science and Technology Superpower

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

“Support the Physical Fighting Force”

The Platforms Systems Division of Dstl is recruiting up to 50 Engineers to meet the challenges and requirements of the Spending Review. You’ll join a world class team of 1200 staff supporting “The Physical Fighting Force”.

Successful applicants may find themselves contributing to projects such as:

  • Missile Design, Behaviour, Performance and Precision: designing test benches in the lab to assess sensors on the latest missiles
  • Research and Evaluate the latest countermeasures to ensure Mission Systems such as the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter or the Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank returns safely from operations;
  • Designing and testing next generation aircraft systems
  • Integrating cutting edge technologies onto Future Combat Aircraft
  • Assessing novel Rotorcraft concepts and demonstrate crewed and uncrewed Aircraft Teaming concepts
  • Do you have an interest in system-level aircraft capability and have a particular expertise in Communications, Software Management or Electromagnetics?
  • Does it even need a crew or pilot? Autonomous and AI the way to go? Assess the trade-offs between crewed and un-crewed platforms and potentially develop algorithms to allow for autonomous operation;
  • Researching smart swarms of weapons, novel additive manufacturing techniques and the dynamics of ballistic events
  • Design and prototype RF sensors to detect hypersonic missiles
  • Evaluating guided weapons to verify how they operate
  • test technologies and techniques that make lab-based representations of real-world systems using your technical experience in Digital Signal Processing and Field Programmable Gate Arrays.
  • Engage in the Future Underwater RF communications systems technologies
  • Stealthy designs and technologies: Consider novel techniques to hide military platforms and improve their survivability
  • Understanding the increasingly complex threat environment, to develop User and System level requirements to integrate sensors and countermeasures to optimise intelligent platform responses.
  • You could even find yourself building hardware-in-the-loop simulators to investigate a terrorist shoot down of an airliner.

Keen to get involved? Sounds like an awesome challenge!

Indeed it is- these aren’t just desk jobs - we offer hands-on work like no other, with capabilities and facilities unique to Dstl. Our Engineers undertake theoretical work, including modelling and simulation. There is also the opportunity to do practical work in our unique labs, in the field, and aboard military vessels, airframes and vehicles, in the UK and internationally.

Our main customers are the Navy, Army and RAF Front Line Commands and Dstl undertakes Science and Technology research to ensure their weapons, vehicles, airframes and boats are advanced and cutting edge. We assess the threats against UK Armed Forces and identify vulnerabilities in our own and enemy systems to aid mission planning and tactics development. Our work has real direct impact, it facilitates the safe return of UK Armed forces from increasingly hostile environments.

Our work is critical; we need your help to help us achieve these goals now and into the future.

Whilst we are currently recruiting Engineers, we will have other roles open later in the year. We will be looking for Project Managers, Modelling & Simulation Skillsets, Software Engineers and Computer Scientists in August and September, and currently have other open vacancies.

Person specification

So, how do engineers contribute to making our world a safer place?

We have a variety of vacancies for experienced scientists and engineers. you'll be working closely with our military customers and industry partners and there are many opportunities for travel, trials and for staff placements into industry and other MoD organisations.

We recognise the unique skills and aspirations of our employees and are able to present them with an unparalleled range of opportunities to develop both the UK’s military capabilities and themselves.

You have me intrigued! How can I apply? Follow the links in this advert and tell us all about you! Once you’re on the ‘inside’ we can tell you so much more….

We are recruiting Engineers with experience or an interest in developing knowledge in the following subject areas:

  • Aeronautical and Aerospace
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Electronics
  • Radio Frequency
  • Mechanical
  • Systems
  • Survivability
  • Weapons
  • Lasers
  • Non specialist: If you have a STEM degree, an interest or experience in Defence, Science and Technology and you can't see what interests you above, please apply and we can try and match you to the best opportunity.

Important Information

Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be British Citizens who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to understand the work you will undertake to protect us from any security threats. For this reason, we regret that 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 considercy 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.

Work location
Dstl is strongly encouraging blended and flexible working either at one of our sites or from home or both. We want to empower you to undertake your duties at the most appropriate location for the task, however you will be allocated a Dstl site as a base. You may be required to travel to other Dstl and MoD sites as required


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

  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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

  • Please state what area of Engineering you are interested in?
  • Provide an example of a technical challenge you have overcome and how you approached solving it.


We'll provide a great range of benefits including;

- Fully flexible working, including alternative working patterns, annualised hours, compressed hours and job share, to name a few.
- Flexible Working hours, a 12 month reference period and the ability to bank hours. Up to 20 hours can be taken in any calendar month
- Training to enhance your learning. Excellent learning and development to ensure everyone fulfils their potential.
- Coaching and Mentoring from World Renown Experts in their field of Science and Engineering
- Choose your Career Path and earn promotion in role
- Develop and access novel and unique complex technology seen in no other industry
- Deliver reports and present to Military, Academia and Industry
- Opportunity for international travel
- Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid, and paternity leave of 2 weeks full pay.
- Chartership and accreditation support.
- Civil Service Pension.
- Generous annual leave, with the ability to buy and sell up to 5 days holiday per year.
- A competitive salary.
- Onsite gyms and restaurants.
- Staff discounts for high street and online shopping, restaurants and days out.

The Journey
Our people are at the very heart of our work and we’re proud to offer an open and inclusive environment to everyone.

We value your differences (alternative perspectives often provide the most innovative approaches to our work) and we’ll nurture your talent to achieve your full potential. We know you’re unique and that you can only be your best if you’re totally comfortable in the workplace so we have a variety of employee support networks to make sure you have the support you need if it’s required. (see the list of our networks below).

Don’t worry about falling in at the deep end; we’ll provide all the training and development to get your career started and support your ongoing professional development throughout your career. We’ll also offer to pay membership fees for a relevant professional institution and support you to achieve Chartership through our Chartership and Accreditation Scheme.

We have a vibrant young professionals community to get you used to the Lab’s working environment (and show you the best local pubs if you’re interested!).
We recognise that it’s important to keep a healthy balance between work and home life. The Lab offers a fully flexible work pattern and a generous annual leave entitlement; you can even buy more leave if you’re planning some extra special travel.

Our Diversity Networks

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 have a number of support networks to ensure all employees feel supported at work.

These include the following;
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Network
- 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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