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Electronics Design Engineer (Quantum Applications)

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Harwell, Didcot
Band E (Stem 1) £53,818 per annum
Closing date
24 May 2024

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Electronics Design Engineer (Quantum Applications)

Salary: Band E (Stem 1) £53,818 per annum

Hours: Full time or Part time (minimum 26 hours per week) (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and are happy to discuss the possibility of flexible working with applicants)

Contract Type: Open-Ended

Location: Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire


Come and do the kind of engineering that made you want to be an engineer. Stretch your technical skills while building human understanding. Promote sustainability and create new materials. And, alongside world-leading scientists and technologists, shape projects that improve lives, and daily life, in the UK and far beyond.

Put simply, come and discover the impact you can make when you’re equipped, encouraged and inspired to perform to your very best.

RAL Space is the UK’s national space laboratory dedicated to advancing the understanding of space and our environment for the benefit of all. Our activities and our facilities enable scientific research in disciplines such as climate science, space weather and astronomy. With over 60 years of experience in space programmes, we have had significant involvement in more than 210 instruments on missions to date.

Role & Responsibilities

We are looking for an engineer to join the department’s Electronics Design Group to support our emerging Quantum technology development projects. Working alongside a mixture of scientists and engineers these projects include, amongst others, small-satellite demonstration missions for Quantum Key Distribution and the development of cold-atom gravitational and magnetic field sensors for space applications.

Having the ability to work effectively within a multi-disciplinary team, derive technical requirements and push forward the electronics development forms a key part of the role. It would suit an engineer who has a strong solutions-focus, is able draw upon a wide range of electronic design experience and has a willingness to learn and pick up new skills. Whilst our research and development work can be fast paced; quality, reliability and attention to detail form a key part of our industry.

With a comprehensive support network, drawing on expertise from across the department, you will play a leading role in bringing novel Quantum technologies into orbit for the first time and help lay the foundations for future world-class scientific instrumentation.

Responsibilities in this role are wide-ranging and will likely vary over time depending on each project’s requirements but are always supported with a variety of training opportunities covering both technical and soft skills. Typical tasks are expected to include:

  • Analogue and digital circuit design.
  • Layout of complex multilayer PCBs.
  • VHDL and FPGA development work.
  • Oversight of PCB manufacture and electronic assembly using both internal and external facilities.
  • Leading the testing and characterisation of assembled boards.
  • Development of test systems and software required to support testing and characterisation work.
  • Working alongside other disciplines to support environmental testing, such as thermal-vacuum cycling and radiation-effect characterisation.
  • Detailed documentation of design information and results.
  • Contributing to technology development roadmaps, project planning and funding proposals for new work.
  • Communicating your work at project reviews, meetings, conferences, and outreach activities, which may be within the UK or abroad.

Person Specification

  • A degree in electronic engineering, physics, related disciplines, or equivalent experience
  • Analogue electronic design experience
  • Digital electronic design experience including basic knowledge of VHDL and/or Verilog
  • Experience of PCB layout
  • Demonstrable practical skills including the assembly and testing of circuit boards
  • Experience using software programming languages or applications (e.g. C/C++, Python, LabVIEW)
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively within a multi-disciplinary team environment.

Join us and discover what's possible!


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and engineering. STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

At STFC, our engineers provide the technology that allows our world-leading science to make a real difference in areas that really matter: from cancer treatment to airport security, high-tech jobs to hydrogen powered cars, energy generation to accident scene emergency care, our impact is felt in many aspects of daily life. We provide and exploit space and astronomy technology, a world-leading neutron scattering facility, ultra-fast supercomputers, amazing scientific instruments and some of the most powerful lasers in the world. We work with industry and academia throughout the UK, Europe and the world.

STFC can offer you an excellent working environment. Our laboratories are based in beautiful rural locations in Cheshire, Oxfordshire and in Edinburgh, with great amenities and quality of life for you and your family. We are at the centre of burgeoning high-tech campuses buzzing with economic investment and even more promise for the future. Our people enjoy attractive benefits and plenty of opportunity for development. Whether you are beginning or furthering your career, we can offer you excellent opportunities to test out and broaden your skills and experience and to gain real technical and managerial expertise working in dynamic team and project environments.

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