Hardware/Firmware Engineer

Job Reference: GTL-2019-04-104

Location: Chelmsford, United Kingdom


Our client delivers innovative developments in technology for high performance systems and equipment across Civil Aerospace, Defence & Security, Space, Industrial, Medical & Science applications. Its expertise has seen in some of the highest profile projects, from radar control in the Eurofighter Typhoon to kicker magnet control in CERN’s large hadron collider and its products are the x-ray source in 90% of the world’s cancer radiotherapy treatment machines.

In this key role, you will work directly with others in the growing Quantum Technology team that  is developing technologies to access new markets with revolutionary timing and gravity products, in space and on the ground. High precision and accuracy of timing solutions are crucial for the synchronization of large networks in telecoms and for navigation,while gravity sensors could detect objects beneath the ground for the construction sector, defence sector or could benefit future science space missions.


  • Design and overall quality of the electronics hardware for various  products, and provide leadership and guidance for team members.

  • Documentation of all design specifications and implementation details, including the configuration control aspects.

  • Leadership of all electronics design reviews, including System Requirements Reviews (SRR), Preliminary Design Reviews (PDR and Critical Design Reviews (CDR).

  • Upholding company hardware design standards and methodologies.

  • Selection of the appropriate electronic components to ensure optimum trade-off between performance, availability (obsolescence & legislative – ROHS, WEEE) and cost.

  • Lead efforts to reduce the overall footprint and electronics hardware Bill of Materials (BoM) costs across the system(s), including the development/trade studies of innovative and low cost architectures and methods.

  • Realization of complex system requirements to provide robust, reliable and production ready hardware solutions, at the required price (BoM) point, that meet performance characteristics and to ensure quality, reliability and life meet or exceed customer expectations.

  • Complete implementation of detailed technical items and an understanding/appreciation of system level requirements, and how they flow-down into the electronics hardware requirements.

  • Demonstrate flexibility as specifications may not be fully defined at the start of development , and therefore the ability to cope with an agile working environment is required.

  • Collaboration with others engineering team members (including systems, software, mechanical and PCB layout engineers), as well as other partners, component providers and UK/EU national institutions (e.g. NPL, Dstl and ESA) to agree system specifications, interfaces and protocols.

  • Identify cost effective opportunities to implement use of 3rd party software/hardware, analysis techniques and/or design tools to facilitate the development activities.

  • Development of appropriate test hardware and procedures, both informal and formal (subsystem qualification test level), to rigorously prove the correct operation of hardware prior to system integration.

  • Provide support for the hardware and manage component obsolescence throughout its product life-cycle.

  • Accurate monitoring and reporting of development progress to development team project and technical leads.

Key Skills:

  •  A strong background in electronic hardware and embedded software design

  • Use of Zuken CADSTAR 17 or Mentor Graphics schematic entry

  • Design of analogue, high speed digital and RF circuits for low power electronics, such as atomic clocks, mobile computing devices, portable communications systems, computing systems.

  • Experience of creating robust, ruggedized and miniaturized electronics hardware designs (e.g. for military or   rugged consumer products).

  • Experienced in designing products to operate within a high noise environment.

  • Experienced in design for reliability (MTBF)

  • BEng/BS in Electronics Engineering or similar

  • SC Cleared UK National

Desirable Skills:
  • Interfaces:  Ethernet, USB, SDIO, JTAG, RS232, RS422

  • TCP/IP network technologies and protocols (including PTP/NTP)

  • Experience of EN61010 product design

  • Experience working to IEC62304

  • Experienced in software design under industry recognized coding standards e.g. MISRA

  • Understanding of real-time operating systems and typical APIs

  • Experienced in high level programming of GUIs

  • Use of Apache Subversion (SVN) revision control tools

  • Experienced in structured analysis of potential and actual design failure mechanisms using DFMEA/FMECA.

Experience for the implementation of technologies including:
  • Embedded Microprocessors (including ARM)

  • CPLD and FPGA circuit implementation and programming (Xilinx, Intel, Microsemi)

  • Power supply design for FPGAs and Processors

  • Low power design

  • Ability to design, integrate and test PCBAs and systems

  • Good understanding of the component market and COTS product offerings

  • Designing and managing the layout of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs).

  • RF circuit (including Microwave) design

  • Use of analogue, digital and RF test equipment

  • VHDL

  • Embedded software (e.g. Embedded C)

  • Basic Python scripting for test environments