Principal Electromechanical Engineer


Location: Hampshire

Job Type: Full time


About the job

Job summary

Are you familiar with the Q character from the James Bond series? Have you ever dreamed of having a job like that? If so, read on;

We are looking for a highly-motivated Electromechanical Engineer who wants a fast-paced Science &Technology role supporting specialist military applications with novel technical products, focusing on, but not limited to, RF applications.

You'll support classified projects relating to novel signature-control, sensing technologies and electronic warfare, requiring that the successful candidate successfully undergo the Developed Vetting (DV) security clearance process.

You will have full, professional responsibility for operating and maintaining both a light mechanical workshop and an electronics laboratory, including oversight and training of other staff using these facilities.

There will be significant trials activity, both off-site and outside regular working hours.

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 this role you will:

  • Provide technical assessments, advice and products, both through your own technical work and through the technical leadership of project teams
  • Specify, lead and conduct trials (hardware-testing) activities
  • Lead and manage on-site technical facilities used in rapid prototyping, typically for RF applications but not limited to this
  • Develop expertise in other staff and contribute to general technical capability development
  • Ensure timely and quality delivery of outputs to customers
  • Liaise with appropriate internal and external Subject-Matter Experts
  • Interact effectively with Project Managers and military customers as necessary

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.

Person specification

We are looking for someone who has:

  • A desire to work with and produce RF engineering hardware
  • The ability to take initiative and show creativity, motivation and commitment
  • A broad appetite for learning and technical self-development, who has a desire to be and stay at the cutting-edge of S&T

Essential Qualifications

  • A degree or high-level vocational qualification in an appropriate scientific or engineering discipline


  • Good theoretical and practical knowledge of antenna & microwave engineering
  • Good understanding of trials planning and antenna range/chamber measurements, including the associated equipment
  • Rapid prototyping and fabrication skills
  • Technical report writing
  • Able to use – and instruct on the use of – the following software skills:

Desirable Experience


  • Design, manufacture and test of antennas covering a range of frequency bands.
  • Characterising antennas in test chambers/on ranges and optimising against project requirements.
  • Coming up with bespoke antenna designs

Electronics (analogue and digital)

  • Design, manufacture and test of a range of electronic circuits for signal conditioning, instrumentation control and automation.
  • Printed Circuit Board design and manufacture.
  • Fault finding and rectification to component level.
  • Building and testing electronic and electrical circuits.
  • Building equipment into rack and rugged housings.


  • Design, build and testing of RF circuits.
  • In-depth understanding of RF components.


  • Programming of Single Board Computers (SBC), such as Teensy, Arduino, Pi, for control of RF components, generation of waveforms, human interfaces etc.
  • Design and development of graphical user interfaces for instrumentation control.
  • Programming of laboratory instruments for automation and data collection either via instrument itself or via connected computer(s).


  • Fabrication of jigs, fixtures and brackets to support lab activities. Examples: integration of components in 19" rack-mounted cases, antenna support brackets, trials support components etc
  • Machining and fabrication of components to support lab activities. Example skills are turning, milling, drilling, sheet metal work, laser cutting.
  • Design of the above to meet project needs.


  • Good knowledge of radar signature control.
  • Broad knowledge of engineering processes to be able to act as intelligent customer when dealing with external organisations.
  • Participation at trials.

Workplace Management

  • Management and development of RF/electronics laboratory, trials cabin and light engineering workshop.
  • Management/custodian of laboratory and projects assets.


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

  • Changing and Improving
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Developing Self and Others
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Managing a Quality Service


Alongside your salary of £44,667, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory contributes £13,952 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.


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: Options include alternative working patterns such as; compressed hours (e.g. working a 4 day week/ 9 day fortnight), job shares and annualised hours (agreed number of hours per annum paid monthly i.e. working term-time only).

  • Working hours: Flexibility around your working day (e.g. start time, finish time). Ability to bank hours in a 12 month reference period including the ability to accrue and use 3 days per calendar month.

  • Where you work: Depending on your role, blended working may be available including remote working to suit you and your team. This can be discussed at interview.

  • 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.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.

Should you be selected for assessment, an interview will be be held via MS Teams.

We want you to have your best chance of success in our recruitment process, so If at any stage of the application process you would like help or assistance please contact the Dstl Recruitment Team and we will do all we can to support you. We recommend looking at the Civil Service Success Profile so you fully understand the applications process and give yourself the best chance.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is developed vetting (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

This job is not open to candidates who hold a dual nationality.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
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