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Senior Embedded Systems Architect - Defence & Security Applications

PA Consulting

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


Company Description

We’re an innovation and transformation consultancy that believes in the power of ingenuity to build a positive-human future in a technology-driven world. Our diverse teams of experts combine innovative thinking with breakthrough-technologies to progress further, faster.

Job Description

We are looking for a senior embedded systems architect with an FPGA focus to develop electronic platforms for defence and security applications. You will be called upon to develop solutions at the system level as well as take on the detailed design and potentially coding and test required to realise your concept.

Although this role is focussed on defence and security applications, you will have the opportunity to apply your skills to other sectors in which we are active including healthcare and consumer. Sharing ideas across sectors is embedded within our way of working.

Become part of the team

Our Defence and Security sector team has an impressive track record in delivering ground-breaking technical projects of national importance. Our focus is on developing technology to protect people and critical assets within a challenging, ever-changing threat landscape.

At PA, you will be working within one of the most successful UK organisations in technology and product development, with a team who have an exceptional reputation for innovation and delivery across government and the private sector.

Our team includes industry-leading experts in electronics, software development, mechanical engineering and applied science. We offer all of our engineering professionals career progression and tailored training to equip them with the tools they need to tackle complex and challenging projects through their careers.

You will be trusted to work across the whole development lifecycle for clients, offering a rare opportunity to gain broad experiences from concept to delivery. This is a great opportunity to not only work on some of the most challenging problems in the industry but also to see your solution through to deployment where it has a positive impact.

PA offers a career in consulting, not just a job; a stake in our firm; and an environment where individuals and ideas matter.

Role Specifics

The key technologies for our current projects are Software Defined Radio, high-speed networking and ‘hardsec’ but clients often approach us with unique challenges that require a creative outlook and an adaptable skill set.

This is an FPGA-centric role, but it also demands good embedded software and hardware skills. It will be especially attractive to those who do not wish to be pigeonholed in one particular discipline.

We are looking for candidates with the following technical skills:

A proven track record of developing elegant heterogeneous embedded system architectures where functions are partitioned between hardware and software.

An excellent understanding of key embedded technologies including FPGA, high-end CPUs and SoCs and COTS/MOTS platforms.

Strong RTL skills (VHDL preferred) and a coding style that is sympathetic to the underlying hardware platform.

Strong embedded software skills – especially low-level C-coding, device drivers and platform bring up.

Comfortable working close to the hardware platform and working across hardware-FPGA and software-FPGA boundaries.

Exposure to the full product lifecycle from concept generation through to product release including demonstrable experience of delivering your designs into service.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills and be comfortable explaining complex engineering concepts to both a technical and non-technical audience.

And the following qualities:

  • Someone not afraid to be ‘Hands-on’ and work with the team to work through challenges from first principles on the bench.
  • Energy and enthusiasm to take on unfamiliar challenges, coupled with the ability to innovate and think freely.
  • Enthusiasm to help build the careers of our less experienced engineers.


This is a challenging role, so we expect experience to be reinforced by a strong academic background.

  • Degree qualified – a good degree in electronic engineering or a related subject from a leading universit
  • Current UK SC (or higher) security clearance with no restrictions, or
  • The ability to gain UK SC security clearance

Additional Information


Private medical insurance

  • Travel allowance
  • 25 days annual leave with the opportunity to buy 5 additional days
  • Company pension scheme
  • Annual performance-based bonus
  • Life and Income protection insurance
  • Tax efficient benefits (cycle to work, give as you earn)
  • Additional optional benefits (Dental, critical illness, spouse/partner life assurance)

About us:

We believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world.

As strategies, technologies and innovation collide, we create opportunity from complexity.

Our diverse teams of experts combine innovative thinking and breakthrough use of technologies to progress further, faster. Our clients adapt and transform, and together we achieve enduring results.

PA. Bringing Ingenuity to Life.


We believe that diversity makes us a stronger firm and look to employ people with different ideas, styles and skillsets. This diversity stimulates a rich, creative environment – one in which our people develop, and our clients enjoy enduring results. We’re committed to recruiting, promoting and rewarding our people solely based on their ability to contribute to PA’s goals, without regard to their sex, race, disability, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or marital status.

We welcome international applications, but we are unable to offer sponsorship for work permits, so you will need to have the full right to live and work in the UK. Unfortunately, your application will be automatically rejected if you do not have these rights.

Should you need any adjustments to the recruitment process, at either application or interview, please contact us on