FPGA Engineer

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
Culham, Oxford
£32,993 to £37,069
19 Jun 2018
17 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

FPGA Engineer

Job Ref: 2804

Job type: Permanent Full Time

Location: Culham, Oxfordshire

Salary: £32,993 to £37,069 pa (including MPP), dependent on experience plus industry leading benefits including an outstanding pension scheme

Closing date: 18th July 2018


Nuclear fusion could give our world a new form of cleaner, almost limitless electricity. The UK`s new fusion experiment MAST Upgrade - operated by UKAEA at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy - will bring fusion closer to the power grid. It will develop technology for the first fusion power stations and take on one of the biggest challenges in fusion research: reactor exhaust systems. It will also explore a promising concept for smaller, cheaper fusion reactors - the spherical tokamak. MAST Upgrade is part of a global research effort, in which the UK is working with partners in the European Union and around the world to achieve fusion power - one of the grand challenges of the 21st century.

You could help us to achieve these goals by joining a small team of FPGA developers. Does this sound interesting to you?

MAST Upgrade uses FPGAs to perform real-time control of the incredibly hot gases needed for fusion research, for real-time protection of the machine itself, and for acquisition of data from highly specialised diagnostic sensors. We work closely with fusion physicists and are always looking for new systems which could incorporate FPGAs.

The post-holder will be someone who likes to do more than just develop FPGA firmware, and enjoys collaborating with others from a broad range of backgrounds. 

Once fully trained, the post-holder will be able to:

-Lead and deliver small to medium projects to develop FPGA systems

-Compile and agree detailed device requirements and specifications, liaising with physicists and engineers with a broad range of backgrounds.

-Take an active operational role as a responsible office in charge of a MAST Upgrade FPGA based sub-system

We would like to hear from you if:

-You’re interested in getting involved in using the devices for their intended purpose. 

-You’re passionate about team working, sharing knowledge, and learning together.

-You have a desire to find new and better ways to carry out your work.

-Above all, you’re enthusiastic, a clear communicator, and keen to learn things outside of your field.

At UKAEA we strive to make everyone feel welcome and fully supported. Our Ambassadors are actively promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the organisation to help make our Organisation an employer of choice. UKAEA has a graded career structure and our mentoring scheme will enable you to reach your true potential.

We are looking forward to sharing our expertise with and supporting you as a new member of the team. In return our expectation is that you will help us to adopt more effective coding practices and help us to further explore the potential of FPGA based systems in fusion.

For further information on why UKAEA is a great place to work please review our recruitment video by clicking the ‘Apply Now’ button.

For full details on the role, UKAEA and our benefits please download the application pack on our website.

Knowledge skills and experience


-Experience with software engineering processes and best practises

-Proficiency in programming using VHDL or another hardware description language

-Good oral and written communications skills

-An excellent team player with a pro-active work ethos

-A degree in a relevant field, or equivalent programming experience


-Experience of developing using the Xilinx Vivado environment

-Experience working with Xilinx Aurora and PCIe interfaces

-Experience developing in C, Python or a similar language on Linux

Special requirements:

Selection Method(s): 

-As part of the selection process you may be expected to complete work based simulation exercises and a personality profile either online or onsite.


-Please be advised that this vacancy may close earlier than stated if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.

-Please note UKAEA do not pay travel expenses for interviews.

-The UK Atomic Energy Authority actively promotes equality and values diversity in our workforce. We operate a number of flexible working arrangements (such as part-time working/job share/home working). Flexible working may be available with this role, please discuss with the hiring manager or HR if you have any concerns. 

Please note all employees working at the UK Atomic Energy Authority will be required to complete an online Disclosure Certificate application as part of their clearance - The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks will show the details of all current criminal convictions (convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) or will confirm that there are no such convictions.

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