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Job Title Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Electronics Engineer
Job Reference DIA0956/TH
Post Type Full Time / Permanent
Division Physical Science
Salary information Circa £33k
Application deadline 21/09/2014
Date of interviews 10/10/2014

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. Located on the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire a 20 minute drive south of Oxford in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Diamond Light Source conducts world-class research in virtually all fields of science and offers rewarding career opportunities covering both technical and scientific disciplines.

The detector group is in charge of the construction, installation, commissioning, and operation of the detector systems of the beamlines of Diamond. In order to provide the best detectors to the forthcoming beamlines the group is committed to a number of detector evaluation and development projects.

The successful candidate will join a highly dynamic group working at the cutting edge of detector technology. The availability of a test beamline at Diamond allows the detector group to evaluate the performance of innovating detector technologies and their application to synchrotron X-ray experiments. Close cooperation with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory enables access to other world-class facilities as well as the interaction with world-leading detector developers.

The main task of the FPGA electronic engineer is to maintain and develop FPGA based firmware and algorithms for detector readout systems in particular for spectroscopic and position sensitive detectors.
They will also assist the Detector Group in the installation and commissioning of detectors and associated electronics for synchrotron X-ray experiments.

To develop, maintain, and debug FPGA based firmware used in detector systems including but not limited to:

  • Digital signal processing applications;
  • Data handling and data transfer from the detector front-end to the data acquisition equipment;
  • Timing and trigger signals used for synchronizing detectors and instrumentation;

To deliver packages of project work both in the detector development program of Diamond, and in the evaluation and procurement of commercial detectors including:

  • Design and prototyping of detector systems and associated electronics with particular reference to FPGAs;
  • Detailed design of FPGA based firmware detector interfaces to data acquisition systems;
  • Test and validation of equipment constructed or delivered by external companies or organizations;
  1. Monitoring of the work subcontracted to external companies or organizations
  2. Detailed testing and benchmarking of commercial electronic equipment.
  3. Supervision of assembly for detector electronics including rack based systems such as NIM and VME.
  4. Help in the Installation of beamline detector and diagnostic systems.

General laboratory work for commissioning which includes some electrical cabling, building of simple mechanical devices and detailed commissioning of electronics.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate first degree or equivalent (see above);
  • Degree in electronic engineering or equivalent qualifications or experience;
  • Experience in FPGA firmware programming;
  • Experience with VHDL (preferred) or Verilog;
  • Experience in electronics systems commissioning and fault finding;
  • Experience in the use of electronic test equipment (DMM, oscilloscopes, etc.).
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels;
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Self motivated.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Digital Signal Processing;
  • Xilinx FPGA and tools;
  • High speed SerDes;
  • Programming language C / C++;
  • Version control;
  • TCP/UDP/IP/ Ethernet;
  • Experience in ionizing radiation detector development;
  • Working experience at synchrotrons;
  • Project management.

Further Information

Applying for employment

For further details on applying for employment at Diamond, please visit our 'Application Form' page.

Appointments will be made depending on the skills and experience of the candidate. Electronic Diamond application forms in MS-Word are preferred. These should be emailed to

Other information