Senior FPGA Engineer

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Senior FPGA Engineer
Job Reference 046/17/NH
Post Type Permanent / Full time
Division Technical
Salary information £41,878 to £49,268 (Discretionary range to £56,658)
Application deadline 21/05/2017

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world.  It houses the UK’s synchrotron light source, a giant microscope that can produce beams of light 10 billion times brighter than the sun, to probe the structure and composition of matter. From viruses and vaccines, to alternative energy solutions and nanotechnology, it underpins research and innovation for more than 8000 scientists. The development of the facility is key to maintaining its world-class, and in many areas, world-leading standing. Developments include improvements in brightness of sources, optical components and state-of-the-art detectors. Such developments initiate new requirements for real-time control systems, and high performance data acquisition systems which are realised with FPGA technology.

This is an exciting opportunity for a Senior FPGA Engineer to participate in this cutting edge facility. In doing so, you will be developing FPGA applications to deliver improved power supply control, active orbit stabilization, logging of key machine parameters at high data rates to enable effective analysis of beam disturbances, and signal progressing applications to stabilize RF fields in accelerating cavities. On experiment stations, you will be developing products to enable improved control of the experiments and enable developments in experimental techniques such as continuous scanning. In the longer term, there are needs for inline first level data processing/qualifying to limit the data rates being written to the files system and developments of next generation of beam position monitors. In undertaking these developments you will have an opportunity to work collaboratively with other lights sources around the world. You will be working in a Linux computing environment with access to well supported development tools and facilities.

You will need to demonstrate an excellent understanding of FPGA technology and development processes; along with an ability to work with Diamond’s scientists, together with a good honours degree in maths, science, electronic engineering or computer science. For the right candidate the position offers a non-commercial environment full of motivated individuals and comprehensive benefits.


  • Design and develop the FPGA bases electronics for accelerators/beamlines;
  • Commission and diagnose faults on installed FPGA Electronic Systems;
  • Provide technical expertise on the FPGA aspects  of Libera eBPMS, FOFB Communications Controller, PSU Controller, EVG EVR modules and Bunch by Bunch Feedback;
  • Provide operational support and analysis of installed  FPGA Systems;
  • Interface with internal customers, including Engineers and Scientists, at all stages of the development life cycle to, for example, developing requirements, track project progress, and verify operation of Control Systems;
  • Contribute to the processes and associated development to support the design of Electronic and Control Systems throughout Diamond;
  • Report on progress in all areas on a periodic basis;
  • Liaise with, and supervise, contractors and suppliers of turn key Control Systems;
  • Provide technical expertise across Diamond on FPGA technology;
  • Project planning and coordination of projects relating to FPGA based systems  for accelerators and/or beamlines;
  • Maintain a current knowledge of Software, Electronic and FPGA Systems and related accelerator systems and comparable, beamline and accelerator projects;
  • Communicate details of Electronic and FPGA Systems developments within Diamond and to other projects;
  • Mentor and train more junior engineers as required.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Honours degree in Physics, Electrical Engineer, Computer Science;
  • Ability to work effectively in a team;
  • Ability to effectively undertake planning and management of work;
  • Ability to manage the development of software and control systems in a complex environment;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Ability to produce effective management project briefings to senior staff;
  • Self-motivated, interested in keeping pace with FPGA/Software developments, and best practice techniques;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels;
  • Ability and initiative to solve problems;
  • Understanding of the external environment and awareness of best practice / new technologies within the field of control and data acquisition systems;
  • Knowledge and experience of high speed digital electronics;
  • Knowledge and experience of high speed FPGA design (preferably Xilinx);
  • Knowledge and experience of VHDL/Verilog;
  • Knowledge and experience of digital signal processing and the realisation of signal processing functionality in FPGAs;
  • Be willing to work occasional overtime at unsociable hours;
  • Available for occasional pre-planned national and international travel;
  • Be prepared to undertake further training.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • PhD level qualification in a relevant technical field;
  • Knowledge and experience of software development particularly C and/or Python;
  • Knowledge of PCIe, Ethernet and TCP/IP;
  • Knowledge of FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) VITA 57 interfacing;
  • Experience in the electronic design and/or programming of industrial or scientific systems; 
  • Appreciation of the physics of electron accelerators.

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

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