Senior FPGA Electronics Engineer

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Senior Field Programmable Gate Array Electronics (FPGA) Engineer
Job Reference DIA0680/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £40k
Application deadline 05/02/2012

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. Located at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, we enable world-leading research across a wide range of scientific disciplines and industrial applications.

The Detector Group is responsible for the construction, installation, commissioning and operation of the detector systems at Diamond. In order to provide the best detectors, the group is committed to a number of detector development and evaluation projects.

We require an experienced engineer to join our highly dynamic group working at the cutting edge of detector technology. You will provide leadership in developing and maintaining FPGA based firmware and algorithms for detector readout systems. This includes pixel detectors, spectroscopic detectors, and position sensitive detectors.

You will also assist the Detector Group in the installation and commissioning of detectors and associated electronics for synchrotron X-ray experiments. Candidates should have a degree in electronic engineering or equivalent qualifications and relevant experience. Knowledge of digital signal processing applications, VHDL and programming languages are essential for this role. 


  • Provide professional leadership in developing, maintaining, and debugging 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;
  • Leadership in the delivery of significant 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 complex 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;
  • Supervision and monitoring of the work subcontracted to external companies or organizations;
  • Represent Diamond at international meetings;
  • May lead and manage junior staff;
  • Detailed testing and benchmarking of commercial electronic equipment;
  • Supervision of assembly for detector electronics including rack based systems such as NIM and VME;
  • 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;
  • Degree in electronic engineering or equivalent qualifications or experience;
  • Experience in FPGA and firmware design, debugging, and development;
  • Experience with VHDL and a programming language (e.g C++, Java);
  • Experience in electronics systems commissioning and fault finding;
  • Experience in the use of electronic test equipment (DMM oscilloscopes etc.);
  • Computer literate – Microsoft Office;
  • 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

  • Experience in ionizing radiation detector development;
  • Working experience at synchrotrons;
  • CAD software, schematic capture and layout – Allegro;
  • Project management experience;
  • Professional Institute Membership.

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