Instrument Engineers - Space (Multiple Posts)

Imperial College London

Direct Entry Job Fixed Term London, UK

Uploaded 9 Nov 2021

Job Description

Work as a space instrumentation engineer for the magnetometer team across a range of in-development hardware for various missions, such as Lagrange, Lunar Gateway and Comet Interceptor. 

The post holder will participate in the design and test of magnetometer instrumentation and sensors. They will contribute to the analysis and assessment of concept architectures, technical requirements and design trade-offs which may include breadboarding or proto-typing activities. This will support the definition of interface specification activities for space missions including the preparation of technical specifications and documents. 

This post will involve a high degree of teamwork and interfacing with project partners at ESA, the system primes and other institutions and commercial organisations in the UK and Europe requiring travel. 

Key Responsibilities 

  • To perform the design of magnetometer instruments
  • To perform engineering analyses in support of these designs
  • To undertake test and validation of the manufactured designs  
  • To support the design efforts of the hardware team in the overall instrument definition  
  • To support research investigations into new instrument or sensor concepts  
  • To prepare technical documents, drawing, specifications as required  
  • To support the hardware team in technical meetings and formal reviews with ESA and/or the spacecraft prime.  
  • To attend meetings at project partners’ sites (possibly abroad)
  • To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings
  • To present findings to colleagues
  • To promote the reputation of the Group, the Department and the College

Other Duties

  • To provide support to the instrument PI and Co-Is on instrument related issues
  • To attend other relevant meetings
  • To comply with relevant College policies, including Financial Regulations, Equal Opportunities Policy,  
  • Promoting Race Equality Policy, Health and Safety Policy, Information Systems Security Policy and  
  • Intellectual Property Rights and Register of Interests Policies
  • To undertake any necessary training and/or development
  • Any other duties commensurate with the grade of the post as directed by line manager / supervisor

Person Specification


Degree in physics, engineering, or a closely related discipline or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience


  • The design or use of high end scientific instrumentation
  • Working in a team to deliver projects within required deadlines
  • Working in payload engineering for space science missions 
  • Experience with interface definition and assessing system requirements for ESA/NASA 
  • Electronics design, particularly for the space environment and mechanical or thermal design 
  • Experience of embedded software for microprocessors, and/or FPGAs 
  • Experience of sensor physics and associated control loops
  • Instrument testing or calibration
  • Preparation of technical documents in accordance to formal standards   
  • Electronics design and analysis packages such as Altium, OrCad, PSpice etc  
  • Data analysis and simulation packages such as Matlab, IDL or equivalent
  • Mechanical and thermal design packages such as Solid Works, Therm XL etc
  • Experience of coding in high level languages such as C++ or Python 
  • Knowledge of European Space Agency or NASA standards


  • Ability to develop and apply new concepts 
  • Creative approach to problem-solving 
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to deal with a wide range of people 
  • Excellent written communication skills and the ability to write clearly and succinctly 
  • Ability to organise own work with minimal supervision 
  • Ability to prioritise own work in response to deadlines 
  • General computer skills including familiarity with Microsoft Office applications or  
  • equivalent