RAL Space Electronics Engineer - Sandwich Student


Internship 1 year Harwell, UK

Uploaded 2 Sep 2018

Job Description

STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

Each year we offer opportunities to undergraduate sandwich students to gain practical experience, working alongside technical experts at the forefront of scientific research. We offer an invaluable experience with exposure to world class science and technology, and the opportunity to develop working relationships that continue well after your placement has finished.

The post will be based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, within the Electronics Group of the Imaging Systems Division in RAL Space.

RAL Space has a long-standing heritage of excellence in space-flight technology stretching back over 50 years. Recent projects carried out by RAL Space have included a camera for the International Space Station, camera electronics for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the Russian World Space Observatory, and electronic systems for ESA’s Earthcare mission. You will work as part of a team that develops scientific camera electronics for a wide range of space and ground-based missions. The work offered will provide you with experience of all aspects of the design cycle and will focus on the research and technology development aspects of division.

The division has a number of projects running which include a complex electronic system for a laser based gravimeter; camera electronics development suitable for a Mars rover application; electronics system to operate a drill and sample recovery system to be employed on the lunar surface; and a spacecraft based CCD Camera and readout electronics and ground support electronics which will allow long-term photometric, spectroscopic and astrometric monitoring of a variety of astronomical objects in the UV wavelengths.

There will be engineering opportunities for you to develop electronics for space either as part of these projects or similar projects as they are taken up by the Imaging systems division.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

You will be expected to:

  • assist senior engineers in the design, development and testing of electronic systems for both ground based and space applications. The work would include PCB design and layout. Designs are often complicated by the demands of the Space environment so the student may be exposed to techniques not covered at University.
  • perform lab-based tests and fault finding routines on a range of electronic systems as required
  • carry out analysis of test results and the creation of clear and precise test reports
  • give a formal presentation of their work to the Group.

Person Specification

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

You should:

  • be able to demonstrate up to date knowledge of analogue and digital electronic techniques
  • possess an analytical approach to problem solving
  • be methodical with a high degree of attention to detail
  • have good written and verbal communication skills.

In addition, some experience in LabVIEW and C programming would be an advantage but this is not essential.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria


  • at university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course (Electronic Engineering or related discipline) and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry (S)
  • right to live and work in the UK (S)
  • experience of analogue and digital electronic techniques (S&I)
  • working knowledge of Microsoft office – including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel (S)
  • good written and verbal communication skills (S&I)
  • must be able to work as part of a team (S&I)
  • the willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical (S&I).


  • circuit modelling and simulation experience, for example OrCAD, PSpice (S&I)
  • experience of LabVIEW and /or C programming (S&I).

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