Instrument Scientist I or Instrument Scientist II (Optical Space Instrumentation Hardware)

University of Sussex - School of Engineering and Informatics, Department of Engineering and Design

Instrument Scientist I or Instrument Scientist II (Optical Space Instrumentation Hardware) 

Full time, fixed term for 3 years in the first instance with extensions subject to continued funding.


Instrument Scientist I – Grade 7: starting at £32,548 and rising to £38,833 per annum

Instrument Scientist II – Grade 8: starting at £39,992 and rising to £47,722 per annum.

Expected start date: Between 1 November 2017 and 1 January 2018.

We are seeking a highly motivated and capable Instrument Scientist at level I or II to join the STFC-funded MicroADS instrument team at University of Sussex.  MicroADS is a radically new high-performance optical spacecraft attitude determination system (with patent pending) with a targeted launch date in 2021/22.  After successful in orbit demonstration, it is expected that the instrument will be commercialised via a spinout company.  The Instrument Scientist will become a major part of the hardware development programme and also contribute to the preparatory work for commercialisation of the technology both under the executive direction of the project PI.

The work will be based in Sussex’s world-leading Semiconductor Materials and Devices Laboratory, an independent research group in the School of Engineering and Informatics, which also has strong links to the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.  The research group conducts fundamental and applied research on topics of relevance to Space Science, Defence, National Security, Optoelectronics, and Semiconductor Physics.  In the last year, the group raised >£1M in funding, published 15 peer reviewed journal articles, and filed 3 new patents.  It is preparing to commercialise a number of its technologies through the creation of a new high-growth Silicon Valley style entrepreneurial aerospace and defence technology company                                          

The instrument scientist will play a major role in the design and development of the MicroADS prototype hardware under the direction of the PI.  As part of this the Instrument Scientist will characterise and optimise the instrument’s performance, and work towards the development of the flight hardware as quickly as possible. 

The successful candidate must have:

  • Hardware research and development experience, preferably in a space, aerospace, defence, or other high performance context.
  • An understanding of the principles of space instrument design and engineering.
  • Hands on experimental experience in a research laboratory or similar setting.

A PhD on a topic of relevance (e.g. Physics, Engineering) is advantageous but not required if suitable experience can be otherwise demonstrated (e.g. through employment). 

Please include a full CV and covering letter with your application, and indicate whether you wish to be considered at the Instrument Scientist I or Instrument Scientist II level, or both.

Informal enquiries about this position may be addressed to Dr Anna M. Barnett (

The University of Sussex is committed to equality and diversity.  Applications are welcomed from all.

Closing date for applications: 12 October 2017

For full details and how to apply see

The University of Sussex is committed to equality of opportunity

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South East England