Careers in Maths: What is a Digital Processor System Engineer?

What will you do once you have finished your maths degree? One of the big challenges is actually being able to put a name to some of the jobs which are out there. Most technical job titles don’t contain the word maths or mathematician, even though they are suitable for people with maths degrees. This is why you need to do some extra work. Spend time looking at the Maths Career Profile pages, visit careers fairs and look at job adverts on websites such as gradcracker.

In this article we highlight one job in the aerospace industry which you may never have heard of:  Digital Processor System Engineer. The best way to learn about it, is by looking at this archived job advert which has been provided by Airbus. By looking at a real job advert you will get a feel for what is required to become a Digital Processor System Engineer.

Job title
Digital Processor System Engineer
Airbus Defence & Space – Stevenage

Location
Stevenage, Herts.

About Airbus
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016, it generated revenues of € 67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as Europe's number one space enterprise and the world's second largest space business. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide. Our people work with passion and determination to make the world a more connected, safer and smarter place. Taking pride in our work, we draw on each other's expertise and experience to achieve excellence. Our diversity and teamwork culture propel us to accomplish the extraordinary - on the ground, in the sky and in space.

Role description
A vacancy for a Digital Processor System Engineer has arisen within the Communication Processors Group based in Stevenage.

The Processor Systems team is at the forefront of the development of digital signal processing payloads for telecommunications satellites, with work undertaken for a range of UK and international customers on a variety of exciting space projects.

The responsibility of the group covers research and development of new digital processor products, manufacture and test of flight electronic equipment through to in-orbit operational support. Our products form the heart of modern telecommunications satellite payloads, handling many thousands of channels and required to operate continuously and reliably, for many years, in the harsh environment of space.

The main focus of the work undertaken by the team is the development of advanced communications and scientific satellite payloads employing state of the art digital processing techniques. Currently we are developing our 5th processor generation using new technologies to boost our capability at least tenfold. To achieve this we work closely with hardware engineers, ASIC / FPGA designers, systems engineers and test engineers.

The successful candidate will be subject to UK National Security Clearance in order to undertake related work in accordance with business needs.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
In this role, you will have the opportunity to get involved in all phases from early concept through to delivering hardware and providing operational support.

Key activities will include:

  • Concept feasibility and generation of new ideas.
  • Development of digital processor architectural design and specification, flowing down from customer requirements.
  • Digital signal processing algorithm design, simulation and analysis.
  • Laboratory prototyping and testing of new processor designs.
  • Supporting customer reviews.

SKILLS REQUIRED
Essential attributes:

  • At minimum, a 2:1 degree or equivalent qualification in Physics, Mathematics, Electronic Engineering, Computer Science or related subject.
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to contribute to a large, multi-disciplinary project team.

Desirable attributes:

  • Strong software skills, e.g. C, C++ are highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of Digital Signal Processing algorithm design and simulation, e.g. using MATLAB.
  • An awareness of FPGA design.

Salary and benefits

  • Excellent competitive salary with yearly reviews
  • 25 days holiday plus bank holidays
  • Company Bonus
  • Share options
  • Pension - match contribution based
  • Travel to and from company sites is paid for – car hire, flights, hotels etc
  • Subsidised canteen and onsite social club/bar
  • Training and development opportunities

Image credit:
Engineering by Tanvir.Nottingham@Flickr