FPGA Software Engineering

An interview with Eva, one of our Senior Engineers based at the Malvern site

Eva is one of the Software Engineering teams FPGA senior engineers based at the Malvern site.  Software Engineering as a discipline is made up of 3 groups spanning many sites across the UK, with the Malvern site having well over 100 software engineers based there.  Eva did a BEng in Communications and Electronic Engineering.

An interview with Eva, one of our Senior Engineers based at the Malvern site

Eva is one of the Software Engineering teams FPGA senior engineers based at the Malvern site.  Software Engineering as a discipline is made up of 3 groups spanning many sites across the UK, with the Malvern site having well over 100 software engineers based there.  Eva did a BEng in Communications and Electronic Engineering.

What is the most fulfilling thing about working at QinetiQ?

For me, the most fulfilling thing is the sense of achievement in delivering a complex, fully working design.  The process to get to this is also highly rewarding; firstly having to architect a solution to a given problem, then implementation, overcoming challenges along the way and working as part of a team. Most of the time, my day flies by and I come back home feeling I have achieved great things that support project delivery to our customers.

What has been your greatest achievement?

It is hard to pin-point a single greatest achievement as I have contributed to the delivery of so many novel/state-of-the-art systems. Perhaps the one that sticks in my mind most is the time I was given the chance to be Technical Lead on a project that required close collaboration with an external company to produce a novel compact GPS-based system, using innovative algorithms to provide enhanced performance to existing receivers. The task involved design and development of advanced Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processing firmware as well as custom digital and analogue hardware to fit a tailor-made enclosure with strict space constraints, for which we did it all in-house. The team received an award for this work and the system was further developed and productised.

What has working within this role taught you?

Throughout my career as a FPGA Design Engineer I have worked alongside extremely bright, talented people and I have learnt many things from them. I started with minimal knowledge of FPGAs and I am now a Senior FPGA Design Engineer.  I have been involved in the full-life cycle of projects from requirements definition through to system test. Through this, I have learnt to be thorough in all my design, implementation and testing to avoid bugs and issues. I have also learnt to be autonomous but also understand the importance of coming together with others to collaborate.

Why would you recommend a career at QinetiQ?

After having worked previously for three years at a small start-up company, I really value working for a company like QinetiQ - there is a great number of diverse opportunities in many areas. Having worked here for 17 years, it feels like I have worked at many different companies, because every project is different, you get to work with different people and doing different things. The work is always challenging and interesting, and I am still always learning new things – I feel like my technical skills are being kept at the forefront of industry demands, which to me is very important.

I also like the company culture and its ethics. Every time I take the yearly ethics course I remember what I love about working here; it is an inclusive environment where everyone is encouraged to be themselves and bring out the best in them. Having been born and grown up in another country, QinetiQ has played a huge part in making the UK my home now, as everyone welcomed me and included me in all aspects. My voice has always been taken into account and heard.

Finally, I also love the work flexibility and the fact that I can have a great work-life balance.

What is the most fulfilling thing about working at QinetiQ?

For me, the most fulfilling thing is the sense of achievement in delivering a complex, fully working design.  The process to get to this is also highly rewarding; firstly having to architect a solution to a given problem, then implementation, overcoming challenges along the way and working as part of a team. Most of the time, my day flies by and I come back home feeling I have achieved great things that support project delivery to our customers.

What has been your greatest achievement?

It is hard to pin-point a single greatest achievement as I have contributed to the delivery of so many novel/state-of-the-art systems. Perhaps the one that sticks in my mind most is the time I was given the chance to be Technical Lead on a project that required close collaboration with an external company to produce a novel compact GPS-based system, using innovative algorithms to provide enhanced performance to existing receivers. The task involved design and development of advanced Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processing firmware as well as custom digital and analogue hardware to fit a tailor-made enclosure with strict space constraints, for which we did it all in-house. The team received an award for this work and the system was further developed and productised.

What has working within this role taught you?

Throughout my career as a FPGA Design Engineer I have worked alongside extremely bright, talented people and I have learnt many things from them. I started with minimal knowledge of FPGAs and I am now a Senior FPGA Design Engineer.  I have been involved in the full-life cycle of projects from requirements definition through to system test. Through this, I have learnt to be thorough in all my design, implementation and testing to avoid bugs and issues. I have also learnt to be autonomous but also understand the importance of coming together with others to collaborate.

Why would you recommend a career at QinetiQ?

After having worked previously for three years at a small start-up company, I really value working for a company like QinetiQ - there is a great number of diverse opportunities in many areas. Having worked here for 17 years, it feels like I have worked at many different companies, because every project is different, you get to work with different people and doing different things. The work is always challenging and interesting, and I am still always learning new things – I feel like my technical skills are being kept at the forefront of industry demands, which to me is very important.

I also like the company culture and its ethics. Every time I take the yearly ethics course I remember what I love about working here; it is an inclusive environment where everyone is encouraged to be themselves and bring out the best in them. Having been born and grown up in another country, QinetiQ has played a huge part in making the UK my home now, as everyone welcomed me and included me in all aspects. My voice has always been taken into account and heard.

Finally, I also love the work flexibility and the fact that I can have a great work-life balance.

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