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Principal ISTAR Systems Engineer

Date: 08-Sep-2022

Location: Lincoln, England, GB

Company: QinetiQ

Cyber and Information help our customers respond to ever evolving threats, based on our expertise in training, secure communication platforms, intelligence, surveillance and cyber security. We deliver Mission Winning Innovation into global defence, security, and critical national infrastructure markets.


The QinetiQ Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Systems Engineering Group provides ISTAR Domain Subject Matter Expert System Engineers, ISTAR System Architects and ISTAR Scientists into QinetiQ projects to deliver capability into Defence, Government and Industry both as Customer Friend (Advice Side) and Delivery Side agents. The Systems Engineering ISTAR Group are predominantly based in Farnborough, Malvern, Bristol and Lincoln with support from specialist staff from other QinetiQ sites.


The QinetiQ ISTAR Systems Engineering Group currently supports a number of major projects and campaigns such as the Engineering Delivery Partnership (EDP), Defence Intelligence Rapid Innovation Capability (DI RIC), Maritime Warfare Operational Support Team (MWOST), Air Command, Maritime Warfare Centre (MWC), Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Centre (JEWOSC), Battlefield CIS (BATCIS), PICASSO Systems Integration Team (PSIT), Watchkeeper Army UAS, New GEOINT Services (P-NGS), OSINT Innovation Partnership and many more both in the UK and internationally.

The Group is looking for highly motivated Systems Engineers to support DI RIC which is an Accelerated Capability Environment (ACE) programme. DI RIC supports innovative problem solving and provides mission impact to the user community at pace. The capability uses an Agile approach to deliver commissions from concept through to operational delivery, including the facilitation of inclusive and collaborative working environments and draws on best practice from the Vivace delivery with the Home Office, whilst utilising full access to industry through the EDP Provider Network.


Key Activities


  • Act as the Project Lead, Technical Lead or provide technical advice or support into projects throughout the engineering lifecycle in support of exiting or future ISTAR platforms, sensors, mission systems or processes.
  • Support integration of innovation into DI RIC capabilities through rapid spiral developments, using a number of solutions, including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
  • Support internal and Dstl led research programmes to provide innovative solutions to emerging problems.
  • Provide advice and support to equipment delivery programmes, through user workshop engagements, and advise on process change and management to enhance capability and/or reduce operator burden, operational risk and/or reduce through life costs.
  • Support trials planning, management, delivery and reporting.
  • Provide ISTAR advice and support as the Technical Lead into small, medium and large bids.
  • Engaging with stakeholders, project managers and senior technical staff to ensure customer and business needs are satisfied appropriately and problems are mitigated.


Desirable skills/experience


  • Evidence of the application of systems engineering in a variety of domains.
  • Knowledge of Architectural Frameworks such as TOGAF, MODAF, NAF and Rainbow Diagrams.
  • Good oral and written communication skills with experience of bid writing.
  • Understanding of the ISTAR Domain (IMINT, GEOINT, OSINT, HUMINT, SIGINT, EW, ACINT etc.) platforms, sensors, mission systems and exploitation tools both from a technical delivery and user perspective.
  • Understanding of ISTAR Direct Process Disseminate (DPD) and Process Exploitation & Dissemination (PED) processes.
  • Technical understanding of DI Information Management and Dissemination processes and technologies including the application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
  • Understanding of the security measures and implications for intelligence capabilities in all security domains.
  • Flexible approach to tasking, able to take on multiple projects or tasks in potentially a variety of stages of development i.e. concept development, requirements capture, design, delivery, verification and validation.
  • Have an understanding of Agile project delivery methodologies, such as SCRUM and/or SAFe.
  • Ability to work in a team or individually as part of a Prime or Sub-contract in an industry partnership project team.
  • Be prepared to travel to customer and QinetiQ sites on a frequent basis to support project delivery.
  • Hold DV clearances or be prepared to go through Government Vetting process.


QinetiQ offers an excellent salary and flexible benefits package commensurate with a large international company some of which are highlighted below:


  • Career development across a diverse International organisation.
  • Pension - up to 10.5 % annual salary Company contributed.
  • 50% off meals at selected restaurants, 40% off cinema tickets.
  • Modern and collaborative working environment.
  • Flexible Working, Social and family events.
  • Health Cash Plan, Health Screening, Employee Assistance 24/7.
  • Leading edge technology focus.
  • Private Medical Insurance and Dental Insurance at additional cost.
  • Childcare or After School Club, Annual Leave Purchase.
  • Personal Accident Insurance, Annual Travel Insurance.
  • Gym and sports facilities available at larger sites.
  • Payroll Giving and Volunteering - helping charities and local community.


Please note that all applicants must be eligible for SC clearance as a minimum.

UKSV National Security Vetting Solution: guidance for applicants - GOV.UK (



Why join QinetiQ?

As we continue to grow into new markets around the world, there’s never been a more exciting time to join QinetiQ. The formula for success is our appetite for innovation and having the courage to take on a wide variety of complex challenges.

You’ll experience a unique working environment where teams from different backgrounds, disciplines and experience enjoy collaborating widely and openly as we undertake this exciting and rewarding journey. Through effective teamwork, and pulling together, you’ll get to experience what happens when we all share different perspectives, blend disciplines, and link technologies; constantly discovering new ways of solving complex problems in an diverse and inclusive environment where you can be authentic, feel valued and realise your full potential. Read more about our diverse and inclusive workplace culture here.  

Joining QinetiQ offers you an opportunity to work on a broad range of interesting defence-based projects with vast career progression across a global organisation in addition to competitive personal and professional benefits.  You’ll receive a highly competitive salary and benefits package: our basic salaries are very attractive as we constantly review what’s happening in the market. The range of benefits that we offer include, adaptive and flexible working, generous holiday entitlements, Health Cash Plan, Private Medical Insurance and Dental Insurance and much more. 

About QinetiQ

As a company of over 6,000 dedicated professionals, we are a world-centre of excellence in research and development and act as a catalyst for fast-track innovation, offering outstanding experimentation facilities, and technical, engineering and scientific expertise. QinetiQ is made up of dedicated experts in defence, aerospace, security and related markets, all working together to explore new ways of protecting what matters most. Being part of QinetiQ means being central to the safety and security of the world around us. Partnering with our customers, we help to save lives; reduce risks to society; and maintain the global infrastructure on which we all depend. Come and find out how you can play a role.

Please note that many roles in QinetiQ are subject to national security vetting. Applicants that already hold the appropriate level of vetting may be able to transfer it upon appointment, subject to approval. A number of roles are also subject to restrictions on access to information that mean factors such as nationality, previous nationalities held and the country in which you were born may have an effect on the roles that you can be employed in.