Software Engineer

Date: 28 May 2023

Location: Portsmouth, England, GB

Company: QinetiQ

QinetiQ is developing two new radar cross section (RCS) measurement radar systems under the RLTPA. One will be ground-based. The other will be fitted to a pod mounted on a helicopter. These systems will be used by QinetiQ to measure the RCS of MOD assets, including ships and aircraft, as part of a long-term core business capability.


A highly capable senior real-time embedded C, C++ software engineer with extensive relevant development experience of software defined radio/radar systems is required to work within the radar subsystem team to undertake real-time embedded software design and development activities for the radar subsystem processor.


The senior embedded software engineer will be responsible for system requirements development, architectural design, detailed design, implementation and verification of real-time embedded C/C++ software for both the airborne and ground-based Radar RCS measurement systems.


Working as part of a small Embedded Software and FPGA Firmware engineering team, you will lead all phases of the project’s software development lifecycle from requirements inception through to design, implementation, integration, test and deployment.


You will be required to rapidly understand the project’s technical goals, then design and develop highly efficient and robust software running under bare metal and/or an embedded real-time OS (Linux and/or FreeRTOS). The software will control complex FPGA based signal processing firmware and implement complex system level algorithms in an RF System On Chip FPGA, utilising ARM Cortex multicore processors.


Your extensive technical knowledge and experience of developing software for radio/radar systems and associated DSP algorithms will enable you to quickly understand and develop the technical requirements, develop high performance solutions as well as plan and lead the required software design and development work. You will also be able to work independently, methodically and systematically to undertake software development activities. You will be able to solve technically challenging problems and be able to lead a small software engineering team within an R&D based organisation.


Your experience of developing high performance software for multidisciplinary complex systems will allow you to take a broader view and contribute to the development of other software related subsystems within the RCS programme.


You will be a determined, motivated and tenacious senior engineer with excellent problem solving skills who enjoys delivering solutions to technically challenging requirements and under tight project timescales.


Responsibilities & Outputs:


Lead the development and delivery of complex real-time embedded C and C++ software.


Responsible for all levels of software maturity, from requirements development and initial concept generation, through to design, implementation, test and transition to production.


Produce subsystem requirements, unit requirements and delivery plans for development of the real-time embedded software components.


Lead the design, implementation, integration, debugging and formal verification activities for the FPGA unit and radar subsystem software.


Lead the feasibility assessment and trade-off analysis for the real-time software based algorithms.


Provide risk assessments, suggest and execute feasibility investigations and guidance for bringing new technology to market.


Communicate timely and accurate project status. Propose ideas and solutions to technical and project wide problems.


As the Software Lead Engineer, you will ensure that the complete set of formal requirements from which the software is to be developed are captured, validated and managed (including performance requirements, design constraints, hardware constraints, etc.).


Lead the development of the software architecture, detailed designs, test plans and other critical development phases.


Ensure that the software development activities undertaken by the software team are in accordance with the RCS project engineering processes.


Essential skills, knowledge and experience:


At least 3 years real-time embedded C and C++ software development and debugging experience under bare metal and embedded RTOS’, specifically Linux and FreeRTOS.


At least 3 years hands-on experience developing software-based DSP solutions for Software Defined Radio/Radar platforms or similar signal processing intensive applications, e.g. image processing.


An excellent understanding of DSP principles and extensive practical experience of their efficient implementation and application to high performance embedded software-based real-time signal processing systems.


Significant experience working at the software/hardware interface including device driver development under bare metal and Linux for Multi-Processor System on Chip based systems.


Extensive real-time embedded software design experience including system requirements development, architectural design, detailed design and formal unit testing.


Ability to formulate practical solutions to difficult technical problems and communicate these through detailed design documentation.


A deep knowledge of modern multiprocessor architectures and experience in exploiting them to optimise real-time embedded software performance. E.g. utilising SIMD/Vector and MIMD architectures, implementing Fixed-point and Block-floating arithmetic.


A working knowledge of model based software development using Matlab/Simulink and experience of implementing and verifying high performance software algorithms specified via Matlab models.


Experience with embedded software engineering best practice and development methodologies, e.g. V Model and Agile/Scrum methodologies.


Strong interpersonal and team leadership skills. Excellent verbal and written communication.


Considered locally to be an expert in their field and is regularly consulted for technical advice by other teams within QinetiQ.


A relevant electrical or software related engineering honours degree.


Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:


Experience developing GUI based applications under Windows and Linux, e.g. using MS Visual Studio with C++/C#.


Experience working with FPGA based embedded systems particularly Xilinx MPSoC ARM Cortex processors and the Vitis IDE.


FPGA firmware development experience, particularly using VHDL and the Xilinx Vivado IDE.


A working knowledge of electrical and electronic engineering principles and experience of their application.


Experience with common development tools, e.g. DOORS, Confluence, JIRA, BitBucket, Git, Subversion, etc.


A good understanding of RF engineering principles, particularly related to Radar, communications or EW systems.


Familiarity with the use of common test equipment, e.g. Digital Storage Oscilloscopes, Spectrum Analysers, Logic Analysers, Arbitrary Waveform Generators, etc.



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.