Software & Systems Safety Specialist

Job Description


Dstl Porton Down, Dstl Portsdown West

About the job


Who are we?
Dstl is the science and technology arm of the Ministry of Defence. As part of UK Government we do sensitive and specialist work that cannot be done anywhere else.

The need for dependable systems has never been more important. With modern air, land and sea platforms becoming increasing reliant on software and autonomous functions to control all aspects of their behaviour, assuring Software as well as Autonomy dependability goes hand in hand with assuring Systems dependability.

Dstl’s Software and System’s Dependability Team exists to provide this function for many military platforms such as fast jets, unmanned air vehicles, helicopters, naval vessels and land vehicles. We do this by research, consultancy and leading partnerships with Academia, Industry plus MOD and Government stakeholders to ensure that the UK Government gets the best level of assurance possible. Much of our work involves systems with one or more of the following characteristics: embedded; real-time; parallel; complex; critical and novel.

The Team consists of highly professional Software and Systems dependability experts with enviable National and International reputations. We range from early career graduates through mid-career specialists and ex-military personnel to Fellows of both Dstl and other Chartered Institutes.

We are all Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel (SQEP) for the vital work we undertake. We have a number of Charted Institute Professionals and a high percentage of PhD and Masters level academic qualifications, some who have qualified whilst with us as we highly value and actively support continuous professional development.

Job description

What could you do?
The UK must maintain an operational advantage to keep our citizens safe and maintain our prosperity. To support this Dstl conducts targeted research and provides specialist advice. If you join us you could be involved in:
• Assessing and advising on Defence and Security safety critical systems in the Air, Sea and Land domains, ensuring that they are safe, secure and protected.
• Applying the latest thinking in verification and validation of artificial intelligence and autonomous functions for defence and security purposes.
• Supporting the delivery of the UK Cyber Strategy by researching the Cyber defence of hardware and software, and by developing tools and solutions.
• Technically Partnering with Industry and Academia to ensure the very best quality of work is supplied to MOD Delivery Teams.

Who do we want to recruit?
We want people with a flair for problem solving and a passion for new technologies who are looking for a career with a difference, with:
• A keen interest in software / systems along with a willingness to develop additional capabilities in the field;
• The ability to analyse software development artefacts (e.g., software requirements, design etc.) identifying potential problems and successfully providing/developing appropriate solutions.
• The ability to prepare and deliver technical reports, by written and verbal briefing, with clear and persuasive explanation of complex processes to a non?technical audience.

We want people with research, design, development or engineering experience in one or more of the following areas:
• Software development (whole lifecycle);
• Software dependability;
• Systems engineering.
• Mathematical Formal Methods.
• Autonomous Functions
• An appreciation of one or more of the following would also be advantageous:
• Accreditation / certification, including a working knowledge of relevant standards;
• Compliance and audit;
• High integrity systems;
• An ability to use theoretical computer science knowledge to solve real issues;
• An appreciation of simulation and modelling;
• Formal Methods, Matlab, Simulink, Python, C, C++ and / or Assembler or other programming languages

We would particularly be interested in a proven track record in one or more of the following:
• Software in a Military context
• Coding, software development or test engineering:
• Communicating complex and contentious concepts and results to a variety of audiences;
• Ability to break problems / issues into component parts and to provide realistic, holistic solutions.
• Independent Technical Evaluation;
• The writing or assessment of software safety cases;
• Successfully undertaking the role of an Independent Safety Advisor / Assessor


What Qualifications should you have?
Candidates for this post will ideally have a Degree (min 2:1) or advanced professional qualification in Computer Science, Information Science, Information Systems, Information Technology, Systems Engineering, Mathematics or a related field.
We are also happy to hear from applicants with equivalent levels of skills/knowledge/experience
Possession of a higher or research degree and / or Charter-ship would be advantageous for these roles.

This role would suit someone from either the civilian or the military sector who wishes to learn new skills, undertake fascinating and challenging work and get up in the morning knowing they are making a real difference not to a bottom line but the safety and security of our Country.

Why work for Dstl?

Our unique position in government means that you will:
• Work on a variety of interesting and challenging problems that owing to their sensitivity cannot be done elsewhere.
• Make a difference and have pride in what you do; our work improves the front-line capability of the UK Armed Forces, keeps British citizens safe and support national prosperity.
• Do the right things for the right reasons; we’re impartial and not in it for profit.
• Trusted by Industry, Academia and partner Countries alike
• Form links across Government, industry and academia. We work with an array of partners both at home and abroad including the Armed Forces, other Government departments and industry.
• Develop your career in exciting new areas that are growing to meet cutting-edge challenges.

Dstl recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion as people from diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas. We are committed to building an inclusive working environment in which each employee fulfils their potential and maximises their contribution.