View Vacancy -- Senior Electronics Engineer - Structural Studies - Andy Howe - LMB 972

Open Date
19/11/2018, 16:00
Close Date
14/01/2019, 23:55
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies.  The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease.  We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.

There are four scientific Divisions - Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology.  However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive.  Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.

The LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers.  Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at

MRC - 4
£27,906 - £38,931
Technical & Scientific Professionals
Full Time

Overall purpose:

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the leading scientific institutions in the world and has been at the forefront in the development of techniques and instrumentation for many years. A major part of this success has been the support given by the Electronic and Mechanical Workshops.

The purpose of the role is to design and build electronic instrumentation, unavailable commercially, as part of the team of Electronic Engineers in the Electronics Workshop and to provide support and expertise to the scientific staff.

Main duties:

To design and build the electronics for experimental and bespoke equipment and instrumentation in consultation with scientific staff.

To consult with engineers from the Mechanical Workshop where necessary in developing workable solutions to problems in an efficient and timely manner.

To identify and research current trends and developments in electronics and instrumentation.

To provide technical advice to improve instrumentation to best address scientific challenges.

Ensure that any equipment produced meets all health and safety standards appropriate for the environment and proposed user base.

Key responsibilities:

Responsible for the design, production and development of electronic equipment and instrumentation to meet the needs of the science in an innovative and flexible way and conforming to all statutory and local safety regulations.

Providing a high level of electronics expertise to scientific staff in order to develop novel protocols and methods not available with existing commercial equipment.

Designing electronics circuitry, converting this to hardware including the design and layout of circuit boards, manufacturing all the required infrastructure, writing any required control software and carrying out any testing and debugging.

Ensuring that work is suitably documented.

Keeping abreast of technological developments to ensure that advice given on possible solutions to challenges is based on an up to date knowledge of leading-edge technology.

Ensuring that all health, safety and welfare issues related to the electrical and electronic aspect of the project are addressed and documented.

Working relationships:

The role reports directly to the Head of the Electronics Workshop. The Workshop, which is part of the Structural Studies Division, is also staffed by two Senior Electronics Engineers and an Apprentice.

On a day to day basis, the role deals directly with scientific staff and works closely with other departments concerned with technical support including the Engineering Workshop, the IT department and Instrument Services.

Additional information:

The above lists are not exhaustive and you are required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post.  All employees are required to act professionally, co-operatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC. 

Education / qualifications / training required:

Essential: Degree or HND level qualification in an engineering discipline.

Previous work experience required:


  • Extensive experience in a high level electronics-based design, including analogue & digital techniques, PCB layout and embedded systems.
  • Technical knowledge regarding the latest developments in electronics.


  • Experience of instrumentation design in a scientific environment, in particular with sensor technology and low noise measurement techniques.
  • Experience of programming for Windows/Linux applications in C and Python.

Knowledge and experience:

Creativity and initiative

Essential: Track record in providing innovative solutions to diverse design challenges.


  • The ability to approach problems with creativity and an open mind.

Independent working


  • The ability to work safely without close supervision.
  • The ability to take on and see a project through from start to completion, coupled with experience in project management and systems design.

Verbal and written communication skills

Essential: The ability to communicate with other staff at all levels, and able to create clear and precise documentation.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:


  • A considered and conscientious attitude.
  • Ability to approach problems in a creative manner and to suggest engineering solutions to scientific questions.
  • Strong organisational skills with the ability to prioritise work to deal with several projects simultaneously. Working to strict deadlines, whilst providing accurate information.

Desirable: An inquisitive nature with regard to finding engineering solutions to challenges and a desire to understand the work of the department and how it relates to the science carried out in the LMB.


The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.

Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.

Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

This opportunity is closed to applications.