Firmware/FPGA Engineer (m/f/d) | Scientific Instrumentation for Space Applications

Updated: 24 days ago

Job Offer from May 22, 2024

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) is the largest
research institute in the world specializing in general relativity and beyond. The institute is located in Potsdam and in Hanover.

For our location in Hanover, we are looking for a two-year full-time position as a Firmware / FPGA Engineer (m/f/d) - Scientific Instrumentation for Space Applications.

The applicant will join to a multi-disciplinary team at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute). The AEI is a world-leading research center specializing in gravity, gravitational waves and precision laser interferometry. The institute has locations in Potsdam and in Hannover. For our location in Hannover, the “Laser Interferometry in Space” group focuses on Gravitational Wave Detection and Earth Gravity Field Observation. More information can be found at

The “Laser Interferometry in Space” group has a significant record of outstanding contributions to the success of the LISA Pathfinder mission and the US-German GRACE Follow-On (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission. Currently, the AEI group leads the consortium activities for the LISA mission, third large-class mission in ESA´s science program for the first gravitational wave observatory in space.

The AEI is involved together with space agencies and industry partners in the design, construction and testing of an Engineering Model for the Phase Readout Sub-system as the core Data Processor Unit of the LISA payload.

Your responsibilities

We are seeking a Firmware/FPGA Engineer with proven experience in space projects to support our science team and engineers at the forefront of novel developments. The successful candidate will be responsible for the scientific firmware realization of a Phase Readout Instrument, with a special focus on digital signal processing and data handling for subsystem operation and communication to the onboard computer. The applicant will strengthen the team of physicists and coordinate with scientists the firmware and software verification of the instrument in the test campaigns in collaboration with industrial partners.

Your profile

A successfully completed university degree (diploma, master) and proven experience as a Firmware/FPGA Engineer is a prerequisite for the application. A PhD degree in physics, software engineering, or in a comparable field is beneficial.

Furthermore, the ideal candidate will have experience with:

  • Design, Development and Verification of complex FPGA Designs from writing specifications to hardware integration and performance tests
  • Architect and develop application firmware for flight and ground systems
  • Experience working with subcontractors and vendor
  • Tracing the VHDL realization during the life cycle of the instrument (design, implementation, verification, HW integration, maintenance)
  • Documentation of software projects and release control using git
  • Knowledge of space engineering
  • Good communication skills and good command of English
  • Teaching and transferring knowledge to researchers/software developers
  • Efficiently and cooperatively working in a multi-disciplinary team

We offer

Work in an international research environment benefitting from regular interactions with a dedicated project team, as well as the opportunity to benefit from the wide range of expertise at the Albert Einstein Institute.

  • Close collaboration with leading international partners in science, industry, and space agencies
  • Full time position with competitive salary according to the pay scale of public services in Germany for Scientists, fully integrated in comprehensive German social security scheme (health insurance, unemployment insurance etc.). Part-time employment can be arranged on request
  • Initial appointment will be for 2 years at the earliest possible date
  • Access to world-class laboratories, workshops, and computing facilities
  • Opportunity to participate in our multidisciplinary lectures as well as transferable skills seminars

Your application

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics is an equal opportunity employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability. The AEI and the Max Planck Society welcome persons with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity (Code of Conduct ). The institute promotes a healthy work-life balance by offering all employees a family support service.

In case of questions, do not hesitate to contact Dr.-Ing. Juan José Esteban .

Please submit your application, including the usual documents (CV incl. letter of motivation, university diplomas) by June 5th, 2024 in electronic form as a single PDF file to our application portal .

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