Job Details

Job Details

Research Software Engineer

National Marine Facilities (NMF)
Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems
3 year fixed term contract
29,181 to 33,558
Closing Date
Job Reference

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

£29,181 - £33,558

Full time (37 hours per week)

Fixed term (3 years)


About the role: 

A new opportunity is available for a Research Software Engineer to join the Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS) group at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK. 

The National Oceanography Centre is the United Kingdom’s centre of excellence for oceanographic sciences, with the remit to provide national capability and leadership for big ocean science. As part of the MARS group, you will be joining a team of enthusiastic multi-disciplinary researchers and engineers who are developing and operating the NOC fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and other marine scientific equipment around the world, including beneath the ice in the Antarctic and the Arctic. 

Within the NERC-funded Oceanids C2 project, we are developing a unified server-based system for the command, control and data management of the NOC’s fleet of long-range marine robots. At present, long-range AUV and glider piloting is a time-consuming task that requires highly-trained pilots to be on-call around the clock.  To increase the scalability of AUV operations, we are developing a framework to enable algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to optimise vehicle control whilst adhering to operational constraints, safeguarding the vehicle and its data cargo.  The C2 project offers a fantastic opportunity to work on large-scale ocean robotics deployments, as part of a interdisciplinary enthusiastic group. 

As a Research Software Engineer, you will join the C2 team, working closely with both engineers, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students.  You will contribute to leading research into the use of autonomous marine robots in some of the most extreme environments on Earth.  Working with both oceanographers and engineers, you will design algorithms for the autonomous control of the NOC long-range fleet, as well as developing components of the autonomous piloting framework and suitable knowledge representations.  These might range from the validation of autonomous system behavior to prototype path planning algorithms for AUVs and the application of machine learning techniques, for example. The results of this work will be deployed and tested both in the lab and within full-scale ocean environments, before being used to further world-leading marine science.


About you:

You will have a background developing algorithms and scientific software, ideally with application to Robotics, AI, data-science or a closely related discipline. 

The ideal candidate will be passionate about research and developing new approaches. They will enjoy the practical application of their knowledge to operating robots in challenging real-world environments and the interdisciplinary nature of marine robotics research.  You will be actively involved in software development, so proficiency with a programming language (e.g. C++, Python, Java, Javascript, R, MATLAB) is essential.  You will have strong research and communication skills, and enjoy communicating your research to people from a wide range of science and engineering backgrounds.  You will have a close attention to detail, and a commitment to producing high-quality, well-tested, reliable software, suitable for deployment in high-risk ocean environments.


Other information:

The starting salary for this position will be between £29,181 and £33,558 per annum (Band 6). Depending upon skills and experience, additional allowances may be available for exceptional candidates. 

Please note for this role we are not able to sponsor candidates who require a right to work in the UK.


About us: 

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is a national research organisation, delivering integrated marine science and technology from the coast to the deep ocean and is one of the top five institutions of its kind in the world. With sites in Liverpool and Southampton, it is the UK’s leading centre for sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development.   

NOC is part of the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), which is one of the nine partners within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). For more information visit


What we can offer you: 

At the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) we know that the quality of our science and the impact that we want it to have depends entirely on the knowledge, skills and engagement of our people. The NOC is committed to flexible employment practices to support employees’ work and personal commitments where possible. Our flexi-time system and flexible working policy contribute to this important aim.

In return for your talents, we offer a competitive remuneration package, including a RCUK pension scheme, 30 days annual leave with a further 14 public/local days off. The centre is well connected by public transport and has ample cycle parking in addition to free car parking. We support opportunities for further training and development. 

For more information visit Working at NOC.


Our Commitment as an Employer: 

The NOC is an equal opportunities employer which values the diversity of its employees and therefore welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

In support of this commitment, we have adopted a guaranteed interview scheme for suitable candidates with a disability and further welcome applications from ethnic minorities who are currently under-represented. 

In addition to this, the NOC is an accredited Investors in People organisation, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to realising the potential of all its staff and is an active member of the Athena SWAN charter which recognises the advancement of gender equality through representation, progression and success for all.


How to apply: 

To apply, please submit an up-to-date CV and cover letter. 

If you are unable to apply online, please contact the NOC Careers Team at


Closing date: 9th July 2019. Please note this vacancy may close earlier depending on the number of applications.