FPGA and RF electronics technical engineer

Research group leader: Professor Michelle Simmons
Salary range: AU $101–126k plus 17 per cent employer superannuation and leave loading
Contract: Three years fixed term with possible extension


This is a prestigious technical position, within a dynamic and highly collaborative international research environment. The role is based at Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd, a start-up company attached to the headquarters of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The company is a unique start-up, being a public-private partnership between industry, government and UNSW Sydney that seeks to commercialise silicon quantum computing technology being developed in Australia – technology that has the potential to revolutionise computing worldwide.

The successful candidate will join the world-leading team of Professor Michelle Simmons, who has an international reputation for developing a radical new technology for building precision single atom qubits in silicon. With the recent demonstration of single atom qubits in natural silicon with world record coherence times and the highest fidelity single shot spin read-out, this group is poised to scale to 10-qubit architectures within the next five years.

Within this environment the FPGA and RF electronics technical engineer will oversee the company’s electrical measurement facilities with responsibility for designing, implementing and maintaining high frequency electronics on cryogenic measurement platforms. This role will be at the heart of assembling the quantum computer, working alongside electronics engineers and physicists at the design, assembly and testing stages of silicon based quantum computers. Responsibilities will include expanding our extensive research facilities for the high frequency, low noise measurement of semiconductor spin qubits. It will also involve the development of FPGA and RF electronics as well as general maintenance of equipment, laboratory space and ensuring a safe operating environment for staff and students.

The research program will be focused on the development of a 10-qubit quantum integrated circuit prototype requiring the multiple detection and control of individual spins in silicon, the controlled coupling between them, and the coherent transport of quantum information.

This is one of more than 20 positions currently open for applications. View the full list of available roles.



Specific responsibilities for this role include:

Level 8

  • Responsible for the design and implementation of high frequency, low noise electrical measurement circuits for multi-qubit devices for quantum computation.
  • Ensure the effective operation of 5 new cryogenic measurement platforms with high frequency access, multiplexed qubit control and ultralow temperatures.
  • Manage the efficient maintenance of the electrical management facilities including oversight of the coordination of efficient day-to-day management of equipment, infrastructure and services, as well as the planning, maintenance and scheduling of operations. Perform routine daily measurements.
  • Provide expert technical advice to the research/teaching staff and students working on cryogenic, low noise, high frequency experiments and costings. This will involve the design of new RF and FPGA experiments.
  • Develop and implement plans for major equipment purchases (within allocated budget) and/or replacement to ensure that laboratories remain state of the art facilities, including preparing recommendations and business cases as relevant.
  • Responsible for ordering and maintaining a stock of consumables for the laboratories.
  • Manage laboratory budget/s and assist in the preparation of the School’s budgeting processes in relation to laboratories.
  • Supervise/engage external contractors and liaise with UNSW Facilities and subcontractors as required.
  • As OH&S area supervisor implement safety systems including OH&S, safe work procedures, hazardous substances, risk assessments and conformance with AS’s codes.
  • Write manuals and reports on the work done for use by equipment operators.
  • Produce custom FPGA designs for real-time data analysis and control feedback.
  • Operate general lab equipment (digital multimeters, oscilloscopes, signal generators, DACs, ADCs).
  • Assist with the maintenance of laboratory computer hardware and software infrastructure. Write and maintain software for data acquisition and experimental control systems.
  • Responsible for ensuing appropriate laboratory training and inductions are completed.

Level 9

  • Design and construction of new equipment or modification of existing cryogenic measurement platforms as required by current research projects.
  • Repair, or organise the repair of cryogenic and electronic systems and its component parts.
  • Produce clear, up-to-date, compliant safety documentation and procedures. Ensuring that Occupational Health and Safety policies are adhered to at all times in the laboratories.



Level 8

  • A relevant tertiary qualification with substantial experience or equivalent level of knowledge gained through an appropriate combination of education/training and/or relevant experience in laboratory maintenance and operations.
  • An undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, or equivalent and at least 3 years of electronics experience in either a commercial or academic environment (including FPGA design).
  • Demonstrated experience in administration and technical management of research laboratories, including conducting routine maintenance, efficient operation of equipment, oversight of consumables and safety documentation.
  • Demonstrated ability to support and advise researchers and students on the technical aspects of laboratories and the design, development, and conduct of experiments.
  • Excellent IT skills, including proficiency in a range of programming languages (eg Python) and experience with word processing such as MS-WORD, LaTex or equivalent. Experience with LabVIEW and Matlab.
  • Demonstrated initiative and a high level of self-motivation with excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Proven ability to work as part of a team, meet deadlines, prioritise competing demands and attention to detail.
  • High level of analytical and problem-solving skills, with a demonstrated ability to consider and make informed decisions regarding experimentation issues.
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training, with the ability and capacity to implement required UNSW health and safety policies and procedures.

Level 9

  • Demonstrated experience in developing new initiatives, solving complex problems and in designing and optimising low noise electrical measurements.
  • Extensive experience with high speed data acquisition, data analysis and mathematical modelling skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead others in a technical capacity and manage projects on a given budget.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyse, interpret and comprehend electrical measurement data.
  • Demonstrated dedication to continuous improvement through long-term planning and expansion of laboratory policy and facilities.
  • Experience in developing, implementing and managing Work Health & Safety and risk management systems and processes in a laboratory environment.


DOWNLOAD the full position description

Closing date: Applications close at 11:59pm on 31 December 2017 AEDT. We encourage all candidates to complete the application process as soon as possible. Potential start dates are negotiable for the successful candidate.

Contact: michelle [dot] simmons @unsw.edu.au


An appointment to this position is subject to the approval of Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd. Personal information submitted as part of an application for this position may be disclosed to SQC for the purpose of processing the application.

UNSW aspires to be the exemplar Australian university and employer of choice for people from diverse backgrounds. UNSW aims to ensure equality in recruitment, development, retention and promotion of staff and that no-one is disadvantaged on the basis of their gender, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation or identity or Indigenous heritage. We encourage everyone who meets the selection criteria to apply.

UNSW partners with Australia’s leading diversity organisations, networks, and campaigns. Please refer to UNSW’s diversity offerings for further information on our flexible work and leave options, and support for carers (childcare, parent rooms, parental leave).