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Principal Engineer - Controls and Software

Date: Mar 10, 2023

Location: Bristol, ENG, GB

Company: GKN Aerospace Careers

About GKN Aerospace

A Truly Global Business 
Every day, around the world, we help aircrafts fly further, faster and greener.  We’re the world’s leading tier one aerospace supplier of systems and components. With over 15,000 employees across 41 manufacturing sites in 13 countries serving over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers with sales of £2.8bn. Together as “one GKN” we’re moving our business and industry forward developing technologies that rapidly decarbonise aircraft, and innovating to help build a new generation of planes that produce zero emissions.  We’re putting sustainability at the heart of what we do; driving our objective to becoming a net zero greenhouse gas emissions business before 2050! 


Making a Difference 
It’s great to know you’re making a difference to the future of aviation! Whatever part you play you’ll be helping us deliver operational excellence to our customers.

Job Summary

GKN’s Global Technology Centre (GTC) in Filton, Bristol is a £32m state of the art technology research and manufacturing process development facility which is a hub for world-class innovative technology for the next generation of fuel-efficient aircraft. It includes a collaborative space for research and development with universities, the UK’s CATAPULT network and GKN Aerospace’s UK supply chain, to help strengthen aerospace technology and support the UK’s Industrial strategy. We are looking for a Principal Engineer with a strong background in Control Systems Engineering & Software to help shape the future of flight.  You will be responsible for the technical research and development of integrated control systems for our novel hydrogen electric powertrain solutions – initially on the H2GEAR programme. The Principal Engineer shall draw on their diverse engineering background and product lifecycle awareness to progress a variety of research activity in the TRL1-6 range. This is a very exciting and potentially career defining opportunity. You will be an integral member of the H2GEAR team that is embarking on a significant and challenging technology development project; this five year project will be a major steppingstone towards achieving greener aviation thus helping protect our environment for future generations

Job Responsibilities

  • Responsibility for the research and development of control system and software solutions for the H2GEAR hydrogen electric powertrain
  • Co-ordinate the design and development of rig test standard control systems and software for the ground demonstrator platforms– including test planning and execution.
  • Complete and co-ordinate early TRL research of safety critical control hardware and software development in support of future platform ground and flight demonstrators
  • Develop the standards for control systems modelling and software control used within the project whilst ensuring that they are embodied in an appropriate manner.
  • Work with the systems architects, systems engineers and system simulation engineers to ensure that the integrated control requirements are achieved and the maintenance of appropriate verification planning
  • Support the recruitment, specification of roles and ensure the development of members of the team
  • Generate technical reports and presentations, with the ability to present information in a clear and organized manner
  • Manage and develop requirements and specifications both internally and as part of appropriate international standard working groups.

How You'll Contribute

To help us make a difference, you’ll bring your passion and talent for what you do along with the following skills, experience, qualifications and attributes:


  • Previous responsibility of the design and development of complex control systems and software for transportation systems 
  • Experience in the development of safety critical functional control through to development of software
  • Experience in the development of safety critical control hardware 
  • Experience with safety critical software validation and verification 
  • Educated to Degree level in Electrical, Mechanical, Controls or Systems Engineering /Science 


  • Approval authority demonstrated for the technical release of hardware or software definitions.
  • Experience working in the research and technology and/or preliminary design domains for complex aerospace systems including strategic planning
  • Experience in Bench test characterisation and/or flight demonstration as part of hardware and software development.
  • Experience Co-ordinating the research work of academic and industrial partners to successful technology readiness outcomes.
  • Experience of intellectual property capture and management
  • An active membership in one or more international standardization committees for aerospace in field, e.g. EUROCAE


We are looking for people who want to make a difference, talented members with the skills and passions to become the best of the future in what they do. To be successful in this role you will need to have good interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to translate to a variety of audiences. You will be confident to represent project(s) and GKN values in internal/external review meetings whilst being a detail oriented and organised individual with a logical and methodical approach to your work.  Someone with a growing network in Aerospace or Technology with the capability to identify and engage in the development of collaboration opportunities will be ideally suited to the role.

Why Join Us

A Great Place to work needs a Great Way of Working
Everyone is welcome to apply to GKN.  Through our commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging and by living our five powerful principles we’ve created a culture where everyone feels welcome to contribute.  It’s a culture that won us ‘The Best Workplace Culture Award’ last year.  By embracing and celebrating what makes us unique we encourage everyone to bring their full self to work. We’re also committed to providing an accessible recruitment process, so if you require reasonable adjustments at any stage during our recruitment process please get in touch and let us know.

Hybrid Work Approach
We understand our employees thrive by working differently, what works for one may not work for another, offering different ways of working is core to us creating a great employee experience. We’re pleased to provide a hybrid working approach enabling you to balance your time between working remotely and working in our offices.  We’re also keen for our employees to achieve a work life balance so we’re happy to discuss flexible working options with you should the role be able to accommodate it. 

Join us and keep the world moving … click on the link below to apply