MBDA UK Limited
work experience

Guidance Control & Navigation Engineer Summer Placement 2020

Job description

The Guidance, Control and Navigation (GCN) department plays a pivotal role in the concept and life of all MBDA products. We work on high complexity weapon systems and understand how the various subsystems interact and have a direct influence on design decisions. The algorithms we design lie at the heart of the missile system.

We host five areas of expertise:

  • Navigation is the process of estimating the current missile state (position, velocity and attitude) using measurements from a range of on-board sensors;
  • Guidance is the process of determining a suitable trajectory, meeting customer requirements and system constraints, providing an effective route to target interception and maximising the probability of success;
  • Control is the process of maintaining stable flight while following the guidance demands to drive the missile onto the trajectory calculated by the guidance algorithms;
  • Image processing conditions digital images of the target scene in order to provide an aim point and assist with navigation and guidance;
  • Command and Control (C2) is the component of the weapon system that interacts with the human operator. It presents the context of the mission and calculates the most effective method of engagement against threats.

What will you be doing?

You will experience some of the following:

  • Integrated navigation, such as ‘Terrain Reference Navigation’, and ‘GPS integration’;
  • Guidance algorithm design and evaluation for all phases of missile flight;
  • Autopilot and control system design and analysis;
  • Data fusion to combine data from multiple sensors;
  • Support to concept and feasibility studies,
  • Internal Research and Development (IRAD) to support future weapons and technology demonstrators; Implementing neural networks and deep learning techniques to help solve a range of complex problems.
  • Our work is mostly MATLAB/Simulink focused and you will work on this tool daily.

“The ability to persevere and stick at a problem is important in this role. To some it can be quite tiring when you spend ages trying to fix a problem and you appear to get nowhere, but to me it’s very satisfying when you’ve worked at it and then get the break-through moment of getting things working correctly” Matt, GCN Graduate

What are the benefits for you?

  • Learn from the experienced team with technical skills in coding and modelling, mathematics, dynamics and control theory.
  • Build on your knowledge of MATLAB/Simulink as you work on the tool daily.
  • Close working with other departments will give you an insight into many parts of the missile including propulsion, aerodynamics, seekers, sensors and actuators.
  • Broaden your technical knowledge of the design and function of a complex weapon system.
  • Visibility of a work from concept studies through to current high-profile projects.

What’s great about joining this team?

  • A very large team that works closely with other departments so there is the opportunity to work with lots of different people.
  • The team are friendly, hardworking and ambitious with a reputation for achieving project milestones to a high quality on time.
  • Work on all MBDA products giving you an excellent range and depth of experience and opportunity.
  • The work is innovative and rewarding. The variety of work offered within the department also presents an excellent opportunity for personal development.
  • Due to the department’s central role throughout a product’s lifecycle, there is a real sense of ownership of a product and the opportunity to see something through from concept to in-service.

“The team are very supportive; I was struck by how helpful everyone was” Peter, GCN Gradua

What we are looking for

  • Proactive attitude.
  • A desire to take ownership of technical tasks and a willingness to learn through seeking help and advice from others;
  • An analytical approach with the ability to visualise complex systems;
  • Good verbal and written communication skills;
  • Have a basic knowledge of using MATLAB/SIMULINK
  • A basic knowledge of programming skills e.g. C, Python


Currently studying towards a degree in aeronautical engineering, aerospace, mathematics, physics, control and systems or similar.

Accepted degree subjects


Additional job details


dependant on year of study, pro-rated for 10-12 week placement

Contract, dates and working times
Fixed term


How to apply

Click Apply to start your application now. This job will be available on Prospects until 31 December 2019

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Closing date:  Continuous recruitment

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