Laboratory engineer, space based data and satellite technologies (Digital Economy)

Updated: 24 days ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 23 Apr 2021

At the University of Vaasa, we think out of the box in order to build a sustainable future. We are a university that invests in the quality of research and teaching in order to tackle the challenges of our time. We educate responsible and internationally-minded leaders and experts. We are well known for our high-quality education and inspirational teachers. Our expertise in the fields of business studies, technology, administrative sciences and communication forms the core of our university. Our discipline-based research is complemented by our phenomenon-driven research platforms. 

The position of laboratory engineer at the Digital Economy Research Platform focuses on supporting the university’s projects on space based data applications and implements new infrastructure and processes to accomplish cube-satellite communications and the development of a Space Technologies Laboratory. This is a two-year fixed-term position with a start date at the beginning of June 2021 or as agreed. The position as a laboratory engineer on space based data and satellite technologies is located in Vaasa and has a six (6) month trial-period.

Your role

Your primary role is to implement and operate ground station hardware and software processes to support two or more cube-satellite missions.  The position includes leading the ground station development process, including support for acquiring frequency allocation certificates from national and international authorities. You interface with other university project members in Finland and Sweden to assure the developed ground station system achieves verification testing standards.  The position additionally includes supporting the incremental development of a laboratory for space based data and satellite technologies to focus on cube satellite operations, GNSS and other RF positioning technologies testing for indoor and outdoor observations. Periodic involvement with student space related projects is anticipated.

As the space technologies laboratory engineer you will lead the development and operation of the ground station component of the cube satellite communications processes at the University of Vaasa. Activities include system documentation, implementation using systems engineering concepts, and hands-on instrument-level integration of hardware and software communications technology components to accomplish satellite/payload command/control. Cube-satellite to ground-station communications to include payload data downlinks for archiving to a local storage system. The laboratory engineer interfaces with software specialists for testing the communications and data archiving system and he/she serves as the licensed RF operator of the ground station.  

You will work directly with the project manager to ensure that operational goals and objectives are met. As space technologies laboratory engineer you support scientific research and research-oriented organizational tasks. You are expected to participate in research planning activities, contribute to scientific article preparation, facilitate experimentation and provide presentations to project meetings and external symposia.   

The tasks include:

  • interacting with team members and accessing system documentation to develop the ground system communications facility design
  • specifying / purchasing compatible communications technology components
  • documenting the ground station system design, testing procedures and results  
  • validating/verifying the ground station system design relative to mission plans and cube-satellite specification/ requirements
  • integrating hardware/software components to implement the ground station communication system
  • perform full systems communications testing / benchmarking
  • obtaining appropriate RF operators licenses (general class / HAREC) if not already licensed 
  • assist project team manager; attending and participating in group and project meetings
  • maintain up to date knowledge concerning cube-satellite communications technologies
  • developing space data laboratory capacities


The candidate shall have previous cube satellite team development experience (including academic projects) and interest to develop space economy capabilities at the university. The selected candidate will have the opportunity to participate in international and regional cube-satellite projects including Earth observation technologies and GNSS applications in a multi-university project environment. 

The position requires experience in systems engineering concepts emphasizing documentation and radio-frequency communications and electronics. 

Successful applicants will have an academic degree in the related field of sciences, such as systems engineering, electronics, telecommunications, automation or electrical engineering, or similar. Interest or background in doctoral research is also considered an asset.
Your likelihood of selection for this position will be higher if you have experience in the following:

  • previous research project participation and reporting 
  • multiple software programming languages, especially Python
  • basic statistical concepts and data manipulation
  • communications link budget calculation
  • GNSS algorithms and positioning technologies
  • English, Finnish and Swedish
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with proven ability to apply these to interactions within and across teams

Read more about the selection process and language guidelines: .

The University of Vaasa adheres to the principles of responsible research evaluation and the DORA Declaration.

Inspirational work environment

The position is with the Digital Economy Research Platform.

The Digital Economy platform of the University of Vaasa is an open research platform for interdisciplinary research on innovations enabled by new technology as well as their impact on individuals, organisations, industry and society. Research objectives include AI, machine learning, automation, space data processes and the impact of digitalisation on ways of working, communicating and building business. 

We are strongly networked and responsible actors in research, education and public relations. As a work community, our team is diverse, international and encouraging. The cooperation and support of colleagues promotes well-being and inspires working.  

We offer

The salary will be based on the Finnish University Salary System for Other Staff. The monthly salary is based on job demand levels 8-9. An additional personal salary component is paid based on work performance.
How to apply

To apply for this position, please use our online application system (using the “Leave an application” button below). The application, including appendices, has to be submitted to our online application database no later than 23rd April 2021.

The application should include the following annexes:

  • CV - use of CV template  is required
  • Additional attachment 1. Description of ongoing research and future research interests

Further Information

  • Professor and Director, Heidi Kuusniemi
  • Research programme manager, Kendall Rutledge

email: firstname.surname (at)

Inquiries about the online application system:

The 5,000 students and 500 employees of the University of Vaasa thrive on the most beautiful campus in Finland, at the seaside. Our university community is international: we come from 80 countries. As an employer, we focus on employee well-being at work by providing extensive occupational health care, flexible working time arrangements and opportunities for competence development. We have been awarded the HR Excellence in Research recognition. Read more about us:

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