FPGA Engineer R&D Job at Penn State University, University Park, PA

  • Penn State University
  • University Park, PA

Job Description

  • CURRENT PENN STATE EMPLOYEE (faculty, staff, technical service, or student), please login to Workday to complete the internal application process. Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.

  • CURRENT PENN STATE STUDENT (not employed previously at the university) and seeking employment with Penn State, please login to Workday to complete the student application process. Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.

  • If you are NOT a current employee or student, please click "Apply" and complete the application process for external applicants.


Seeking motivated entry to senior level FPGA engineers to join our growing Communication and Signal Processing (CSP) Division at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State University.

The role involves extensive knowledge in FPGA design. We desire a person interested in collaborating and learning with a team of fellow brilliant researchers to develop the next level of processing and analysis algorithms, possess an inquisitive mind, and have a passion to develop the best software and hardware solutions. ARL fosters and develops some of the greatest minds that the Department of Defense (DoD) has to offer. This position seeks to train/mentor individuals in becoming experts in the area of algorithm development.

Locations include onsite in either State College, PA or Reston, VA with potential hybrid options.

ARL is an authorized DoD SkillBridge partner and welcomes all transitioning military members to apply.

What you will do ...
  • Design real-time digital signal processing systems using FPGAs
  • Work on FPGA development and systems engineering
  • Define and coordinate interfaces within the systems
  • Develop and carry out hardware and firmware tests
  • Work on signal processing algorithm development and/or optimization
  • Analyze cost and risk factors involved in system development activities
  • Perform system verification and validation to ensure efficiency, reliability and compatibility

This position will be filled at the professional, intermediate professional or advanced professional level, depending on your education and work experience. Minimally requires a Bachelors' degree in an Engineering or Science related discipline for the professional level.

Additional responsibilities of intermediate professional level include:
  • May mentor and/or train lower level employees and students in the department and/or division
  • Perform tasks of a larger scope and lead specific FPGA tasks within the project scope
  • Initiate or contribute data/analysis/design for use in technical reports, documents, proposals, or oral/written presentations, primarily related to focus areas

Additional responsibilities of advanced professional level include:
  • Manage FPGA projects of small or moderate size and scope; make substantial contributions to determining feasibility of goals and objectives; responsible for assuring quality, cost effectiveness and timeliness of assigned projects.
  • Develop project status reports for appropriate distributions
  • Assist in concept development and participate in the design analyses of engineering systems independently evaluating, selecting, and applying scientific or engineering procedures and techniques to assignments
  • Author or co-author papers, proposals, presentations and reports on defined topics
  • Contribute to proposals, reports and presentations in the division related to FPGA efforts while maintaining external research relationships

What you need to be successful ...
  • Experience designing and testing with FPGAs
  • Experience with VHDL and/or Verilog
  • Knowledge and exposure to prototyping, signal processing, FPGA, cellular, wireless, algorithms, communications and creative thinking
  • Programming/Scripting in MATLAB, Python, and/or C++ with a Linux operating system environment
  • An ability to take your technical strengths and adapt them to new and adjacent areas of interest
  • Out-of-the-box thinking to find creative solutions for cutting edge technology, design, and applications
  • A solid understanding of advanced math

If you have this, your value just went up!
  • Enjoy collaborating and learning with a team of fellow brilliant researchers to develop the next level of processing and analysis algorithms
  • Possess an inquisitive mind and have a passion to develop the best software and hardware solutions

Why work for us ...
  • We offer an environment where you have the ability to stretch yourself technically
  • We provide a dynamic research environment where one can work on a variety of problems and tasks
  • Excellent Work/Life balance with a generous time-off policy
  • 75% off Penn State tuition for you and your family

State College is called Happy Valley for a reason!

We are the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions. As part of the Big Ten Conference, we are a sporting event mecca. Penn State's multi-purpose arena also hosts some of the world's best entertainers. Being situated in central Pennsylvania, we are situated near 4 state parks, have miles of biking and hiking trails and many streams and lakes for fishing and water sports. If you want a daytrip or weekend getaway, we are within reach of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City, Washington DC, and Hershey Park. Needing to travel further, our local airport can literally take you anywhere else!

Our mission ...

Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) is a Department of Defense (DoD) designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), which serves as a center of research excellence in a multitude of areas. ARL conducts basic and applied research, exploratory development, and advanced development in support of the U.S. government organizations; contributes to the educational objectives and research goals of Penn State; and promotes the transfer of advanced technology to the U.S. government.

The mission of ARL's CSP Division within the Communications, Information, and Navigation Office (CINO) is to provide innovative solutions to challenging national problems in sea, land, air, space, and cyber domains through basic and applied research, rapid prototyping, as well as demonstration and fielding of technologies. CINO focuses on developing the most advanced technologies and to provide expert knowledge for our Navy, Army, and other U.S. government sponsors in the following concentrations: Communications and Imaging, Cyber Innovation, Navigation Research and Development, Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, Information Science and Technology, Visualization and Decision Support, Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies.

ARL at Penn State is an integral part of one of the leading research universities in the nation and serves as a University center of excellence in defense science, systems, and technologies with a focus in naval missions and related areas.

Candidate selected may be subject to a government security investigation. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Employment with the Applied Research Laboratory will require successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen.

ARL is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion; we believe this is central to our success as a Department of Defense designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are part of our workforce.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION on ARL, visit our web site at

The pay range for this position, including all possible grades is:

$76,700.00 - $164,000.00

Salary Structure - additional information on Penn State's job and salary structure.


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

Federal Contractors Labor Law Poster

PA State Labor Law Poster

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Copyright Information


University Park, PA

Job Tags

For contractors, Work experience placement, Local area, Weekend work,

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