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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

MEMS Test Engineer

RH-04 MEMS Test Engineer

Contract: Full Time / Fixed Term

Established in 2004, the Tyndall National Institute is one of Europe’s leading centres in ICT research and development. It hosts over 460 researchers, engineers and support staff. It has a network of over 200 industry partners and customers worldwide. Tyndall performs breakthrough research in photonics, electronics, micro/nano-technology and smart systems to deliver innovative solutions in the communications, energy, medtech, bio-pharmaceuticals, agricultural and the environmental sectors.

The MEMS Team

Tyndall has an established MEMS team, which, for over 25 years, has been designing, fabricating and characterising MEMS devices for application areas ranging from medical sensors and actuators to acoustic resonators for RF filtering and sensing to energy harvesting. The MEMS group is part of Tyndall’s world leading MicroNano Systems Centre.

The team specialises in piezoelectric MEMS with a particular emphasis on the integration of the CMOS compatible piezoelectric thin films Aluminium Nitride (AlN) and Aluminium Scandium Nitride (AlScN) into various MEMS devices. In addition to piezoMEMS, the MEMS team also work with electrostatic and electromagnetic MEMS devices. Key applications for the teams’ research include reconfigurable RF Front-Ends for 5G/6G, PMUTs for next generation medical devices and piezo membranes for drug delivery. Funding for our work has been provided by global industry partners, state agencies (Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the EU.

The project

We have recently been successful in securing funding for an ARTES project with ESA and Analog Devices. The objective of this project to develop and execute a test campaign that will pre-qualify ADI’s latest generation RF MEMS switch for use in space and in particular, for use in Satellite Communication Systems (SATCOMS). While there are multiple potential application areas for MEMS switches in space (including phase shifters for phased array antennas, polarisation switches, channel select and switching matrices) the technology has as yet not been adapted for use in space.  One reason for this is the absence of relevant reliability data or indeed a testing standard that would qualify the devices for use in space. This project seeks to address that problem though the development of a suitable testing programme and the application of that programme to ADI’s RF MEMS switch: ADGM1001.

The key objectives of the ESA project are to:

  1. Identify the most suitable space qualified test plan upon which to determine the suitability of RF MEMS switch technology for SATCOMs.
  2. Implement the test plan and establish the lifetime.
  3. Provide recommendations to ESA on future full space qualification of RF MEMS switches.

The Role

We now wish to recruit a MEMS research and test engineer whose primary role will be to execute the objectives of this project as outlined above. The design of the test plan will be achieved in close consultation with ADI, ESA as well as with at least one end user. The test plan itself will include environmental, endurance and radiation testing.

The endurance testing will form the largest portion of the test campaign.  This will be electrical in nature and with the exception of pre- and post- RF measurements will largely comprise DC testing. 

You will interact closely with ADI and ESA for the duration of the project. You will be required to prepare and submit progress reports and project documents to the Project Manager as part of this role. You will travel where necessary to ESTEC for project meetings and to a radiation test centre to oversee the implementation of the radiation testing.

Benefits of the position

  • You will have the opportunity to work in a dynamic and vibrant MEMS group with active research activities in devices ranging from RF resonators to ultrasonic transducers to vibrational energy harvesters and the ability to fabricate our MEMS devices in house. In addition, we have access to state of the art testing capabilities.
  • Great career development and advancement opportunities and direct collaboration with industry (ADI) and ESA.
  • Opportunity to travel (to oversee the radiation testing and/or environmental testing)
  • Attend training courses and workshops.
  • Opportunity to publish in leading IEEE journals.
  • Excellent working conditions

Key Responsibilities

  • DC electrical testing of electrostatic RF MEMS switches. Tests to include basic I-V sweeps for device characterisation, as well as more complex tests for reliability testing.
  • Design of test boards to facilitate testing of the DUTs as per the test plan
  • Development of testing programmes (using suitable software e.g. Labview/C#) for instrument control
  • RF characterisation of RF MEMS switches.
  • Oversight of the mechanical testing of MEMS devices: Shock, vibration and thermal shock testing.
  • Oversight of the radiation testing of the MEMS devices.
  • Assist with the preparation of publications, reports and proposals
  • Presenting updates to all stakeholders (verbal and written reports)
  • Participate in Education and Public Engagement activities, as required.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the Tyndall Quality Management system.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the required Health and Safety standards.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may be reasonably required within the general scope and level of the post.

Essential Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant science or engineering discipline or equivalent and with typically 3 years relevant testing experience.
  • Masters or PhD degree in relevant science or engineering discipline
  • Hands-on experience in performing electrical tests on Electronic/MEMS components/systems
  • Experience in coding using Labview, C#, C++ or alternative language for instrument control.
  • Experience of PCB design
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English including experience in writing and presenting project reports.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience using probe station
  • Experience in test design
  • Knowledge of reliability testing (accelerated testing, Weibull plots etc.) 
  • Experience in project planning and management

Appointment may be made on the Admin Grade 5 scale (B) € 46,935– € 57,694 per annum.  Salary placement on appointment will be in accordance with public sector pay policy.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Dr Ruth Houlihan at

Application Instructions

Step 1 - Please click here to download the Application form and indicate the Job Reference RH-04

Step 2 - Return the completed application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to

Please ensure that your motivation letter, CV and application letter are submitted in pdf format.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.