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Firmware Engineer

Location: Remote (within the UK); London or Oxford preferred. Some travel to our offices will be required from time-to-time
Department: Engineering

The Company

PQShield is a spinout from the University of Oxford specialising in post-quantum cryptography and cybersecurity. Our mission is to innovate and create solutions for the world’s most imminent security challenge: quantum computers. Our cryptosystems will ensure unparalleled internet security and data protection on a global scale across several industries – keeping us all safe as quantum computing technology develops. 

Headquartered in Oxford, with additional teams across the UK and in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and the US, our quantum-secure cryptographic solutions work with companies' legacy systems to protect devices and sensitive data now and for years to come. We are well-funded and VC backed, having recently closed our $20m series A funding round.

PQShield is a highly innovative deep tech company that considers our people to be our most important assets, and so our core value is to provide them with a work environment that promotes personal and professional growth. Hard work and loyalty are always met with acknowledgement, appreciation, and reward. We promote openness and flexibility, resulting in a friendly, family like environment. 

Our corporate social responsibility centres around making sure our products are used in a constructive and positive way – we would like to think that our products will contribute to the greater good rather than be just another money-making commodity. 

About the role

PQShield is looking for an Experienced Firmware Engineer to expand our Cryptographic Firmware IP team. Candidates should hold a degree or PhD in Computer Science\Electronics\Cryptography or equivalent. We hope that you have at least 5 years of experience, but also an open, research-oriented mindset.

The company is not too old, so you would be directly working with the founders and inventors of this deep tech start-up. However, the technology is already a couple of years in the making, its feasibility having been established, funding secured, and it has a clear path to market. This is a great opportunity to make career progress and to get a head start in a rapidly expanding segment of the semiconductor industry (Post-Quantum Cryptography and RISC-V).

Our IP components come together as a RISC-V MCU based Sub-system with advanced (post-quantum) cryptography algorithm support and security features.

What you’ll be doing

  • Implementation and optimization of secure control firmware for a hardware-software co-design system.
  • Integration with cryptographic system and application APIs: E.g., GlobalPlatform, ARM Platform Security Architecture, Linux kernel drivers.
  • Security code review, static and dynamic code analysis, model checking of the firmware.
  • Collaborate with internal Hardware\Software teams and customers on security requirements and functional features.

About you

  • PhD\Degree or equivalent in Computer Science\Electronics\Cryptography or other related discipline
  • Embedded programming in C , Assembler or Rust (primarily ARM, RISC-V).
  • Understanding of hardware/software interfaces; buses, operating system interfaces.
  • Knowledge of Cryptographic Algorithms and Protocols, Comfortable with the Mathematics of Cryptography.
  • Strong ability to interpret results and resolve problems

Nice to have

  • Experience with high-assurance programming techniques: vulnerability testing and code review, static and dynamic code analysis tools, formal methods (e.g. bounded model checking of firmware).
  • Exposure to modern cryptography: Post-Quantum cryptography, side-channel and implementation attacks, countermeasures, and security testing processes.
  • Microprocessor \ SoC architecture, ISA design
  • Knowledge of Industry standard SoC Security Architectures
  • Tamper resistance, Side-Channel Security Countermeasures
  • Secure elements, Smart Cards, FIPS 140, Common Criteria

 What we can offer you

  • Competitive salary.
  • EMI share option scheme.
  • Flexible & remote working, and a working from home budget.
  • Private health insurance for yourself and your family.
  • 25 days annual leave (plus bank holidays).
  • 50% gym membership discount.
  • The chance to work with a really nice, smart and friendly team!


PQShield is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. We’re passionate about talent and proud to foster an inclusive environment; all applicants will be considered regardless of their gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and age.

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