Lethality And Warheads Undergraduate Placement 2019

What’s the Opportunity?

This is a unique opportunity to be an integral part of a specialised group of engineers with mixed skills, involved in assessing the lethal performance of various missile systems.

The Lethality & Warheads group is an integrated team situated across sites in Stevenage, Bolton and Paris and their role is to:

  • Act as the company’s design authority for warheads.
  • Predict the lethal performance of various types of missile systems.
  • Provide expertise in the skill areas of warheads, explosives, target detection and weapon lethality.

The skills we require are not typical in academia and so joining the team presents an opportunityfor you to develop skills in numerous aspects of missile lethality that you would get anywhere else.

The Stevenage based team primarily undertakes modelling of the missile terminal engagement, the target detection, warhead detonation and lethal performance prediction.

From the very start of the programme, you will be actively involved applying a bespoke set of modelling tools, with support and guidance from the team’s engineers, to evaluate and analyse the lethality of developing and future missile systems. You will be expected to work on your own or in a small team, with limited supervision, as required, on short tasks (typically of a few weeks to a few months in duration).

Throughout the early careers programme you will undertake several placements to ensure that you gain exposure to the various aspects of the department and the wider company. MBDA invests heavily in its undergraduates and the programme is tailored to focus on your personal and professional development.

What will you be doing?

  • Gaining knowledge and applying an understanding of fuzing techniques, warhead technologies, lethal effects and lethality assessment modelling methods, to various types of missile systems in development by MBDA.
  • Carrying out conceptual design and trade-off studies of warheads and fuzes for different missile systems.
  • Investigating fuzing algorithms, warhead designs and missile terminal dynamics to assess the effect of different lethal mechanisms, with the aim of optimising the system’s lethality.
  • Using and developing various tools to aid warhead and fuze design, performance prediction and visualisation of the engagement endgame for effect analysis.The in-house tools are principally fast running analytical models written in MATLAB; however other tools are used, ranging from CAD design software to complex finite element style hydrocodes, applied to warhead detonations and weapon-target impacts.
  • Producing plans and reports to document studies in research, design, development, or qualification programmes.
  • Compiling and giving presentations describing studies, analysis of results, and conclusions, to varying levels of management personnel.
  • Depending on the stage of the project, there may be opportunities to support warhead or fuzing trials in the UK and internationally.

What are we looking for?

  • Working towards a Bachelors degree (minimum 2:2 honours) or equivalent in an Engineering, Mathematical or Applied Science discipline. Applicants with relevant post-graduate qualifications are also encouraged.
  • A willingness to learn new skills and the ability to apply newly gained knowledge to overcome engineering problems.
  • The ability to communicate ideas clearly, including technical information, both verbally and in writing.
  • The ability to work well both within a team and individually.


  • Previous experience in the use of MATLAB, however training will be provided as necessary.
  • Experience in other programming languages
  • Previous experience of tools such as ANSYS AUTODYN, PTC CREO (or other CAD tools) and MS Office would be advantageous, however train will be provided as necessary.

Why you should come and work at MBDA?

  • MBDA, a world leader in missiles and missile systems, is a multi-national group with over 10,000 employees on industrial facilities in France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and a presence in the United States
  • With some of the most sophisticated technology in defence, MBDA offers a wide range of advanced weapon systems for maritime Superiority, Air Dominance, Ground Based Air Defence and Battlefield Engagement
  • We work with over 90 armed forces, successfully integrating our systems onto multiple platforms.
  • Has a technology pedigree that allows innovative and responsive products to be created year upon year
  • Our success is based on the dedication of our people and we strive to offer each and every employee an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding career
  • MBDA is ranked 12th in the Sunday Times Top 30 Best Big Companies to Work For, demonstrating successful growth and high levels of employee retention.

Our work is complex, challenging and innovative. It takes a range of professionals across the full engineering and commercial spectrum to carry it out. Whatever field our people specialise in, they all share the same mind-set: a drive to make things work better and to redefine the established standards

What would you get?

Competitive joining bonus & salaries, flexible working, paid overtime, a comprehensive pension scheme, employee funded voluntary private healthcare, sporting activities, fantastic site facilities, bonus schemes (subject to level) and superb learning and development opportunities.

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