About us

We are the UK’s National Metrology Institute, part of the National Measurement System tasked with developing and maintaining the national primary measurement standards.

Owned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, we operate as a Public Corporation in a partnering agreement with the University of Strathclyde and the University of Surrey. We work with academia, research establishments and industry.

Our role is to undertake excellent science and engineering to deliver extraordinary impact for the UK – our measurement capability underpins the UK’s prosperity and quality of life, while our expertise is crucial in accelerating research, development and testing for new products and processes.

As we complete our new £25million Advanced Quantum Metrology Laboratory (AQML), we’re incredibly excited about what the future holds for NPL. It’s a brilliant time to become part of our team.

“I was attracted to NPL by the fact that it’s a world-leading metrology institute that combines cutting-edge research with technological innovation and doesn’t have the same teaching load that you get in universities.”

Jonathan Silver, Leader of the Microcombs team, Atomic Clocks and Sensors Group, Time and frequency

Continue a history of shaping the future

Back in 1902, NPL was officially opened by the Prince of Wales, the future King George V. At the ceremony, he described its purpose as to “bring scientific knowledge to bear practically upon our everyday industrial and commercial life, to break down the barrier between theory and practice, to effect a union between science and commerce.”

Over the last 120 or so years, NPL has taken on an incredible variety of projects. Generation after generation, our team’s work has contributed to key scientific advancements that have left their mark on the planet. Joining us is your opportunity to contribute to projects with the potential to change the world in new ways.

In the years after WW2, Alan Turing led on the development of the Automatic Computing Engine computer at NPL, a key project in the story of UK computing.

Early computers

In 1955, NPL scientists built the world’s first accurate atomic clock, paving the way for an internationally agreed definition of the SI second.

First atomic clock

In the mid-1960s, NPL researchers pioneered packet switching, the basis for data communications in modern IT networks.

Packet switching

In 2004, NPL announced a new technique to measure time using optical frequency and this is a key continuing area of focus.

Optical time measurement

See your work’s real-world impact

We undertake cutting-edge fundamental research in our Quantum Technologies and Time and Frequency Groups, but there is always an end use in mind. The real-world application of NPL science is part of the fabric of daily life – and is empowering our partners to revolutionise industry and commerce. In a career at NPL, there are many ways you could make your own impact on the world.

UK and global timekeeping

Secure communications

Geo-location and navigation

Next gen quantum computers

Medical sensing and Imaging

Graphene / materials

Welcome to inspiring surroundings

Teddington and beyond

Located in south west London, our main site in Teddington is one of the most advanced metrology facilities anywhere – a position strengthened by our £25million investment in the new Advanced Quantum Metrology Laboratory. It is the perfect environment for researchers keen to excel in the field of quantum research.

NPL also operates from other locations around the country and some of our roles offer the chance to work from these sites or remotely.