LONDON RF Engines Ltd. (RFEL) has reported a significant increase in turnover and profits, and are continuing to expand, taking on more specialist systems and VHDL engineers in order to keep pace with demand.
RFEL (Newport, Isle of Wight) which specializes in high performance signal processing design work, has almost doubled its turnover in the last year and profits increased almost tenfold.
Staff have been recruited and additional work taken on to research & development on channelisation designs, a reconfigurable receiver design, as well as a new product for a specialised monitoring requirement.
John Summers, RFEL’s CEO, said, “We have built up a very strong team of people from very different backgrounds; some from defence electronics – radar and electronic warfare; others from the satcoms and wireless world; as well as people with an instrumentation background. This means that we can, pretty quickly, put together small teams who have a good mix of skills in modelling, algorithm development, digital implementation, RF and software – plus they have the hardware and systems knowledge to quickly understand what the customer is trying to do.”
Within the last year, an additional eight designers have joined the company, mostly PhD’s. “The new guys have brought in knowledge from working in companies including ARM, Doulos, Toshiba, BAE SYSTEMS, DSTL, Imagination, Nujira and have blended in really well with other guys from Filtronic, BAE and so on,” explained Summers. “We’ve a tremendous wealth of experience to draw upon, that enables us to create solutions that really meet our customers’ needs.”
“We do often share the risk by having licensing deals for the design, and so our customer gets the job done at a lower up-front cost, and then we both benefit when the product does go to market. It’s proved to be a very good business model.”
By early next year, RFEL will be employing 25 people, with all but one having relocated to the Isle of Wight. When asked how much this was a factor influencing recruitment, Summers said, “I would say that we’ve seen over the last couple of years a distinct emphasis of people really looking at a lifestyle choice. Guys, who were fed up with the drudge of long commutes and maybe also trying to bring their kids up in a difficult environment, have looked at the Island and seen a place where things are different – not quite a parallel universe, but certainly a great place to live and enjoy life. So being on the Isle of Wight is actually a big attraction.”