Optimising data-driven defence solutions
The Data Capability Group is looking to expand at a time when militaries, government agencies and businesses are learning the value of data science but are struggling to adapt it to their needs. Michael, the MLOps lead who joined the team in January 2022, is tasked with growing this capability. He says that’s where tools like MLOps and AI are coming into the fore for the company’s customers.
“The idea of being able to use data through data science, AI and ML is extremely important and a key differentiator for addressing the types of problems our customers encounter,” said Michael. “There’s an increasing recognition that AI and ML technology can make a tangible difference in operational systems, but you need to find a way to deploy those systems robustly and securely. MLOps is the principled approach to achieving that.”
“Data science, AI and ML technologies are transforming lots of different industries and are disrupting how they operate... being able to use these technologies is really important and a key differentiator for resolving the types of problems that our customers face.”
- Michael, Strategic Research Group MLOps lead
Data science skills shortage
The Data Capability Group typically seeks to recruit people who have worked in data science and software engineering, but with mounting demand to deliver more projects, there is greater incentive to consider candidates from unconventional backgrounds.
“MLOps is an emerging discipline, so there are few candidates with those skills out there. While we would be looking for core technical competencies, the main thing is having a curious mindset and being able to grow and learn new things,” Michael said.
Hiring a diverse team in terms of gender, race and culture is also high on the agenda.
“Diversity is so important, especially in data science and data engineering, due to the analytical nature of our work and its effect on people and society at large,” said Gillian, the group’s Data Engineering lead.
“As a group, we’re often presented with different challenging use cases, which allows for many opportunities to research and develop revolutionary technology that can impact lives. This creates an exciting team culture and it’s this, matched with the intellectual curiosity and courage of my colleagues to make a difference, that I find most rewarding,” Gillian said.
Sourcing talent through academia
Raytheon UK regularly engages with academia and the Data Capability Group is no exception. It has built collaborative research relationships with several academic institutions including the University of Bath’s doctoral school for Statistical Applied Maths and the University of Lancaster’s Data Science programmes, among others.
The company also sponsors the final-year projects of students pursuing Master of Science, or MSc, degrees – a measure the company hopes will strengthen its talent pipeline.
Ollie, an MSc Applied Maths graduate, is one of two former sponsored students the group has hired into data scientist roles.
“For my thesis project, I spent three months helping Raytheon UK build a machine-learning system that sorts through hours of CCTV video footage and automatically finds when certain actions happen within that footage, saving time,” Ollie said.
“I’ve been interested in data science for a long time, but I didn’t think it was a career option until Raytheon UK presented the masters projects to my class. That’s when I realised that the pathway from my Applied Maths degree to a data science role was possible.”
If, like Ollie, you’re ready to rise to the challenge and make a difference, apply to join our team here: Be the gamechanger | Raytheon UK