Careers

DTA is a unit of the NZDF that has about 72 scientists, technologists, technicians and business services staff. We are all Defence Civilians and come from a variety of backgrounds.

DTA is a small unit of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) that has about 80 scientists, technologists, technicians and business services staff. We are all Defence Civilians and come from a variety of backgrounds.

We are dedicated to what we do and committed to our customers, stakeholders and our people. This is reflected in our culture of teamwork, friendship and respect for each other.

We give high quality, science-based advice, solutions and technologies to help both the NZDF and in some cases the wider civilian community. To do this we aim to be innovative and creative in our thinking and want to attract and retain the best people in their fields. We offer a workplace where people have opportunities to be their best, where they can develop and keep learning while working on a wide variety of projects, and where their performance is recognised.

 

 

Work with Us

View our current vacancies.

Read about how some of our people came to work at the DTA and what they like about working here.

Portrait of Tim

“I’m very excited to be contributing to the excellent reputation of the NZDF.”

- Tim

Science Researcher, Electronic Warfare: Tim

Following the completion of my PhD, I spent the first part of my career as a scientist under the UK Ministry of Defence, with research focused on electronic warfare in the maritime domain. In 2020 I was given the opportunity to emigrate to New Zealand and bring my experience to DTA. 

In my role as the Research Leader for Maritime Countermeasures within DTA, I oversee the delivery of the critical tactics and advice that ensures the survivability of Royal New Zealand Navy ships, wherever they may be operating. This involves everything from in-lab computer simulations to at-sea trials, working closely with teams from across the NZDF, industry, and partner nations. 

The diverse and exciting work; supportive environment, and high-calibre personnel has made DTA a fantastic place to work and it is particularly rewarding to see the immediate impact of my research on New Zealand defence and security. I’m very excited to be contributing to the excellent reputation of the NZDF.

Shem Harris, Research Engineer

"Working at DTA allows me to apply my skills on research projects which have tangible, real-world applications.”

- Shem

Research Engineer: Shem

I joined DTA in 2020 as a Research Engineer in the Platform's Engineering Section. My role involves developing models and conducting field testing to assess how robotic and autonomous systems can be integrated across the air, land and sea domains. I also play a role in the design and development of small satellites.

The variety of work that DTA undertakes makes for a stimulating and enjoyable environment. It also provides the opportunity to work with a range of experts from different fields, working together to achieve objectives which wouldn't be possible with a singular approach.

Working at DTA allows me to apply my skills on research projects which have tangible, real-world applications. It is rewarding to know that the work that I am doing has a direct benefit to NZ and its service personnel.

"I wanted to do materials engineering in the real world and use my skills to solve real problems"

- Ben

Materials Engineer: Ben

I started working at DTA because I wanted to do materials engineering in the real world and use my skills to solve real problems. As the Section Leader of the Materials Engineering Section, I oversee and conduct failure investigations and longer term research into the use and performance of various materials so as to determine how the NZDF can best exploit the opportunities they offer.

In addition to a great balance between short and long-term work, there are opportunities to go into the field on trials. I recently spent an exciting day in Waiouru filming the firing of Claymore Mines (anti-personnel, command detonated, directional charge) with a high-speed camera, as well as measuring blast pressures so that appropriate hearing protection and safe distances from the Claymores could be recommended for training. At DTA I have opportunities to work with great people, both civilians and military personnel, use exciting, leading-edge equipment, and conduct challenging and interesting investigations in support of NZDF goals and requirements.

“It is fantastic to be operating in a supportive environment and a high-calibre team.”

- James

Science Researcher, Platform Engineering: James

I joined DTA in January 2018, having spent the first part of my career working overseas in aerospace and defence. I was motivated by the opportunities available at DTA to undertake stimulating technical work that safeguards New Zealand’s security, while also enjoying the lifestyle that the Auckland area has to offer.

As a science researcher, I am working on engineering and technology projects that range from ensuring the airworthiness of RNZAF fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, through to studying how new platforms such as unmanned aircraft might be used by all three Services.

Collaborating and engaging with Defence Force personnel, government agencies and industry are rewarding parts of my role. It has also been fascinating to see the variety of ways the NZDF is looking to apply technology across the land, sea, air and space domains. It is fantastic to be operating in a supportive environment and a high-calibre team, where new technologies are embraced as essential to making the most of our resources. Knowing how highly regarded we Kiwis are internationally for our ‘can do’ approach, I am now excited to contribute to that kind of innovation as a member of NZDF.