Technical Lead - R&D and Innovation

Welwyn, Hertfordshire
17 Apr 2019
17 May 2019

Ocado is not only the world’s largest online grocery retailer, with our first class research and development and leading innovation at its heart, we are building the world’s most advanced end-to-end online shopping and delivery solutions.

To achieve this we’re building a talented Product Development Team that designs and develops fully automated technical solutions to extremely competitive commercial timescales. We pride ourselves on taking two years to deliver what our competitors can only dream of doing in ten.

We work with the top consultancies and design houses in Europe – and our desire to achieve exacting standards and push the boundaries of innovation means we’re expanding our own capabilities too.

If you’re excited by the idea of being part of a supportive team working in a fast paced creative environment, where you’re empowered to solve technical challenges, this is for you. We’re challenging the way we do things, come and be part of the automation revolution.

Are you are research and development engineer who likes to work on a variety of new challenges? If you want to be responsible for building the engineering capabilities that support an entire product development department then join the team. Your skills will ensure we have the engineering skills required to continue meet the high quality and reliability required by truly large scale automation in a fast paced 24 /7 complex production environment.


The Technical Lead has the responsibility for solving the most challenging development problems across the Ocado portfolio of engineering projects and is required to build expertise in key technical areas of strategic importance to Ocado. 

Roles & Responsibilities

In this position you will be responsible for:

  • Keeping abreast of latest technology and processes
  • Expanding the Ocado knowledge base through forming partnerships with academic institutions , universities , centres of excellence and expert suppliers
  • Vetting and selecting suitable suppliers and partners capable of supporting the delivery of innovative system, technology and processes.
  • Managing external suppliers to deliver outsourced work packages
  • Providing Ocado management team and project teams with real data to inform technical and ultimately commercial decisions
  • Reviewing technical proposals and make recommendations on how to proceed
  • Driving innovation and generate intellectual property in technology areas relevant to Ocado
  • Creating and communicating clear work packs including timeline, stage gates, resource requirements and progress to key stakeholders
  • Sharing your expertise with the wider department to grow the stock of knowledge within Ocado

Typical activities:

  • You will work as a consultants on projects that vary in scale from small proof of concept studies to longer term 12 month technology evaluation projects
  • You will be asked to
    • Build up your expertise in engineering fields that are new to Ocado
    • Solve a specific technical issue
    • Provide data to support a project decision
    • Provide data to validate a system
    • Provide technical support for technology evaluation and selection
  • You will be required to build expertise in critical areas of technology for Ocado
  • You may be asked to recommend new technologies , processes or systems that should be evaluated or adopted into Ocado’s portfolio of products and systems

The main place of work is currently based from Welwyn Garden and Hatfield sites, but there may be a requirement to work on the development of projects at other UK and international locations. You may be asked to perform tasks as required by management deemed as a reasonable request.

 The responsibilities, tasks and duties of the job holder might differ from those outlined in the job description and other duties, as assigned, might form part of the job.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

We are looking for someone with:

  • A master’s degree in engineering, physics or science degree
  • A strong technical background with a proven track record in complex problem solving and technology evaluation
  • Multi skill technical expert
  • Experience of any of the following would be an advantage  structural analysis , systems engineering , Electrical and Controls engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Safety systems and Ce marking , Robotics, machine vision ,  motion control , materials science
  • Self-motivated, team player, flexible and willing to learn
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Effective communicator to  technical, non-technical and senior management audience
  • Able to provide clear and concise documentation to report results and progress
  • Passion for investigation and problem solving
  • Driven to get into the  detail to get the right data
  • Project management and organisational skills
    • Able to define work package content, stage gated programs and resource requirements
    • Able to deliver work packages to time and resource budgets
    • Effective stakeholder manager

Willing to travel both in the UK and abroad to attend meetings and conferences

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