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Principal Systems Engineer

Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)
Berkshire, Reading, England
Closing date
22 Apr 2021

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Principal Systems Engineers

To enable the successful delivery of this programme, the AWE Warhead Engineer function is seeking experienced Systems Engineers who can lead and deliver key workstreams across multiple lifecycle phases.

Location: Reading

Salary: Competitive based on experience

AWE offer a competitive salary, market leading contributory pension scheme, generous holiday entitlement, excellent work/life balance including a 9 day working fortnight and flexible working hours (role dependent). A salary sacrifice scheme is also available. We welcome applicants that are looking for full time and part time hours, including term-time working hours. A full Job Profile is available along with package details.

AWE has been named in The Sunday Times top 25 Big Companies to work for in 2021.

The UK Atomic Weapons Establishment is embarking on a Replacement Nuclear Warhead programme, to ensure the UK continuous at sea deterrent.

We are interested in hearing from candidates who have an extensive knowledge of applying Systems Engineering and Systems Thinking to mechanical, electronic, safety, security or nuclear projects and are interested in developing their career with us.

As Principal System Engineer, you will:

  • Demonstrate behaviours of a systems thinker; select and apply appropriate systems thinking skills to solve complex problems and implement constructive change
  • Lead a team of systems engineers to manage cost, schedule, and technical scope
  • Collaborate across functional teams, work effectively with technical teams to design and deliver System Engineering Reviews
  • Create and maintain schedules for developmental milestones; coordinate regularly with key partners to maintain programme objectives
  • Perform Trade Studies and Options Analyses, deliver technical recommendations to customers
  • Decompose an architecture and CONOPS into requirements and interfaces, and support verification team planning
  • Be responsible for drafting, reviewing, and releasing requirements specification documents
  • Conduct technical exchange meetings with internal and external stakeholders
  • Manage the Systems Engineering Budget
  • Support risk and opportunity management
  • Perform system analysis and modelling
  • Plan and conduct production readiness / operations / commissioning activities

To be successful in this role you will have experience in:

Core Systems Engineering leadership, areas detailed above.

Additionally, experience with any or all of the following is advantageous:

  • Proven track record of good judgment and execution to meet technical requirements, while balancing schedules and budget obligations
  • Demonstrated experience with Systems Engineering development processes and all phases of the development life cycle/Design Reviews (SRR, PDR, CDR, FRR, etc)
  • Ability to navigate between the big picture and the details seamlessly
  • The ability to articulate sophisticated technical and programmatic issues to subordinates, peers, management, and customers
  • Large project delivery
  • Formal governance and oversight roles
  • Functional/Business/Departmental leadership

Successful candidates must have demonstrated, exceptional soft skills. This includes the ability to build strong relationships amongst teammates and developing consensus among peers. A key part of this role will be mentoring/coaching others and influencing the implementation of Systems Engineering.

To be considered for the role, you must have an HNC / HND or higher qualification in an engineering discipline or proven experience working in a similar environment. You should be a strong communicator with the ability to work with multiple stakeholders and effectively balance / prioritise your work around programme and technical requirements.

Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role.


We’re looking for talented and ambitious people to join us in our work at the forefront of nuclear defence engineering, science and technology.

To work at AWE is to play a valuable part in keeping our country safe and secure.

Working at AWE gives you access to exceptional technologies, facilities and projects no ordinary company can provide – and the support of world-class professionals at every stage of your career.

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