Head of Engineering Delivery and Operations

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Edinburgh
£61,227 to £68,029 per annum
Closing date
29 May 2021

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Job Details

Head of Engineering Delivery and Operations

Location: UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Edinburgh
Band: Band G
Salary: £61,227 to £68,029 per annum

Leadership opportunity to oversee a staff of engineers and technicians delivering an ambitious programme of world class research and technical innovation in astronomy. 

The UK Astronomy and Technology Centre (UK ATC) is an internationally renowned centre for the development of cutting edge astronomy instrumentation for ground and space based observatories. It also has an active research and technology development programme. We are now seeking to employ a Head of Engineering Delivery and Operations to support the Director of the UK ATC in leading our highly skilled workforce in a dynamic, collaborative, international environment. 

About the role

The Head of Engineering Delivery and Operations is a key senior manager and will be one of the small senior team setting the UK ATCs strategic objectives. Within this role, you will have a particular focus on quality, maintaining the appropriate engineering standards and skills, and improving the daily operation of the UK ATC. You will be responsible for day to day delivery of the full programme of research and engineering projects, ensuring continuous improvement to project design and construction. You will lead in resolving issues in the UK ATC (whether internal or with external organisations) as they arise, by finding and implementing solutions.   This is a unique opportunity to work with our talented engineers in delivering challenging novel instrumentation for world leading international observatories and space missions.

In order to monitor the delivery of projects, you will maintain a comprehensive top level perspective on all projects. It will be your responsibility to ensure projects meet their functional and performance requirements, and you will provide oversight and final sign off on engineering resource estimates provided by technical staff. You will ensure regular internal peer reviews and updates of major projects, covering both technical and programmatic aspects, working collaboratively with the Head of Strategic Development.

As senior manager to the engineering staff, you will oversee staff career development and provide best practice leadership for operations and engineering at the UK ATC. You will work closely with the Group Leaders of the engineering teams to implement lessons learned across the UK ATC as well as within their engineering discipline areas. Your role will be to promote cohesive team working across projects, groups, and at organisational level, and to deputise for the director as required.

Further responsibilities will include:

  • Line management of multi-disciplined engineers and staffing levels within agreed plan.
  • Management of the facilities and infrastructure.
  • Delegated responsibilities for overall Health and Safety for UK ATC engineering.
  • Contribute to corporate activities in relevant areas and represent the UK ATC internationally and nationally, interacting with external people and organisations.

About you

We are looking for a senior manager with a track record of managing in a complex technical environment, with a proven ability to work with a team to solve challenging engineering problems.  A key part of the role concerns staff and performance management, developing our people’s skills, and you will have delegated responsibility for staff safety in our laboratories and offices. You will be an excellent people manager and leader, as well as have great communication skills for working with our wide range of stakeholders.

We are looking for someone with a strong engineering background, with the vision and enthusiasm to lead our teams. With a focus on continuous improvement to ensure the UK ATC engineering team continues to develop, you will be a strategic thinker adept at making decisions quickly and decisively.

About us

The UK ATC is the national centre of expertise for the design and production of state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation and systems. It provides a friendly and flexible working environment, on a beautiful site combining a historic observatory with modern state-of-the-art facilities.

We are committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. We are invested in creating an environment that is welcoming and supportive of all, to help us achieve the highest possible standards in our work and organisation together.

Our Benefits

As part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), STFC offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, flexible working hours and an exceptional pension scheme. To ensure the welfare of our staff, we have a dedicated wellbeing team, specialised support groups and all employees have 24/7 access to our employee assistance programme.

How to Apply

Applicants are required to include a cover letter outlining their suitability for this role. Ensure you showcase your skills and how they relate to the criteria set out for this role. Early applications are encouraged as the vacancy will remain open until filled and interviews will take place on a rolling basis.

For more details on the role and to submit your application, please click the apply button.

The closing date for applications is 30th May 2021.


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and engineering. STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

At STFC, our engineers provide the technology that allows our world-leading science to make a real difference in areas that really matter: from cancer treatment to airport security, high-tech jobs to hydrogen powered cars, energy generation to accident scene emergency care, our impact is felt in many aspects of daily life. We provide and exploit space and astronomy technology, a world-leading neutron scattering facility, ultra-fast supercomputers, amazing scientific instruments and some of the most powerful lasers in the world. We work with industry and academia throughout the UK, Europe and the world.

STFC can offer you an excellent working environment. Our laboratories are based in beautiful rural locations in Cheshire, Oxfordshire and in Edinburgh, with great amenities and quality of life for you and your family. We are at the centre of burgeoning high-tech campuses buzzing with economic investment and even more promise for the future. Our people enjoy attractive benefits and plenty of opportunity for development. Whether you are beginning or furthering your career, we can offer you excellent opportunities to test out and broaden your skills and experience and to gain real technical and managerial expertise working in dynamic team and project environments.

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