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Head Of Operations

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, (UKAEA)
UKAEA Culham, Oxfordshire or Rotherham, Yorkshire
£70,696 to £75,414 + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
Closing date
18 Feb 2022
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Job Details

Company Description

Fusion, the process that powers the Sun and Stars, is one of the most promising options for generating the cleaner, carbon-free energy that our world badly needs. UKAEA are at the forefront of realising energy from fusion, working with industry and research partners to deliver the ground-breaking developments that will underpin tomorrow's fusion power stations with the aim of bringing fusion electricity to the grid.

Job Description
Who are we looking for?

As Head Of Operations, you have extensive experience of leading and managing scientific and/or engineering teams and strong experience of management of engineering projects and procurements. Your ability to build collaborations and communicate with people at all levels will be essential to succeed in this role.

The Fusion Technology business unit within the UKAEA consists of a number of specialist fusion related engineering and scientific disciplines. The business unit also operates a number of test facilities which aim to reproduce the extreme thermal conditions and unique combinational loadings experienced by components within a fusion device.

What will you be responsible for?

Reporting to the Director of Fusion Technology, the Head of Operations will be responsible for the day-to-day operational performance of the business unit with regards to quality, delivery, safety, resource management, costs, management reporting and for the delivery of activities and strategy in line with the Business Plan.

Your main responsibilities will include:

- Provide effective leadership of the BU to deliver the business objectives contributing to FTBU and UKAEA’s strategies
- Maximising the efficiency of the Business Unit, building a dynamic team and continually improving processes
- Ensuring systems are in place to assure the quality, delivery and cost of programme deliverables
- Be accountable for ensuring the FT operation allocating resources effectively and tracks project progress to commitments
- Be accountable for agreeing annual budgets and tracking progress against budget
- Work with the Chief Technologist to develop a technology strategy incorporating UKAEA goals and aligning with EUROfusion, EPSRC and other major programmes.
- Ensure all areas within the BU develop a skills pipeline
- Develop and apply QSHE policies, procedures and management arrangements

Note: The Fusion Technology Business Unit is based in both Culham and South Yorkshire. The role could be based at either site and will require travel in order to provide a leadership presence at both sites.

Essential skills, experience and competence required

- Engineering degree or equivalent
- Proven operational leadership capabilities, in a technical research environment, with excellent communication skills
- Demonstrated ability to build cross business-unit and cross location teams to ensure delivery of business objectives
- Experience in optimising team structures and team outputs through organisation design and change management
- Experience in winning research grants
- Project management experience and experience in using formal project management processes
- Experience of holding responsibility for operational safety relating to hazardous facilities, ideally holding a formal qualification in safety

Desirable skills, experience and competence

- Project management qualifications
- Safety management qualifications

Additional Information
What we offer

A competitive salary
A culture committed to being fully inclusive, supported by a Being Inclusive Strategy and Inclusion Ambassadors
An Employee Assistance Programme and trained Mental Health First Aiders, with a full calendar of health and wellbeing initiatives
Flexible working options including family friendly policies
Emergency leave (paid)
30.5 days’ annual leave increased with length of service (including privilege days and 3 days between Christmas and New Year) plus bank holidays
Wide range of career development opportunities (e.g. professional registration, internal promotions, coaching and mentoring programme)
Outstanding defined benefit pension scheme
Annual corporate bonus scheme
Relocation allowance (if eligible)

We welcome applications from under-represented groups, particularly from individuals from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds, including nationality and citizenship, people with disabilities, (visible and hidden) and women. The Executive team with support from our EDI ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ (EDI) partner and Inclusion Ambassadors, is actively promoting EDI and taking steps to increase the diversity of our people through reinforcing best practice in recruitment and selection, and revaluating approaches where it is clear we can remove barriers to success. We are easily accessible by car and are a 10-minute walk from Culham Railway Station in Oxfordshire.

Please be advised that this vacancy is due to close on 18/02/2022. We may close earlier than this date if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.

Please note all employees working at the UK Atomic Energy Authority will be required to complete an online Disclosure Certificate application as part of their clearance.

Note for applicants who are applying for employment with UKAEA either from outside the United Kingdom or who have spent time outside the United Kingdom in the last five years. Please visit the UK Government website. If the country you are resident in or have resided in is not listed on this website or that the UK Government is not aware of how to obtain a criminal records check from that state then we are unable to process your application.


Do you want to help shape the future of the world's energy? If so, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy is the place to be and we can offer a range of career opportunities. These include scientific and engineering roles, as well as technical and administrative positions supporting our research programme.

We have professionally accredited training schemes for graduate engineers and apprentices, and strong links with universities around the UK for PhD placements, as well as job vacancies for various positions when they occur, working in a friendly international environment. 


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