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Naval Architect

Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S)
£44,500 - £48,200
Closing date
6 Dec 2023

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Job Details

Are you a naval architect looking to use your knowledge to support some of the most edge cutting projects in defence? Are you interested in becoming part of the UK’s submarine programme and support our armed forces? If so, the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) has the perfect role for you.

As a naval architect engineer, you will be at the forefront of submarine naval architecture research and development (R&D). You will work with industry and international partners to introduce new methods and technologies to support Royal Navy submarines. 

You may join one of the following areas:

  • The international complex programme ‘Ship Submersible Nuclear AUKUS’ (SSNA) delivering a significant capability improvement to the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy. You will work with wider SDA and industry experts to drive new and novel submarine technologies. You will work and collaborate with industry to deliver submarine naval architecture design and ensure the delivery of the SSNA design meets Performance Cost and Time requirements of the programme. You will hold industry to account for meeting requirements and provide advice and recommendations to decision makers within the SDA team.
  • The Naval Authority and Technology group. You shall be leading the development of Submarine Naval Architecture, working with R&D organisations and international partners to develop engineering capabilities, support submarine projects and update and maintain defence standards and guidance. You will also play a crucial role in providing second party assurance for defence shipping in the areas of Submarine Manoeuvring & Control and Stability.

By joining the SDA, you will have defined progression routes and opportunities to prosper. Training is readily available, and you will be working in an environment that encourages your development. In this role, you will have the opportunity to:


  • Lead on the development of naval architecture and whole boat requirements related to own area of specialism including verification and validation plans, performance criteria and draft specifications
  • Assure the safety of platforms and manage Naval Architecture key hazard certification
  • Undertake hydromechanics analysis to inform design decisions, and ensure the provision of safe, capable submarines to the Royal Navy
  • Support the SDA to retain ownership and control of the platform design intent, through provision subject matter expert advice and support and challenge of SDA key suppliers
  • Become a technical leader on Naval Architecture issues across the enterprise including Industry, Royal Navy and wider government stakeholders
  • Conduct general engineering manager activities such as contract change, approvals, finance management to support the project as required

You will be inducted into a hybrid working role where you will be required to attend your allocated site for part of your working week as agreed with your line manager. You may be based in either Bristol or Barrow-in-Furness. Please note occasional travel between UK sites will be required for this role. 

Due to there being posts in multiple locations, SDA reserve the right to offer the highest scoring applicant/s for each location respectively, subject to requirements.

Please note that due to security requirements this role is open to sole UK nationals only. The selected candidate may need to obtain DV clearance once in post. 

External and internal candidates may be entitled to relocation expenses for this position. This will depend on the outcome of an eligibility check by Defence Business Services (DBS) – Barrow-In-Furness only.

Person specification
To be successful with your application, you'll need to show that you meet the following essential criteria:

  • L6 qualification in Naval Architecture or related subject
  • IEng or CEng professional registration or equivalent experience
  • Technical experience in Naval Architecture (or similar) with experience of general Engineering Management, for example, hydrostatics, hydrodynamics or resistance and propulsion
  • Competent user of Naval Architectural modelling toolsets (e.g., Paramarine, Rhinoceros 3D, Hydrostatic, Hydrodynamic, CFD software)
  • Technical experience of delivering complex engineering problems 
  • Experience comprehending and influencing cross functional engineering decisions

In addition to the responsibilities above, the following technical competences and behaviours will be assessed at interview:

  • Application of Analytical Techniques (Practitioner)
  • Technical Decision Making (Practitioner)
  • Leadership (CSBC3)
  • Communicating and Influencing (CSBC3)


  • 25 days’ annual leave +1 day a year up to 30 days, 8 bank holidays and a day off for the King’s birthday
  • Flexible and hybrid working wherever possible, to support your work-life balance (though some attendance to the stated site is required)
  • Market-leading employer pension contribution of around 27%
  • Annual performance-based bonus and recognition awards
  • Access to specialist training and funded professional qualifications
  • Support for progression
  • Huge range of discounts
  • Volunteering days
  • Enhanced parental leave schemes
  • Relocation Allowance - External and internal candidates may be entitled to relocation expenses for this position. This will depend on the outcome of an eligibility check by Defence Business Services (DBS) – Barrow-In-Furness only.

We believe in creating an inclusive environment where our people can grow, thrive, and be their authentic selves. We value diversity of thought and the ways in which it enriches our culture and our work. So whether you’re looking for a new opportunity, a next step, or a helping hand as you return from a career break, here you’ll find a supportive, family-friendly organisation to be a part of. And if you need any assistance with your application, just let us know.

Further Information

More information can be found below:

Selection Process Details

Your application will go through the following stages of assessment:

1. Pre-sift - We will check that you meet any essential or eligibility criteria that are listed in the Person Specification section of this advert. On your CV, please clearly show how you meet the essential criteria.

2. Sift - Your CV will be assessed against the following categories, using a simple numerical scoring system: Key Achievements; Relevant Experience; Applied Knowledge and Skills

Please follow our guidance on CV writing for best chance of success.

3. Interview - If you're invited to interview, you'll be assessed against the Sift categories listed above, as well as the Technical Competences and Behaviours listed in the Person Specification section of this advert.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview.


The Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) is an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Defence responsible for the procurement, in service support and disposal of the UK’s nuclear submarines. Our work is of unparalleled strategic importance nationally and internationally, ensuring the security of the UK’s continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent, and delivering the most technically complex programmes in Defence. We employ over 1500 people and have an annual spend of c. £3.5 billion. 


Cutting-edge engineering and science is a critical component in delivering modern, battle-winning technologies to all branches of the armed forces. Engineering is the largest business area within DE&S – and it’s one of the most fulfilling too. From managing technical risks, engineering resources and services, to defining and assuring best practice, our engineers are exemplars both within DE&S and our industry partners and professional bodies. 

Please see the MOD Privacy notice which informs how we will use your personal data, explains your rights and gives you information you are entitled to under Data Protection legislation.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria. Please click here to find out more.

DE&S/SDA and MOD Main internal applicants will need to apply through MyHR Internal Career Portal via the DE&S/SDA jobs tile. This can be found on the MyHR home page.

Please ensure you check your junk mail for email notifications from the DE&S/SDA Talent Acquisition Team.  To stop notifications being sent to your junk mail please add the following email address ( to the Safe Senders list in your email account.


Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) is a highly specialised and essential part of the Ministry of Defence.  Their purpose is to equip and support the UK’s Armed Forces for operations now and in the future. DE&S are a combined workforce of over 11,100 civilian, military and private contractor staff who are deployed at over 150 locations in the UK and overseas, with headquarters located in Bristol.

DE&S plays a vital role in maintaining military operational capability by acquiring and supporting a wide range of world class equipment and services including:

  • ships
  • submarines
  • aircraft
  • vehicles
  • weapons and information services

DE&S regularly recruits people within the project and programme management, finance, information, quality, engineering and science, logistics and commercial functions.

Build your career with DE&S and you will be working alongside a team of people who are immensely proud of what they do in providing the best possible service to the Armed Forces. Their people have a unique set of skills and abilities that enable DE&S to deliver a programme of work that includes complex warships, submarines, aircraft and armoured vehicles, through to field kitchens, munitions handling, and postal and courier services to the front line.

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