Head of Programme - Materials Science and Engineering

UK Atomic Energy Authority
£68760 - £73935 per annum
12 Nov 2020
03 Dec 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Head of Programme - Materials Science and Engineering

Job Ref: 5045
Job Title: Head of Programme - Materials Science and Engineering
Job Type: Permanent Full Time
Location: Culham, Oxfordshire
Salary: £68,760 - £73,935 + excellent benefits including outstanding pension scheme
Closing Date: 3rd December 2020

Are you an experienced leader in Materials Science and Engineering research, with a successful track record in obtaining >£2m project funding and extensive exposure to industry stakeholder engagement?

Materials research within the UKAEA is both fundamental and applied, feeding into the Authority`s international reputation for thought leadership on neutron-affected materials as well as delivering new materials for international (ITER / DEMO) and British (STEP) fusion reactors and powerplants.

A dynamic programme leader is sought to deliver the Materials Programme`s research agenda to world-class standards. The role is critical to the delivery of a UK Fusion Materials Roadmap and requires vision in both scientific and engineering domains. The role reports to the Director of Materials and, alongside Head of MRF Operations and Senior Fellow for Modelling, forms the core leadership team.

Intensive co-operation with stakeholders across multiple platforms (engineering, plasma science, modelling) is envisaged, to ensure continuity of philosophy from material-scale to component-scale engineering design, and excellent collaboration skills are required in order to seek and drive new funded projects with academic and industrial specialists.

Key accountabilities / responsibilities:

- Lead, shape and extend the fusion materials research programme beyond current BEIS and EPSRC funding streams and across multiple Materials `disciplines` (fundamental, applied, experiment, technology)
- Design and communicate the UKAEA Materials research strategy through knowledge of the state-of-the-art and horizon scans, ensuring alignment to both internal multi-million pound programmes (eg Spherical Tokamak Energy Production [STEP]) and external fusion roadmaps (EUROFusion, Royce)
- Develop and negotiate new funding from industrial, governmental and other sources, building collaborations with third parties locally and overseas
- Manage a number of Section Leads comprising well respected scientists, physicists and technologists, but also undertake broader scientific coaching and upskilling of their direct reports via group technical engagement
- Develop and execute strategies for building and exploiting valuable and disruptive IP relevant to UKAEA Materials
- Connect to UKAEA`s `Fellows` stream creating a culture of strong cross-UKAEA technical experts and developing deep knowledge of non-Materials areas (computing, plasma, robotics)
- Promote UKAEA Materials delivery internationally by representing and promoting UKAEA`s Materials capabilities and successes at international forums such as conferences and trade fairs

At UKAEA we strive to make everyone feel welcome and fully supported. 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. Our Inclusion Ambassadors are actively promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the organisation to help make our organisation an employer of choice. UKAEA has a graded career structure and our mentoring scheme will enable you to reach your true potential.

The UKAEA hosts and manages the JET nuclear fusion energy experiment on behalf of the EU and is also home to the UK`s MAST-U fusion energy experiment. UKAEA also works with industry and other third parties to develop new technologies currently in Remote Handling and Materials research. Following recent UK funding, two new centres of excellence in tritium fuel handling and component testing and validation are being built. The culture at UKAEA promotes research, innovation and leading edge technological excellence, whilst investing in people.

Knowledge, skills and experience


- Recognised leader in the Materials Science and Engineering community
- Engineering or technology PhD or equivalent experience in industrial research
- Significant experience in leading funding bids in the UK BEIS environment
- Expert level knowledge across a range of materials fields from process (HIP, SPS) and microstructural evaluation (XRD, SEM, TEM, AFM, FIB, Raman) to micro- and meso-mechanical testing
- Extensive industrial research experience including complex international collaborative projects
- Knowledge of nuclear applications and materials is highly desirable
- Proven ability to interact efficiently with people in a variety of different situations
- Proven track record of building relationships, networks, and collaborations with industry and academia
- Proven track record of securing funding including from UK government mechanisms
- Ability to communicate and influence other stakeholders effectively, especially post-holder`s equivalents in universities, international laboratories, etc


- Post graduate and/or work experience in the nuclear sector
- Experience linked to engineering outputs via product design and / or manufacturing and / or materials testing and qualification
- A strong proven track record of delivering complex research and developments projects to quality, time and budget


As part of the selection process you may be expected to complete work based simulation exercises and a personality profile either online or onsite.

Please be advised that this vacancy may close earlier than stated if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.

We actively promote equality and value diversity in our workforce. We operate a number of flexible working arrangements (such as part-time working/job share/home working). Flexible working may be available with this role.

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 - The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks will show the details of all current criminal convictions (convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) or will confirm that there are no such convictions.

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