Senior Project Manager

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Science & Technology Facilities Council
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Job Announcement Text: 

Senior Project Manager 


UK Astronomy Technology Centre 

£37,789 - £53,558 

Full time

Open Ended


About Us

The Science & Technology Facilities Council is a partner organisation within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.  

The UK ATC is the national centre for the design and production of world-leading astronomical instruments and systems in the United Kingdom. As a science driven, professional engineering organisation, we employ state-of-the-art technology across all engineering disciplines, including complex optical and infra-red detectors, vacuum-cryogenics, control electronics and software, for both astronomy and non-astronomy applications, in collaboration with academic and industrial partners around the world. The instruments we produce are unique and technically challenging but must be easy to use and highly reliable in difficult environments, such as on high mountain sites and in Space. 


About the role

Due to increasing workload, of which the MIRI management role is a key part, the UK ATC Project Management Group now seeks a Project Manager for the MIRI European Consortium to work closely with the Principle Investigator and Instrument Scientist to ensure the European team delivers the calibration data products and tools required according to plan and supports commissioning of the Observatory.  This is an exciting opportunity to join a multinational collaborative team that will bring the MIRI instrument into successful operations and science. In addition to this specific role, there is a need for additional project management support on some of our other instrumentation projects.

As a Project Manager at the UK ATC, you will be expected to work concurrently on projects according to the processes and procedures in place at the UK ATC which are based around the PMI Body of Knowledge standards and STFC Project Management guidelines. 

Working within a matrix organisation alongside engineers, technicians and scientists, and reporting to the Head of Project Management at the UK ATC, your main duties, tailored to the specific projects in question, will be to:

• manage the scope of the project by confirming the science specification with the Project Scientists, developing the engineering requirements and hence a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) with the Systems Engineers, and thereafter managing any requested or necessary changes to the project deliverables as agreed with the stake-holders and end users

• manage the organisation of the project by agreeing with the UK ATC Heads of Discipline the appropriate resource allocation and responsibilities of all staff on the project. On collaborative projects, this will include agreement on the deliverables of each institution and sub-contractor involved through the use of work-scopes, contracts etc.

• manage the quality and safety aspects of the project using established industry standards and in-house procedures

• manage the cost of the project, including the preparation of estimates for approval against budgets, maintaining cost to go forecasts for effort and requisitions, and negotiating access to contingency funds or changes to the project scope where necessary

• manage the timeline of the project by developing and maintaining a suitably comprehensive integrated project plan for all activities across the consortium

• manage the project risks and opportunities by identifying and quantifying, before the budget is set, all the potential threats and benefits to the scope, time-scales and cost of the project, and implementing an on-going process of risk management over the project lifecycle

• communicate the project status and progress across the design teams to all stake-holders, including customers and sponsors, UK oversight committees and project boards, UK ATC senior management, and national/international funding agencies

• manage the contracts for all key procurement items, working with the UK government procurement agency during the selection phase then managing the contractors through the manufacturing phase.

Note that whilst there is a need for some travel across all of the projects we manage, the role of Project Manager for the MIRI European consortium will involve significant travel, to coordinate with European partners and attend work package meetings, and to the USA (NASA sites, STScI and the JWST Prime Contractor) in support of testing and commissioning.


About you

You will have a good first degree (minimum 2:1) in an Engineering or Science based subject and have experience working as a Project Manager in either industry or academia, and as a lead designer in a primary engineering discipline or have experience of developing software in a collaborative scientific environment at an earlier career stage. You will have experience of managing projects within which scientific software has been a key deliverable and will have been responsible for the cost and on time delivery of these projects, to the specification, quality and safety standards required.


What we offer

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.


How to Apply

Applicants are required to include a cover letter outlining their suitability for this role. 

Applications are handled by UK Shared Business Services, to apply please click the Apply button. Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on +44 (0)1793 867000.

The closing date for applications is the 26th February 2019.


Pay Compensation
Salary Min: 
$37789.00 (USD)
Salary Max: 
$53558.00 (USD)
Compensation Notes: 
Salary in GBP£
Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Selection Deadline: 
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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