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Head of RAL Space Operations

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Full-time position

Location: Didcot, United Kingdom

Category: all
Published on: Nov 14, 2018 - 2018

Head of RAL Space Operations


£58,208 to £64,675 (depending on skills and experience)

Full time

Open ended


About Us

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 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. 

STFC is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

About the role

RAL Space carries out a range of world-class space research and technology development. We work alongside the UK Space Agency who co-ordinate UK civil space activities. We have around 275 staff (260 FTE) supporting the programmes of STFC and other Research Councils and also delivering over 100 projects for agencies, industry and other commercial customers. In the next two years we will be completing and bringing into operation the National Satellite Test Facility which is designed to underpin the UK Space Industries growth and the development of the Harwell Space Cluster.

Our programme is complex and we operate programmes for Natural Environment Research Council (NCAS and NCEO), UK Space Agency, European Space Agency and undertake work on research grants and commercial contracts. Many of our projects are large with complicated contractual, resourcing and financial arrangements requiring very careful management. The Head of RAL Space Operations will assist the RAL Space Director in leading our world-leading research and technology development projects, providing governance for Project Managers, customers and internal support activities such as Finance, Procurement and Legal and Commercial. You should have a strong understanding of all aspects of Project Management and will also have good planning and organisational skills.

With the expansion and increased space activities in the UK and the consequent growth of the STFC RAL Space programme, as well as the added work arising from delivering the National Satellite Test Facility, there is a critical need for a senior manager with the bandwidth to focus on maintaining and improving the daily operation of RAL Space.

The Head of RAL Space Operations will be responsible for day to day delivery of the RAL Space programme supporting the Director and Division Heads, including responsibility for the financial management of RAL Space. You will have a proven track record in the operational management of a complex technical and scientific programme. You will be committed to and focussed on keeping RAL Space at the cutting edge of space institutions and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the department. You will be expected to have experience of financial control and project management within a large organisation as well as extensive people management experience.

About you

It is essential that you have a Bsc Hons in relevant science or engineering subject as well as extensive experience of working in a management role in the space domain, with additional experience at a senior level.

You will have proven experience of leading technical teams within the space domain or a complex science facility with a track record of improving delivery. 

Practical experience in maintaining high standards of health and safety, both in culture and activity and a track record in working in space or other complex programmes and delivering results to tight schedules would also be essential for this role.

You must have strong leadership, decision making, communication, planning and judgement skills.

What we offer

In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme and generous leave allowance are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

How to Apply

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

Applications are handled by UK SBS; to apply please click the 'Apply to this job' link. Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on +44 (0)1793 867000.

The closing date for applications is 2nd December 2018.

How to apply

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Please see more information on our application page linked below.

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