Head of Programme Development

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Are you a qualified/experienced engineer with significant experience in large project portfolio management?

The UK Atomic Energy Authority have an excellent opportunity for a Head of Programme Development to join their team within the Remote Applications for Challenging Environments (RACE) department.

As part of the global programme for fusion, RACE is developing remote handling systems for the next generations of power stations. It is also at the centre of the UK effort to apply novel technologies to all challenging and harsh environments for the protection of people and advancement of industry. RACE designs, procures commissions, operates and maintains the wide range equipment used for maintenance and implementation of enhancements of the JET Tokamak and is active in the design and development of remote maintenance systems used in ITER and DEMO fusion reactors.

Reporting to the Head of RACE and responsible for the maintenance and expansion of the project portfolio for the business unit. This role forms an intrinsic part of the RACE leadership team which has the responsibility for developing RACE`s reputation as a `go to` source of forward-thinking consultancy and expertise for users of remote handling equipment. The Head of Programme Development is an outward facing role accessible to all the RACE key customers across the fusion and non-fusion portfolio. Alongside the Head of Operations, the Head of Programme Development will develop and implement the future strategy for RACE within UKAEA.

Key accountabilities will include:

– Responsible to the renewal of annual programme ~ £30M
– Demonstrates strong leadership in the EDI culture within the business unit.
– Oversight of initiation of projects and their transition into delivery
– Management of project sponsors and key customer leads
– Promotion of RACE nationally and internationally and on external bodies
– Identification of new opportunities and new markets
– Development of new offices and facilities globally

At UKAEA we strive to make everyone feel welcome and fully supported. We welcome applications from under-represented groups, particular 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 its people.

For further information on why UKAEA is a great place to work please review our recruitment video via the following link:

For full details on the role, UKAEA and our benefits please download the application pack.


Knowledge skills and experience


Strong track record of successful, significant programme development and implementation, ideally UK and international.

Widely networked with proven track record of building relationships, networks and collaborations.

Chartered engineer with degree in relevant engineering discipline or equivalent.

Proven ability to interact efficiently with people in a variety of situations – in an inclusive and collaborative way.


Experience of robotics and automation.

Experience in nuclear or a similar type of industry.


Special requirements:
Extensive national and international travel.

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.

Please note UKAEA do not pay travel expenses for interviews.

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.