Job Opportunity

System Design Authority (SDA), Submarine Systems

Purpose of job
The SDA is an important role, central to Submarine Systems divisional delivery and future business growth.
Our SDA’s are responsible for the overall technical leadership and systems engineering of the solutions which we provide. They lead in the development of these solutions from initial concepts through to their acceptance by our customers. Beyond acceptance, they retain technical ownership and authority for the design of our systems as these are used, supported and modified through life.
The role requires our SDAs to work closely with our customers and also with our project managers and colleagues in our internal Engineering and Production
divisions, to ensure that our products and services satisfy the needs of our customers and are fit for purpose in all other respects. Many of the systems we provide deliver front-line defence capability and are depended on to operate reliably in the harsh underwater environments within which submarines operate. To achieve these goals means that the systems we provide must be right, and we need the innovation, determination, knowledge and skills of our SDAs to ensure this.

Reporting relationships
Reporting to the Submarine Systems Divisional Chief Engineer

Winfrith, Dorset Innovation Park

Employment status
Permanent / Full Time (37 hours per week, Monday to Friday)

Submarine Systems Division is working to secure an increasing share of the UK submarine market; providing and supporting systems used by the Royal Navy’s submarine flotilla. Major successes have been achieved in the past and further opportunities are being pursued in the areas of submarine sonar, signatures, communications, underwater weapons and countermeasures. Towed array handling and electric actuation remain as areas of strong growth, with additional opportunities to be bid, secured and then delivered from 2018 onwards. Several export projects complement this domestic UK business, with a number of further export orders currently being pursued.

To ensure that AEUK continues to deliver existing project commitments and secures the identified future opportunities, additional Submarine Systems SDA capacity is being sought by the division.

The SDA will work with the division’s Product Managers in promoting AEUK capabilities and in engaging with customers and wider stakeholders to develop and secure future business opportunities; this will involve the analysis of requirements, the development of solution concepts and the translation of these concepts into high level architectural designs and system specifications. Working with technical leaders in Engineering Division, the SDA will prepare technical proposals and provide support to appointed Bid Managers in responding to invitations to tender and requests for quotation

Once work has been secured, the SDA will assume responsibility for the technical management of allocated projects, this including all aspects of systems engineering management. He/she will work closely with divisional Project Managers, colleagues in Engineering and Production Divisions, other business support functions and external suppliers to ensure the subsequent delivery of products and services in accordance with agreed project plans and associated performance, cost and time targets.

The SDA will also engage with colleagues in other Divisions to ensure alignment of customer and self-funded research with Submarine Systems division product development needs and plans. This will involve the identification and road-mapping of key enabling technologies and an active contribution to AEUK’s standardisation initiative.

The successful candidates can expect to be working on projects through the whole product lifecycle, from concept through assessment and demonstration to acceptance and in-service support.

The post provides an excellent career development opportunity for less experienced candidates as well as the more experienced, with good potential for further career progression.

Behavioural requirements

  • Systems thinker
  • Innovative and prepared to challenge conventional thinking
  • Tenacity and determination; with desire to deliver outputs and results
  • Interest in submarine systems
  • Team player and leader
  • Confidence and enthusiasm
  • Excellent communication skills; oral and written

Knowledge, skills and personal qualities required:
Candidates will be systems thinkers; able understand the broader operational context of customer requirements and user needs. Previous experience of product lifecycles, systems design, system modelling and analysis, requirements management, test and acceptance and/or production and support would be beneficial, with familiarity of the UK Submarine Enterprise and a technical background in at least one of the following areas being highly desirable;

  • Submarine sonar arrays (hull and/or towed)
  • Sonar data and signal processing, cabling and telemetry
  • Submarine combat systems architectures and interfaces
  • Submarine towed array handling systems
  • Underwater weapons and defensive aid suites
  • Underwater signature ranges
  • Signature reduction and control
  • Underwater acoustic and RF communications
  • Electric actuation and control systems
  • Future submarine design concepts and technologies
Winfrith Newburgh
Dorset DT2 8ZB