Director of Science and Technology
Overview of Responsibilities
Who are we looking for?
As the Director of Science and Technology you will be at the heart of the development and delivery of a genuine world first. You will be motivated by making a lasting difference at the national and global level, and by delivering difficult challenges, translating ideas into real outcomes – in this case an entirely new energy source and the industrial capability to take that technology forward. The key behaviours and competencies required are:
- Handling ambiguity, uncertainty and high levels of complexity
- Thriving in finding a way through complex situations
- Engaging senior stakeholders, including government Ministers and external investors, in a credible and convincing way
- Confidence and convincing engagement with a range of audiences, including the ability to manage media engagements with questioning and to convey complex technical issues simply
- Ability to present authoritatively at international conferences
- Positivity and enthusiasm, and ability to foster that spirit within the team
- Excellent written communication skills
Director of Science and Technology Responsibilities
Plasma physics and innovative technology is essential for delivering success on STEP. Without a machine that supports a viable plasma we have no path to commercial success, and in a genuine first-of-a-kind endeavour it is essential to drive clarity and pace in identifying and delivering technologies that help balance the multiple competing requirements of the design and, through delivering, help build fusion capability in industry. The Director of Science and Technology (DS&T) is pivotal to these aims. Key responsibilities include:
- Lead the physics design of the STEP Prototype Plant
- Lead the development and delivery of Technology Roadmaps for all aspects of the Power Plant, ensuring the key technologies are rapidly and progressively demonstrated through physical testing and modelling
- Work with whole plant industry partners on technology demonstration that supports development of industrial fusion capability
- Support the Director of Engineering in the development of the overall plant design, ensuring that the physics package and plant designs are compatible
- Together with key SDO (Chair, CEO, CFO) and UKAEA (CEO) stakeholders, be at the heart of the team that will seek and raise 3rd party investment into STEP, at both the supply chain level and into the SDO itself
- Depending on the candidate lead engagement with local and regional stakeholders at the STEP West Burton Site to identify and leverage concomitant economic opportunities, and lead the development of a local and regional skills pipeline for STEP at West Burton
You will be a critical member of the Programme Executive team that will lead STEP through the remainder of Tranche 1 (the current investment phase) and into Tranche 2, the next major investment gate that will see formation of the new delivery Company and Strategic Partnering with industry.
You will lead the overall development of the physics of the STEP Prototype Plant (SPP), developing a viable plasma scenario for all phases of operation and will work with the Director of Engineering to ensure the machine design is matched to that plasma design, in particular on plasma control and on the management of off-normal events in support of the safety case.
You will lead on the development and delivery of all critical new technologies across the plant. The design is based on a number of new or adapted technologies, each of which needs to be progressively refined and demonstrated through clear Technology Roadmaps whilst the detailed plant design proceeds in parallel, assuming success on those roadmaps. You will be responsible for finding alternative approaches should any baseline technologies prove unsuccessful. This work will make you a key part of developing and delivering the commercial plan for STEP as technology demonstration will be an important part of developing industrial capability.
You will lead on the development of specific fusion digital tools and will set the strategy for the development of a Digital Twin for the prototype plant that will be pivotal to subsequent design of fully commercial plant.
You will also be central to raising 3rd party investment for STEP, both into the developing supply chain (supporting suppliers) and directly into the new Company through credibility in the field and the ability to engage effectively with serious investors.
Depending on your wider capabilites, other pan-programme responsibilities may be allocated to you, in particular, there is the potential to lead on regional stakeholder engagement around the STEP site to leverage local economic benefits, including engagement with the regional academic community to build an educational pipeline for STEP.
The DS&T post will transition into the new STEP Delivery Organisation (subject to Government approvals) around the start of Tranche 2, the next major investment phase commencing in Apr 2024 and, depending on detailed SDO design and on your capabilities, there is potential for this post to evolve further to become the Chief of Science and Technology and therefore on the Executive Committee of the SDO.
- Whilst you will be based at Culham, extensive travel will be required. This will include travel to London to engage Government stakeholders, travel to the STEP site as part of developing the IDT, travel to a wide range of suppliers, and international travel in support of collaborative work and fusion conferences
You will demonstrate expertise and experience in the following areas:
- Internationally recognised expertise in fusion research and fusion plant design
- Internationally recognised expertise in the design and behaviour of Spherical Tokamaks
- Experience in working collaboratively with a wide range of very senior stakeholders to deliver strategic outcomes and change
The following qualifications are essential:
- Doctoral qualification in a discipline related to fusion
- Published papers in their field
The following qualifications are desirable:
- Professional body recognition such as Chartered Engineer status or equivalent.
- Programme / Project Management qualification.
What we offer
Benefits include a vibrant culture committed to being fully inclusive, Employee Assistance Programme, Flexible work options, Emergency paid leave, annual leave allowance (30.5 days) increased with service, career development opportunities, outstanding pension scheme, Corporate bonus and Relocation allowance (if eligible)
We welcome applications from under-represented groups, particularly from individuals from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds, including nationality and citizenship, people with disabilities and women. UKAEA actively promotes EDI and taking steps to increase the diversity of our people.
Please be advised that this vacancy is due to close on 01/02/2023. We may close earlier than this date if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.
All employees working at UKAEA 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.
When applying for employment from outside the United Kingdom or having spent time outside the United Kingdom in the last five years please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants. If the country you are resident in or have resided in is not listed on this website or that the UK Government is not aware of how to obtain a criminal records check from that state then we are unable to process your application.