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Job description for AUV Operations Lead

If you are excited by the prospect of working with industry leading subsea technology in a challenging environment, then this could be the ideal opportunity for you. The Salvage and Marine Operations (SALMO) AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) team are looking for an Operations Lead to join them as part of the wider Seabed Operations department of SALMO.

Our SALMO team is the lead across the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the provision of marine salvage and emergency response. Our specialists including Master Mariners, Marine Engineers, Naval Architects, Environmental Scientists, ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) Pilots and Divers provide a centre of expertise for subsea activities and marine operations. Our operations are varied and include salvage assistance to damaged surface vessels, location of aircraft on the sea-bottom, survey of WWII wrecks, towage of warships and submarines, emergency response preparedness exercises and underwater engineering support to resolve defects on Navy platforms at home and overseas.

We will provide you with the necessary training and help you on your journey to becoming an experienced AUV Operations Lead.

Please be advised that this post is based at a location within 10 miles of MOD Abbey Wood and, due to security, this role is reserved for sole UK nationals only. Please also note that the successful applicant will be required to undertake Developed Vetting clearance once in the post.


  • Accountable for AUV operations including operational planning and managing the safe delivery of the AUV capability
  • Line manage a team of Surveyors, AUV Technicians liaising with the AUV Superintendent, to deliver the required outputs on time, to quality and within budget
  • Accountable as the Appointed Person (AP) for the deployed team and their operations from the Charter vessel’s/marine platforms
  • Lead the AUV team in mobilising and integrating the AUV capability onboard marine platforms. Lead on platform marine assurance, chartering (when required) and platform integration planning and execution prior to deployments
  • Lead the team offshore to deliver the in-service operation of the AUV system(s), circa 10 – 12 weeks a year
  • Communicate regularly with the team, in organising and managing the team and ensuring surveyors and technicians carry out all tasks in accordance with SALMO procedures and industry best practices
  • Assess and develop risk control measures and own the offshore Safety and Environmental Management System, bridging documentation in ensuring the team operate safely
  • Lead the team in ensuring all members of the team understand their roles and responsibilities and how these contribute to the wider outputs of the AUV team
  • Lead in the planning and organisation of pre-and post-deployment activity including customer relationships are maintained and expectations are managed
  • Lead a team of multi-disciplinary Engineers and Operators including staff management activities in line with DE&S policy and process

Leena talks about her role in the SALMO team:

“The AUV team offers great work-life balance, opportunities for progression and development, and time off in lieu built up during offshore working. There’s also the chance to work with some of the best commercial underwater surveying equipment in the industry, and opportunities to attend related training courses. Here, I’ve had the opportunity to develop new skills such as 3D printing, working with specialist software. I really enjoy being part of such a great and diverse team.”

Person specification

To be successful with your application, you’ll need to show that you meet the following essential criteria:

  • You will hold a relevant Bachelor’s degree (i.e., Level 6 or higher) qualification in a relevant marine or engineering orientated subject, orbe able to demonstrate a relevant level of professional and/or technical experience gained through working within a relevant industry
  • You have gained significant relevant experience in a leadership role within a relevant specialism
  • You will have relevant, demonstrable offshore/marine operations experience of deploying equipment at sea e.g., AUV/ROV/Trenchers
  • You will demonstrate you understand safe management of marine systems, including the requirements for safe systems of work and risk management
  • You will have demonstrable experience of leading multi-disciplinary teams

This role is subject to Retained Grade Terms and Conditions and differ from the DE&S standard Terms and Conditions.

For SALMO Retained Grade seeking promotion, please refer to Part 2, Section 10.2 of the SALMO Retained Grade Handbook.

Due to the nature of this role, you are:

  • Required to be fit to pass and maintain a two-yearly ENG1 seafarers medical (no geographical limitations)
  • Required to enlist as a Royal Navy Sponsored Reserve
  • Expected to work extended hours as and when required in support of operational commitments
  • Required to live within 60 minutes travelling time of the base to which you are appointed
  • Required to hold an in-date UK driving licence

In addition to the responsibilities above, the following technical competences and behaviours will be assessed at interview:

  • Improve Engineering Capability – Practitioner
  • Technical Decision Making – Expert
  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing


  • Full time staff employed for less than 5 years are entitled to 26.5 days’ annual leave per year, rising to 31.5 days per year after 5 years of service
  • Flexible and hybrid working wherever possible, to support your work-life balance (though some attendance to the stated site is required)
  • Market-leading employer pension contribution of around 27%
  • Annual performance-based bonus and recognition awards
  • Access to specialist training and funded professional qualifications
  • Support for progression
  • Huge range of discounts
  • Volunteering days
  • Enhanced parental leave schemes

We believe in creating an inclusive environment where our people can grow, thrive, and be their authentic selves. We value diversity of thought and the ways in which it enriches our culture and our work. So whether you’re looking for a new opportunity, a next step, or a helping hand as you return from a career break, here you’ll find a supportive, family-friendly organisation to be a part of. And if you need any assistance with your application, just let us know.

Further Information

More information can be found below:

DE&S Little Book of Big Benefits:

Further Information:

SALMO Terms and Conditions:

Selection Process Details

Your application will go through the following stages of assessment:

1. Pre-sift – We will check that you meet any essential or eligibility criteria that are listed in the Person Specification section of this advert. On your CV, please clearly show how you meet the essential criteria.

2. Sift – Your CV will be assessed against the following categories, using a simple numerical scoring system: Key Achievements; Relevant Experience; Applied Knowledge and Skills

Please follow our guidance on CV writing for best chance of success.

3. Interview – If you’re invited to interview, you’ll be assessed against the Sift categories listed above, as well as the Technical Competences and Behaviours listed in the Person Specification section of this advert.

Ready to join us as an AUV Operations Lead? Apply today.


Job Details

Job title

AUV Operations Lead


£67,275 – £72,335 per annum (pro rata), plus generous benefits and an average employer pension contribution of 27%. Existing civil servants should refer to the Further Information document for salary details.

Contract type


Business area

MOD – Defence Equipment & Support – Engineering

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time



Number of posts


Recruitment contact

Christos Nakoutsis – DE&S Talent Acquisition Specialist –

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