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Job Description for SDA Lead Civil Engineer

Engineering is the largest business function in our organisation – and it’s one of the most fulfilling too. Because it’s only by delivering the most advanced, battle-winning technology that we can keep those on the front line at the top of their game. That’s why we stay inventive and create positive change, with a strong focus on sustainable sourcing and minimising environmental impact too. Ready to make an impact that matters to the nation?

You’ll benefit from plenty of opportunities for development, access to specialist training and funded professional qualifications, and a c.27% employer pension contribution. You’ll also have access to a wide range of employee networks, including the Women in Engineering Network, Parents Network, Race & Culture Network, Neuro Inclusivity Network – and many more. We recognise that the best people for the job may have commitments outside of work, so we’re pleased to promote flexible working to support our colleagues in balancing work and home life. Are you interested in working on the UK’s submarine projects, supporting our armed forces in current and future operations? If so, the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) has an exciting opportunity for an experienced Lead Civil Engineer to join our nuclear infrastructure programme at the largest naval support base in Western Europe, Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth.

The facilities at the Devonport site are critical to the Royal Navy, providing a unique contribution to the Royal Navy’s ships, submarines and people. The opportunity will see you based within the Strategic Waterfront Infrastructure (Future) team who, through working with their industrial partners, are responsible for delivering a programme of infrastructure works that will support the deep maintenance and high-integrity repair of submarines, underpinning the Royal Navy’s future submarine operations.  This is an opportunity to join an integrated team of highly skilled professionals, where you will help ensure the current and future success in projects of unparalleled importance, in the development and build of a submarine’s dock and berth.

As a Lead Civil Engineer for the SDA, you will act as Client on these projects ensuring the facilities will deliver the required capability, provide assurance on delivery and advise on value for money. You will lead the engineering team by bringing together their technological problem-solving and management abilities, and working closely with the contractor, to provide assurance and advising on the design development, construction, risks and strategy across this high-profile nuclear infrastructure project, influencing decisions across the full project life cycle, from design and build to through-life support.

Additionally, as part of the team, we want you to support us in continually identifying and helping to spread best practice, promoting skills development, standardising process and increasing knowledge transfer throughout the business.

Please be advised that due to the nature of security, these roles are reserved for sole UK Nationals only.Please note some attendance to the stated site may be required for this position.

We strongly recommend tailoring your CV in line with our CV guidance before applying, with specific sections to highlight Key Achievements, Relevant Experience, and Applied Skills & Knowledge.

Responsibilities for SDA Lead Civil Engineer

You will lead on the direction and delivery of the engineering aspects of the team, holding a key responsibility to be part of the team’s as Intelligent Customer and investor in the facilities. You will oversee and participate in the Contractor’s design and construction of  infrastructure to support nuclear submarine maintenance, providing assurance as part of its Client responsibilities.
Other responsibilities of the posts will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Provide expert advice and guidance to solve complex technical problems and identify application risks on submarine infrastructure projects in a nuclear regulated environment.
    • Interface with industry as the intelligent customer both in a scrutiny role and supporting the identification of application risks
    • Provide advice on civil engineering design features to inform how they affect operability of the facility
    • Provide assurance on design for constructability, reliability, maintainability and availability.
    • Assist in developing the Client’s view of civil engineering design drivers and trade-offs to inform and make recommendations on the value for money design options.
    • Overseeing and providing assurance on civil engineering aspects of design development.
    You will work on complex products, systems and services in order to meet the Royal Navy’s requirement and ensure they are delivered to cost, time and customer satisfaction.

You will utilise your exceptional communication and stakeholder management skills to ensure that your solutions are understood and appropriately executed.

What you will be assessed against

To be successful with your application you must demonstrate that you meet the following essential criteria:

  • Incorporated Engineer
    • Relevant Level 6 (or higher) qualification or equivalent experience
    • Experience of providing technical advice at a senior level and leading the delivery of successful engineering outcomes in multidisciplinary projects
    • Wide ranging depth and breadth of technical experience in infrastructure construction with knowledge and application of Systems Engineering approaches within a highly regulated industry

It will also benefit your application if you are able to demonstrate the following desirable criteria:

  • A chartered civil engineer or demonstrated equivalent knowledge, skills and experience

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

  • Technical Decision Making – Expert•Technical Requirements, Evaluation & Acceptance – Expert
  • Leadership

•Communicating and influencing

What’s in it for you?

Our careers offer stability, training, progression – and much more! Learn more about our benefits and pension schemes.

We’re exploring future ways of working with a flexible and a family-friendly approach in mind. This means that successful candidates may be offered the option of hybrid working, combining working at home with working at their contractual location. Further information relevant to hybrid working will be discussed with you prior to you taking up your post, to find a balance that suits your needs and those of the organisation. Please note that employees are responsible for meeting the cost of their travel to and from work when attending site.

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and are dedicated to creating a great place to work that reflects the diversity of the society we serve. To help us do this, we particularly encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, disabled people and people from LGBT communities. By bringing together different ideas, experiences and perspectives, together we can achieve the extraordinary.

Please click the link below to apply for SDA Lead Civil Engineer by creating an account and upload your details.


Job Details

Job title

SDA Lead Civil Engineer


£55,500 – £60,000 per annum (plus benefits)

Contract type


Business area


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time



Number of posts


Recruitment contact

Joe Watson –

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