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Job Description for SDA Marine 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.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for Marine Engineers to join the Submarine Delivery Agency’s (SDA) specialist Principal Naval Overseers (PNO) team in Barrow-in-Furness. The SDA delivers to the Royal Navy the most complex manufactured objects in existence – Nuclear Submarines. A nuclear reactor, people and explosives all in close proximity operating undetected in an inhospitable environment means that technical expertise and a commitment to safety are vital to our success. This position will suit Engineers with a background/interest in Naval Architecture/Submarine Structures and the drive to learn about the most fascinating and advanced engineering projects in the world.

The PNO are a team of circa 60 engineers that provide independent assurance to submarine build activities, ensuring projects are conducted and completed to meet every necessary requirement, need and specification of their contracts. It also falls to the team to ensure that project and engineering risks and opportunities, identified within the build environment, are effectively mitigated, and realised. They do this by undertaking risk-based surveillance of vessels during build and by providing waterfront and build support/advice to delivery teams. The PNO ensure correct standards are maintained by promoting the Governance, Assurance, and Improvement (GAI) of acquisition, engineering and logistics support activities.

As an Engineer in this role, you will apply your engineering experience to upskill and develop your knowledge of the systems, and the build and commissioning, of Nuclear Submarines. In time, you will become a specialist in areas such as submarine systems, structures, fabrication, assurance, submarine operation and naval architecture with full support and guidance from the SDA. This is a unique role that will suit an ambitious and committed engineer with ambitions to be exposed to engineering challenges unique only to this industry.

As a responsible employer operating in a niche area, the SDA can offer unrivalled opportunities for promotion as well as specialist technical training to support your career in engineering. Our projects span the whole submarine life cycle, from concept design through to build and in-service support. As a result, our projects can last decades, meaning we offer exceptional job stability alongside career development. Many of our senior engineers started with us as trainees or in junior posts and have spent their whole careers in the SDA. We care about your career path, will encourage your progression, and nurture your development by your side.

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 Marine Engineer

As a Marine Engineer with the PNO Ship Construction team, you will advise on technical problem solving and conduct assurance and acceptance surveillance activities on the construction and testing of submarine hulls and structural components, ensuring compliance with build standards and contract adherence.

You will be working on new and in-service submarine programmes to define technical requirements, manage solution development and ensure compliance with customers’ requirements during the product build. General day to day responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

• Act as the Equipment System Owner representative to provide approval, evaluation and acceptance of documentation pertaining to the construction and testing of hull and structural components
• Undertake verification and validation of the submarine design and build against the customer requirements
• Contribute to the production of surveillance plans and undertake build surveillance to gather independent assurance over product build quality and contractual conformance
• Determine quality management and assurance approaches ensuring technical risks are understood and managed
• Brief project teams on findings and anticipated delays to build

What you will be assessed against

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

• Hold a HNC (e.g., Level 4 or higher) qualification in a STEM subject or have equivalent relevant experience
• Have experience of providing technical assurance advice and supporting the delivery of successful engineering outcomes
• Technical experience in your discipline or specialist area in a variety of contexts

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

• Submarine/ship commissioning experience
• Hull/steelwork fabrication experience
• Welding/NDE experience

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

• Technical Requirements, Evaluation & Acceptance
• Technical Decision Making
• Communicating and influencing
• Seeing the big picture

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 Marine Engineer by creating an account and upload your details.

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Job Details

Job title

SDA Marine Engineer


£32,500 – £35,000 per annum (plus benefits)

Contract type


Business area


Working pattern

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



Number of posts


Recruitment contact

Jacob Willmore –

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