Date Posted
31 Jul 2020
Cobham Aerospace Connectivity are looking for a Head of Systems Engineer to be based at their office in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.
Role Purpose (position scope):
A Head of Discipline acts as the management focus for the discipline team covering all relevant sites across the BU, ensuring that the business is supplied with the capacity and capability required to deliver against the engineering demands of projects, business development and operations. The Head of Discipline is responsible for ensuring lessons learned and process inefficiencies are frequently reviewed and highlighted, with causes identified and driving continuous improvement in the discipline. The Head of Discipline will liaise with the discipline Chief Engineer to ensure alignment with technology development and future capability requirements.
  • No ownership of budget but responsible for ensuring that agreed engineering budget within their discipline is managed to best effect.
  • A number of direct reports with a potential team size of between 20 and 50 dependent on discipline.
  • Multi-site management within the UK (and US as applicable)
Reports to: Engineering Operations Director
Direct Reports: Up to 10
Indirect Reports: Up to 50
Key Responsibilities:
  • People
    • Defines the optimal structure of the discipline in terms of capacity, capability and hierarchy, and reviews and refines periodically.
    • Owns and manages resourcing and recruitment for the discipline, seeking opportunity across sites to maximise utilisation and balance demand.
    • Owns contingent resourcing (contractors and design houses) to manage the demand surges and realise opportunities for outsourcing of non-core engineering tasks.
    • Develops the team through: skills matrix assessment and gap analysis, training / recruitment plans, monthly one to ones, setting objectives, creating development plans, succession planning, conducting and moderating the staff reviews.
    • Providing day to day management and leadership of the discipline.
  • Process
    • Owns the product development process for the function, to include: quarterly workshops to look at PEARS and lessons learned, attendance at lessons learned activities, leading TIPs and supporting change activities.
    • Ensures that the engineering processes are followed by all staff and effective induction and training is provided.
    • Promotes a culture of continuous improvement within the discipline ensuring all applicable sites share and harmonise on best practice.
  • Tools
    • Defines, creates and maintains the toolset needed to realise the capability and future potential of the discipline.
    • Creates and presents the business cases for capability investments.
    • Looks to maximise the utilisation of key assets through effective planning and preventative maintenance.
    • Looks to harmonise key tools and applications within the discipline across all applicable sites to maximise standardisation and promote cross-site working and project collaboration.
  • Performance:
  • Owns and tracks the utilisation of all discipline staff to ensure alignment to budget and actively seeks opportunities for improvement to drive overheads down.
  • Owns the performance of all non-project activity (sustaining engineering, technical support, customer support, aftermarket support)
  • Owns the performance for RFIs, RFPs and Technical Proposals and establishes improvement targets.
  • Meets the forward loads of the projects, ensures that WP’s estimates are achieved, reviews and signs off all work packages.
Core Competencies:
  • Able to operate across sites and delegate appropriately.
  • Able to set realistic objectives and manage the improvement of the discipline.
  • An understanding of all the areas encompassed by the discipline.
  • Strong managerial skills.
  • Provides leadership across the discipline and displays the appropriate behaviours in line with the Cobham values.
  • Acts as an ambassador for the discipline.
  • Strong written and verbal communication, able to influence internal customers.
  • Provides an example of professional behaviour to the discipline.
  • Ensures effective mentoring of junior engineers and further development of senior engineers.
Qualifications and Experience:
  • Educated to degree level in a suitable discipline, or equivalent work based experience.
  • Evidence of managing a team of technical specialists in a matrix structure.
  • Experience of having worked in an aerospace or defence background would be advantageous.
  • Experience of working on a multi-site environment

Cobham Aerospace Connectivity

Manufacturers of secure, reliable communications and navigation systems


We are innovative system integrators with a pedigree of capability in Communications, Navigation and Electronic Warfare for aerospace and defence. Through continual innovation, we are able to supply highly resilient, totally dependable systems with low through-life costs that deliver outstanding performance and value. Our air, land and maritime products include Antenna Systems, Anti-Jam GPS, Radio, Audio, Air Traffic Management Systems and Electronic Warfare.

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Claire Mcdougall
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