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Programme Director

Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Location:  Guildford
Salary:  £62,727 to £83,690 per annum
Fixed Term
Post Type:  Full Time
Advert Placed:  Friday 22 May 2020
Closing Date:  Friday 12 June 2020
Reference:  023020

An exciting new position is available for a Programme Director at the University of Surrey, within its leading UK research hub on Robotics and AI (RAI), FAIR-SPACE  (“Future AI and Robotics for Space”). The post is a fixed term contract currently ending 31stMarch 2021.

The FAIR-SPACE Hub has the vision to establish an international centre of excellence in space robotics and autonomous systems. The Hub is led by University of Surrey supported by 5 university partners (Imperial, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Warwick and Salford) and 28 national/international project partners representing major space companies, agencies, research institutions as well as cross-sectorial RAI organizations. The Hub offers the world-class credentials and a unique combination of expertise and capabilities to address key challenges of RAI in the space sector. It will also influence, engage with the wider community of academia, industry, government and the public, and help cultivate and develop future leaders in RAI.

The Programme Director is a pivotal part of the core delivery team, working closely with the Hub Director, the Surrey management team and others in the Hub team and partner organisations to ensure the successful delivery of this major initiative. This is a senior facilitation role, very much focused on clearing the way and making things happen. It is a key support to the Hub Director, with responsibilities that include managing the non-research delivery team; ensuring the activities of the project remain focused on the funding objectives; working closely with the Hub Project Manager and the Financial Administrator to ensure project risks are identified and managed and financial profiling is rigorous and dynamic; overseeing Hub administrative and operational processes to ensure they are working at maximum efficiency in order to support team goals and project objectives; participating as a member of the University Executive Group for the Hub and representing the Hub at Faculty and University level to ensure the operational needs of the Hub are recognised and considered, deputising for the Hub Director as appropriate. 

The success of the Hub initiative relies on a committed and multi-talented team, and it is essential that the Programme Director is a skilled professional with extensive management experience, including corporate relationship management at a senior level. Clearly, the post calls for someone with first class communication skills; someone who is a highly proficient influencer and a strategic thinker. An understanding of the space sector is an advantage, as is previous experience of working within space robotics and research, however, neither is essential. We are happy to consider someone at senior operational level with exceptional people management skills and the ability to ensure optimal team working. We are looking for candidates with a relevant degree/post graduate qualification and extensive vocational and strategic management experience. The successful candidate will be independent and motivated, with the willingness to travel and work outside of normal hours when required.

In return for your skills and commitment, we offer a range of benefits which you can read about here: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/working-at-surrey/staff-benefits

Should you wish to have an informal discussion regarding the role, please contact Suzanne Beckram the current interim Hub Programme Director (s.beckram@surrey.ac.uk). Relevant information on existing space RAI research at Surrey can be obtained from the Surrey Technology for Autonomous systems and Robotics (STAR) Lab website http://www.surrey.ac.uk/ssc/research/star-lab.   

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We can offer a generous remuneration package, which includes relocation assistance where appropriate, an attractive research environment, the latest teaching facilities, and access to a variety of staff development opportunities.

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