Graduate Opportunity

Graduate Project Manager

Edinburgh

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The UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) is the national centre for the design and production of world-leading astronomical instruments and systems in the United Kingdom. 

As a science driven, professional engineering organisation, we employ state-of-the-art technology across all engineering fields. This includes complex optical and infra-red detectors, vacuum-cryogenics, control electronics and software, for both astronomy and non-astronomy applications, in collaboration with academic and industrial partners around the world. 

What soft skills will you learn?

From teamwork to communication, and from technical learning to becoming a STEM ambassador – Ben Bealing from STFC reveals the variety of skills you can learn on the company's graduate programme. To watch the full Gradcracker/STFC webinar, click here.

The instruments we produce are unique and technically challenging, but must be easy to use and highly reliable in difficult environments, such as on high mountain sites and in Space. Current major projects at the UK ATC include Harmoni and METIS for the ELT, MOONS for the VLT, MIRI for the JWST, and software for ALMA and the SKA.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities 

As a Graduate Project Manager at the UK ATC, the post holder will work within teams across a wide range of projects, according to the processes and procedures in place which are based around the APM Body of Knowledge standards and the STFC Project Management Framework.

Working within a matrix organisation alongside engineers, technicians and scientists, the main duties will include:-

  • Project Planning & Risks: Support the Senior Project Manager and the Work Package Managers by facilitating the planning, tracking of progress, and status reporting of key tasks against the project delivery commitments. Initially, this includes tasks such as schedule capture and maintenance, closing-out actions, identifying delays and compiling progress reports etc. As experience is gained, other duties will be required including critical path identification and control, and risk register analysis.
  • Project Finance: Assist in the set-up of work package budgets against estimates, then monitor actual project spend in terms of effort and material cost against the budgets, reporting status as required.
  • Stakeholder Reporting: Draft information to assist the Senior Project Manager in the reporting of project status to all partners and customers.
  • Consortium Management: Using the experience gained from UK ATC specific work packages, monitor and control schedule and costs incurred on work packages external to the UK ATC within the project Consortium. This will involve tracking institute schedule updates and feeding the date back into the master schedule; following-up on actions, especially risk mitigation actions; checking institute financial returns against their budgets and consolidating them into the overall finance plan.
  • Procurement & Contract Management: Produce and implement procurement plans, work with procurement staff to raise orders, then track all key items towards delivery according to contract terms and conditions.
  • Project Management of Small Projects: Responsible for the cost and delivery, to the required specification and standards, of some small scale and/or short duration projects.

Please note that some of these tasks may involve UK/international travel to external consortium institutes.

In order to apply for this role you must have: 

Essential: 

  • Obtained first degree bachelors or Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant STEM subject in either 2020, 2021 or be due to receive it in 2022 
  • Expected or have achieved a 2:1 or above 
  • The right to live and work in the UK 
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, organisational and presentational skills
  • Knowledge of project management principles gained either through university modules or work-place experience - including project set-up, planning, risk analysis, financial control 
  • Knowledge of the principles of system engineering and the project life-cycle models 
  • Sound technical awareness in an engineering field

Desirable Criteria: 

  • IT skills, especially with respect to Microsoft Office Applications
  • Knowledge of QA and SHE Management Systems
  • Awareness of one or more project management frameworks such as PMI, APM or PRINCE 2.

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