Chief Programme Engineer

  • Role Type
  • Permanent

  • Location
  • Leamington Spa

  • Closing Date
  • 30/11/2023

Job Description



Location: West Midlands, Brighton, UK (flexible)


Automotive and Industrial is one of Ricardo plc’s five operating business units and is a trusted global engineering services partner for clean and efficient integrated propulsion and energy systems. Our experience and history over more than 100 years at the forefront of mobility innovation enables us to deliver solutions to the most complex challenges, allowing our customers across all global transport sectors to achieve a sustainable zero-carbon future.



Based out of one of the A&I global locations, the role will report directly into the Head of Electrification within the Electrified and Integrated Mobility Practice. Ricardo is an engineering solutions business, the success of the business depends on the ability to deliver exciting value propositions to our customers, meeting their needs through the successful delivery of complex technical projects. To achieve this, we recruit, develop, and retain the best in the industry.

An active member of Ricardo, A&I’s Electrification Leadership Team, you will work closely with Ricardo’s ‘Technical Authority for Batteries’ to build and lead a ‘battery community’ that drives growth of Ricardo’s battery solutions business, a key component of Ricardo’s Electrification Growth Solution.


You will be responsible for selling Ricardo’s battery solutions and ensuring excellent project delivery. To drive future growth, you will work with Ricardo’s marketing and sales teams to create compelling customer value propositions and prepare sales and marketing inputs that align with Ricardo’s broader Electrification sales and marketing plan. In collaboration with the Technical Authority for Batteries, you will be responsible for Ricardo’s battery solutions roadmap, part of Ricardo’s overall Electrification Growth Solution strategy. When required, you will prepare business cases for internal investment requests to support growth plans.


Alongside business development and engineering professionals, you will be responsible for winning new business by qualifying new opportunities, deeply understanding customer needs, creating proposals with tailored customer value propositions that deliver high levels of revenue and margin for Ricardo. You will have the skills required to generate new leads and win new projects through close customer engagement and the development of trusted relationships. You will also be responsible for progressing proposals through Ricardo’s internal approval processes.


You will manage the portfolio of battery development programmes and ensure their successful delivery; achieving high levels of customer satisfaction whilst meeting or exceeding the as sold profit margin. Working with engineering, you will coordinate internal resources to deliver complex engineering projects to customers. Where appropriate, you will also develop and maintain relationships with delivery partners to complement Ricardo’s internal capabilities.

An excellent communicator, with strong business acumen, combined with a technical background, you will have significant experience of successfully bidding for and delivering complex engineering system development projects for commercially paying customers.

You will be responsible for line managing and developing a small team of project managers, coaching them to successfully deliver both bids and projects. You will also be responsible for working with Ricardo’s engineering and testing teams to ensure future growth plans can be resourced



Key Responsibilities:


Leading and driving growth of Ricardo’s battery solutions business. You will create an engaged ‘battery community’ that flourishes within Ricardo’s matrix structure, becoming a key driver for growing Ricardo’s battery business.
Working with the business development team you will seek to deeply understand customer needs and qualify opportunities prior to bidding, enabling a proposal win rate of >40%.

Deliver high quality, compelling, customer proposals that highlight and differentiate Ricardo’s value proposition and provide a robust basis for successful project delivery. You will:

Ensure proposals follow Ricardo’s internal process and approval steps.
Understand and document Ricardo’s competitive differentiators and proposal    critical success factors.
Ensures effective bid leadership that efficiently develops compelling and competitive proposals in conjunction with engineering, business development, legal and other teams as required.
Prepare costed Microsoft Project plans.
Work with the Delivery Excellence team to review the integrity of delivery plans (resourcing and risk mitigation) and confirm alignment with the proposed scope of work.
Work with Business Development to obtain customer feedback, refine our proposals and support negotiations to ultimately win new work

Oversee Ricardo’s portfolio of battery projects, you will:

Coach the project delivery teams to support them to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction (Voice of Customer ≥ 9) and ensuring on, or ideally under, budget delivery.
Provide the 1st step escalation path, both internally and externally, for resolution of programme issues and disputes. As appropriate, you will work with the project team, Delivery Excellence team and customer, to ensure that clear ‘return to green’ plans are established, communicated and implemented.
In line with Ricardo’s processes, set-up and maintain an appropriate level of project governance and review to support successful project delivery. Engaging the Delivery Excellence team as required, this will include monthly (minimum) project reviews, peer reviews, Change Control Boards and Group level CAT 4/5 reviews.
Identify and escalate project risks early, where appropriate capturing and then updating them within Ricardo’s Combined Portfolio Risk Tracker.
Support project teams to negotiate with the engineering team to achieve optimum staffing for projects, ensuring successful delivery across the portfolio of projects, weighing overall business risk and reward.
At least monthly, review each project’s operating cost forecasts to ensure accurate project data is shared with the wider Ricardo business.
Prepare portfolio status reports as required by the Head of Sub-Practice.
If necessary, provide project leadership on high value, high risk projects.

In collaboration with the Technical Authority for Batteries, you will own Ricardo’s battery solutions roadmap, forming part of Ricardo’s overall Electrification Growth Solution strategy.
Develop compelling customer value propositions and prepare sales and marketing materials to proactively take them market.
Preparation of business cases to support internal investment requests, as required to achieve growth plans.
As a member of the Electrification Sub-Practice leadership team and a key contributor to Ricardo's Electrification Growth Solution, you will also input to Ricardo’s overarching Electrification Growth Solution strategy.
You will be responsible for line managing and developing a small team of project managers, coaching them to successfully deliver both bids and projects.
Perform other job-related duties as assigned.


Experience and qualification:

Ten years’ experience of managing bids and projects for complex engineering system developments.
Five years leadership experience; highly professional in appearance and approach; exudes expertise and credibility.
Degree-qualified in a relevant scientific, technical, engineering or business discipline
MBA or equivalent would be a valuable addition



Demonstrated business development experience.
Significant experience of preparing proposals for, and leading delivery of, complex engineering system development projects to commercially paying customers.
A sound knowledge of project management best practices and experience of successfully deploying them.
Strong business and commercial skills with an understanding of business financial drivers and shareholder value.
Technical knowledge of batteries and battery management systems strongly preferred.
Solid knowledge of industry-standard legal and business language, including familiarity with contracts, NDAs, IP, payment terms, proposals, pricing, margins, etc.
Proficient knowledge of Microsoft Office to include Word, Excel, Project, and Power Point.


Skills and Attributes:

Excellent communication and presentation skills with the ability to condense complex is-sues into succinct messages.
Strong leadership and coaching skills.
Able to concisely capture and share compelling customer value propositions.
Skilled at reviewing bids; able to coach teams developing proposals to maximise probabil-ity of winning whilst identifying and mitigating embedded risks.
Skilled at reviewing projects. Through questioning, able to identify true project status and risks. Able to coach project teams to improve project delivery.
Strong analytical skills: able to develop robust business cases supported by market, cus-tomer, and technology insights.
Strong, customer-aware, negotiation skills; ability to influence.
Strong questioning, listening and problem-solving skills.
Ability to excel in a fast-paced, dynamic, and matrixed organisation.
Demonstrated ability to effectively multi-task.



Working here

Ricardo is an exciting and rewarding place to work and you have the opportunity to make a difference. You will work with teams of talented, dedicated, and supportive individuals. Alongside having a fantastic opportunity to develop your career with us through our broad range of projects, mentoring opportunities and a personalised approach to your learning and development. We are always keen to hear from people who have driven, ambition and a flair for innovative thinking.



Wellbeing and work life balance

We offer flexible approaches to work, whether that's working from home, being in the office, or as a hybrid worker. We're happy to discuss flexible working arrangements. Wellbeing is at the core to our culture, allowing employees to flourish and to achieve their full potential. Our People are important to us, and we take pride in our wellbeing programmes and policies that support individuals including flexible working, carers policy, mental health first aiders and readily available support through our extensive Employee Assistance programme.


Diversity, Equality and Inclusion statement

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, we believe in each person's potential, and we'll help you reach yours. We have an ambitious diversity, equality, and inclusion approach as explained here. We value diversity; recognising that a more diverse workforce creates a richer and more varied working environment. Diversity also drives innovation, by allowing us to offer our clients the best consultancy service that we can. As part of our commitment to engage positively and pro-actively with all our employees to ensure an inclusive culture, we are a recognised as a 'disability confident' employer.



Our core benefits include 25 days' annual leave, plus 8 flexible bank holidays, a competitive company pension scheme, life assurance and professional subscriptions reimbursement. We also offer a wide range of flexible benefits to suit your lifestyle.


Once you have submitted your application, if qualified, a member of our Recruitment Team will be in touch. Please be aware that the timing can vary dependent on the volume of applications that we receive for each role and in some cases, we may start to review applications prior to the closing date.