Project Manager – Aerodynamics (Grade 3)

Aircraft Research Association (ARA) is a unique SME and the UK’s leading independent transonic wind tunnel with a passionate workforce of engineering and aerodynamic professionals. We are a leading specialist in aerodynamic research providing complementary services and solutions to international aerospace and defence clients. Our clients include Saab, Bombardier, Boeing, Turkish Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Comac and BAE Systems.

Typical projects include producing scaled-down military and civilian aircraft models, comprising multiple parts, which are assembled together and used as highly accurate forces/pressures measuring devices within the on-site high-speed (transonic) wind tunnel.

Aircraft Research Association (ARA) owns and operates the UK’s leading independent industrial transonic wind tunnel and several smaller test facilities. Our teams of engineers, technicians, scientists and aerodynamicists provide a unique combination of practical, analytical, modelling and optimisation skills that service many disciplines from mechanical design to control systems and flow simulation.

We are looking to recruit an experienced Project Manager with commercial acumen and excellent problem solving capabilities to lead the successful delivery of projects in close co-operation with the project team. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to support negotiations with customers and manage international customers from different cultural backgrounds as well as diverse and demanding internal stakeholders.

Working for ARA, you will play an integral part in the development of world leading capabilities that emerge from the challenges posed by our customers at the cutting edge of aerodynamic research.  ARA boasts a wide international aerospace client base who require new and novel solutions to achieve highly accurate results from wind tunnel trials conducted at ARA.

Reporting to the Team Leader in the Aerodynamics team, the successful candidate must have a track record of delivering multiple technical projects simultaneously and within demanding constraints in a technical environment.

Salary Range: £40,000 – £50,000 (depending on experience)

Working hours: Full time, 40 hours per week.

This is a varied and dynamic role; no two days are the same. The successful candidate will get the opportunity to:

  • Take full ownership of project management assignments from bid generation through to closure.
  • Build and maintain a client, project portfolio commensurate with the strategic aims of the department.
  • Lead the project team to a successful project outcome.
  • Act as the first point of contact with clients and be accountable for delivering all project-related products to required standards on time, within budget.
  • Lead the preparation of bids, commercial and technical proposals with support from technical experts and technical managers including: estimating, risk management, planning and presentation of business proposals to clients.  Ensure key assumptions and risks are made clear and the Company commercial interests protected.  
  • Lead the project change management process working with the project team and client to effectively manage changes to requirements, timescale and associated costs whilst protecting the Company’s commercial interests.
  • Manage Company resources effectively in order to ensure successful delivery of a project.
  • Support effective cash flow management with input from the procurement and finance teams.
  • Prepare and present regular project status reports to stakeholders and senior management and clients, highlighting issues with potential breaches and offering effective solutions.  

What we would like to see:

  • University honours degree in a STEM/technically related discipline.
  • Project management qualification and experience of project management methodologies and tools.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills including both written and spoken English.
  • Proven experience of successful project leadership, ensuring communications with colleagues, customers and suppliers are clear and consistent.
  • Ability to understand customer requirements from a statement of work and prepare a product breakdown structure and resource estimate.
  • Confident, self-motivated as well as imaginative and creative with good problem solving skills.
  • Well-organised with a collaborative approach to problem solving and ability to influence.
  • Used to working under pressure, adaptable and competent in making critical decisions objectively and quickly.
  • Proven experience preparing bid packs and supporting documentation including pricing estimate(s) and risk and opportunity register(s).

This is a unique opportunity for the right person to become part of a successful and professional team operating in a global business, working 38 hours per week, Monday to Friday.  In return, we offer a range of benefits including: a competitive salary and pension scheme; flexible working options (normal hours are 0800hrs to 1621hrs); free parking; employee assistance programme; private health insurance and 26 days’ annual leave plus Bank Holidays (increasing with length of service after 5 years’ service)

The successful candidate must satisfy security clearance requirements – including the last 5 years continual UK residency.

Aircraft Research Association Ltd is proud to be an Equal Opportunities Employer. We recognise the value in an inclusive and diverse workforce and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified people.

If you think you are the person we are looking for, please complete the form below.

Contact us

Aircraft Research Association Limited

Manton Lane, Bedford, England MK41 7PF

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