Project Manager

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), the UK’s leading independent transonic wind tunnel and we are looking to recruit an experienced Project Manager with commercial acumen and excellent problem solving capabilities to lead the successful delivery of revenue earning as well as internal R&D projects in close cooperation with project technical managers.

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 customer base of aircraft manufacturers who require new and novel solutions to achieve highly accurate results from wind tunnel trials conducted at ARA.

The successful candidate must have a track record of delivering multiple technical projects simultaneously and within demanding constraints in a project-based technical environment.

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

Grade: 3

Typical hours: Full time, 38 hours per week

What you will get the chance to do:

  • Take full ownership of project management assignments from requirements capture and business case to closure.
  • Lead multi-disciplinary project teams to successful project outcomes, ensuring business objectives and deadlines are met and within budget.
  • Act as first point of contact with the customer and accountable for ensuring all project related deliverables meet required standards on time and within budget.
  • Lead and support the preparation of project justifications and business cases, with input of the technical managers including: estimating; risk management; planning and presentation of business proposals to project sponsor and company management.
  • Lead project change management process working with the project team to effectively manage changes to requirements, timescales and associated costs whilst avoiding scope creep.
  • Manage resources assigned to the project effectively to ensure successful delivery.
  • Support effective cash flow management with the input of the procurement and finance teams, ensuring subcontract payment terms are favourable to ARA where possible.
  • Prepare and present regular project status reports to stakeholders and senior management – highlighting issues offering effective solutions to overcome them.
  • Work in a safe and professional manner and in full compliance with UK law, and in compliance with ARA Health, Safety and Environmental procedures, ARA Quality standards and procedures, and ARA Security policies and procedures and (where applicable) those of ARA’s business partners.
  • Capture and document key assumptions to ensure ARA’s commercial interests are protected.
  • Support negotiations with suppliers (working with ARA’s procurement team and technical experts).

What we would like to see:

  • University honours degree or equivalent and experience in a STEM/technically related discipline.
  • Project management qualification or ability to demonstrate experience of project management methodologies and tools.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Proven experience of project leadership, including clear communications with all stakeholders. 
  • Ability to capture and manage project requirements, prepare a work breakdown structure, project plan, and resource estimate.
  • Proven experience preparing project justification and supporting documentation including pricing estimate(s) and risk and opportunity register(s).
  • Confident, self-motivated as well as imaginative and creative with good problem solving skills.
  • Used to working under pressure and competent in making critical decisions promptly.
  • Readily adaptable to rapidly changing circumstances.
  • Well-organised with a collaborative approach to problem solving and ability to influence.
  • Flexible – occasional international travel and out of hours working required.

This is an exciting permanent opportunity for the right person to be part of a successful and highly skilled engineering company, 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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