Project Planner

Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, UK
Competitive Salary and Flexible Benefits
07 Jun 2018
02 Jul 2018
Job Function
Contract Type
Full Time

Organisation and Project Background

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a global project to build a multi-purpose radio telescope that will play a major role in answering key questions in modern astrophysics and cosmology.  Ten governments are now participating in the project, with others engaged in discussions regarding possible membership.  Over the next few months, this global headquarters will expand with the construction of an extension to the existing building to accommodate the additional staff needed for the Construction and Operations phases of the SKA telescope facilities that will ultimately be located in South Africa and Australia. Negotiations are currently underway between the governments of SKA member countries with the aim of establishing the SKA as an Inter-Governmental Organisation (IGO).  These negotiations are expected to be concluded in 2018 and the IGO to be established thereafter.

SKA Organisation is currently co-ordinating the design activities in the ‘Pre-Construction’ phase of the project.  The company leads the SKA system design and oversees the detailed design being undertaken by globally distributed design consortia. These design workpackages are due to conclude in 2018 with Critical Design Reviews. The project will then proceed via a System Critical Design Review to a Procurement Preparation phase and then the SKA1 Construction phase.

The Role

The SKA Organisation Project Planner reports to the SKA Head of Project Management Group and works closely with the project managers within the group and other managers and engineers.  They will perform at least 3 of the following roles:

  • Prepare and maintain the project schedule, taking account of dependencies and resource requirements
  • Develop and agree budgets for the workpackages within the project and control forecast and actual costs against them
  • Prepare and maintain the project scope documents, implementing changes via the agreed process
  • Track implementation actions for identified project risks and issues and administer the risk process
  • Develop, implement and update resource allocation plans needed for the project, taking account of availabilities and scheduling

Key Duties, Accountabilities and Responsibilities

The post holder will:

  • Contribute to the final stages of the Pre-Construction phase, ensuring planning inputs assigned to them (at least 3 of schedule, budgets, scope, risks & issues and resourcing) for the Construction Plan and Proposal are fit for purpose;
  • Contribute to the Procurement Preparation activities by advising project managers on the relevant planning aspects of the contract documentation;
  • During Construction, perform at least 3 of the roles identified above;
  • Prepare regular and ad-hoc reports for key stakeholders;
  • Travel, as required, to any of the SKA countries and elsewhere as required.

Mandatory Qualifications, Experience and Knowledge:

  • Experience in planning, tracking and reporting on large and complex projects;
  • Proficient user of the MS Office suite;
  • Proficient in the use of scheduling tools such as MS Project or Primavera;
  • Experience of using one or more enterprise resource planning tools;
  • Experience of working collaboratively in a multi-cultural, multi-national environment;
  • Recognised university degree-level education or training; and
  • Good English oral and written communication skills.

Desirable Qualifications, Experience and Knowledge:

  • Membership of, or eligibility for membership of, recognised national or international project management and/or engineering institutes;
  • Experience of engineering projects;
  • Industry experience, and/or a track record in successful collaborative links with industry; and
  • Familiarity with the formalism for, and requirements of, quality control environments such as ISO9001.

In addition, the role will be required to:

  • Undertake training in the financial, occupational health and safety, and human resource management procedures applicable to the SKA or its partners.
  • Undertake any other reasonable duties as directed by the post holder’s line manager or a member of SKA Organisation Senior Leadership Team.

For more information on the SKA project visit The SKA Organisation offers a competitive salary, a generous company pension scheme and a flexible benefits package. The successful applicant’s workplace will be located at the SKA Office’s headquarters at Jodrell Bank.

How to apply:

Please send a CV and covering letter, including details of your current remuneration, to, quoting reference PP/01.  Applications should include:

  • A summary of significant accomplishments and project experience, detailing how you meet the mandatory and desirable qualifications, experience and knowledge criteria;
  • The names of at least three professional referees, at least one of whom must be your current employer (or most recent employer if not working); and
  • Details of your current (or most recent) remuneration package.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 2nd July 2018.

Equal Opportunities Statement

SKA Organisation is committed to being an equal opportunities employer. Our aim to is recruit and retain the most talented individuals, regardless of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or nationality.

At all stages of the recruitment process and beyond, we strive to treat applicants and employees with a high standard of care, honesty and politeness.

Women have traditionally been under-represented in the fields of science and engineering; SKA Organisation welcomes and encourages female applicants.

Where applicants with a disability need facilities or adjustments to enable them to participate in the recruitment process, these will be provided. If you need equipment or adjustments to enable you to complete your application and/or attend an interview, then please let us know.

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