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Rail Principal Technologist

Type: full
Location: Milton Keynes
Reference: CPC317

Purpose of the role

The Connected Places Catapult (CPC) has entered into a strategic relationship with Network Rail (NR), aiming to drive challenge-led innovation in NR. The role of the CPC team in this Innovation Factory programme is to expose business challenges within NR, identify potential solutions to those challenges and scope individual projects that test or validate prototypes of such solutions, drawing both on CPC technical teams and on its network of academics and innovative SMEs. The Rail Principal Technologist (innovation architect) is integral to delivery of this high-profile programme and will work closely with senior stakeholders in CPC and NR to ensure the programme is a success. While we recognise that innovation is risky and some of the projects will fail to deliver results, an important aspect of this role is to mitigate risks where possible and to facilitate agile working to “fail fast”.

Key Responsibilities

  • To lead the development and delivery of collaborative, innovative projects aligned to the strategies and organisational KPIs of both the Connected Places Catapult and Network Rail, demonstrating impact in economic and business growth and contributing to increased safety, reliability and efficiency of the rail network.
  • Direct and oversee the delivery for a portfolio of projects, with appropriate project management support, ensuring the successful transition from project award into delivery; ensuring the overall objectives and approach of the projects are maintained; providing technical direction and support to the project team as required.
  • Setting high standards for the Catapult’s outputs, ensuring overall technical quality through providing quality assurance of deliverables and stage gate activities
  • Relationship management with Network Rail, technical project partners and other stakeholders to ensure delivery of projects, including any re-planning/re-scoping to meet overall expectations
  • Work with the CPC Project Management Office, delivery directors and line managers to ensure there is a full understanding of project scope and specifications, as well as resource requirements.
  • Work alongside project teams, acting as the ‘voice of the customer’ and ensuring outputs are delivered with exceptional quality, while achieving the strategic objectives that contribute to our KPIs.
  • Contribution to regular client reporting mechanisms, to communicate project progress and raise any issues or blockers.
  • External facing activities, including presenting at conferences, seminars and workshops, and representation on steering groups / external bodies, as appropriate.
  • You may be required to undertake any other reasonable duties to support the Catapult in achieving its strategic outcomes and ensure effective business operations.

Required skills and experience

  • Demonstrable prior experience in technical research and development, advancing technology through readiness levels. Previous experience in Mobility technologies, digital technology or related sectors would be a considerable advantage.
  • A clear understanding of the needs of mobility systems the use of data, innovation, digital technology and/or challenges for projects, and the credibility to build networks across these groups.
  • Strong track record of successful stakeholder engagement. Enjoy forming relationships, defining programmes and creating winning bids and proposals, aligned to organisational objectives and KPIs.
  • A very confident influencer and communicator with the ability to adapt style and message for a variety of different audiences.
  • Ability to identify market failures, barriers to innovation and to create imaginative projects and programmes of work which address these.
  • An ability to design and/or analyse interventions or projects which match CPC’s role within the innovation landscape, and similarly to identify areas where intervention from CPC is not required.
  • Experience of working in multi-partner delivery teams and with multiple stakeholders.
  • Understanding of commercial contracting and public procurement processes is a positive.


If you would like to apply for this role, please email your CV and covering letter, quoting the relevant job role you are applying for, to:

The closing date for applications is 18th October 2020.