Job Description: Principal Automated Transport Systems Engineer
Grade: Principal Technologist
Location: Milton Keynes
Business Unit: Systems Engineering
Duration: Permanent

Welcome to Transport Systems Catapult

The Transport Systems Catapult is one of eleven technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK. We were created to drive and promote the Intelligent Mobility market – using new and emerging technologies to transport people and goods more smartly and efficiently. We are helping UK businesses create products and services that meet the needs of the world's transport systems as they respond to ever-stretching demands. We help sell UK capability on the global stage, while also promoting the UK as a superb test bed for the transportation industry. With a clear emphasis on collaboration, we are bringing together diverse organisations across different modes of transport, breaking down barriers and providing a unique platform for meeting the world's most pressing transport challenges.

Capability Team Description

The transport industry is currently undergoing tremendous and potentially disruptive growth. Numerous challenges need to be overcome in the technology, safety and legislative areas. The emergent system could have significant economic, societal and environmental impacts. New entrants are emerging in the industry and new alliances are being formed.

The Automated Transport Systems (ATS) Capability Team covers all aspects of automation and connectivity for the movement of people and goods across a range of transport modes, encompassing Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), autonomous pods, self-driving cars and trucks together with rail. Our work is not just focused on the means of transport itself, but also takes in the enabling infrastructure and policy framework required to establish the UK in the global vanguard of Intelligent Mobility. We work with the whole range of stakeholders in this area including regulators and policy makers, insurance companies, established technology companies, start-ups, and universities.

We are involved in a wide range of projects focused on connected and automated transport. We collaborate to bring academia, Government and industry together to enhance the operation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles via a range of projects. Our projects focused on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) see us working with a range of organisations from SME to OEM and will develop systems that exploit connectivity to improve the safety of our roads and the air quality in our cities. In the area of rail travel, we collaborate with major industry stakeholders to improve the efficiency of our rail network. The team also provides technical planning support to partner organisations for a variety of connected and automated transport projects. We provide systems engineering, programme management, consulting and technical support to increase the UK’s global share of the connected and automated transport market.

To further strengthen our capability, the Transport Systems Catapult is seeking to recruit an experienced professional in the area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Whilst this role would suit someone with a background in this field, applicants with directly transferrable expertise from relevant domains would also be considered.



  • Lead the development and implementation of the Transport Systems Catapult’s strategy in the area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • Define, develop and deliver UAV projects / programmes to quality, cost and time, potentially including technical implementation, systems integration and high-level studies
  • Identify opportunities to help contribute to the aims of the Transport Systems Catapult.
  • Lead and participate in business development by identifying opportunities, leading and contributing to proposals and bidding activity as required
  • Work collaboratively and effectively with all functions within Transport Systems Catapult and external delivery partners to optimise beneficial working relationships
  • Represent the TSC at relevant industry events, conferences and meetings where and when appropriate.

Expected Skills & Experience

  • Demonstrable, relevant expertise in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, connected and automated systems, mobile robotics, and transport systems
  • Understanding of relevant standards and regulations in the domain of UAVs
  • Systems engineering experience in commercial applications
  • Strong technical project leadership and organisational skills with close attention to detail
  • Experience of leading research and development projects, within a commercial and / or grant funded, collaborative research and development environment where significant partner/funder/stakeholder interactions are required
  • Experience of leading transport related projects/programmes
  • Excellent communication skills including the ability to communicate clearly across diverse levels of understanding
  • Ability to produce high quality, impactful written reports and presentations
  • Educated to a degree level in a Technical discipline 

In Return

  • Pension Scheme 2:1
  • Life assurance 4x base salary
  • Health cashback scheme
  • SmartGo discounted parking
  • 25 days per year, plus bank holidays, plus non-guaranteed 3 or 4 ‘gift days’ over the Christmas period when the office is usually closed
  • Rail season ticket loan
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