Lead Engineer

Horstman Defence Systems Limited, Bath, UK

The Lead Engineer will be the design and engineering lead for a number of projects. Working as part of the Engineering Team they are expected to develop the project technical requirements, produce concept design solutions, detailed designs including generating and updating 3D CAD models and 2D technical drawings, verification and test plans, assembly instructions and comprehensive reporting with support from the Principal Engineer and Engineering Director. They may also support build and test activities, including hands on tasks where appropriate.

The Lead Engineer will be responsible for the actioning of engineering and design activities including supporting product development and problem resolution. They will lead their allotted team members to the best of their abilities.

The Lead Engineer will be a very capable engineer, confident and articulate with good communication skills, able to interface with in-house colleagues, suppliers and customers.

The Lead Engineer is expected to proactively participate in, and when necessary lead improvement initiatives. They will lead their allotted team members to the best of their abilities.

The metrics they will be measured against include sales, margin, milestone achievement, product safety, and timely implementation of continuous improvement initiatives.

Yearly goals will be derived in concert with the Principal Engineer.

Responsible For

The Lead Engineer is responsible for the delivery of the technical data pack to the business to a defined standard, budget  and timescale. They will be responsible for defining work packages, and the management of internal / external resources to deliver them.

They may be responsible for the following direct reports; Design Engineer, CAD Technician, Analysis Expert, Additional Resource, as required by the program/s. The size and makeup of the team will change from time to time, and be driven by program and project deliverables.

The Lead Engineer will support the Engineering Director, Principal Engineer and Head of Technology to maintain the design integrity of Horstman products.

Where Horstman Defence Systems Limited is the Design Organisation, the Lead Engineer may be delegated to be the design authority for a product.

Duties & Responsibilities

The duties of the Lead Engineer include:

  • Contribute towards the development, implementation and enforcement of Engineering Policy and Engineering Processes.
  • Contribute to the reporting on Engineering performance metrics.
  • Be responsible for delivery of their own personal development plan actions, and the development of their direct reports.
  • Be customer (internal and external) focused on delivery of goals, at pace.
  • Be responsible for the delivery of agreed business, people and process improvement activities.
  • Support the development of customer solutions as required to achieve sales. This includes internal / external customer visits and technical meetings.
  • Collaboration with Operations, Programmes, Procurement, Quality and Finance on Design for Manufacture, APQP, Programmatic and cost issues.
  • Generate purchase requisitions where necessary for delivery of budgeted activities and hardware, and seek authorisation when necessary.
  • Collaboration between the Engineering team and the programme’s APQP engineers, PM, suppliers and customers to ensure design constraints for manufacturability, quality, cost and on time delivery are considered.
  • Deliver program, contractual and design and development deliverables that have been made the responsibility of the Lead Engineer.
  • Working within the Engineering Team to Engineering Processes, create, update, control, approve and release 3D CAD models, 2D technical drawings and engineering documentation.
  • Working accurately in a data management system within a configuration controlled environment
  • Protect the business IPR when disclosing information to 3rd parties and proactively consider the patent potential of new designs.
  • Delegation for the Principal Engineer where requested.
  • Other duties as required.

The Lead Engineer will;

  • Conceptualise new designs in a timely manner, documenting their development, and identifying suitable rapid prototyping and development strategies to deliver designs on time.
  • Ensure the cost effectiveness of designs and track the costs against allocated budgets.
  • Work with the Engineering Director, Principal Engineer, Head of Technology and Programme Managers to deliver engineering actions, with particular emphasis on time delivery.
  • Progress documentation through the improvement form and engineering change control processes.
  • Create and manage a record of the design calculations which demonstrate the adequacy of the design and the ability to reproduce the design calculations if needed.
  • Create and manage detailed documentation to establish the understanding of the knowledge on which the design is based.
  • Capture and retain design inputs such as basic functional requirements, performance requirements, safety goals and safety principles, applicable codes, standards and regulatory requirements, design conditions, loads, interface requirements.
  • Define and document the inspection, analysis, testing, validation and acceptance criteria used to verify that the design output meets the design and safety requirements.
  • Document the assumptions made in all the steps above, including assumptions related to operating modes or procedures, and the implications of operating experience on the design.
  • Present and communicate designs and design changes
  • Maintain the knowledge of the design integrity throughout whole product lifecycle; including safety, detailed engineering substantiation and supporting design documentation under appropriate configuration control.
  • Lead internal\external design reviews.
  • Support prototype build and test activities
  • Actively support continuous improvement activities throughout the business.
  • When the Lead Engineer is delegated Design Authority, they must comply with systems of work and processes.

Knowledge & Ability Required

The Lead Engineer works as part of a successful, dynamic engineering team, They must be prepared to be assertive and confident, and able to influence and work collaboratively across business functions, with other Horstman companies, with the wider RENK group, and with a global customer base.

The post holder is required to have / be:

  • A strong team player
  • Degree (2:1 or better), or an equivalent combination of experience and training in mechanical or related engineering discipline
  • A good command of mechanical engineering fundamentals, proven in a high integrity manufacturing environment.
  • Drive and flexibility to maintain pace of work as priorities and customer requirements change.
  • The ability to communicate designs effectively through written and verbal methods.
  • The ability to work accurately to defined processes.
  • The ability to produce high quality output with attention to detail.
  • A hands-on approach appropriate to a small business, able and willing to perform tasks effectively.
  • Knowledge and experience in the use of design, design analysis, verification and validation methodologies and supporting techniques such as CAD, FEA, FMECA, DFM, VAVE, to ensure manufacturing engineering and quality assurance best practice is embodied into the design.
  • Knowledge and experience in the use of PDM and ERP software.
  • Willingness and ability to travel worldwide
  • Ability to obtain a UK SC clearance.
  • Commitment to continuing professional development and education.

The post holder will desirably have, or will be able to develop

  • UK driving licence.
  • The ability and desire to work towards Chartered Engineer status with a relevant UK professional body.
  • More than 2 years post qualification experience in a design or manufacturing environment.
  • Experience of SolidWorks or similar 3D CAD modelling package.
  • Experience of generating technical drawings with an understanding of geometric tolerancing.
  • Experience of hydraulics and high pressure oil and gas sealing technologies.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the operational and procurement challenges of tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the repair and overhaul and/or post-design support environment.
  • Familiarity with multinational projects subject to US ITAR and UK export legislation.


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