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Chief Manufacturing Engineer

Date: Mar 4, 2023

Location: East Cowes, GB

Company: GKN Aerospace Careers

About GKN Aerospace


A Truly Global Business 

Every day, around the world, we help aircrafts fly further, faster and greener.  We’re the world’s leading tier one aerospace supplier of systems and components. With over 15,000 employees across 41 manufacturing sites in 13 countries serving over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers with sales of £2.8bn.

Together as “one GKN” we’re moving our business and industry forward developing technologies that rapidly decarbonise aircraft, and innovating to help build a new generation of planes that produce zero emissions.  We’re putting sustainability at the heart of what we do; driving our objective to becoming a net zero greenhouse gas emissions business before 2050! 


Making a Difference 

It’s great to know you’re making a difference to the future of aviation! Whatever part you play you’ll be helping us deliver operational excellence to our customers.

Job Summary


The Chief Manufacturing Engineer, based at either our East Cowes site on the Isle of Wight will be responsible for leading the Planning, Development, Commissioning and Industrialisation of Manufacturing Systems within GKN’s Civil business. This applies to, but not limited to; New Product Introductions (NPI), Work Transfers, Technology Insertions and addressing Critical Quality issues. The CME directly manages and leads the deployed Manufacturing Engineering (ME) team, to deliver manufacturing systems in compliance with its identified requirements (Produceability, Productivity, Cost, Schedule, Regulatory/Customer/HSE requirements) and adherence to Zero Defect Manufacturing (ZDM) standards. 


For the initial training period of between 3-4 months, you will be based fully on-site in our East Cowes site on the Isle of Wight. After which you can take advantage of our hybrid working policy depending on business requirements. This role may have up to ten direct and indirect reports depending on the deployment and involves reasonable travel a couple times a month nationally, occasional travel within Europe once every 8-10 weeks and potential ad-hoc travel to the United States of America.


Job Responsibilities


  • New Product Introductions (NPI) - Responsible for Planning, Development, Commissioning of the Manufacturing System for New Product Introductions [LG3->LG7]. Working with the Design Chief Engineers (for Design and Build contracts) and Industrial Architects they are accountable for delivering a manufacturing system that fulfils all stakeholder requirements (Safety, Logistics, Quality, Produceability & Business case metrics), including development and maturity of Manufacturing processes and documentation.
  • Sustaining - Responsible for Oversight of the portfolio of Manufacturing Systems through regular review of system KPIs and Lifecycle (Industrial review) Gate assessments and their evolution (as required) to ensure productivity & quality targets are continually evolving. This includes Identification of new technologies and their development & exploitation, and benchmarking of processes across the GKN portfolio of products. 
  • Leadership of Projects- Responsible for technical leadership of ME activities including Program Management, Planning, Resource provisioning, budgeting, & Project EV reporting within functional and Enterprise standards. 
  • Leadership of Teams – Accountable to the Program Manager/Director for delivering ME content of tasks through direct Operational Management and Leadership of deployed manufacturing engineering team.
  • Quality – Responsible for Product quality within the NPI ME function. Expected to drive a quality mind-set within the deployed engineering team and ensure compliance to agreed Customer, Regulatory, Business and functional standards including AS9145 (ZDM).
  • Bids – Working closely with the Programme team and Industrial Architects, be responsible for the technical ME content of bid work including Technical risk management, ME work content and NRC budgeting.
  • Relationships - Maintain positive, team relationships with internal and external customers, key stakeholders within the business. Foster and champion 5 principles within sphere of influence.

How You'll Contribute


To help us make a difference, you’ll bring your passion and expertise/ talent for what you do along with the following skills, experience, qualifications and attributes:



  • Technical expertise in Manufacturing Engineering, with a relevant professional qualification / background (university degree) in engineering (eg. Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical)
  • Experience of managing New Product / Process introduction (industrialisation) & existing production process improvements
  • Ability to influence people, build trust and establish effective working relationships within a global organisation
  • Significant experience in Manufacturing Engineering and/or Demonstrated ability in leadership position with evidence of delivering significant improvements in terms of cost/quality of a manufacturing system. 
  • Working knowledge of quality system models such as ISO9000, AS9100, or D1-9000  



  • Working knowledge of LEAN processes and practices
  • Project / Program Management Professional Qualification
  • Agile Methodologies 
  • Solid understanding of industrial systems 
  • Familiarity with AS9145 APQP process or equivalent
  • Familiarity with appropriate digital opportunities for manufacturing systems


We are looking for people who want to make a difference, talented members with the skills and passions to become the best of the future in what they do.

What We'll Offer


Once you’re on board you’ll get the following perks and benefits:

  • Industry Leading Pension Scheme = we’ll match your contributions up to 8% on a 1 : 1.5 basis
  • Life Assurance 8 x salary
  • 190 hours holiday + bank holidays
  • Income protection
  • Shopping discounts
  • Cycle To Work Scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • A collaborative, dynamic working environment 
  • Hybrid working – giving you the opportunity to balance home and office working
  • Opportunity to earn up to 22.5% bonus 
  • Car Allowance


As well as a competitive package we’ll offer you a world of opportunity. We want to see your career fly!  We’ll support your career progression by providing you with learning and development opportunities.  That’s the beauty of being part of a global business, once you’re on board you never know where you career journey may take you! 

Why Join Us


A Great Place to work needs a Great Way of Working

Everyone is welcome to apply to GKN.  Through our commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging and by living our five powerful principles we’ve created a culture where everyone feels welcome to contribute.  It’s a culture that won us ‘The Best Workplace Culture Award’ last year.  By embracing and celebrating what makes us unique we encourage everyone to bring their full self to work.


We’re also committed to providing an accessible recruitment process, so if you require reasonable adjustments at any stage during our recruitment process please get in touch and let us know.


Hybrid Work Approach

We understand our employees thrive by working differently, what works for one may not work for another, offering different ways of working is core to us creating a great employee experience. We’re pleased to provide a hybrid working approach enabling you to balance your time between working remotely and working in our offices.  We’re also keen for our employees to achieve a work life balance so we’re happy to discuss flexible working options with you should the role be able to accommodate it. 


Join us and keep the world moving … click on the link below to apply