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Chief Engineer

Date: Nov 28, 2022

Location: Luton, 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 Engineer will be based at our Luton site supporting both our Civil and Defence business lines whilst reporting to the Director of Chief Engineering and directly managing a team of 3 with responsibility for all Design Engineers working on NPI programmes at our Luton site, the incumbent will need to be flexible for monthly national and international travel to facilitate team and customer interactions - there is flexibility to work from home for up to 1 day per week dependent on the needs of the business. The Chief Engineer will support the Development Engineering and the Sustaining Engineering of Transparencies and Ice Protection Systems programmes. As part of the Programme Core Team (PM, CE, CME, Procurement/SC, Finance), the Chief Engineer will manage the overall engineering activities within a programme to meet overall programme and business objectives. As part of the sustaining engineering organisation, the Chief Engineer will support multiple programmes in the production or in-service (post Life Cycle Gate 7) phase ensuring all engineering activities recurring and non-recurring are provided to meet the needs of each programme and the wider business objectives.

Established in 1993, GKN Aerospace in Luton is a world leader in commercial and military ice protection systems and transparencies. Offering a full range of capabilities; design, analysis, testing, certification and manufacture of electro-thermal ice protection, military fast jet canopies and flight deck windows to over 20 programmes including: Boeing 787, Dreamliner, Airbus A320, AgustaWestland, AW101, Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed, Martin F-22 Raptor. Our customers include Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopters, Textron, BAE Systems, Pratt & Whitney, Leonardo. Our Luton site is home to 400+ employees and onsite facilities including onsite parking, canteen, vending machines and showers.

Job Responsibilities

  • Achieve and ensure airworthiness of the product design in accordance with applicable certification specifications including drafting/maintaining the Certification Plan, performing the delegated tasks of the Office of Airworthiness and initiating actions as a result of in-service incidents and accidents
  • Primary focal point for external customers for major technical Issues
  • Manage the engineering support requirements for all programmes in production including establishing and maintaining the sustaining engineering resource planning, forming agreements with the PM's on the resources and budget required for each programme and reporting on performance related to the engineering plan and budget
  • Ensure engineering deliverables meet technical requirements including manufacturability, quality and certification against agreed schedule and cost objectives
  • Implement and execute cost & schedule control of engineering activities including NRC/RC planning, tracking and reporting through earned value management
  • Report to engineering leadership including reporting on defined KPI’s for quality, governance and compliance, risk, cost and schedule
  • Develop KPI’s in line with business strategy and objectives
  • Develop and deliver engineering plan for improvements supporting business quality objectives and programme/site recurring cost targets reducing scrap and concession activities
  • Execute programme risk management by identifying technical risks and determining associated mitigation actions
  • Initiate deviation corrective measures from the planned schedule and budget objectives
  • Manage change and scope control providing input to the internal change control process and supporting PM in the customer change control board process
  • Manage configuration baseline documents for projects which have passed from development to sustainment life-cycle phase
  • Provide day-to-day operational management of the engineering management team 
  • Manage engineering resource and equipment requirements including timely indication of changes affecting demand, resolution of overall resourcing conflicts, defining skill set requirements, supporting succession planning and ensuring effective deployment and use of allocated resources 
  • Ensure application of effective engineering processes in accordance with the relevant BMS/QMS, best practices and standards 
  • Encourage a culture of continuous improvement including lean initiatives, engineering design reviews, input to APQP/ZDM process, developing new and improved best practices/working standards, developing knowledge and experience for the function, sustaining CE’s to support CDR and LCG (prior to LCG7) reviews and ensuring continued support to LCG process post LCG7
  • Provide effective communication within the team and with stakeholders outside the team
  • Ensure CE’s provide a direct service to the site operations team for production support, concessions, mod’s and internal/external requested design changes
  • Key contact for any quality investigations including Escapes, NoE or any supporting RCCA activities and RCCA investigations
  • Work closely with business development and commercial to support generation of new business opportunities   
  • Ensure CE’s are responsible for managing and growing the off-load of engineering (concessions) activities in support of business strategy and objectives
  • PDP process for direct reports and supporting the functional heads for matrix reports including appraisals and career development reviews
  • Represent the BMS/QMS for a specific certified entity as delegated 

How You'll Contribute

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


  • Extensive senior engineering experience including technical management of design, analysis and product development engineering 
  • Experience gained from an aerospace manufacturing environment 
  • Experience as a technical approval authority with appropriate technical seniority for Design, Product Development or Analysis
  • Experience of working within multi-disciplinary engineering project teams including Design, Analysis, M&P, Manufacturing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Experience of managing complex engineering projects based on recognised project management methods.
  • Experience of working cross functionally with Operations and Senior Management as well as externally with Customers and Suppliers
  • Experience of complex problem solving
  • Experience of clearly presenting data, reports and presentations at a senior level


  • A relevant Engineering BSc or MSc Degree or equivalent 
  • Project Management certification such as Prince II
  • Experience of regulatory bodies and associated requirements 
  • Experience gained from multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary teams in an international setting
  • Experience of leading, coaching and developing technical engineering teams 
  • Experience of Transparencies and Ice Protection 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:


  • £55,000 to £75,000 per annum dependent on experience
  • £5,500 car allowance per annum
  • Opportunity to earn up to 22.5% bonus 
  • Hybrid working – giving you the opportunity to balance home and office working
  • Industry Leading Pension Scheme = we’ll match your contributions up to 8% on a 1 : 1.5 basis
  • Life Assurance 8 x salary
  • 25 days holiday + bank holidays
  • Income protection
  • Shopping discounts
  • Cycle To Work Scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • A collaborative, dynamic working environment 

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