Innovation Programme Manager
Innovation team, Strategy & Regulation function
Newington House (London)
CiP Level/ Bonus
Depending on experience – Plus benefits and bonus
All applications will be reviewed after the closing date
We also offer :
Annual leave 25 days
Personal Pension Plan – Personal contribution rates of 4% or 5% (UK Power Networks will make a corresponding contribution of 8% or 10%)
Tenancy Loan Deposit scheme
Tax efficient benefits: cycle to work scheme
Season ticket loan
Occupational Health support
Switched On – scheme providing discount on hundreds of retailers products.
Supplier discounts, such as O2, EE, Vauxhall cars, Universal tyres
Discounted access to sports and social clubs
Employee Assistance Programme.
UK Power Networks is proud to be the most reliable, most innovative and lowest price electricity distribution group. We have transitioned more than 40 smart innovative solutions into business as usual over the past 6 years, delivering more than £232m of savings for our customers.
The purpose of this role involves scoping, launching and running innovation projects (both research and trials), or delivering major parts of our existing projects, and driving them through to implementation. You will be involved in cutting edge innovation, mainly funded by the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA).
Working within our dedicated and diverse team, you will help UK Power Networks prepare for the transition to a low carbon future and a smart flexible energy system, maintain a reliable and cost effective electricity network and reduce the cost of connecting new customers.
Our current portfolio of innovation projects includes:
- Heat Street – Developing granular localised forecasts for the uptake of low carbon heating and energy efficiency measures by undertaking socio-economic and technical assessments;
- Socially Green – Conducting qualitative and quantitative research into how electricity networks can continue to support customers from all backgrounds, including those in vulnerable circumstances, to create a fair and accessible energy system for all;
- HV Feeder monitoring to pre-empt faults – Trialling a data-driven and machine learning based predictive monitoring solution to detect and locate abnormal disturbances before they materialise into faults;
- Energy Exchange – Delivering a more efficient approach to managing the curtailment of distributed generation connected in areas with limited network capacity.
Just to name a few.
Nature and Scope:
The energy industry is undergoing unprecedented change. We are moving away from a simple but carbon-intensive model of delivering electricity generated by large coal and gas-fired power stations, to a much more dynamic and complex network with large volumes of distributed energy resources (DERs) connected at distribution level. We are seeing the advent of producer/consumers (or ‘prosumers’) and local energy markets. The rise of electric vehicles (EVs), renewable energy, storage and, in time, decarbonisation of heating are all contributing to the low carbon and better air quality agendas being promoted by government at all levels.
These fundamental changes are challenging both how we maintain and operate our network today, as well as creating opportunities for us to do so more efficiently in the future. We are committed to playing a key facilitation role in the UK’s low carbon economy and in order to support the transition to a decarbonised and more decentralised electricity system, our role has to evolve.
Innovation is at the forefront of this revolution. By developing new ideas, fresh approaches and better processes using the network as a living testbed, Innovation is playing a crucial role not only in making our network safer, more reliable and more efficient, but also in developing technical and commercial solutions that support the uptake of low carbon technologies (such as EVs and heat pumps) and address the needs of tomorrow’s customers. This includes customers that are hard to reach or those in vulnerable circumstances.
The primary role of Innovation Engineers is to lead the scoping and delivery of innovation projects which align with UK Power Networks’ Innovation strategy. They will also be expected to engage with internal and external stakeholders to support the development and progression of specific strategies (e.g. Heat and Consumer Vulnerability) that prepare our network and customers for low carbon transition through innovation.
Innovation Engineers take a weight of responsibility to ensure that the business is prepared to implement the necessary changes to adopt successful innovation. They therefore need to demonstrate a track record in recognising and tackling non-technical issues associated with the acceptance of new technology. They will work closely with colleagues in order to establish new standards, engineering instructions, training materials etc. necessary to provide the solution as a ‘finished package’ to the business.
Innovation Engineers require project management skills appropriate to managing small sub-contracted research studies through to significant trials involving staff safety, new product approval, design approval, procurement and scheduling issues. The role can accommodate individuals who are seeking to make technical project management their career, as well as those for whom becoming a recognised subject matter expert is their goal.
- Set up and deliver innovation projects as a project manager with a portfolio reaching up to £5m;
- Develop innovative ideas into projects, including securing stakeholder buy-in and manage complex commercial, regulatory and technical interactions;
- Manage the research, development, demonstration, and business-as-usual implementation of novel technologies and/or novel commercial arrangements;
- Prepare and present cost-benefit analyses, business cases, and retrospective benefits assessments for new and existing innovation projects;
- Provide technical expertise to innovation projects and be able to understand and examine the principles behind current engineering practice;
- Ensure projects are managed and delivered in compliance with relevant internal and external standards, procedures and governance;
- Prepare and review project progress and technical reports that are submitted to Ofgem/other funding organisations and published in the public domain;
- Manage and develop a good working relationship with a diverse range of suppliers, contractors and external stakeholders at all levels within respective organisations;
- Engage with other key UK Power Networks business functions such as Asset Management, Network Operations, IS and Regulation;
- Ensure dissemination of knowledge and learning to internal and external stakeholders using a wide range of communications channels.
- Represent the department within external working groups, meetings, events and conferences;
Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience:
- Project/programme management qualification at APMP / PRINCE2 level or equivalent is desirable but not essential;
- Demonstrable experience in a technical, analytical role in the electricity industry;
- Bachelors in electrical engineering or Masters in engineering or science;
- A proven record in managing and delivering technical projects and demonstrable ability to transfer these skills to the electricity sector.
Skills and experience:
- Excellent understanding of the challenges, opportunities and policy landscape of low carbon/Net Zero transition for energy sector;
- Specific sector knowledge of low carbon heating and consumer vulnerability/fuel poverty issues within the energy sector is highly desirable but not essential;
- Good understanding of smart grid technologies and in the transition from Distribution Network Operators to Distribution System Operators;
- Good understanding of flexibility services and commercial frameworks;
- Familiarity with cost-benefit analysis;
- Experience in delivery of projects involving a structured project management framework, multidisciplinary teams, and multiple stakeholders;
- Experience in delivery of projects with adherence to technical specifications and standards;
- Familiarity with contractual issues (both monitoring adherence to an existing contract and managing issues at project inception through contract);
- Experience of change control/management and implementing new ways of working;
- Strong allegiance to R&D and innovation.
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate clearly and confidently at all levels of the organisation;
- Excellent written communication skills, with an evidenced ability to write clearly, concisely, and effectively for both technical and non-technical audience
- Excellent self-organisation and self-motivation skills; able to work on own initiative with minimal supervision, under pressure and to hard deadlines, with a focus on delivering outputs.
- Ability to proactively manage workload;
- Self-directed in their personal development;
- Positive attitude and strong negotiation & influencing skills to manage relationships with other internal directorates, teams and other third parties.
Health & Safety Responsibilities
Managers and supervisors carry both legal and company responsibilities for ensuring the health and safety of their employees, those under their control and those who might be affected by the work undertaken, i.e. public, visitors and employees of other organisations. This includes briefing individuals working for them and ensuring there is the necessary understanding, competence and application of requirements to work safely and without harming the environment.
Employees will ensure they fully understand the health and safety risks involved in their work activities and their responsibility to apply the controls needed to manage those risks to acceptable levels. Similarly where work activities can have an adverse impact upon the environment, and particularly where there are legal requirements, employees will understand those impacts and the controls they must ensure are applied.
Employees need to be aware that for some craft and operational roles that work at height, or use fall arrest devices, there is an upper weight limit of 116Kg due to maximum safe working load of the safety equipment that is used.
If in doubt ask!
We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, or veteran status. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.