Innovation Project Lead
Innovation - Low Carbon, Strategy Regulation and Support Services
Newington House (London)
Fixed Term Contract(18 – 24 months)
CiP Level / Bonus
£40,446 – 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 delivered over 40 solutions over the past 5 years delivering more than £232m of savings. We are well on track to meet our £300m target for ED1 by 2023.
The purpose of this role involves scoping, launching and running innovation projects 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 of 30 innovators, 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:
- Envision – Exploring the use of data to achieve greater network visibility in the historically less monitored part of the network (LV and MV) for lower costs.
- Transpower - trialling the Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology in four key areas relevant to the electrification of transport: bus, fleet, on street and domestic charging;
- Optimise Prime – accelerating the transition to electric vehicles for commercial fleet operators by running home, depot and mixed charging trials and testing flexibility options;
- Charge Collective – developing a framework to overcome barriers to investment in EV public chargepoints by partnering with Local Authorities (LAs) and Charge Point Installers (CPIs).
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 de-centralised 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 EVs and low carbon technologies and address the needs of tomorrow’s customers.
The role of Innovation Engineers is to contribute to the development and delivery of a diverse innovation project portfolio which aligns with UK Power Networks’ Innovation strategy and prepares the network for the low carbon transition.
They also 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 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.
- Deliver major parts of large flagship projects reporting to the Innovation Project Lead and/or deliver innovation projects as a project manager with a portfolio reaching up to £5m per annum;
- Support the delivery of innovation projects delivered by the business as innovation buddy;
- Manage and develop a good working relationship with a diverse range of suppliers, contractors and external stakeholders at all levels within respective organisations. Be able to influence using interpersonal skills and challenge any behaviours inconsistent with UK Power Networks’ ethos both internally and externally;
- Provide technical expertise to innovation projects and be able to understand and examine the principles behind current engineering practice;
- Understand and articulate robust challenges to existing solutions and support the development of innovative processes to improve problem-solving capabilities. Jointly accountable for achievement of collaborative efficiency targets across relevant programmes and projects, ensuring that a lower cost design and installation approach is developed;
- Identify and implement opportunities for improvement within existing innovation projects or the wider business;
- Develop innovative ideas into projects, including securing stakeholder buy-in and manage complex commercial, regulatory and technical interactions;
- Prepare and present business cases, including robust market and/or data analysis;
- Engage with other key UK Power Networks business functions such as Asset Management, Network Operations, IS and Regulation;
- Represent the department within external working groups, meetings, events and conferences;
- Ensure that all appropriate regulatory, statutory and company standards are met;
- Coach junior staff;
- Responsible for safety of staff by ensuring necessary training has been undertaken and use of staff with company-approved competencies.
Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience:
- BSc in computer science or a related field, knowledge of software, computers, networks, software and hardware. Understanding of data management and analysis techniques.
- BEng in electrical or electrical & electronic engineering or an MEng in engineering or science;
- Demonstrable experience in a technical, analytical role in the electricity industry;
- A proven record in managing and delivering digital and technical projects and demonstrable ability to transfer these skills to the electricity sector.
- Track record in project management within well-defined and structured frameworks;
- Good understanding of the principles of electricity distribution networks;
- Good understanding of flexibility services and commercial frameworks;
- Interest in smart grid technologies and in the transition from Distribution Network Operators to Distribution System Operators;
- Good understanding of SCADA, Telecommunications and Active Network Management assets and strategies;
- Good understanding of electric vehicles and other low carbon technologies;
- Familiarity with cost-benefit analysis;
- 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.
- Ability to pro-actively manage workload;
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate clearly and confidently at all levels of the organisation and with external customers (both in oral or written form);
- Self-directed in their personal development;
- Ability to make correct business decisions, influence and persuade others as required;
- Information seeking;
- Planning, organisation and time management.
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 are responsible for ensuring 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 are responsible for understanding those impacts and the controls they must ensure are applied.
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.