Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS
Scientific Computing
220000FK Requisition #

Job Title: Principal Solutions Engineer
Salary: £50,702 to £56,336 gross per annum* (dependent on skills and experience)
Banding: UKRI Band F
Location: Science and Technology Facilities Council, Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington OR Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxford
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full time or Part time (minimum 22 hours per week) (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and are happy to discuss the possibility of flexible working with applicants)
*This role is eligible for up to £2,000 Responsibility and Retention Allowance gross per annum

About the Hartree Centre

At the Hartree Centre, we want to see UK businesses outperforming their global competitors. We want to grow the economy, create skilled jobs and train people to excel in them. Most of all, we want to keep the UK at the forefront of industrial innovation. We're making all this happen and more by enabling UK industry to fully embrace and integrate the latest digital and cognitive technologies.

We provide collaborative research, innovation and development services that accelerate the application of high-performance computing (HPC), data analytics and artificial intelligence technologies.  By working with us, businesses and research partners can gain a competitive advantage that enables them to produce better outcomes, products and services more quickly and cheaply than through conventional R&D.

We have a technically exciting computing environment, encompassing a wide range of hardware and software technologies.

Reasons our staff enjoy working for us:

  • We’re based at Sci-Tech Daresbury - a lively and dynamic campus bringing together SMEs and leading industry-academic collaborations located in a picturesque semi-rural location with easy access to canal-side and woodland walking.
  • We are less than two miles from the M56 motorway with public transport links and access to Warrington and Runcorn national rail stations. Advice on all aspects of travel to site including car sharing is available at:
  • 30 days annual leave plus 10.5 public and privilege days.
  • Options for flexible or hybrid working patterns are available.
  • Defined benefit pension scheme (employer contribution – currently up to 26%).
  • There are different active sport and social groups across campus with access to an on-site gym for staff.
  • Personal development is key. You will work with your line manager to develop your own Learning and Development plan each year.
  • We value collaborative working across STFC and with our external collaborators such as IBM Research, The University of Liverpool’s Virtual Engineering Centre, Atos, NVIDIA, Unilever and many more.
  • Diversity and inclusion are important to us. UKRI has a corporate policy on Equality and Diversity which is supported by a Diversity Forum and implementation group.

For more information on the rest of our employee benefits, take a look at:

About the Role

We are looking to strengthen our solution design and assurance capabilities across the Hartree Centre by recruiting a Principal Solution Engineer to support our latest strategic programme The National Centre for Digital Innovation. Our vision is to deliver real customer value by engineering top quality software solutions that put Hartree’s cutting edge software & systems into the hands of our customers. Our Principal Solution Engineers will have the opportunity to work on a diverse range of exciting projects, helping to ensure they meet the needs of both internal and external stakeholders so an ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and customers from a range of backgrounds will be essential. All of our projects have a common theme of aiming to improve UK business productivity, and we work with partners of various sizes including SMEs, IBM Research & STFC scientists, and universities. Projects may last for a few weeks to a few years and are usually delivered by small cross-functional teams. Some of the work undertaken will be commercial in confidence. Having a very supportive team culture is paramount in our centre; while we are serious about results, our experience of getting there is enjoyable and fun which we know is essential to the health and wellbeing of our team.

What you will do: 

  • Lead the solution design verification and adoption efforts on a range of high-profile projects within the Hartree Centre to ensure the software and solutions we develop can be implemented, adopted and used by UK industry, leading to increased economic and productivity gains.  
  • Lead and run design centred thinking workshops to ensure a good fit between user requirements and solution design, providing design assurance 
  • Work with our technical teams, business development, customers and STFC Innovations to understand varying requirements, and help define and prioritise features based on customer needs, reusability and ease of delivery;
  • Manage activities across Innovation, Business Development and external technology partners teams to ensure the solution design can be implemented using Hartree infrastructures and opportunities for reusability or licensing are identified
  • Coordinate key decisions that influence solutions/software design or user experience across all impacted stakeholders;
  • Lead the creation of high-quality value propositions and solution design decision, inputting into project plans and solution specifications as required. 
  • Assist with use case analysis, requirements capture, and project planning to ensure solutions meet the objectives of the Centre. 
  • Plan for software releases and updates to customers in collaboration with other stakeholders
  • Continuously review and work to improve the solutions development process within the Hartree Centre
  • Support your teammates by continuing to learn and grow

Contacts and Communication 

The post-holder will pro-actively manage highly complex and technical programmes and will need to balance competing customer (internal and external) requirements with the availability of staff and supercomputing resources to enable successfully delivery in a timely and effective manner.  As such, the post-holder will need to be able to assimilate technical information and convert this into activities and outcomes and to identify and respond quickly to changing priorities and issues that arise.  

The post-holder will engage with internal STFC employees, IBM Research and other key external stakeholders providing support to the Hartree Centre. The post-holder will build and manage relationships with relevant stakeholders inside and external to the centre.  Your technical and programme management expertise combined with technical understanding of the use of HPC and/or AI will translate ideas into action. Your communication and coordination skills will bring the best out of cross-sector teams, and your ability to deliver tangible, successful outcomes will ensure that the centre delivers on its commitments.

Person Criteria


  • Background in business management, computer science and/or software engineering. Technical fluency is important in order to ensure maximal synergy between the technical team and other stakeholders;(S)
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent in a computer / business or related discipline;(S)
  • Experience of software management and design;(S&I)
  • Experience in in creating user-driven software and services;(S&I)
  • Strategic planning and critical analysis skills;(S)
  • Good customer facing skills and an aptitude for exploring use-cases & capturing user requirements;(I)
  • General understanding of AI, data analytics, cloud and HPC technologies;(S)
  • Excellent verbal communication skills;(I)
  • Excellent written communication skills;(S)
  • Can work as part of a team and independently;(I)
  • Able to travel in the UK and occasionally abroad.(I)


  • Entrepreneurship or start-up experience;(S&I)
  • Strategy and leadership skills;(S)
  • Experience of working across highly technical teams;(I)
  • Previous experience across public and private sectors;(I)
  • International experience would be very valuable considering the diverse backgrounds of our staff and customers.(I)

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

The STFC is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we’re trusted to support, enable and undertake ground-breaking projects in an outstanding diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving progressive advances in science, engineering, computing and technology. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale. 

For more information about STFC please visit 

You can also visit our careers site 

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation. 

More information can be found at  

Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. 

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