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Head of Civil Engineering


Birmingham, West Midlands, B2 5RS : Bristol, South West, BS1 6EH : Glasgow, Scotland, G2 1HG : Manchester, North West, M1 2WD : City of Westminster, London, WC2B 4AN : York, Yorkshire and the Humber, YO1 7PX


About the job

Job description

The Office of Rail and Road is the independent safety and economic regulator for Britain's railways and monitor of Highways England.

We are here to ensure the network operates safely, reliably and provides value for taxpayers and customers. We safeguard the public and the workforce by regulating the rail industry's health and safety performance. We hold Network Rail to account – and we require it to provide passengers with a punctual, reliable service. We make sure that train and freight operating companies have fair access to the rail network, and that the market is competitive and fair.

As Highways Monitor we are responsible for monitoring Highways England's management of the strategic road network – the motorways and main 'A' roads in England.

About the role

The civil engineering team is a key centre of expertise in the Engineering and Asset Management Group, part of the Directorate of Railway Planning and Performance.

The purpose of the job is to deliver expert railway civil engineering input to support all of ORR’s functions as a combined economic and safety regulator. The Head of Civil Engineering manages and leads the civil engineering team, which includes track, lineside vegetation, drainage, structures earthworks and operational property experts. The Head of Civil Engineering is expected to be familiar with all these asset disciplines and to have particular expertise in a least three of them.

Key responsibilities

Your key responsibilities, although not exhaustive, will be to:

• Manage and lead the civil engineering team including:-
o Prioritise and delegate team tasks
o Contribute to Directorate Business Planning
o Communicate and champion ORR strategy and vision
o Motivate and develop the team
• Lead our assessment of whether duty holder’s asset policies will sustain the civil engineering asset base at minimum whole life cost while delivering the required level of performance and
• Lead our assessment of whether duty holder’s plans are compliant with their asset policies for civil engineering assets including track, structures, earthworks and operational property
• Monitor delivery of maintenance and renewal against plan, including volume and expenditure
• Monitor asset condition/performance against plan and policy targets
• Hold duty holders to account on any variance from plan and policy. This will include regular liaison meetings with duty holder’s Professional Heads and other senior staff at corporate and route level
• Hold operators to account for the delivery of maintenance and renewal activities at stations where these are included in franchise obligations
• Provide specialist technical support to our Railway Safety Directorate, such as joint site inspections, investigations and enquiries, ECM applications and supervision, safety certification and exemption application , expert witness, legislation reviews, RAIB investigation findings, recommendations and responses
• Provide specialist technical support to RME activities, including access charges and efficiency considerations
• Lead on authorisations to place civil engineering assets into service in accordance with interoperability requirements
• Lead the review, development and application of relevant European and national technical standards for civil engineering assets
• Attend industry technical forums and influence for the best outcome for the industry as a whole
• Provide specialist training to other staff

Additional responsibilities

• Provide technical expert input to answering public and ministerial enquiries about the railway infrastructure and Freedom of Information Act requests
• Make site visits to the operational railway and for benchmarking purposes also make occasional visits to other railway systems
• Whilst this post is intended for a railway civil engineering expert there could be an advantage in having at least a working knowledge of other railway assets.

Person Specification

• Significant and relevant experience in a similar role – preferably within a fast paced dynamic environment

• This post requires sound management skills as well as excellent technical abilities and the ability to work independently within key parameters.

• The candidate should be an experienced civil engineer demonstrating considerable application of infrastructure engineering in civil engineering, preferably within a railway environment.

• Practical experience of the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of railway infrastructure is an advantage.

• The candidate should have extensive knowledge of structures, earthworks, track, and operational property and be expert in at least three of these asset groups with knowledge of inspection, monitoring, assessment, maintenance and renewals, and practical experience of intervention works;

• The candidate should have working knowledge of cost estimating, contracts and procurement;

• The candidate should be a good team player, ideally with experience of dealing with colleagues with different skills and different professional backgrounds

• The candidate should be confident and capable of representing ORR, of providing authoritative advice to senior managers within the rail industry, and able to explain complex technical matters to non-technical colleagues at all levels (both within ORR and externally)

• A good knowledge of UK railway systems is essential.

Please see attached Candidate Information Pack for more details about the role.