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Job Information

Burns & McDonnell Section Design Manager - Transmission & Distribution (Birmingham, UK) in Birmingham, United Kingdom


The Section Design Manager will provide leadership to Burns & McDonnell’s UK Engineering Design Management function within the power transmission & distribution sector.

Job Duties:

  • Leadership of the Design Management function.

  • Oversight of the delivery of projects from a project management perspective, ensuring that the portfolio of projects being delivered by the Engineering department are on time, to budget, and to the expected quality.

  • Resource Management responsibilities including the allocation of Design Managers to bids and proposals and live projects.

  • Working with the discipline leads and Design Managers to ensure that the teams to deliver the bids and proposals have the necessary capacity and competency to deliver the scope of work.

  • Providing mentoring and support to members of the Design Management team.

  • Provision of monthly progress reports for the status of the design portfolio working with the Design Managers.

  • Lead engineering design work across the UK business, working closely with the Engineering Director to assemble suitable project teams from across our global offices, as required.

  • Provide overall project management of design projects from concept to completion in accordance with recognized best practices (APM/PMP/PRINCE2 or similar), including FEED, environmental, permitting, planning, estimating, engineering, constructability reviews, construction stage design support, and closeout.

  • Leading design delivery on live contracts fulfilling the same duties as the Design Manager, fulfilling the role of Project Manager on design-only projects, or fulfilling the role of Design Manager on assigned Design & Build/Engineer, Procure, Construct (EPC) projects.

  • Leading the Design Management approach and taking responsibility for the successful delivery of projects in areas including but not limited to:

  • Safety, health, environmental management, sustainability, and quality

  • Profit and loss

  • Risk management

  • Adequate and appropriate resourcing

  • Program and completion of projects within specified dates

  • Establishing and maintaining professional and satisfactory relationships with the client, subcontractors, regulatory bodies, and all other project stakeholders

  • Internal legal and financial co-ordination

  • Contract management and administration

  • Fulfilling all associated statutory and contractual requirements

  • Lead project compliance to applicable Burns & McDonnell and client design management processes and procedures.

  • Lead the co-ordinate with engineering discipline department/section heads to resource appropriately competent engineering staff and maintain effective inter-disciplinary design coordination and collaboration.

  • Develop and implement project policies and procedures, project controls systems and implement the project execution plan.

  • Report regularly on project progress, cost and schedule metrics, procurement issues, safety or environmental concerns, design questions, potential impacts, and any issues requiring office support.

  • Support the Design Managers in the planning and leadership of project and client meetings.

  • For the projects that they are leading, act as Principal Designer representative, as defined by UK Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, where required.

  • Where appropriate and required, act as the Lead Contractor Design Approval Engineer (LCDAE), as defined by National Grid’s TP137 procedure, or equivalent role as defined by other clients.

  • Lead the design input to the preparation of project proposals, lead presentations, and lead project contract negotiations with support from senior management.

  • Drive ‘Safety by Design’ approach on all projects, at all times.

  • Support nurturing of a safety and technical excellence culture through an emphasis on staff competence, diligence, and responsible attitude.

  • Understanding wider industry best practices and client technical standards/procedures for construction, operations & maintenance, and decommissioning, in order to drive safety, constructability, and operability throughout whole asset lifecycles.

  • Maintain project compliance to Burns & McDonnell’s UK Integrated Management System.

  • Support nurturing of world-class customer service culture, to drive client success.

  • Be an ambassador for Burns & McDonnell at all times through acting in accordance with expected high ethical and moral standards, and in adherence to Burns & McDonnell Code of Conduct.

  • Provide strong but supportive general personnel management of line reports, with emphasis on supporting continued development, providing technical guidance, and establishing training needs.

  • Actively support marketing and business development activities, building relationships with clients and generating new business

  • Seeking and development of future business opportunities through nurturing of client relationships, active pursuit of new project leads, and elevation of the Burns & McDonnell brand.

  • Identifying new skills and competencies required within the Burns & McDonnell team to meet business needs and actively supporting the development and recruitment of talent, including candidate interviewing.

  • Technical leader in design management and contribute to relevant professional bodies and industry groups. Maintain Continued Professional Development (CPD).

  • Support or lead portions of department meetings; organise and lead section meetings.

  • Interpret and establish policies, procedures, and strategic goals of the organization.

  • Assist in determining departmental objectives and requirements, organise projects and developing standards and guidelines.

  • Support and assist in the development of the UK business plan.

  • Demonstrate creativity, foresight, and judgment in anticipating and solving problems.

  • Advance and develop Department tools and workflows to increase the efficiency of designs, specification development, and project execution.

  • All other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline relevant to the electricity transmission & distribution sector, from an accredited institution.

  • Minimum of 10 years of engineering design services experience with at least 5 years related experience in engineering design and design management in the electricity transmission & distribution sector.

  • Relevant Health & Safety qualification (e.g. IOSH Managing Safely, NEBOSH Cert./Dip., NVQ Level 3 in H&S-related subject).

  • Advanced knowledge of project management and engineering design management best practices, with a strong ability to implement this knowledge.

  • Understanding of the requirements of relevant UK Health & Safety legislation relating to design and construction work in the electricity supply industry.

  • Understanding of the requirements of relevant UK Environmental and Waste Management legislation.

  • Thorough understanding of current Construction (Design & Management) Regulations, and experience in discharging all required duties of the CDM Principal Designer representative.

  • Strong contract management skills and understanding of NEC family of contracts.

  • Experience of working in a design management role on National Grid Electricity Transmission projects in the UK.

  • Good knowledge of National Grid’s procedures: TP106, TP131, TP135, TP137, TP141, TP153, TP163, TP182, TP184, TP188, TP189, TP191, TP211, TP215, TP241.

  • Understanding of the causes and consequences of Impressed Voltage.

  • Understanding of the general requirements of procedural control of Temporary Works, in accordance with British Standards.

  • IT literate, with good knowledge of using Microsoft Office applications, including MS Project.

  • Excellent written & verbal communication skills

  • Strong persuasion and negotiation skills with clients and employees.

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills

  • Ability to deal effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders across clients, industry, government, and public.

  • Able to manage multiple projects and conflicting deadlines

  • Able to work autonomously and/or as part of a project team

  • Proactive in building knowledge and understanding of the electricity transmission and distribution industry.

  • Capability to coach and develop the team.

  • Engaged in the engineering community and how we can drive success for our clients.

  • Ability to develop innovative and practical solutions to a range of problems, and an understanding of how one issue may be part of a much larger solution.

  • Ability to travel nationally is required for the role. Level of travel may vary significantly over time depending on project and client requirements, but the typical expectation is 5% - 10% of working time spent traveling per year (as a guide, only).

  • Ability to travel internationally may also be required; however, international travel is expected to be minimal.

Job Project Management

Primary Location GB-Birmingham UK-Birmingham

Schedule: Full-time

Travel: Yes, 15 % of the Time

About Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell is making the world a more amazing place with more than 7,000 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists and consultants on staff and growing. We strive to create amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for our employee-owners. We take on some of the world’s toughest challenges with the industry’s best thinking.

We have offices and projects spanning the US and the globe. We are proud to rank among FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. Our culture of 100% employee ownership plays a major role in supporting that outcome. Each employee shares in the ownership of the firm, bringing the commitment of an owner to our projects. Clients appreciate that and have rewarded us with a 90% repeat business rate and decades-long partnerships. Pretty cool for a 100 year old firm that grows organically.

At Burns & McDonnell, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference every day while fulfilling your personal and professional ambitions. Our entrepreneurial culture lets you guide your destiny and shape the path your career travels. And with more than 350 service specialties, your career and development options are abundant.

Burns & McDonnell is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Disabled/Veterans

Req ID: 223812