Faraday Institution ReLiB Project Leader - Chemistry

3 days left

University of Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom
£51,034.00 - £77,108.00
Apr 04, 2021
Apr 26, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details

Area: School of Chemistry in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Salary: Full time starting salary is normally in the range £51,034 to £59,135 with potential progression once in post to £77,108

Band/Grade: Grade 9

Hours: Full time

Duration: Fixed term contract for up to 24 months

Job Summary

The School of Chemistry, with funding from the Faraday Institution (FI), invites applications for a Project Leader for the Recycling of electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion batteries project (ReLiB for short). This key management role will take the lead in maximising the impact of the second phase of the project (ReLiB2), which will be managed through the Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials led by the University of Birmingham. The project will bring together researchers from five universities and a number of industrial partners in order to facilitate a circular economy in lithium ion batteries, tackling the most demanding technical challenges in testing, dismantling/sorting, recycling, manufacturing and design for recycle. The ReLiB2 project follows on from the first ReLiB project, one of four original 'fast start' projects of the Faraday Institution.

The aims of ReLiB2 are to:

i) develop cheaper, faster and safer dismantling of EV batteries;

ii) develop integrated testing to ascertain more accurately the health and safety of end-of-life batteries;

iiI) develop new recycling technologies and products to process end-of-life batteries;

iv) determine the full economic and environmental impact of the technologies developed in ReLiB;

v) develop and demonstrate design approaches that would significantly improve the recyclability of EV batteries, and inform and guide battery manufacturers to optimise pack and cell design for easier testing and dismantling.

To achieve these ambitious goals we are looking to recruit a Project Leader (PL) to coordinate all activities related to the project. This key management and co-ordination role will work as part of a wider professional services, academic and industrial team to achieve the project objectives and deliverables.

Reporting to the PI and CoIs, the PL's responsibilities will include:
  • overall programme management of the ReLiB2 project, with specific responsibility for day to day management, long term financial planning, coordinating research activities at Birmingham and with partner universities, ensuring connectivity in the project, setting up meetings and writing reports;
  • working with the PI to manage the work of the project management team;
  • acting as main contact point for the ReLiB2 project with the Faraday Institution, and ensuring that the FI's reporting requirements are met in timely fashion;
  • acting as a representative for ReLiB and the PI representative at FI meetings and external events attended by academics and researchers, industry and government representatives, and policy makers;
  • coordinating activities of academic and industry partners to deliver the scientific goals defined in the second-level project plan and working with the project management team to monitor successes and issues;
  • establishing and co-ordinating the governance and management requirements of the ReLiB2 project;
  • liaising with finance to provide regular updates of project spend to the PI and the FI;
  • working closely with the FI to ensure the delivery of work which is on time and compliant with FI expectations;
  • building links to beneficiaries, partners, finance teams, research and knowledge transfer teams and providing an efficient and effective operational base for the project;
  • supporting the PI and CoIs in undertaking activities of strategic importance ReLiB and the BCSECM nationally and internationally;
  • coordination of activities with those of the other FI projects;
  • organising training programs in conjunction with the CoIs across multiple institutions which may be delivered for or with other FI projects;
  • liaising with other parts of the Faraday Battery Challenge (FBC), such as Innovate UK projects and the APC;
  • working with internal and external stakeholders, to develop a pipeline of technologies ready for scale up and commercialisation;
  • identifying appropriate opportunities for new business engagement that may emerge during ReLiB2 and coordinating outreach and dissemination activities to industry and the general public;
  • working closely with the FI and ReLiB's academic and industry partners to develop effective commercialisation plans for ReLiB technologies, and setting up appropriate contract arrangements;
  • organising recruitment of staff with HR;
  • alongside the CoIs and the FI, developing the deliverables and milestones for the ReLiB2 project in year 5.

Main Duties

Shaping and Implementing strategic plans and leading project management of the ReLiB2 project.

Responsibility for delivery of the ReLiB2 project to successful conclusion. Duties include:
  • Working with Faraday Institution staff to assess and interpret needs, and refine the objectives and key performance indicators for ReLiB2.
  • Making major contributions to and shaping the strategic direction of ReLiB2 as the senior manager involved in the delivery of the project.
  • Coordinating and ensuring the strategic alignment of the project with industrial partners.
  • Maintaining regular contact with stakeholders to understand requirements, generate and negotiate solutions and ensure these requirements are delivered.
  • Creating and maintaining an overall Project Management Plan for the whole project, across all partners and wider stakeholders, using established project management principles and practices and ensuring that relevant people in the University are involved early enough to plan for resource requirements and clearly understand the resource and timescales.
  • Using a highly developed knowledge of project and technology management principles and practice, to delegate tasks to extended project team in a timely manner to ensure successful delivery of the project while ensuring compliance with the project brief.
  • Planning, organising and maintaining a regular schedule of project meetings, including workstream meetings, setting agendas in consultation with the PI and WS leaders, and ensuring appropriate record-taking and compliance with action items.
  • Deploying high level leadership skills and setting appropriate quality standards to keep the project on track and to keep the extended team aligned with the strategic objectives of the project.
  • Establishing effective networking relationships with managers on other projects and corporate services, influencing University leaders to ensure all necessary resources are available and fit for purpose in delivering the project.
  • Constantly evaluating activities across the consortium and making recommendations to the PI on potential changes to the project's plans to ensure the aims of the project are addressed during the delivery of the project, and implementing improved solutions.
  • Proactively identifying business opportunities that emerge from the project and are aligned with the ambitions of the project.
  • Contibuting to strategic decision making and planning of follow-on projects arising from ReLiB research.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, and Dissemination of Project Activity
  • Developing a comprehensive evaluation strategy for the project and additional aligned projects, which is in line with the various proposals and requirements of funders and communicating on ReLiB2 management issues with key project participants and staff within Professional Services and Colleges.
  • Ensuring that all required measurement and evaluation information is gathered by all project partners in a timely fashion including key performance indicators.
  • Establishing and implementing reporting procedures that meet the requirements of the funder and ensuring all necessary data is gathered in a timely and efficient manner, and evaluating, editing and delivering reports.
  • Attending specialist or management group meetings to report on progress of complex project work.
  • Preparing and managing ReLiB's submissions to the regular FI reviews, liaising between the different universities to create coherent scientific presentations, and assuming responsibility for responding to the Expert Panel's comments that emerge from the review.
  • Acting as the project's and PI's representative in external events attended by University academics and researchers, industry, government representatives and policy makers.
  • Receiving and reviewing project data on a regular basis to ensure that the project stays on course for successful delivery, and providing early visibility of deviations from the project plan.
  • Ensuring that project participants are appraised of information reported to partners, and of any feedback received.
  • Acting as a spokesperson for questions received concerning the progress of the project from the wider industrial community in the UK, the media and also the public.

Financial Management and Reporting
  • Ensuring records are maintained of match-funded contributions, planned expenditure profiles, and cash flow to ensure that the full project value can be recovered.
  • Maintaining an overview of the finance and reporting requirements across ReLiB2.
  • Ensuring that suitable records of all allowable costs are maintained by the University of Birmingham and consortium partner universities.
  • Providing leadership and expertise to colleagues regarding the maintenance of accurate records of expenditure and allowable costs.
  • Communicating and where appropriate determining and delegating budgets to key task managers.
  • Ensuring appropriate monitoring, control and auditing of all project expenditure within the University and consortium partners.
  • Approving expenditure in line with delegations and the project budget, escalating decisions on any novel contentious issues to the PI and CoIs.
  • Providing financial reports to funders and to other interested parties at least quarterly, and more frequently if expenditure materially deviates from the plan in the proposal or is requested by the funder.

Risk Management
  • Using professional expertise to create a project risk register for the project and ensuring this is maintained and updated throughout the life of the project.
  • Ensuring that the risks and dependencies between various interconnected technologies are understood and managed.
  • Determining whether to acquire additional independent professional expertise to evaluate risks and/or mitigation options, for example through industrial partners.
  • Updating regularly the PI and CoIs on the status of the register, and communicating its content with all key task leaders both within and outside the University, influencing senior management to ensure risk mitigation and issues resolution plans are in place and implemented as required.
  • Establishing, leading and promoting a culture throughout the project team of providing an early warning to the management team of potential risks.
  • Deploying appropriate resources across the project team to mitigate risks as they emerge using experience to determine when this approach is appropriate.

Management of Project Staff
  • Management oversight of the work of the project's management team.
  • Building links to beneficiaries, partners, finance teams, research and knowledge transfer teams and providing an efficient and effective operational base for the project.
  • Liaising with the appropriate contacts to resolve any staff-related issues that may emerge during the lifetime of the project.

Person Specification
  • Degree or higher level qualification.
  • Project management experience gained through strategic industry- and research-facing initiatives or programmes.
  • Demonstrated track record of managing large research projects which involve multiple academic and industrial partners and are answerable to a research council funding agency or other funding bodies.
  • Experience of successfully delivering long-term programmes within timescales and budget along with meeting targets, milestones and contracted outputs.
  • Experience of technology transfer particularly involving development and transitioning of technology from low/mid to high technology readiness levels.
  • Knowledge and understanding of business engagement and knowledge transfer in the contact of HE sector.
  • Experience in management of a diverse variety of stakeholders, large project budgets in excess of £1M along with experience of budget planning, monitoring and forecasting.
  • Experience in setting up and executing rigorous project planning, reporting and recording systems and processes.
  • Experience of report writing and presentations.
  • Experience of interpreting complex guidelines, rules and regulations.
  • Experience of working to reporting structures and producing audit trails.
  • Experience of management of large, dispersed project teams.
  • Competent IT user (Microsoft packages, email, internet, and project management tools).

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience:
  • Strong enthusiasm for and an interest in an academic research led environment.
  • Excellent organisational skills.
  • Proven negotiating and problem-solving skills, ability to think creatively and initiate new ideas.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to work proactively and act on own initiative.
  • Successful delivery of projects for regional or national government involving match funding contributions from industrial partners.
  • Working with higher education and commercial sectors.
  • Previous experience of managing research projects on a scientific and/or financial level or advising those who manage major research projects.
  • Developing effective relationships with external agencies and internal staff to influence direction of research.
  • Developing, agreeing and implementing systems and procedures to meet agreed priorities.
  • Setting up and managing project record systems so that they meet the needs of the team, the funder, and any audit requirements.
  • Ability to draft complex documents, to synthesise scientific concepts and present scientific and financial data in the appropriate written or oral format, and to prepare funding bids.
  • A broad knowledge of recycling technologies and raw material supply chains.
  • An understanding of the legislative frameworks, in the recycling industries.
  • An understanding of life cycle assessments to ascertain the environmental impact of materials.
  • Valid driving licence.
  • Recognised professional project management such as APMP, Prince 2, Agile, Six Sigma or MSP advantageous.

Informal enquiries can be made to Emma Melia ( e.melia@bham.ac.uk ), Tony Hartwell ( a.p.hartwell@bham.ac.uk ) or ReLiB PI, Paul Anderson ( p.a.anderson@bham.ac.uk )

The University is a family-friendly employer and the School of Chemistry welcomes flexible working to suit family or other commitments. The University has on-campus childcare facilities.

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community

Valuing excellence; sustaining investment

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