Osw sector Development Specialist Faculty/Department

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Job Description

Job Title:

OSW Sector Development Specialist


Research & Enterprise

Reporting to:

Director of Project Aura



Job Family:


Pay Band:


Benchmark Profile:

Manager (Administration) Band 9

Vacancy Reference:


Details Specific to the Post
Background and Context

The University of Hull is positioning itself as a catalyst for development of the Renewable Energy sector at a national and international level, building on its’ reputation of industrial knowledge and leadership. Private and public sector partners have secured £25.6m from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to help Hull and East Riding capitalise on the once-in-a-generation opportunity for substantial economic growth based in the renewables sector – particularly in Offshore Wind (OSW).

The Green Port Growth RGF programme aims to create a globally competitive renewables industry in the region and establish Hull and Humber as a world class centre for renewable energy. It will capitalise on Siemens’ investment in Green Port Hull as the site for its showcase OSW assembly plant, and the securing of the UK’s largest Enterprise Zone status exclusively for the renewables sector.

The Green Port Growth Programme (GPGP), comprising six strands (Business Investment Grants, Business Support, Inward Investment, R&D Support & Fund, Site Assembly, Skills and Training), will deliver a £350m programme of public and private investment and aims to create or safeguard 3500 new jobs in the offshore wind and wider renewables industry – helping local businesses and people take advantage of the opportunities.

The University of Hull is securing its position as a leader in OSW through the collaborative development of Project Aura; a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder project which will bring together UK expertise in engineering, and physical, environmental and social sciences to establish a global centre of industrial and academic excellence in renewable energy, and for the OSW industry in particular. Through collaboration between leading institutions (the Universities of Hull, Sheffield, Durham, and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult) and businesses (including Siemens, DONG Energy and others) there will be a seamless offer covering industry engagement and enterprise, research, development and innovation and skills development through a talent pipeline.

The Project will include dedicated new facilities in the Humber at the geographical heart of an active, diverse and growing OSW supply chain centred on Green Port Hull, and alongside Siemens’ new blade manufacturing plant. This will provide the physical focal point of a network of research organisations, a national framework for skills, and business and technology support services across the value chain to help create a uniquely innovative business ecosystem.

The work of Project Aura will be organised around three ‘strands’ of activity (Industry Engagement and Enterprise, Talent Pipeline and Research Development and Innovation) and five ‘themes’ (Turbine Systems, Subsea and Environment, Logistics and Supply Chain, Health and Safety and Operations and Maintenance).

Main Duties and Responsibilities of the Post
The primary purposes of the role are to execute the University’s responsibilities for delivery of the Research, Development and Innovation Strand of the Green Port Growth Programme, and to provide a specialist OSW resource to engage with the sector at a strategic level and facilitate the two way flow of industry intelligence, skills and expertise.

This role requires an established offshore wind specialist with strong sector knowledge to continue building on the University of Hull’s sector engagement and leadership. Also essential to the role will be a track record of stimulating private sector funding in R&D, and demonstrable experience of getting products to market.

The post holder will be the main point of contact for the developing sector to engage with the University of Hull. The role will require the candidate to act proactively and identify new areas of development and new organisations to secure collaboration with. Additionally, the post holder will personally provide expertise to regional companies in the development, financing, implementation and exploitation of their R&D activities in the renewables sector.

Based at the University of Hull, the work of the post holder will be undertaken as part of the Project Aura team and working closely with the other strands of the Green Port Growth Programme, ensuring that businesses receive support delivered as part of a coherent and effective package.

The post holder will need to interact effectively with senior members of the organisations in the sector (up to Board level), at both a national and an international level.

The Principal Objectives of this Post are to:


  • Manage all aspects of the University’s responsibilities for the delivery of the GPG Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Strand, including the line management of any GPGP support staff working within the University

  • Maximise the value accruing from the GPG funding, and ensure that the RDI Strand meets its set targets

  • Facilitate connections between GPGP and the University and optimise the opportunities/synergies between the two entities. In particular, actively manage the relationship between the GPGP and the Aura Industry Engagement and Enterprise strand

  • Work in close cooperation with the other Strands of the GPGP to ensure that any RDI component received by a business is designed and implemented in a coherent and cost effective manner

Sector Engagement

  • Maintain up to date specialist knowledge and continual awareness of the Offshore Wind sector at a high level and provide a primary resource for sector intelligence and expertise for the University of Hull

  • Identify new areas of development and innovation within the OSW sector, and new opportunities for businesses that can be realised through R&D

  • Work effectively across organisations to foster and support innovation, providing targeted advice and guidance where appropriate, liaising with colleagues across Aura and externally to ensure continuity, consistency and complementarity of support and advice

  • Take a lead in establishing relationships between the University and the region with key renewable organisations, GOs and NGOs at senior levels, both in UK and in Europe

  • Identify, foster and maintain collaborative relationships with OSW sector organisations for research and intelligence. Facilitate access to the University and other appropriate R&D providers, helping to identify and connect appropriate academic resource with external demand

  • Build and maintain a strong personal reputation for knowledge and expertise within the OSW sector, become a recognised face of the University of Hull/Project Aura, and give key note presentations at sector events on a regular basis

Project Aura

  • Provide insightful and strategic advice to the project Lead and University colleagues regarding the OSW sector, GPGP and other key areas within the remit of the role

  • Play a significant role in the set-up, design and implementation of Project Aura; contributing experience, expertise and know-how to the core Aura Team in order to realise the Aura vision. In particular, work with colleagues to develop the strategic vision for the Industry Engagement and Enterprise Strand

  • Be responsible for ensuring that industry intelligence and knowledge find their way into the Research, Development and Innovation and Talent Pipeline Strands of Project Aura, so those Strands are kept up-to-date and relevant

  • Provide internal consultancy within Project Aura, and help to market Aura across the OSW sector

To fulfil the role, the post holder will need certain knowledge, skills and competencies. The following competency specification provides a framework within which performance will be assessed.
The Competencies set out below are essential and are core requirements needed to perform the role and any candidate who fails the requirement will not be taken forward for further assessment or to interview.


Identified by

Knowledge and Experience

Established offshore wind specialist with string sector knowledge

Extensive experience of developing and delivering strategic projects



Excellent leadership skills and motivation of staff.

Ability to liaise with internal and external stakeholders at a senior level, and to work in a collegiate manner in a team.



Track record of stimulating private sector funding in R&D, and demonstrable experience of bringing products to market.

A higher degree or equivalent professional qualification.

Administrative and project management skills, and the ability to identify priorities and manage time successfully, work to deadlines and achieve outputs that are clear, accurate and focussed.

Financial and commercial awareness





Communication (Oral and Written)

Can demonstrate the ability to summarise complex ideas or information which may be highly detailed, technical or specialist.


Teamwork and Motivation

Develops objectives in ways that enable team members to contribute and identify with collective objectives. Finds ways for individuals to achieve their objectives and development plans without compromising the team’s priorities.


Liaison and Networking

Can demonstrate the ability to actively seek to build productive and enduring relationships between internal and/or external bodies to benefit the University.


Decision Making

Can demonstrate the ability to consider the wider impact of decisions, assesses possible outcomes and their likelihood. Uses judgement to make decisions with limited or ambiguous data and takes into account multiple factors. Distinguishes between the need to make a decision, when to defer and when not to take a decision.


Planning and Organisation

Can demonstrate the ability to identify future demands and opportunities and develop longer term plans. Co-ordinates the work of others to improve performance and use of resources. Involves other areas appropriately and co-ordinates effort and resources so standards, performance and shared objectives are achieved.


Initiative and Problem Solving

Can demonstrate the ability to initiate processes and procedures to resolve new problems. Anticipates possible implementation difficulties and identifies practical ways of overcoming or preventing them. Takes account of others and the broader context when generating options.



Can demonstrate the ability to design and use data gathering and analytical methods appropriate for each investigation. Recognises and accurately interprets patterns and trends. Recognises when additional data is required and identifies appropriate sources. Produces reports and identifies key issues and findings.


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