Company: British Geological Survey
Skills: Geoscientist
Education: Bachelors/3-5 yr Degree
Salary: £48,877 to £54,308 per annum (depending on qualifications and experience)
Location: Nottingham, United Kingdom

UK Geoenergy Observatories Technical Manager



Base location is flexible and can be any main BGS office

Please note that the Technical Manager will be on site for the majority of their time at the UKGEOS Cheshire field site during the borehole drilling phase of the project.


£48,877 to £54,308 per annum (depending on qualifications and experience)


Full-Time - 37 hours a week (a range of flexible working options may be available)

Fixed Term Appointment (currently circa 2 years)


About us

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is an applied geoscience research centre that is housed in UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and affiliated to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). It is a world leading geological survey that provides a core science mission to inform government of science related to the subsurface and its interfaces and also undertakes applied research for solutions to earth and environmental processes, both in the UK and globally. It is funded directly by UKRI as well as through research grants and via private sector contracts.

BGS has an annual budget of approximately £60 million and employs 650 people. It has two main sites, a head office in Keyworth near Nottingham and the Lyell Centre, which is a joint collaboration with Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. BGS works with more than 150 private sector organisations as well as having close links with 40 universities and sponsors approximately 100 PhD students each year.


About the role

The UK Geoenergy Observatories (UKGEOS) project, commissioned by NERC, follows the Government's 2014 announcement that it would allocate £31 million to create world-class, subsurface energy-research test centres to develop home grown energy supplies in the UK and create world-class subsurface research expertise in the UK. This investment will place the UK at the forefront of a multi-billion pound market globally and provide independent evidence for better regulation and public confidence in this area.

We have an opportunity for a talented and motivated Technical Manager who will play an essential role in the delivery of the UKGEOS capital project. The primary tasks of this critical senior role are as follows:

BGS Site Lead during the Cheshire site drilling/ construction phase

  • Regular liaison with the Contractors Team to maintain oversight of progress relative to the contractors delivery programme.
  • Work with the contractor to identify issues during the construction phase that could impact on later use of the site by researchers, contribute to risk reduction workshops and 'optioneering' sessions with the contractor's team.
  • The Technical Manager will work closely with the BGS UKGEOS Project Manager to provide feedback on progress with the site works, and help the Project Manager to assess the technical aspects of Compensation Events that may occur - In this context, it would be helpful if the Technical Manager had a good knowledge of UK contracts, and specifically, the operation of an NEC3 Contract.
  • The Technical Manager would be expected to support and co-ordinate the activities of BGS scientists working on site to collect data/ samples during the drilling phase of the work. And understanding of the importance of sample collection during drilling to a scientific organisation such as BGS, and how this can impact on the ability to carry out future science. Past experience of sample collection work during drilling would be advantageous.
  • The site works will be carried out under the Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations, and an understanding of the Clients duties under the CDM regs would be desirable.


Detailed technical understanding of borehole drilling - and associated works

  • The Technical Manager will need to have a detailed technical knowledge of onshore borehole drilling. This will include shallow (50 -200m deep) boreholes and deeper (200m - 1000m) boreholes.
  • They will also need to be experienced in working with contractors to oversee the delivery of agreed drilling plans and borehole designs and to ensure that the installation meets the requirements of relevant borehole regulations and is in accordance with the agreed safety case.
  • Thorough knowledge of core logging work and understanding of core handling requirements.
  • Knowledge and experience of overseeing wireline logging programmes from client's perspective.


Liaising with BGS/External advisory groups during the site work phase

  • The contractors have developed detailed delivery plans for the Cheshire site work - However, it is likely that there will be a need to deviate from these plans due to unforeseen circumstances (notably, unforeseen ground conditions) and the Technical Manager will have a key role to play in deciding how the team move forward. Specifically, the Technical Manager will need to i) be able to succinctly summarise the issues that have arisen; ii) develop - with input from the contractor - outline solutions for further discussion with BGS colleagues/ external scientists; and iii) contribute towards assessing the science trade-offs that may be needed to allow issues to be overcome on site.


Assessing quality of the Cheshire site works

  • The Technical Manager will have a key role to play in assessing whether the work delivered by the contractor meets the specifications set out in the contract documentation.


Regular liaison will be required with the UKGEOS Science Director, and a wider group of BGS scientists who have been involved in the development of the designs for the UKGEOS Cheshire site.

Please note, the successful candidate will be required to spend the majority of their time at the UKGEOS Cheshire field site during the borehole drilling phase of the project.


About you

You should have a first degree or other relevant qualification in geosciences and significant experience in the design, drilling, testing and completion of onshore shallow (50 -200m deep) boreholes and deeper (200m - 1000m) boreholes.

You should also have experience in the installation of downhole monitoring systems and in performing the role of 'Clients' Technical Lead' during borehole drilling/construction work.

You must have a good working knowledge of UK HSE regulations and how they apply to borehole drilling.

A valid driving licence and a willingness to drive are requirements for this role.

Please also refer to the specific essential and desirable skills criteria for this post.


What we offer

A generous benefits package is also offered, including a very competitive pension scheme, 30 days annual leave plus bank holidays, free parking and access to flexi-time. For a salary at the top end of the advertised range, you will also need to meet the desirable criteria detailed on the website.

We also offer the 'Bike to Work' scheme, free parking, health and wellbeing support, social clubs and on-site sports facilities.

Please note that any internal BGS staff applying for this post would, if successful, be appointed to new UKRI Terms and Conditions and pay (if not already on them).


How to Apply

Applicants are required to include a cover letter outlining their suitability for this role. We would stress the importance of this paperwork in our selection process. A well thought through application addressing the advertised essential and desirable criteria for the post will be considered far more favourably than a generic covering letter and CV.

Applications are handled by UK SBS; to apply please click the apply button. Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on +44 (0)1793 867000.


Closing date for receipt of applications is 10 April 2020. Interviews are expected to be held in late April 2020 in Nottingham.