Technical Specialist (ALY930242)
at DSTL, South East

Location: South East

Salary: Daily Rate: Up to £520.49 via Umbrella

Job Type: Contract

Industry: Government

Job Title: Technical Specialist
CV Submission Deadline: 14th March@ 10.00
Business Unit: DSTL//Programme & Delivery//Operations//Information Management

Location: South East: DSTL Portsdown West

Duration: 12 months

Daily Rate: Up to £520.49 via Umbrella

Security Clearance: SC – Security Check

IR35 IN/Out Scope: In Scope


Key Tasks and Deliverables:

Dstl has a vacancy for a Project Technical Authority to lead the Optimising Human Systems Integration and Human Machine Interaction (OHSI and HMI) project within the Future Workforce and Human Performance research programme.

The Project Technical Authority is the primary focus for the technical design, technical leadership and advice for the project. Strong leadership is required for this large and complex research project, including: providing leadership to the Work Package Leads and Technical Partners; provision of timely advice to customers and stakeholders; engagement with other research activities and promoting the exploitation of the research outputs.

The Optimising Human Systems Integration project is nearing the end of the first year of a 4 year project, with the aims to:

  • Achieve a step-change in Human Factors Integration (HFI) and Human Centred Design (HCD) processes within Defence;
  • Optimise the cognitive demands of future systems;
  • Reduce the training burden of future systems;
  • Identify and test emerging and cutting edge Human Machine Interface concepts and technologies in order to improve user interaction with technologies.

This will result in improved human in the loop performance and more effective, sustainable and efficient military systems.

The project is being delivered predominantly through technical partnership with appropriate suppliers from Industry and Academia, with some internal Dstl research.

The successful contractor will be a part of the People in Systems team, a team of 17 who work on Human Factors and Personnel projects. The team is split across the Dstl Portsdown West and Porton Down sites.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The Project Technical Authority is required to provide technical leadership across the OHSI and HMI project, this includes:

– Providing technical direction to the project team;

– Providing technical mentorship to project team members where appropriate;

– Ensuring the overall technical approach of the project is sound;

– Supporting the Project Manager in the technical planning of the project to deliver the OHSI and HMI research requirements, including; research design; identifying technical risk and dependencies; identifying technical waypoints;

– Supporting the Project Manager in the placing of Extra Mural Research (EMR) contracts. This includes: formulating the technical requirements of contracts; advising on the use of external suppliers; conducting technical assessment of bids;

– Ensuring suppliers have: a common and shared understanding of customer requirements, a sound technical approach and appropriate technical review and assurance are in place;

– Advising the Project Manager of technical risks as they emerge, and their impact on delivery;

– Advising the Project Manager on appropriate application of quality standards, procedures and checks, and on the selection of appropriate technical methods for the needs of the work package;

– Ensuring technical coherence of external and internal work;

– Monitoring technical progress and coordinating the technical aspects of project reviews;

– Engaging with customers, both within Dstl, and to the wider stakeholder base;

– Advising the Project Manager on appropriate mechanisms of technical knowledge capture for future exploitation of the work, including technical lessons learned, and dissemination to those who will benefit.

Experience Required:


The successful candidate will have:

– Extensive technical leadership experience of large complex research projects, ideally in human-related topics; [A]

– Experience of using technical consultancy skills to successfully scope, negotiate, manage and deliver customer requirements; [B]

– Spent time developing knowledge and understanding of the customer and / or stakeholder communities in defence; [C]

– A broad understanding of Human Factors and ergonomics. Including cognitive ergonomics, human centred design, systems engineering, cognitive psychology, and / or human machine interaction, resulting in a professional qualification in a human factors / human science discipline; [D]

– Excellent communication skills, capable of persuading and influencing at all levels including at a senior level; [E]

– A systematic / holistic approach to technical leadership, can demonstrate an inclusive approach to leadership and use delegatation to foster a learning environment within the team they lead; [F]

– Excellent mediation skills and be effective in managing dissention in teams and between different parties, and is able to build consensus between groups. [G]


The successful candidate will have:

– A broad understanding of experimental design and objective and subjective data collection methods;

– A broad understanding of the defence and security domain and the challenges of the future operating environment;

– Evidence of working with military personnel across a wide range of ranks;

– Experience of exploiting research outputs for the advantage of customers and stakeholders.


DSTL – ALL DSTL POSTS ARE RESERVED POSTS, Due to the nature of the work and site only UK Nationals will be considered for the role, Due to security requirements Dual Nationals will not be eligible.