Lead Data Engineer Geospatial (Remote)

UK Hydrographic Office

Apply before 11:55 pm on Wednesday 30th June 2021


Reference number



£42,507 - £55,571
The salary range above includes a discretionary, non-pensionable recruitment and retention allowance of up to £10,000, awarded based on experience


Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

UKHO - Technology

Type of role

Operational Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



Remote (anywhere in the UK)

About the job


The UKHO handles sizeable and diverse data assets relating to the marine environment. We are currently undergoing a transformation into a data-centric and primarily digital organisation, with the aim of becoming a world leading Marine Geospatial Information Agency (MGIA).

Job description

The Data Engineer role will play an important part in the above. You will work on projects that will be central to realising the MGIA vision – building systems that deliver data to analysts, customers and products in the correct form via automated pipelines that apply leading edge technologies such as deep learning, distributed computing and serverless architectures.

Your technical work will be varied, ranging from prototyping activities, to implementation and support of data pipeline systems and software. This will be expedited by DevOps and MLOps-style continuous improvement and deployment in an agile working environment.


Reporting to the Principal Data Engineer, you will be responsible for the design and development of production quality software systems, with a focus on data pipelines. Fundamental tasks will include:
• Designing, building, testing and deployment of production data pipelines and associated software systems.
• Evaluating new technologies and building prototype systems.
• Anticipating and mitigating against project-level challenges or risks.
• Leading team delivery and ongoing maintenance of data pipeline systems in multiple technology and problem domains.
• Presenting work to the wider team and to stakeholders.
• Setting standards, coaching and sharing knowledge with more junior Data Engineers

In addition to the fundamental tasks above, the successful candidate will be able to:
• Understand geospatial problem domains, geospatial data formats and data types.
• Take the initiative and work with minimal supervision, taking ownership of tasks in addition to leading others.
• Solve problems in novel ways.
• Model data
• Pick up new technologies (in areas such as machine learning operations MLOps) and become familiar with new datasets.
• Develop against cloud platforms

Things you need to know

• This role is open to part-time applications and those seeking flexible working hours including working from home.
• Security – successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check and gain a Security Clearance.
• This is a Ministry of Defence non-reserved post and although open to UK, British Commonwealth and European Economic Area nationals, successful applicants will require a security clearance (SC) and therefore need to have resided in the UK for a minimum of 12 consecutive months within the last 5 years.
• The role will be contractually based at our Head Office in Taunton. There will be the opportunity for you to work remotely if desired.


External applicants:
New Entrants to the Civil Service will be expected to join at the salary minimum of the grade for which they applied. If an applicant at the offer stage wishes to negotiate higher starting pay, they will be required to submit a case with supporting evidence; UKHO will consider the case against several factors, including our total reward and benefits offering, the difficulty of recruiting the role and scarcity of skills. Higher starting pay will only be considered if the salary range (i.e. the minimum and maximum) for the role, and/ or specific allowance, has been advertised.

Internal Staff
Those who are successful for a level graded role will retain their current salary.
Those who are successful for a higher graded role will have their promotion salary calculated.
Further information can be found in the attached document “Additional Pay Information”

Existing civil servants from other government departments (OGDs): are subject to UKHO’s internal pay policies. Further information can be found in the attached Document “Additional Pay Information”.

Nationality Statement
Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules. If you’re applying for a role requiring security clearance, please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Leadership

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • You must hold a degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science or in a scientific or engineering discipline, as well as having significant practical experience of working in a Data Engineering-related role.
  • Experience with prototyping, designing, building, testing and supporting production data pipelines and associated software systems for big data, ideally with some experience of leading in these activities
  • Demonstrable understanding of the geospatial problem domain
  • Expertise in core Data Engineering skills: Python (plus at least one other language), distributed computing, Linux, version control, CI/CD, cloud-based development (ideally AWS).


We offer a range of benefits to support your lifestyle, including generous leave allowances, flexible working hours, a lift-share scheme and regular training and development opportunities.

Working for UKHO, you could enjoy the following range of benefits: 26.5 days annual leave, increasing after five years service.

Flexible working options include: Flexible working hours scheme, that includes up to two days per month Flexi leave, remote working, part-time working, job sharing, paid special leave, career breaks and unpaid leave.

We offer maternity, adoption and or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay, followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid leave; plus paternity leave of up to two weeks full pay, subject to certain qualifying criteria.

We also offer a brand new state of art award-winning building.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

See our vetting charter.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
We may hold telephone and/or video conference calls with you as part of the interview process.

Should you be offered an interview, please be aware there may be a selection exercise which could include a presentation, written test, technical evaluation exercise or a scenario-based activity. If you require any reasonable adjustments during these exercises, please include this info.

You will be shortlisted and interviewed against the following criteria:
• Experience - You must hold a degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science or in a scientific or engineering discipline, as well as having significant practical experience of working in a Data Engineering-related role.
• Experience - Prototyping, designing, building, testing and supporting production data pipelines and associated software systems for big data, ideally with some experience of leading in these activities.
• Technical – Demonstrable understanding of the geospatial problem domain.
• Technical - Expertise in core Data Engineering skills: Python (plus at least one other language), distributed computing, Linux, version control, CI/CD, cloud-based development (ideally AWS).
• Behaviour - Communicating and Influencing – Level 3
• Behaviour - Leadership – Level 3

The sift is due to take place w/c 5th July
Interviews are likely to be held w/c 12th July

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates

Further Information
We have adopted anonymised recruitment. This means that your name, date of birth and other personal details will not be seen by the sift panel.

It is likely we will be able to start your employment with BPSS clearance (your clean DBS certificate and satisfactory references that we will obtain) before your SC clearance is successful – this is called a conditional offer.

You will be presented with an unconditional offer only once you have obtained the necessary level of clearance for the role.

If your fail to gain SC clearance, whichever is appropriate for the role you have applied for, your employment with UKHO will be terminated immediately.

Our ability to start employment on a conditional basis is subject to the specific requirements of the role and cannot be guaranteed; please contact our recruitment team if you would like further information: Recruitment.queries@ukho.gov.uk

Please note, if you have not been resident in the UK for the last 5 years (for SC clearance) or for the last 10 years (for DV clearance) then you may be requested to supply the information below:
• Evidence of your actual overseas residence (bills or rental agreements confirming addresses etc)
• Police Certificate providing confirmation that no criminal record is held in the overseas country of residence.
• Reference/Confirmation of employment from an employer in the overseas country of residence.
• Reference/Confirmation of residence or travel from friends, companions or fellow travellers that have knowledge of or have been in the company of you, when resident outside of the UK.
• Reference from a UK based organisation maintaining contract with a sponsorship of you, while residing overseas

Disability Confident – Guaranteed Interview

UKHO embraces diversity and promotes inclusion and equality of opportunity. We are a Disability Confident employer, which includes offering a guaranteed interview to candidates with disabilities, providing they meet the minimum selection criteria.

By ‘minimum selection criteria’ we mean that the evidence you provide in your application must demonstrate that you meet the minimum pass mark, set by the short-list panel, for each criteria listed in the ‘short-list’ section, above. The short-list panel will not be made aware of any disability you may choose to declare; this information will be processed solely by HR, in accordance with Data Protection legislation.

If you are a disabled candidate, please ensure you complete the Equality and Diversity form or inform our HR department, at recruitment.queries@ukho.gov.uk, if you wish to be considered under the Disability Confident guaranteed interview scheme.

Civil Service Recruitment

From 01/10/2020, UKHO’s HR Department is to provide a Fair Processing Notice (FPN) to all new applicants after they have been successful at interview.
These candidates will be informed that, as one aspect of pre-employment screening, their personal details – name, NINO and date of birth - will be checked against the Civil Service Resourcing Extract Internal Fraud Database (IFD) and that anyone included on the IFD will be refused employment unless they can show exceptional circumstances.

UKHO’s HR Department will also include the FPN wording advising of the check against the extract IFD in the advert for employment for the pilot departments.

UKHO’s HR Department will, on behalf of the vacancy holder, inform applicants when they are refused employment because of their inclusion in the IFD.

Civil Service Commission
Recruitment into the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission which has two key functions.
- To maintain the principle of selection for appointment to the Civil Service on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.
- To promote an understanding of the Civil Service Code which sets out the constitutional framework in which all civil servants work and the values they are expected to uphold, and to hear and determine appeals made under it. More detailed information can be found at on the Civil Service Commission website: http://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  recruitment.queries@ukho.gov.uk
Email :  recruitment.queries@ukho.gov.uk
Recruitment team :
Email :  recruitment.queries@ukho.gov.uk

Further information

The Department’s recruitment processes are underpinned by the requirement of selection for appointment based on merit, open and fair competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles, details of which can be found at http://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact the UKHO’s Recruitment Team, Human Resources, Admiralty Way, Taunton, Somerset TA1 2DN or email recruitment.queries@ukho.gov.uk , in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive you can further contact the Civil Service Commission at: Email: civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk or in writing to: Civil Service Commission, Room G/8, 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2HQ

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