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Opportunity Brief: Chief Engineer – EC&I

Ford & Stanley Executive Search (Part of the Ford & Stanley Group) are specialists in Executive Interim and Permanent appointments to the UK, European & North American Engineering, General Manufacturing, Transport & Digital Industries.

We have been exclusively entrusted and appointed by SCX Special Projects on the search for a Chief Engineer – EC&I.

Below you will find an ‘opportunity brief’ developed from notes taken during the scoping meetings (Situational Discovery) held between the F&S Business Manager, Research Manager and the SCX Special Projects C-Suite. This brief is designed to give candidates deeper insight into the opportunity inherent within the role, the challenges the role presents and provide access to the detail that sits behind the job specification.

Client Opportunity Statement:

“SCX Special Projects are a specialist engineering business with an impressive track record of exciting engineering projects. Previously family-owned, we have recently been acquired by a PE House and are now presented with the opportunity to utilise the investment to take the business from ‘good’ to ‘great’.”

“A key part of the strategy and growth plan is to bring in a ‘Chief Engineer – EC&I’ to work with the Heads of Engineering utilising their technical expertise to guide the vision and processes within the engineering capability. Essentially, we want to ensure we’re consistently up to date with new and modern technologies/techniques that can allow us to operate at the highest level.”

“What we need is an experienced engineer who isn’t afraid to ‘roll up their sleeves’, get to grips with how we’re performing and work with the teams to evolve our processes. The role needs someone who can work closely with our departments to continue to set the foundations for growth.”

The Business:

SCX Special Projects

SCX Special Projects is a £28m turnover business providing bespoke engineering solutions for lifting and mechanical handling challenges. Our customers range from the nuclear and defence sectors to aerospace and manufacturing, stadia and kinetic architecture, and energy and utilities.

What makes SCX Special Projects, special?

  • Our can-do attitude and relentlessness allow us to deliver, even when the odds are stacked against us.
  • We adapt to changes and find safe solutions within cost and time constraints, meeting customer expectations.
  • We protect our commercial position AND look after our customers.

Strong list of high-profile projects and achievements, which include:

  • The retractable concertina roofs at Wimbledon over Centre Court and No.1 Court.
  • The world-first dividing retractable pitch at Tottenham Hotspur’s new London stadium.
  • sea-going cranes for the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers
  • The semi-automated overhead cranes for nuclear power station decommissioning.
  • The installation rigs for the platform screen doors on London’s new Crossrail network.
  • The retractable turf crossing at the world-famous Ascot racecourse.

Strong pipeline of work in the UK and Internationally, this includes:

  • Tier 1 supply to MOD for Defence Infrastructure.
  • ‘Plug and Play’ accessibility lift for the rail industry – assembled offsite and can be installed in 12 hours – conventional way involves weeks of construction.
  • A trusted engineering partner to the nuclear industry and often, the sole provider of bespoke services.
  • Working with a number of international stadiums – including the world’s 1st soundproofed retractable roof.  

Our Vision & Mission

  • A world in motion, where engineering innovation creates safer, more productive, more engaging spaces.
  • To be the leading engineering solutions innovator in Kinetic architecture, moving structures and advanced mechanical handling.

We are:

  • Brave – We deliver on our promises and never back away from a challenge, asking for help early if we think there’s a problem. We speak up if we see something unsafe or if someone’s acting inappropriately.
  • Adaptable – We’re open to change, we think out of the box and always find a way to deliver.
  • Respectful – We embrace diversity, give everyone the chance to contribute and value everyone’s opinion. 

We always:

  • Work as one team – We work together to get the job done and assist our colleagues to help meet business priorities.
  • Communicate Proactively – We are forward thinking and always respond promptly, raising challenges and opportunities as soon as they are identified.
  • Simplify the complex – We seek simple solutions that meet the contracted requirement and manage contracted scope closely.
  • Deliver on Time – We make commitments and stick to them in everything we do, both internally and externally.

The Opportunity

Main Challenges the role presents:

  • Due to the bespoke projects SCX deliver, you will be expected to help create and implement a ‘standardised control system’ that will allow a more efficient and streamlined way of working across all business units within the company.
  • Although not necessarily having any direct reports (this is subject to change), you will be required to take a ‘helicopter view’ of the engineering teams, allowing full fluidity to act where required and solve any problems that may arise.
  • Take advantage of commercial opportunities – with the bespoke packages SCX offers, being commercially savvy to understand where and when to offer upselling to clients on the current product range.
  • Simplify the complex – Due to the complexity of some of the projects SCX are tasked with completing, there is a need to find more simple solutions to some of the more ‘detailed’ work allowing information to be relayed and presented to those not necessarily from an engineering background.

Top three deliverables in 1st year

  • Noticeable change within the current team, evidence of more collaborated working and a ‘common goal’.
  • Progress on developing a ‘standardised control system’ that can be used throughout the business.
  • Having a track record of successfully up selling products where necessary for the benefit of both SCX Special Projects and the client.

Candidate Essentials:

  • A proven EC&I engineer with prior experience working in a defence/nuclear or civil/infrastructure environment or similar.
  • The successful candidate will have shown their experience working within a matrix, being able to mentor and grow individual talent currently sat within the business. 
  • Having a genuine passion for what you do, allowing you to bring ideas and solutions ‘to life’.
  • An ability to identify new techniques and technologies on the market, helping SCX keep their processes and procedures ‘up to date’.
  • A proven track record leading multi-disciplinary teams including project managers and engineers.
  • We are looking for someone who can bring some ambition and ‘energy’ to the business, someone who has ‘been there and done that’ but is still ‘on the up’ and looking for a director position in the next 3-5 years.
  • The incoming candidate will need to be experienced in stakeholder management, able to ‘strike up’ relationships, be comfortable with stakeholder mapping and understand when commercial opportunities present themselves.
  • Need to be Security Cleared or have the ability to gain this.

Good to know:

  • SCX Special Projects is £28m t/o with a headcount of circa 110.
  • Role reports into the Heads of Engineering with a ‘dotted’ line responsibility for the teams.
  • The main business units are Defence/Nuclear and Kinetic (part of this is lift and moving structures which will have the ability to become its own business unit in the future).
  • This role will see the candidate move across the different sectors to gain a fuller understanding of the project offering of SCX.
  • The Nuclear stream has 14 different clients with 15 live contracts ranging from £500,000 to £5 million.
  • The Kinetic stream tends to run fewer projects at any given time, but value is upwards of £50 million.
  • We are looking to add ‘layers’ into the organisation. Essentially setting a more formalised structure into the business allowing for a more professional approach to dealing with clients.
  • Group is formed of two main businesses: SCX Special Projects and Denley Hydraulics (Due to be renamed DHX)
  • SCX was previously a family-run business before being bought out by a Private Equity company, who are now looking to grow the business to deliver new work, upscale the company and professionalise the processes in order to increase profitability.
  • There is significant appetite within the business for change and improvement, however at times some teams lack direction and an understanding of how to implement positive change.
  • There is work to be done on how data is collected within the business and then utilised to aid commercial decision making.
  • There is currently no dedicated resource in this position – an opportunity for the right candidate to implement ‘best-in-practice’ processes and procedures.


  • Base Salary Banding: Low of £70k, Mid of £75k and top end of £80k
  • Annual Salary Reviews
  • Car Allowance of £6,000 P.A
  • Bonus
  • Westfield Health Cash Plan Level 3
  • 2 x salary life insurance
  • 25 days Holiday + 8 Statutory
  • Holiday purchase scheme
  • 5% Pension matched contributions – Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Likely Job Titles:

Chief EC&I Engineer, Head OF EC&I, EC&I Supervisor, Principal EC&I Engineer

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Josh Dunn – Senior Executive Search Consultant
  • Oliver Nunn – Research Manager
  • Tom Norton – Business Manager

About Ford & Stanley Executive Search:

At Ford & Stanley Executive Search we go beyond a recruiting transaction with our core mission being that of every interaction we have with clients and candidates is best in class. We are select in the opportunities we represent, as such, work under strict exclusivity or retained agreements with forward thinking and proactive companies that place their trust in our ability to deliver a winning shortlist at the first time of asking.

Our Search Directors (who are themselves members of the F&S Group Board) and Search Consultants supported by an in-house research team invest time at the front end of process with our client’s leadership team or stakeholders to consult, understand the opportunity inherent within the role, business need, map and agree timescales with supporting delivery plan well in advance of conducting the search.

All candidates both active and passive (head-hunted) can expect full and professional engagement from the Executive Search team in addition a timely, thorough and engaging recruitment process from a committed employer that seeks to secure ‘cream of the crop’ from a busy and noisy Global Rail candidate market.

Ford & Stanley Group Ltd is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all opportunity seekers and approach all opportunity with a mindset of who is right for the job irrespective sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief or political beliefs and we place an obligation upon all staff to respect and act in accordance with the policy. We shall adhere to such a policy at all times and will review on an on-going basis all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination.


    • Job type: Permanent
    • Location: Sheffield
    • Date posted:
    • Salary:£70000 - £80000

    This opportunity is being managed by:

    consultant photo

    Joshua Dunn

    Senior Recruitment Consultant