Optical Payload AIV Manage

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL)
Guildford, UK/Remote
Added: February 24, 2024

The Optical Team seeks a dynamic and motivated technical manager to help deliver current and future Optical Payloads.

Responsible for overseeing the Assembly, Integration and Verification of Optical Payloads from the concept through to final delivery and commissioning. The role will also involve pastoral care of the team using coaching techniques to help develop both the engineer’s technical and soft skill capability whilst motivating and empowering the team.

Engineers at SSTL have involvement on a mission right from concept through to launch, commissioning and operational life; a true cradle to grave experience, and will give you the chance to see your work in Space in a rapid timescale! This key role will often sit within the core team of a satellite mission interacting with other technical leads across multiple disciplines to generate the technical solutions for innovative projects.

Key Tasks

  • Responsible for ensuring engineers are following the correct design, build and test policies/guidelines and ensure consistency of technical output for all projects
  • Provide input into defining the strategic direction of Optical AIV for future missions
  • Be ‘hands-on’ during the AIV phases of projects
  • Review of assembly and build procedures, component / system acceptance testing and optical test setups.
  • Ensure effective plans are in place to deliver all work and work packages, to the appropriate quality level, within project budget and schedule constraints.
  • Ensure that the team’s current and forward planning of workload is fully scoped and managed through the resource planning tool. Proactively resolve issues such as resource limitations, potential resource clashes and also identify skill gaps for future recruitment activities.
  • Ensure that the team follow ‘best practice’ in the execution of their work; review trend charts and take corrective action if necessary.
  • Work with the Project Manager’s, Head of Engineering and other department Managers, to identify and resolve any resource conflicts or problems before they impact upon project progress.
  • Keep abreast of your area of expertise in the engineering community both within, and as important, outside of the space sector. Be able to identify the benefits of technology to the products and services that SSTL is pursuing. Be able to communicate your knowledge effectively to those responsible for pulling the roadmaps together
  • Support defining the strategy relating to future Optical Payloads in order to fulfil SSTL business line road maps
  • Ensure team level policies and procedures are in place to allow consistent and coherent team output, in line with SSTL approach to Engineering.
  • Ensure the team has the skills required to deliver current & future projects in line with the business plan and there is a viable plan in place to retain & develop team members with a particular view to succession planning and single point failures.
  • Develop, train and mentor team members ensuring annual reviews are completed and personal development plans are in place.

Qualifications Knowledge & Skills

  • Comprehensive knowledge and experience of Assembly, Integration and Test of Optical Payloads for the space environment
  • The ability to review and critique AIV plans for space optical instruments, balancing technical requirements with programmatic and budget constraints
  • Comprehensive knowledge of optical and mechanical assembly techniques including interferometry, CMM, radiometric and MTF measurement.
  • Knowledge and experience in handling all aspects of an Optical Payload including Optics, mechanics, detectors and electronics
  • Practical and proven hands-on abilities for both flight build as well as ground development test activities
  • Good team player; able to work in a close-knit teams with other sub-systems design, analysis, test and manufacture
  • Excellent people management skills, able to motivate individuals and lead the team.
  • Be able to communicate clearly and effectively, and influence and persuade other people well
  • Excellent inter-personal skills
  • Ability to plan and manage own work
  • Demonstrate flexibility to be able to change plans and priorities based on changing project and market needs
  • Desire to support and guide others
  • Hands-on engineering for hardware manufacture (build and test)
  • Highly organised; good project/time management skills, able to resolve conflicting priorities and demands within a pressurised environment.
  • Results focused; able to take responsibility.
  • Pro-active and flexible with a can-do attitude.
  • Able to demonstrate company mindsets and behaviours; Be accountable, Drive & delivery, Communicate effectively, Self-manage effectively, Work as one team


SSTL prides itself on being a super flexible company. The role is based in our Head Office in Guildford but we fully support hybrid working and a range of flexible working options.


Our comprehensive benefits package includes; 32 days Holiday plus Bank Holidays, Pension Scheme with Life Assurance, Private Medical & International Travel Insurance, Annual Bonus Scheme, Share Incentive Plan, Enhanced Maternity, Paternity & Shared Parental Pay for new parents, High Street Discount Scheme and many more!

Visa Support

SSTL supports applications requiring a UK Skilled Worker Visa and sponsorship is available for this role. Relocation assistance also available.