Principal Engineer - Structures (Highways/Railways)



Atkins is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies. We build long-term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of new and exciting ideas. Atkins has a vision to shape the future of transportation, to lead where others will follow and to deliver the future of mobility today.
The Transportation business covers all aspects of multidisciplinary design and management, from inception and options appraisal through to detailed design and delivery/construction support. It is our centre of excellence for the design of highway and rail infrastructure projects. We aim to be the first-choice designer for local and national highway authorities, contractors and developers.

We are working on many high-profile projects and frameworks nationwide, including Cambridge to Huntingdon A14 upgrade, Smart Motorways and Roads Investment Programmes through the Collaborative Delivery Framework for Highways England, HS2, East West Rail and the West Midlands Shared Professional Services with a number of local authorities. 

To meet our growth ambitions, we are seeking a candidate for Bristol who is able to demonstrate a high level of civil engineering capability who can lead the technical delivery of bridge design projects. You will have a background in structural design and working within the UK highways and rail sector with a track record of managing successful delivery on engineering design projects.

We will value you for going beyond to exceed expectations and deliver innovative solutions nobody else can. After all, we can’t achieve great things without you. So, you can look forward to fantastic rewards and development opportunities.


  • Lead the technical delivery of bridge engineering projects (HE, NR and LA) and input into complex, multi-disciplinary projects.
  • Act as Technical Approval Authority (TAA) on behalf of local authority Clients.
  • Use analytical skills to derive potential solutions to engineering problems and engineering judgement to appraise different options and recommend the most suitable option.
  • Oversee the production of and review high quality design documentation including sketches, drawings, calculations, reports and specifications.
  • Carry out designs, design calculations, reports and specifications to industry and national standards
  • Stay abreast of industry developments and changes in standards. Ensure that all design submissions produced by those under your supervision are compliant with all relevant standards.
  • Developing more junior staff by technical training and mentoring.
  • Responsible for the completion of projects to time and budget.



  • BEng / MEng or MSc degree in civil engineering or equivalent.
  • Chartered Membership of a relevant professional body, ICE, IStructE.
  • Experience of acting as Technical Approval Authority on projects undertaken for local authorities.
  • Intimate knowledge of Highways England’s and local authority process and the various deliverables required at each stage or Network Rails processes.
  • Willingness and ability to lead the technical delivery of bridge design projects and also of the bridge design aspects of complex, multi-disciplinary projects.
  • Sound understanding of technical principles underlying civil engineering, particularly civil engineering structures.
  • Sound understanding of relevant design standards, including Eurocodes.
  • Sound understanding of Network Rail, Highways England and local authority standards and technical assurance procedures.
  • Sound knowledge of Microsoft Office programmes, particularly Word and Excel. Proven track record of producing high quality deliverables with little supervision.
  • Ability to prepare reports and collate specifications from all parties to the project and to collect other data and statistics necessary for the preparation of progress and technical reports
  • Relevant highways and rail industry experience of working within a design consultancy essential. Wider knowledge gained from working within a contractor and/or client organisation desirable.
  • Sound interpersonal skills and ability to converse with a wide range of Clients and colleagues across a number of engineering disciplines.
  • Excellent spoken and written English.
  • Stakeholder
  • Experience of working with our key clients, e.g. Network Rail, Highways England, local authorities and major contractors, and have an understanding or their internal organisation and processes
  • Identify and respond to our clients values in a competitive market sector
  • Ability to manage stakeholders, e.g. specialist suppliers, independent checkers and local authorities
  • Ability to manage projects including the preparing programmes and managing risk
  • Good project management skills, commercial awareness, financial management skills and ability to deliver work across a range of contract types
  • Ability to develop and agree scopes and manage the internal technical supply chain, including budgets, programme and quality of deliverable, delivering within set time frame
  • Awareness of the business models adopted in the sector and commercial and technical risks 
  • Experience in motivating teams to prioritise and deliver tasks to time and budget
  • Flexibility for occasional periods working away from normal office location, including overseas for 3 to 6 months

Requirements – Desirable:

  • Experience as designer on design and build (D&B) and/or Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) commissions
  • Experience of working overseas
  • Experience of collaborative software (SharePoint, Business Collaborator, ProNet or Arenium)
  • Experience of writing bids and offers and an understanding of the commercial risks associated with projects 

The Individual

We are looking for an enthusiastic individual that is willing to work in a dynamic environment as part of a wider team. The preferred individual will be able to take ownership and take responsibility to lead projects, be comfortable working independently but able to seek advice from your colleagues where the job involves areas of work that are new to you.
Our team and our business are continually looking for ways to improve how we meet our clients’ needs, and encourage challenge and alternative viewpoints/approaches from all our staff. You will be required to adopt a similar mentality, bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to our team and our ways of working.

Flexible Benefits and Training

The health and well being of our staff is paramount, and as such Atkins offers a wide range of flexible benefits for all employees. Benefits include flexible holiday packages, bike4work, corporate gym membership and health insurance discounts


  • Location: Bristol
  • Job Title: Principal Engineer - Structures (Highways/Railways)
  • Salary:
  • Closed: 12 Jun 2020

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