Senior Systems Engineer

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Senior Systems Engineer

  • Post Date:15th January 2024
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Job Description

Department: Information Technology
Reporting to: Navigation Systems Manager
Grade: 4
Salary: £59,945 per annum + 25% Allowances
Base: Gravesend, Kent

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New year, new challenge

This is an exciting time to be joining the Port of London’s IT department as we embark on an ambitious replacement and upgrade programme enhancing standards, security, and user experience.

To augment our recently restructured navigation systems team, we’re delighted to be able to offer this role. The Senior Systems Engineer will be the expert in the team with added responsibility and greater strategic input into the team’s planning processes and development. The successful candidate will lead the team’s response to major incidents, design and lead on projects and replacement programmes and ensure we are compliant with licensing requirements. The candidate will also set standards and ensure they’re met and maintained. They will also be required to form part of a 4-week on-call rota, which includes working the weekend to ensure the availability of services 24/7. Days off in the week are provided before and after the on-call period.

For motivated, proactive and competent candidates these roles offer something different from ‘the norm’. We operate some unusual tech and systems, across a wide range of locations, with kit in places not everyone gets to go to. The team regularly work at height and full training and support is provided to enable you to do this safely and see some great views from our equipment sites.

Who we are:

The Port of London Authority is the statutory harbour authority for the tidal Thames and responsible for 95 miles of the River Thames from the Estuary to Teddington Lock in West London. We work to keep river users safe, protect and enhance the environment and promote the use of the river for trade and travel.

The IT Department plays a critical role in ensuring our end-users have reliable systems that they need to ensure the port continues to operate 24/7/365 and enables navigational safety throughout its area of operation. The Navigation Systems team is part of the IT department. The team’s main function is to provide services to operational teams such as VTS and Pilotage, providing and maintaining systems and hardware for a broad range of services such as RADAR, vessel identification and tracking, radio communications as well as tidal and weather information. We also secure, manage, monitor and maintain our own IP and Microwave Networks.

What we are looking for:

We’re looking for ‘tech-curious’ and dynamic individuals with excellent communication and problem-solving skills. Customer service focus is a must have as well as a methodical approach with great attention to detail. You’ll also need to remain calm under pressure and have a head for heights.

We’re looking for people who want to engage with end-users as well as colleagues across the wider IT department and the business. You’ll be a great team player, adding value to our team, but also able to work independently and be trusted to take ownership and deliver to agreed deadlines and standards.

Details of what you’ll be expected to do day-to-day and what you’re responsible for are listed below, along with the anticipated skills, knowledge and experience that you’ll already possess.

Role and Responsibilities:

  • Ensure the continuous functionality of all navigation systems including but not limited to Vessel Traffic Display and Voice Communication systems, complex IT networking including MPLS, firewalls and infrastructure, WAN including microwave, IoT, 4G and 5G, SIP telephony, virtualisation platforms (Hyper-V), cyber security protection services such as end point protection, data management and monitoring and other IT systems to enable the port to operate safely.
  • Diagnose and resolve faults, including complex technical issues, across the full range of systems in a professional and timely manner.
  • Escalate issues promptly to appropriate colleagues, management team or suppliers as necessary.
  • Ensure actions taken are logged, root causes are investigated and understood, and future requirements are captured. Ensure information is shared appropriately and customers or stakeholders are kept updated.
  • Install, monitor, maintain and administer navigation systems, infrastructure and software including software and system licences.
  • Contribute to the development and creation of maintenance and replacement plans for our systems and associated infrastructure including patch management.
  • Research and specify replacement equipment and assist with the procurement and assessment of new equipment, services and / or systems.
  • Project manage replacement projects or provide a significant contribution as a key member of a project team.
  • Create, update and maintain technical documentation, change control, approval and asset records.
  • Act as team leader to colleagues (person in charge) and supervise contractors during on-site works ensuring work is completed in compliance with HSE regulations and PLA requirements.
  • Support compliance with GDPR and cyber security principles and work to achieve cyber compliance with the NIS directive.
  • Undertake training and development to maintain specialism in systems and act as a specialist across all areas of the navigation systems’ infrastructure estate.
  • Contribute to the development and progression of colleagues within the whole team.
  • Work in accordance with agreed service levels, department processes, policies and procedures.

Additional duties:

  • Architecture and design of systems.
  • Lead on cyber risk identification and management including penetration testing.
  • Assist in the development of the strategy for the delivery of maintenance and replacement programmes.
  • Assist in the budget setting process to ensure assets are replaced and expenditure forecast and managed.
  • Assist in the development of working practices and standards across the team.
  • Periodically inspect and supervise work to ensure H&S, department or team standards are met and maintained.
  • Lead the response team in major cyber incidents.
  • Deputise for the Navigation Systems Manager.

Qualifications and Education Requirements:

  • Degree in an IT, computer science or related discipline.
  • Demonstrable project management experience or qualification.
  • 8+ years’ hands on experience in a comparable role or setting.
  • Thorough knowledge, understanding and application of relevant GDPR and cyber security principles as a minimum Cyber Essentials, NIS and ISO standards.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the risks and relevant mitigations associated with the work of the team e.g., WaH, EMF and other hazards.
  • Knowledge, understanding and application of related H&S regulations e.g., PUWER, LOLER, Working at Height, COSHH.
  • Full driving licence.

Essential criteria:

  • Technically proficient with in depth knowledge and thorough understanding of server-infrastructure (Hyper-v / HP), networking infrastructure (Ribbon, Fortigate, NEC, CISCO), cyber security infrastructure (PRTG, Cortex, Dark Trace, Syslog), telecoms infrastructure (Mitel).
  • Demonstrate required skills and experience to quickly understand specialist systems such as VTDS, VCS for example.
  • Ability to work at height to a routine level and achieve the relevant certifications required to perform the role.
  • Pass and maintain certification for Sea Survival, Fire Awareness, Manual Handling, First Aid and Confined Spaces as well as other role specific requirements.
  • Pass medical evaluation and maintain fitness levels to be able to fulfil the job role and to do so safely.
  • Achieve and maintain security clearance as required by the PLA and third-party sites (BPSS and CTC required).
  • Consistently models leadership behaviours to motivate and inspire colleagues.
  • Skills and ability to be the ‘go to expert’ within the team for all team members.
  • Able to make a strategic contribution to the team’s operation and development.
  • Logical and methodical diagnostic approach to faults and problems.
  • Dynamic and self-motivated with excellent problem-solving capabilities and time management skills.
  • Committed to self-development and continuing professional development to maintain, refresh and update relevant skills.
  • Critical thinker with the ability to challenge appropriately and contribute to continual improvement.
  • Safety conscious and willing to develop and contribute to H&S practices within the team.
  • Assertive and able to effectively challenge and supervise colleagues and contractors.
  • Able to develop effective working relationships and promote and encourage team working and efficient use of time and resources.
  • Able to influence and negotiate at an individual, team and team to team level, with excellent customer-service skills.
  • Able to demonstrate a high degree of flexibility including out of hours working and forming part of an on-call rota for evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays.

Desirable criteria:

  • Experience within the port industry and with port systems.
  • Previous certification for working at height.
  • Change management experience or qualification.

In return, we offer a competitive benefits package:

  • Access to training with both internal and external courses provided
  • Structured plans to guide personal development
  • 28 days annual leave + Bank Holidays
  • Medical Cash Plan (Westfield Health)
  • Generous pension
  • Onsite parking with electric charging
  • Access to Occupational Health, Mindfulness, Counselling and Physiotherapy
  • Cycle to Work Scheme
  • Access to MyGymDiscounts

Our recruitment process may include both Virtual and Face to Face interviews as well as ability and psychometric testing.

For further information or an informal discussion please contact

The PLA are not registered with the UK Home Office and do not sponsor candidates who require a visa or work permit to work in the UK, therefore an offer of employment cannot be made unless you currently hold the rights to live and work in the UK.