Engineering & Design Programme Manager - Designability - Bath

Reports to Chief Executive

Salary £48,000 - £52,000

Hours 37.5 hours per week

Location Designability, Wolfson Centre, Royal United Hospital, Bath BA1 3NG

Designability is a research and development charity with a passion for creating life-changing products that redefine the experience and perception of disability and ageing. We are engineering and design experts who bring together knowledge and expertise to enhance people’s lives by creating products that meet real needs of people with disabilities and health problems.

We base our work on human centred design - whether we are developing our own products, or helping others, we know how to listen and translate needs into workable insights and person-centred technologies. Our research helps us understand individual needs and challenges, identify the best solutions and inform our new product development work. Since we were founded in 1968, more than 250,000 people have benefited from our products.
This is our 50th year, we have grown to a team over 30 people and have ambitious plans to increase the impact of our work.

Purpose of the role

We are looking for an experienced engineer/designer, with exceptional programme management skills, to inspire and lead our multidisciplinary team of engineers, designers and therapists. You will have experience of design and manufacturing, and of bringing new products to market. Reporting directly to the chief executive, you will take responsibility for delivery of our product development programme, enabling us to bringing new products to market, directly and through our commercial partners.

Key duties

  1. Delivery of a strategic and operational plan that will enable the charity to fulfil its mission of making new products available to meet unmet needs of people with health problems and disabilities
  2. Management of product development and realisation, with responsibility for deliverables, budgets, resources and quality assurance
  3. Provision of practical engineering design input for specific projects, as required
  4. Work with research leads to ensure that appropriate resources are available to deliver our research programme
  5. Deliver consultancy services, in line with the business plan
  6. Manage relationships with corporate engineering, manufacturing and design partners
  7. Work with the quality manager to ensure product development and realisation processes meet requirements of our ISO9001 Quality Management System
  8. Maintain the Quality Management System and ensure that all our products meet required regulatory standards
  9. Maintain financial and strategic oversight of production and manufacturing facilities, including the provision and maintenance of Wizzybug product for the Early Years Mobility programme
  10. Oversee the preparation of reports to and attend relevant Oversight Committees, as required
  11. Contribute to senior staff, executive team and Board meetings, as required

Person Specification


  • Degree, or equivalent, in engineering, design, or other appropriate disciplines
  • Programme and resource management across multiple projects in a team environment
  • Considerable experience as a senior manager in a product development environment including prototyping, evaluation and testing, design for manufacture
  • Experience of managing a multidisciplinary team
  • Experience of design and manufacturing processes including design optimisation and design for manufacture
  • Working within a formal Quality Management System
  • Good communication skills, with the ability to operate at both strategic and operational levels
  • Committed to the work of Designability and keen to promote team working and work in accordance with the organisation’s policies and procedures.


  • Chartered Engineer with a demonstrable commitment to professional development
  • Formal project management qualification (Prince 2, or similar)
  • Experience of medical device or assistive technology industry
  • Experience of human centred design processes
  • Intellectual property and asset management experience
  • Track record of successfully bringing new products to market
  • Experience of engaging with corporate clients at senior management or director level
  • Experience of work within an ISO9001 or ISO 13485 environment.

Further information

Designability is an independent charity. Find out more HERE

We are proud to work with the University of Bath. Full details of the post and online application form are available HERE

Closing date: 26th February

For informal enquiries, please contact Nigel Harris, Designability Chief Executive: or call 01225 824103