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Principal Consultant- Water Resources

  1. Epsom
  1. Water

Principal Consultant- Water Resources

SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, with over 50,000 employees worldwide. At Atkins, we offer more than just a job. We offer an opportunity to make a difference and shape the world to benefit future generations and the natural environment.

Do you have the drive and technical capability to work with us as a Principal Consultant in Water Resources, leading the future of Atkins’ service offerings and capability in this area? The role will be influential within a respected technical team and you will be responsible for enhancing our technical excellence, driving revenue growth and working collaboratively to both win and deliver work across our extensive client portfolio.

As part of this commitment, we understand the need for a diverse and flexible workforce, where a work-life balance is important. So, by default Atkins offers flexible working, where there is no fixed 9 to 5, no need for a 5-day week, no requirement for a full-time contract, and no requirement to spend all your working time in the office.  Our IT systems support home-working, so where you have parental or carer duties; or you simply need to be elsewhere for a parcel, servicing your car, or waiting in for a tradesperson; Atkins will work for you.  Similarly, Atkins’ corporate social responsibility provides the opportunity to give something back to the community, and we run professional networks supporting groups such as local schools, charities, parents, those coming out of the armed-forces and women in engineering.

As a major engineering, environmental and design consultancy, Atkins offers opportunities for talented consultants to work on a wide variety of high profile projects. We support our clients in making the right strategic investment decisions for critical infrastructure in areas as diverse as water resources, flood management, green infrastructure and transportation. We work for clients across the UK and overseas, including central government, regulators, the water industry, NGOs and local authorities.

Our Water Management Consultancy operates at the interface between people and the water environment. One of the key specialisms of our water management team is in water resources planning. We are particularly well-regarded for delivering innovation in water resource planning and clients see us as a driving force to improve the way that things are done. In the face of increased risks to water resources from more extreme and changing climate conditions and other future uncertainties, we identify the major water resource infrastructure required to meet future needs and to provide the evidence base for taking options through the design, planning and procurement processes. Our work can therefore give us early insight into major work programmes. We have led UK-wide initiatives to develop and apply step changes in the approach to water resource planning through our thought leadership and technical expertise.

We have a number of vacancies for enthusiastic and ambitious individuals to lead and grow our water resources business, as well as contributing to a wide range of projects across our Water Management Consultancy and other areas of the business. This vacancy is for a Principal Consultant position in any of our offices in Epsom, Bristol, Oxford, Peterborough and Warrington, although consideration will be given to exceptional candidates in other locations.

We have a strong reputation for delivering innovation in water resource planning and driving improvements across the industry, and we are seeking to build on this by recruiting thought leaders for the water industry who can continue to secure key work and grow our business further.

To support our growing portfolio of project work, we are seeking technical experts with an established technical profile in aspects of water resource planning who can lead the delivery of strategically significant and high-profile projects. You will have the chance to develop opportunities and support international projects through our portfolio of overseas work, and with our staff in Canada, USA, India, Africa and Asia Pacific.

You should have excellent organisational and project management skills, commercial awareness, and the confidence to lead technical work as well as to mentor junior team members in developing their skills.

You must be client focused and able to build strong relationships with our clients with excellent collaborative working skills to ensure we get the best from our working relationships with client teams.


Your day to day activities will involve: developing and agreeing the scope of services; managing, mentoring, developing and supervising junior staff; engaging with clients, winning work and actively progressing a suite of projects and frameworks under your control. You will have an excellent grasp of project procedures including financial and change control, report writing, ability to present, and ensuring the quality of technical work produced by the team.  

You will be required to produce and supervise the production of high quality client and public-facing deliverables, demonstrated through excellence in communication and ability to present visualisations and interpretation of complex data, and to undertake and lead data analysis to support projects.  On an on-going basis, you’ll be leading the delivery of a range of projects, including strategic infrastructure projects where we may also provide an internally facing consultancy service, and/or supporting other project managers and directors to deliver these projects. 


  • Must have a degree in a relevant discipline (and preferably relevant post-graduate qualification).
  • Demonstrable experience of technical leadership in water resources management / planning projects. This may be focused on a specific area of expertise, such as water resources modelling, or may entail broader wide-ranging experience across various elements of developing supply and demand forecasts, undertaking options appraisal, managing delivery of complex inter-disciplinary plans and projects, etc.
  • Be recognised as a leading figure across the industry amongst water companies and regulators. This could be demonstrated through direct technical leadership or management of high profile projects, and a well-established network of client relationships.
  • Have a sound understanding of client needs, their opportunities and challenges with a track record of leading and winning work
  • Experience in project management is desirable, alongside ability to provide technical leadership of projects.
  • Excellent communication skills. Must be able to adapt your presentation style to different types of audience, including non-specialists. Clarity in scientific writing is key, including visualisation and interpretation of complex data.
  • Preferably chartered through an appropriate institution.


Atkins recognise that there are many well qualified people who are looking to further their career, but who cannot commit to full time employment. We support flexible working arrangements and are interested to discuss how we can accommodate individual requirements.

Atkins develops individuals through a portfolio of training and development activities designed to help you make the best of your abilities and talents. These are reviewed with individuals through an annual development process. We support staff in achieving and maintaining membership of relevant institutions. You will also be part of our global Technical Networks, which provide a flow of technically orientated information and ideas through the company. For this role, you will be expected to participate in our water resources planning technical network to support your learning.

Atkins will support you in your ongoing professional development, whether with the ICE, CIWEM or others.  This includes paying your annual membership and providing access to training.

Rewards and Benefits

We offer a competitive salary that is regularly tested against other consultants with a default 25-days leave each year plus bank holidays and options to buy some or sell of that leave.

To support and safeguard your physical and mental wellbeing we provide an employee assistance programme offering advice and support in times of need.  Our offices run their own sports and social clubs providing a wide range of activities.  You will also have access to our Flexible Benefits, where you can opt in to a wide range of benefits to complement your work/life balance: such as medical insurance, gym membership, the cycle-to-work scheme, child care vouchers, charitable giving, additional pension contributions etc.

Please refer to our website for details of our full benefits package.

We encourage the opportunity to discuss a flexible working pattern for this vacancy, and we ask you to explore the flexible working options during the interview process.

This role may require security clearance and offers of employment will be dependent on obtaining the relevant level of clearance. If this is necessary it will be discussed with you at interview.

If applying to this role please do not make reference to (in conversation) or include in your application or CV, details of any current or previously held security clearance.

ATKINS, part of the SNC Lavalin Group, is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunities Employer, we value applications from all backgrounds, cultures and ability.


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