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Senior Consultant- Water Quality & Catchment Science

  1. United Kingdom
  1. Water

Please note the role will be based in multiple locations, Epsom, Bristol, Peterborough, Oxford, Warrington. 

Do you have the drive and technical capability to work with us as a Senior Consultant in Water Quality, delivering the future of Atkins’ service offerings and capability in this area? The role will be a cornerstone within a respected technical team and you will be responsible for maintaining and growing our reputation for technical excellence, increasing revenue growth and working collaboratively to both win and deliver work across our extensive client portfolio.

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. 

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 ‘till 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.  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.

Our Water Management Consultancy business, operates at the interface between people and the water environment, tackling problems around water, its habitats and future change. We offer a unique blend of skills across a large breadth and depth of experience; a diverse team of passionate, intelligent, digitally minded, capable and innovative staff. We enjoy working collaboratively delivering projects that bring about real change and make a difference to people and the places they work.

We have well-established water quality and catchment science teams, who are focussed on implementing investigations and programmes for water companies and regulators across the UK and internationally, including Thames Water’s flagship Smarter Water Catchments initiative. We are active developers and promoters of new digital technologies and monitoring techniques to support catchment management. We’ve developed tools such as SAGIS-SIMCAT, NFM Studio, and the Natural Capital Assessment Tool, as well as publishing freely available monitoring guidance in the form of our Catchment Science: Fieldscale monitoring handbook. This way of working helps us to identify and work towards more robust, resilient and sustainable outcomes in catchments.

We have various vacancies for enthusiastic and ambitious individuals to help grow our catchment science and water quality teams, as well as contributing to our growing workload in a wide range of projects across Water Management Consultancy and other areas of the business (see also our adverts for other levels of experience). Our current vacancies are for senior consultant positions in Epsom, Bristol, Oxford, Peterborough and Warrington, although consideration will be given to exceptional candidates in other locations. We have a mix of UK based and overseas projects requiring water quality skills working for infrastructure developers, regulators and the water industry across our growing infrastructure and catchment management portfolio.


Your day to day activities will involve: developing and agreeing the scope of services; managing, mentoring, developing and supervising junior resources; and actively progressing a suite of tasks / projects under your control.  . You will have an sound grasp of project procedures including financial and change control, report writing, ability to present, and quality assurance through checking and reviewing. In addition, you will support and at times lead work-winning activities. 

You’ll be expected to support the delivery of projects within the Water Management Consultancy team and to work collaboratively with other Atkins businesses; working effectively with other professionals (environment scientists, engineers, planners) to provide a consistent and integrated service to our clients. Depending on experience, you may support or lead on the delivery of key technical areas related to catchment science, water quality planning and modelling. You’d also be expected to support enquiries and provide input to proposals for the future success of the business.

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


  • Scientist or Environmentalist, preferably chartered, who has demonstrable strengths in catchment science and water quality management.
  • Must have a degree in a relevant discipline and preferably relevant post-graduate qualification (for example with a focus on environmental chemistry, water quality, geochemistry).
  • Experience in at least one of the following fields: environmental chemistry, aquatic/marine biogeochemistry, river water quality assessment, or water quality modelling.
  • Experience in leading water quality projects through the project life cycle of problem definition, data collection and analysis, interpretation to drawing succinct conclusions and recommendations.
  • Have a good understanding of catchment processes and influences on water quality as well as an appreciation of water quality modelling approaches.
  • 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.
  • Building a good network of client relationships built on your technical expertise and ability to get the job done.
  • Take responsibility for the successful delivery of key tasks on projects or on bids, managing contributions from junior team members.  Experience of multi-disciplinary project delivery is desirable, as water quality will often be an input into a wider project.
  • Experience in project management is desirable, alongside ability to provide technical leadership of projects or tasks
  • Have a valid UK driving license, be available to travel across the UK and occasionally overseas.

Additional requirements for those applying for applied water quality positions:

  • Experience of designing water quality monitoring programmes
  • Application of a range of monitoring technologies and approaches
  • Knowledge of hydrochemical processes and environmental legislation
  • Have a good understanding of pollution control and abatement measures.

Additional requirements for those applying for water quality modelling positions:

  • Water quality data analysis and modelling expertise in at least one of the following models: MIKE 11/Hydro River, MIKE 21, MIKE 3, ICM
  • Experience with decision support models such as SAGIS-SIMCAT and Farmscoper is desirable.
  • Ability to interpret water quality modelling outputs

The Individual

  • Highly motivated and proactive; focused on achieving and delivering technical excellence.
  • Good team worker, comfortable working with a range of specialists with different technical backgrounds.
  • Flexible and prepared to take on new challenges/learn new skills
  • Well organised; able to lead multiple projects running simultaneously  


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, our long running Water Quality network will support your learning, but there are many others you could also join.

Atkins will support you in your professional development, whether chartered with 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 or sell 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 activities such wine tasting, surf trips, discounted theatre trips and local sports clubs.  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, leisure discounts, 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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