Industrial Liaison Senior Officer

Updated: 28 days ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Industrial Liaison Senior Officer (
Job Number:
Department of Engineering
Grade 7: - £37,099 - £44,263 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 36 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: Monday to Friday
Closing Date
: 24-Mar-2024, 7:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University


At Durham University we are proud of our people.  A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other. We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things professionally and personally.  

Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally.  We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University. Further information about the University can be found here . 


The Department

The Department of Engineering at Durham University is continuing a period of strategic growth. This is an exciting opportunity to join an expanding, unified Engineering Department which is recognised as one of the very best in the UK, with a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our graduates. In the REF2021 exercise, 95% of our Engineering outputs were graded 3* or 4*. The Department is committed to an ethos of research-led education at all levels of our taught programmes. Engineering at Durham University was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2024, 7th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 and 5th in The Complete University Guide 2024. We were ranked 2nd in Engineering behind only Cambridge in a recent Institute for Fiscal Studies report on the difference in graduate earnings by UK university choice.  We are a scholarly community that is open, representative and diverse: our commitment to this is expressed through work of the Department’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group, the Women’s Engineering Society, and our Athena Swan Silver award.


We are particularly proud of the collaborative interdisciplinary nature of our teaching and research.  This post offers an exciting opportunity to make a major contribution to the enhancement of our industrial engagement in both teaching and research, and to achieve our strategic goals with industrial partnerships.

The Role

To work closely with academic and professional support staff to deliver industrial engagement in support of the Department and University Strategies. The role requires excellent knowledge of working in or with the engineering industry and the ability to connect across the higher education (HE), industry, and public sectors to develop activity of clear benefit to the Department of Engineering. The Industrial Liaison Officer (ILO) will work closely with Department leadership and the academic base to develop high value partnerships with external organisations, advise on income generation opportunities, facilitate knowledge exchange and raise the profile of the Department and University. The ILO will be instrumental in developing a growing portfolio of industry-related activity and bringing our industrial strategy to life.


The ILO will be involved in both education- and research-related activity.  One of the key roles of this post is to enhance the student lifecycle through developing industrial engagement within our degree programmes, to have a positive impact on recruitment, retention and progression of undergraduate and postgraduate taught students, and to satisfy the requirements of the Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs) accrediting our programmes in the area of industrial engagement, professionalism and student experience.  Another key element of this role is to develop and maintain industrial partnerships to broaden the research portfolio within the Department, increase our PhD numbers, enhance research income and improve the impact of our research.


Core responsibilities and activities focus on:

  • Developing and supporting industrial partnerships, creating the deep relationships needed to win work and influence to deliver industrial objectives.
  • Membership of the Department’s Industrial Partnership Committee (IPC).


  • Feeding into curriculum development to ensure our degree programmes are industrially relevant.
  • Planning, marketing and implementing events to build industry-focussed professional awareness.
  • Liaising with industry to provide suitable placements for the Year with Industry programmes.
  • Negotiating sponsorship for prizes, events, scholarships.
  • Working with the Careers Advisory Service to enhance employability.
  • Creating and maintaining relationships with industrial partners to provide placements, sponsorship, site visits, capstone projects, guest lectures, vacation employment, etc.
  • Supporting student recruitment through promotion of industrial engagement at student recruitment events (such as open days) and feeding content to the Department website and social media.
  • Engaging with alumni to provide testimonials for marketing, recruitment and employability, and to support activity in industrial events.


  • Working closely with academic staff to develop concepts and respond to funding opportunities. Ensuring incoming work is delivered well.
  • In partnership with the Senior Business Development Managers in  Research and Innovation Services (RIS) advising academic staff on aspects of partnership and funding requirements, ensuring protection of the University’s intellectual property.
  • Supporting the timely preparation of major projects / proposals, contributing own expertise in relevant areas.
  • Supporting generation of industry funding for research and to support PhD students.
  • Embedding sector-wide good practices within the Department that increase the quality and volume of funded work.

To be successful in this role you will be / have:


  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the HE sector, ideally in the Russell Group, and experience of the interface between HE and industry, along with knowledge of the UK and international research funding landscape.
  • A successful track record of working with industry and establishing new partnerships.
  • Experience in co-ordinating a range of both internal and external facing events, training and business development activities.
  • The ability to deliver against agreed KPIs and targets.
  • A highly entrepreneurial individual, with the ability to develop effective relationships with academics and academic departments to proactively identify sources of funding to support research activity within the Department.
  • Business acumen and be able to use sound commercial judgement in negotiations on behalf of the Department with funders and partners.
  • Experience of business development gained in a goal-focused, target-driven and customer-service-orientated environment.
  • A demonstrable track record of horizon scanning and identifying prospective business leads and turning these into industrial leads / projects.

Further information about the role and the responsibilities is at the bottom of this job description.


Working at Durham 


A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:

  • 30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.  
  • The University closes between Christmas and New Year.
  • We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled  into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).
  • No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
  • There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University.  All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities.
  • Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
  • On site nursery is available and access to holiday camps for children aged 5-16 throughout the year.
  • Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
  • The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community.
  • Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.
  • A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits.
  • If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools.  If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas.

Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion 

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.


We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.  If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application.  If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

What you need to demonstrate when you apply/Person Specification  
When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role and/or what skills/experience you have which would make you right for this role.  Further information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job description.  Where a criteria has an asterisk* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered.    
Your application should cover the following criteria:  


Essential Criteria



1. * Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience) in an engineering discipline.

2. * Demonstrable experience of working in an engineering or science-related area.

3. Professional practitioner with knowledge and expertise in the delivery and development of engineering services, events, and activities within the organisation.

4. Experience of implementing policies and procedures and supporting change and service improvements. 

5. Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.

6. Experience of participating in internal or external networks to share and discuss good practice, develop strong and productive working relationships and positively influence the Department’s and University’s reputation.

7. * Experience of working with multidisciplinary teams, ability and commitment to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions within and outside the University.

8.  * An understanding of the employment market in the engineering sector, both nationally and globally.

9. An understanding of research and knowledge exchange activities within the HE sector.

10. An understanding of postgraduate research student projects and supervision.

11. Experience of the delivery of research and innovation activities and/or income generation, including a demonstrable track record for working with external organisations and partners.


12.  Excellent spoken and written communication skills including the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.

13.  Demonstrable ability to work with a high degree of autonomy and self-motivation.

14. Ability to design and develop plans at operational levels with academic colleagues and as a team.

15.  Strong digital competence across a range digital devices and apps including [digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, business systems].

16.  Committed to continuing professional development to maintain professional recognition.

17.  Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.

18.  Demonstrable ability to solve problems and decide on and plan appropriate solutions. 

19.  Demonstrable ability to provide specialist support and influence others. 

Desirable Criteria

20. Membership or chartership of an appropriate Professional Engineering Institution.

21. An understanding of the student life cycle within the HE sector.

22.  An understanding of the wider income generation opportunities for Universities including Regional, National, European and International opportunities.

23.  Industry Business Development experience.

How to Apply


To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.  Please don’t forget to check if there are any weighted criteria (see above).


While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.   

Submitting your application 


We prefer to receive applications online.  We will update you about your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates.
What you need to submit   


•    A CV: and   
•    A covering letter which outlines how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification – you may present this in the form of a grid.    

Contact details  

For a chat about the role or any further information please contact Dr Ruth Vater ([email protected] ); Department Manager, Department of Engineering.


Typical Role Requirements  

Service Delivery / Development

  • Show a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.
  • Review and look for ways to improve systems and procedures that are relevant to your area of work in line with the University’s frameworks and regulations.
  • Provide specialist advice and guidance relating to your professional area of expertise, in line with the University’s policies, regulations and values.
  • Manage the delivery of specified services and processes across the University to a high standard.
  • Provide the best possible service by continually reviewing what is required from staff, students and others who you work with and contribute to ideas and service improvements.
  • Provide specialist knowledge and support when interpreting and analysing complex data and information sources.
  • Look for ways to improve processes, techniques and outputs/results across all areas of your work.
  • Identify any learning needs that should be met by the Department and design activities and arrange any training.

Planning and Organisation

  • Contribute to operational leadership teams to influence the type and level of services that are provided by your area of responsibility.
  • Contribute to progressing the strategic and operational priorities of your Department.
  • Seek feedback from staff, students and other key stakeholders so that your role is being adapted to meet customer expectations and to plan future requirements.
  • Analyse data on the level of service being provided by your role to recommend areas for future improvement.
  • Meet the development needs of your stakeholders, providing training when required.
  • Manage budgets and expenditure including buying (and returning) goods and services.

Communication / Liaison

  • Provide advice and share guidance with your stakeholders to ensure that the University’s policies, procedures and regulations are complied with.
  • Use your operational expertise to lead and participate in business meetings, working groups and sub-committees.
  • Coordinate and organise committees and other business meetings and deal with any related complaints.
  • Update policies and procedures in response to any internal or external changes.
  • Use your expertise to provide training or guidance to other stakeholders.
  • Create positive working relationships, including internal and external networks, using your networks to increase your knowledge and skills and swap information with peers.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Useful links

If you would like further information you may find the following will help:


Department of Engineering - Durham University

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement 
Privacy Notices - Durham University  which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.   



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