Appointment of the Head of the School of Engineering & the Built Environment


Dear Candidate

Thank you for expressing an interest in joining ARU as Head of the School of Engineering & the Built Environment.

Part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the School is based on our Chelmsford campus and offers a broad range of programmes, from architecture to quantity surveying and construction to civil and mechanical engineering, many of which are accredited by professional bodies and developed with industry. Our School is home to the Future Cities Research Network as well as research clusters in Engineering Analysis Simulation and Tribology, Medical Engineering and Telecommunications Engineering.

We are seeking a Head of School who can lead the development and delivery of the School’s strategic and operational plans, identifying opportunities and ensuring innovative and high quality sustainable future provision. We are particularly keen to strengthen the School’s links with industry and realise significant growth in Engineering student numbers through partnerships with advanced engineering and hi-tech sector clusters across the East of England. The Head of School will also be responsible for developing the School’s research capability and delivering an outstanding student experience across all disciplines. As a member of our Faculty Management team, the Head will also contribute to Faculty-wide planning and development.

Our ideal candidate will have a background in engineering and the ambition and drive to deliver real change, working across the School to deliver a market-facing curriculum that is focused on student experience and employability as well as building our research strengths. Importantly, candidates must bring a desire to engage externally to build the School’s profile with employers across our region.

This is an exciting time to join ARU and to lead this School. The University is committed to the School’s growth and will continue to invest to support the School’s growing profile.

You can find out more about the University, the Faculty and the role on this site. Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you – their details can also be found on this site.

I do hope that you will express an interest in joining us.

Yours faithfully

Professor Laurie Butler
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering

About us

About ARU

ARU is recognised both nationally and internationally as an innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial university. Our main campuses in the cities of Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough have been transformed with major capital investment. With an annual turnover of over £200m, we are a major force for higher education and one of the largest universities in the East of England.

We have ambitious plans for the future, with a reputation for partnership working with employers across the talent, skills, innovation and business support spectrum. ARU has been named as one of the Top 10 mainstream universities in the country for graduate employment, and fifth in the country for employment and further study in the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020. We are proud of our diverse student body and our vibrant learning community and, as an institution, we are committed to transforming lives, promoting economic development and tackling social inequalities.

About the Chelmsford campus

In Chelmsford, we’ve embarked upon an ambitious programme of development. In 1995, Her Majesty The Queen opened the fittingly named Queen’s building, which is home to the University Library. It’s since been joined by (among others) our eye-catching Lord Ashcroft building; Sawyers Building with its SuperLabs; the Michael Salmon Building, which houses cutting-edge medical simulation suites; and Arise Chelmsford, which offers labs, workshops and office space to small businesses in the medical and advanced engineering sectors. The most recent major development is our School of Medicine, which opened in September 2018 and is training the region’s future doctors in a purpose-built space featuring state-of-the-art skills facilities.

About the Faculty of Science and Engineering

The Faculty of Science and Engineering combines a strong and active research culture with excellence in learning and teaching. Our Faculty is one of the largest in ARU with around 6,000 students studying worldwide and is internationally recognised for research in areas including sustainability, future cities and community-based ageing. The Faculty has around 280 staff; 50 of them within the School of Engineering and the Built Environment.

Our vision is to deliver an inclusive, social change-focussed, active curriculum supported by outstanding teaching and use of technology. In doing this, we will fully utilise our geography and networks to enhance graduate employability and generate new revenue streams.

About the School of Engineering and the Built Environment

From architecture to quantity surveying and construction to civil and mechanical engineering, many of our courses are accredited by professional bodies and developed with industry. We’re located in Chelmsford, and also offer courses across East Anglia with our regional partner institutions.

About our courses

The School offers a wide range of programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level. You can view School’s portfolio of programmes here.

About our research

The School is home to the Future Cities Research Network as well as research clusters in Engineering Analysis Simulation and Tribology, Medical Engineering and Telecommunications Engineering. You can read more about our research activity here.

About our people

The Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering is Professor Laurie Butler.  Professor Butler joined Anglia Ruskin University in April 2019 from the University of Reading, where he was Head of the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences for over six years. His research interests include nutrition and cognition, ageing, memory and choice, as well as behaviour change.

You can read more about the Faculty of Science and Engineering staff here.

About our commitment to promoting gender equality

Our Faculty of Science and Engineering received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in 2019. The faculty is a hub for many of our science, technology and engineering courses – as well as world-leading research. As such, it’s committed to the Athena SWAN principles of gender equality in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) education and research.

Our vision and values

Our vision: Transforming lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research.

Our values:

Ambition: We are determined to achieve our goals and continually strive to enhance our University for the benefit of all.

Innovation: We will apply our collective and individual creativity to conceive and develop new ideas, implementing them for the benefit of the communities we serve.

Courage: We are bold in taking the decisions we feel are right, even when it is difficult to do so.

Community: We greatly value working collaboratively, supporting each other and helping everyone to achieve their potential.

Integrity: We do what we say we will do and are fair and transparent in our decision-making and actions.

Responsibility: We take decisions and act in a way which respects environmental, societal and economic considerations, and which best supports those who study and work with us.

The role

Head of the School of Engineering & the Built Environment

Job reference:

Grade: SMG
Work Base: Chelmsford (with travel to other sites as required)
Hours of Work: Full time
Responsible to: PVC & Dean of Faculty
Responsible for: Deputy Head(s) of School
Relationships & Contacts: Vice Chancellors Group, Faculty Executive Team within the Faculty, Internal management and employees, University Executive Team (UET), Corporate Management Team (CMT), and External/regulatory bodies as appropriate

Job Purpose

Provide effective strategic leadership with overall responsibility for the successful operational and sustainable growth of all of the disciplines with the School.

Principal Accountabilities

Strategy and Implementation

  • Make a significant contribution to the planning, development and implementation of the University’s strategic plan, aims and objectives as part of the Faculty Management team.
  • Lead the development and delivery of the School’s strategic and operational plans.
  • Interpret and analyse data and information from a range of internal and external sources and translate trends, risks and opportunities into School and University priorities ensuring innovative and high quality sustainable future provision.
  • Realise significant growth in Engineering student numbers through partnership with advanced engineering and hi-tech sector clusters across the East of England.

Leadership and Management

  • Provide academic and professional leadership within the School, working with Deputy Heads of School responsible for disciplines/clusters, raising achievement and increasing the potential for innovative, inter-disciplinary and cross-campus working.
  • Identify, promote and support opportunities for academic staff to develop productive relationships across disciplines and encourage collaboration across disciplines and with other Schools across the Faculty and University as appropriate.
  • Lead and develop effective working relationships with professional service areas and functions within the University to achieve buy-in and promote the work of the School.
  • Promote the external interests, links, partnerships and reputation of the School and University, liaising and working with relevant external bodies.
  • Develop strategic workforce/staff development plans to deliver the skills and expertise required to deliver KPIs.  With overview responsibility for the review and appraisal of School staff, devolve responsibility for line management and appraisal appropriately.
  • Manage all School resources (people, budgets, equipment and property) effectively and transparently, to achieve the best possible value for money in-line with University and Faculty policies, procedures, values and priorities.
  • Undertake Faculty and University-wide activities through active participation in committees and working groups.
  • Manage risk within the School in accordance with the University’s risk management framework including the maintenance of a school risk register.

Education and Student Engagement

  • Lead work on the implementation of the Education Strategy, ensuring that key themes are systematically embedded in the School’s education portfolio.
  • Provide leadership in preparation for subject level TEF.
  • Ensure delivery of a suite of innovative undergraduate, postgraduate and cross-discipline programmes of study and education activities through flexible modes of delivery.
  • Ensure the School champions and develops activities which promote inclusive active learning, internationalisation, widening participation, student engagement and employability of students.
  • Take overall responsibility for the effective governance of the School’s activities, ensuring PSRB and QAA requirements are met to a high standard of satisfaction.
  • Take overall responsibility for improvements in student engagement within the School, ensuring that the diverse range of student voices are integrated within all of the School’s work and that staff responses are proportionate and in-line with policy.
  • Work in collaboration with others to ensure sustainability and enhancement of the quality and standards required to meet student needs with all programmes and activities of the School.
  • Ensure all policies and regulations of the University are operationalised effectively within the School, paying particular regard to student welfare, health and safety, disciplinary matters, student complaints and financial regulations.

Research and Innovation

  • Provide overall strategic leadership of the School’s implementation of the Research and Innovation Strategy, ensuring the key themes and strategies are adopted and embedded across its research, innovation and knowledge exchange activities.
  • Ensure sustained growth in research capacity and productivity, while enhancing the quality, impact and external profile of the School’s research activity.
  • Lead the School in the development of its research culture and environment, ensuring appropriate support and development opportunities are offered to all researchers, especially early career researchers, and foster a collaborative and collegiate working culture.
  • Ensure agreed targets for research and external income are met, and promote an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to partnership development, business engagement and knowledge exchange.
  • Lead the School in engaging effectively in preparations for the REF, devolving direct responsibility as appropriate.  Ensure the School makes a proportionate and high-quality contribution to the REF through the appropriate UOA(s).
  • Make a high quality personal contribution to learning and teaching and the research and scholarly activity of the School, including a contribution to future REF submissions where appropriate.
  • Comply with Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR requirements in all working practices, maintaining confidentiality, integrity, availability, accuracy, currency and security of information as appropriate. Take personal responsibility for all personal data within own working environment.
  • Such other duties temporarily or on a continuing basis, as may reasonably be required, commensurate with your grade.

This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted.  It is normal practice to review periodically job descriptions to ensure that they are relevant to the job currently being performed, and to incorporate any changes which have occurred or are being proposed.  The review process is carried out jointly by manager and employee and you are therefore expected to participate fully in such discussions.  In all cases, it is our aim to reach agreement to reasonable changes, but where it is not possible to reach agreement we reserve the right to make reasonable changes to your job description which are commensurate with your grade after consultation with you.



Education/ qualifications

  • PhD or professional doctorate in Engineering or closely related discipline
  • Professorial standing (desirable)
  • Senior/Principal Fellow of the HEA (desirable)
  • Chartered status of relevant professional body (desirable)


  • Significant senior academic leadership in HE
  • Developing and leading strategic and operational plans
  • Extensive academic leadership of people and budgets
  • Significant involvement in HE governance and quality assurance
  • Active involvement in and delivery of education and research strategies
  • Substantial track record of: income generation; business and partnership engagement; student engagement and growth in student numbers
  • Established internal and external academic reputation
  • Expertise in horizon scanning including data analysis and identifying risks and opportunities
  • Experience of developing apprenticeship, CPD and distance learning courses
  • Track record of delivering strong student employability outcomes
  • Developing partnerships with advanced engineering/high tech sectors (desirable)
  • Experience of working and managing multidisciplinary teams (desirable)

Knowledge and skills

  • Inspirational leadership and people management
  • Ability to work collaboratively across disciplines both within and beyond the School
  • Significant and successful management of a school/department
  • Strategic thinker
  • Analysing and interpreting complex data sets
  • Business planning and budget management
  • Excellent and in-depth understanding and working knowledge of TEF and REF
  • Expert understanding of external bodies including PRSB and QAA requirements

Personal qualities

  • Committed and driven by our values
  • Collaborative
  • Inclusive
  • Desire for excellence/raising standards
  • Student focussed


  • Willing and able to travel as required including overseas
  • Well-developed external networks
  • Committed to equality and diversity
  • Committed to our Health and Safety policies and procedures
  • Compliance to the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR principles/ requirements

Terms of appointment

We offer a competitive salary accompanied with an extensive range of benefits including a generous holiday entitlement, occupational pension schemes, training and development opportunities, travel to work scheme and a competitive relocation package.

Visit our benefits page for full details.


How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to Anglia Ruskin University. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley: Elliott Rae on +44(0)7584 078 534 or Sophie Rees on +44(0)7719 313 982.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 12th February 2021.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the experience criteria of the person specification.
  • Please include the names and email addresses of two referees. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • We use the following link to complete an online Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1049


Closing date: Noon, Friday 12th February
Longlisting: Wednesday 24th February
Preliminary interviews with AQ: w/c 1st March
Shortlisting: Mid-March TBC
Final Panel Interviews: Late March/ early April TBC