Lead Estimator


The job has expired.

Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Permanent - Full Time
Salary from £57,134
Working Hours:
Risley, Cheshire
Closing Date:
Business Area:
Project Management Authority

Job Introduction

There’s never been a more exciting time to be part of the nuclear sector. New opportunities are being created all the time. At NNL, you’ll be in the ideal place to capitalise on this momentum, face new challenges and develop a long, successful and meaningful career.
We’re an organisation that’s here to experiment and push the limits of what’s possible. So, if you’re keen to excel in your chosen field, this is the place to do it. Because at NNL, anything is possible.
NNL is looking for an experienced estimating professional to lead taking its estimating capability to the next level. The role will initially need to establish Cost Estimating as a function within NNL including reviewing existing processes and ensuring these are understood by those producing the estimates. The role will also assure the quality of the organisation’s estimating deliverables utilising a risk-based approach.
This is a leadership role which is responsible for on-going development, maintenance and continuous improvement of all estimating systems, tools, techniques, Integrated Management System (IMS) procedures and processes to align with NNL and Project Management Office (PMO) business strategy ensuring their consistent application and standardisation across NNL. 
The role is located within the North West and can be based at one of NNL’s offices in Cumbria, Preston and Warrington but with opportunity for hybrid working practices. Travel within the region will be required as part of the role.

Main Responsibilities

The main responsibilities for the Lead Estimator will be:

  • Overall leadership of Cost Estimating within NNL including the embedding of estimating good practice in line with NNL procedures.
  • Ensure the organisation has a robust cost estimating process in place to meet project requirements and in line with estimating quality standards.
  • Responsibility for assuring the quality of estimates that are produced by others.
  • Commencing without a team, build a fit-for purpose estimating capability through development of training plans, targeted recruitment and providing mentoring and support.
  • Responsible for on-going development, maintenance and continuous improvement of all estimating tools, techniques and processes.
  • Lead the creation, maintenance and implementation of best practice, cost estimating vision, strategy, policies, processes and procedures to aid and improve operational performance.
  • Review, analyse and understand economic trends and consider risks and cost implications.
  • Utilise cost methodologies, tools and appropriate software models and packages to prepare, maintain and capture reliable and accurate data to inform future estimating.
  • Ensure professional and consistent cost engineering management processes are applied across the business.
  • Ensure appropriate monitoring, reporting systems and procedures are in place to meet objectives.
  • Provide management information and reports to share with others as and when required.
  • Leading and supporting others in the provision of specialist Cost Estimating support for all of projects in NNL including complex multi-million pound projects over the full project life cycle. 
  • Set-up and lead estimating reviews with Project Managers and Customer Workstream Leads (CWLs) including issue of appropriate reports and metrics.


The Ideal Candidate

Essential skills for the Lead Estimator:

  • Extensive demonstratable experience of successfully leading Cost Estimating related services on large scale and complex projects, programmes and portfolios in an engineering or technical environment.
  • Strong IT systems knowledge and skills including advanced Excel skills
  • Experience of using spreadsheets and complex estimating, pricing models and cost management tools
  • Demonstrable track record of adding significant value to and optimising cost estimating process
  • Experience of delivering results through cross-functional working 
  • Commercial and Contract awareness
  • Ability to achieve SC Clearance 

Desirable skills for the Lead Estimator: 

  • A relevant qualification associated with one of the cost engineering professional bodies, e.g. AACE, APM, APMG International, ACostE, ECITB, and PMI or relevant degree (desired)
  • Membership of an appropriate professional body such as the Association of Cost Engineers would be advantageous
  • Proven track record in leadership, building effective teams, and performance management
  • Understanding and awareness of Finance and Planning systems

About The Company

Grounded in robust science and decades of experience, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is the authoritative voice in the UK and beyond for technological development within the nuclear power sector.

Our unparalleled understanding of the science, challenges and opportunities makes us an unrivalled authority and partner in the field, providing experts, technologies, and access to cutting-edge facilities to organisations around the world.

Harnessing potential technologies and translating them into to industry-ready solutions means our pioneering approach spearheads international improvement and technological progress.

We work on projects as small as drilling a hole to analyse underground wastes with our integrated micro drilling technology, or as large as developing state-of-the-art power systems for spacecraft, based on radioactive materials

NNL has a vision for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (ED&I) where NNL aims to be an inclusive workplace that attracts diverse talent through transparent and equal policies and procedures. We want you and the diverse mix of people that we employ, customers that we service and stakeholders that we influence to feel valued. We encourage a workplace culture where everyone can thrive with a sense of belonging.

Recruitment Agency Notice

We operate a strict Preferred Supplier List (PSL) for the provision of recruitment services. Only agencies on our PSL may provide CVs and only when the role is released to them by our recruitment team. We will not accept unsolicited CVs from suppliers not currently on our PSL. We explicitly reserve the right to add candidate details from unsolicited CVs from non-PSL agencies into our own candidate database and to pursue/hire such candidate(s) without any obligation, financial or otherwise, to the agency concerned.