Head of Engineering Services Department IO0131

International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)



The ITER Organization brings together people from all over the world to be part of a thrilling human adventure in southern France—building the ITER Tokamak. We require the best people in every domain.

We offer challenging full-time assignments in a wide range of areas and encourage applications from candidates with all levels of experience, from recent graduates to experienced professionals. Applications from under-represented ITER Members and from female candidates are strongly encouraged as the ITER Organization supports diversity and gender equality in the workplace.

ITER Organization (IO) is an Equal Opportunity organization committed to diversity in the workplace, with diversity and inclusiveness being one of the ITER Values.

As IO attracts and retains people coming from a vast array of different backgrounds and cultures, bias and exclusion cannot be tolerated. The IO believes it is our diverse perspectives and backgrounds that gives unique strength and value to the ITER mission, regardless of race, member nation, gender, religion, status, sexual orientation, or disability – all are welcome and respected at ITER.

Our working environment is truly multi-cultural, with 29 different nationalities represented among staff. The ITER Organization Code of Conduct gives guidance in matters of professional ethics to all staff and serves as a reference for the public with regards to the standards of conduct that third parties are entitled to expect when dealing with the ITER Organization.

The south of France is blessed with a very privileged living environment and a mild and sunny climate. The ITER Project is based in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, located between the southern Alps and the Mediterranean Sea—an area offering every conceivable sporting, leisure, and cultural opportunity.

To see why ITER is a great place to work, please look at this video

Application Deadline: 21/01/2024

Department: Engineering Services Department

Job Family: Line Management and Group Leaders

Job Role: Head of Department

Job Grade: DDG

Language Requirements: Fluent in English (written & spoken)

Contract Duration: Up to 5 years


As ITER Head of the Engineering Services Department (ESD), you will lead and manage the engineering resources, competences, and capacity to support the Director-General (DG) and Construction Project Leader (CPL) of the ITER Organization (IO) to achieve the ITER Project’s objectives.

This includes acting as Engineering Resource Provider for the ITER Project, hence ensuring the availability and proper competence level of the engineering manpower of the organization.

This work is performed in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations of the ITER Project, and aligned with the precise technical baseline management and engineering activities requirements for assembly, installation, integrated commissioning, and operation phases.

You will represent the organization internally and externally at a senior level, modelling the “one Project – one team” spirit of the Project in a matrix organization to streamline engineering transversal functions, as well as deputizing for the DG when requested.


The ITER Organization (IO) was established in 2007 by a formal agreement among seven Members (People’s Republic of China, European Union, Republic of India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, and United States of America), for the joint implementation of the ITER Project. The ITER Headquarters is located at the ITER Project Site in St Paul-lez-Durance, France, and its staff of over 1,000 people come from the seven ITER Members.

ITER’s mission is to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy for peaceful purposes, an essential feature of which would be achieving sustained fusion power generation.

The IO is an international independent legal entity, which as the Design Authority and Owner-Operator of the ITER facility is responsible to the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) for compliance with all French laws and regulations that govern nuclear safety. The IO and its industrial contractors are presently engaged in the overall construction of the ITER facility, which is truly a “mega-Project” that involves not only an enormous scale of civil construction, but also the assembly and installation of various contributions of technically sophisticated components, mostly first-of-a-kind, and equipment provided by the ITER Members.

Once the ITER facility commences research operations, the IO will transition to being responsible for carrying out, together with researchers from the seven Members, the ITER Research Plan to achieve its science and technological mission.

As part of the 2023 re-organization of the IO structure, a Construction Project has been created, which has the prime responsibility for delivery, assembly and installation engineering scopes. The Engineering Services Department (which currently has only one Division – the Design Office) is envisaged in the near future as the global engineering resource provider, on a matrixed basis, to the Construction Project.

Key Duties, Scope, and Level of Accountability

  • Develops the strategy for overall engineering activities, in close collaboration with senior management team in accordance with Project strategy;
  • Manages capacity and provides engineering resources to the Construction Project Leader;
  • Provides effective leadership ensuring that managers and team members are motivated and constantly developing their skills and experience;
  • Develops, maintains and shares engineering expertise on ITER, jointly with DAs, to prepare for the future phases of the ITER Project;
  • Coordinates engineering support in mechanical and plant areas, defining and maintaining CAD strategy for the Project (processes, infrastructure, resources, production, collaboration with Domestic Agencies (DAs), and QA/QC) to provide services based on Project’s priorities;
  • Exercises strategic vision and sets major priorities for the IO from an engineering perspective;
  • Fosters further collaboration and integration between the IO and Members’ DAs in the spirit of “one Project – one team”;
  • Responds to emerging issues and opportunities with timely, pragmatic, and effective solutions;
  • Analyzes and alerts the DG promptly on any issues that would jeopardize the on-time accomplishment of major construction schedule milestones, scope, or impact on quality and nuclear safety requirements, while implementing appropriate risk mitigation strategies for the Project in a pragmatic and proactive manner;
  • May be required to work outside IO reference working hours, including nights, week- ends and public holidays.

Measure of Effectiveness

  • Provides solid leadership, builds up and manages the team to maximize human capital/people’s commitment to achieving the Project’s goals;
  • Manages efficiently the overall engineering resources within the defined quality, scope, cost and schedule needed to construct the ITER facility;
  • Contributes to the solution of high level technical and quality control issues;
  • Actively represents and propagates the spirit of “one Project – one team” and ensures a highly collaborative approach with the IO senior management and DAs leaders in order to manage and propel the whole ITER Project forward;
  • Prioritizes standards of performance, anticipating and solving major issues of engineering activities;
  • Models the values and vision of the ITER Project including expectations from the Code of Conduct.

Experience & Profile

  • Professional Experience:
    • Demonstrated engineering capacity in the field of design and construction of complex engineering facilities;
    • Proven experience at senior management level within large construction, scientific or technical projects;
    • Demonstrated experience in the implementation of a matrix organizational structure in the context of a construction project;
    • Ability to obtain and maintain French Security clearance.
  • Education:
    • Master’s or PhD degree or equivalent in Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, Nuclear, or equivalent);
    • The required education degree may be substituted by extensive professional experience involving similar work responsibilities and/or additional training certificates in relevant domains.
  • Language requirements:
    • Fluent in English (written and spoken).
  • Technical competencies and demonstrated experience in:
    • Management of project(s) engineering resources in a matrixed organization;
    • Change and transformation including identifying, influencing, setting strategy, and leading implementation;
    • Design and construction of complex research infrastructures, preferably in the nuclear field;
    • Large construction project(s) with multi-national collaboration;
    • Inclusive leadership (maintaining healthy working environment), with a high level of headship for motivating and developing staff;
    • Creating an inclusive environment that promotes cross-functional analysis and effective decision-making so that leaders are empowered to place decision-making at the most appropriate level; Building strong partnerships and working collaboratively and positively with all stakeholders, being a force of proposal and solution-oriented to reach consensus in large nuclear, fusion, fission or highly technical projects in compliance with quality, safety, security and technical applicable standards;
    • Coordinating and overseeing complex construction projects from design to operation phases while providing effective leadership and management structures in international or intergovernmental settings;
    • High-level skills for strategic negotiations involving internal and external partners, including the ability and willingness to solicit and consider varying inputs and opinions, and to make appropriate recommendations and decisions;
    • Driving a project culture that underpins and maintains safe and secure working conditions, and enforces the highest standard of safe, healthy, and secure work practice;
    • Technical knowledge of Tokamak machine, fusion, and relevant facilities would be considered a strong advantage.
  • IO Core Behavioral Competencies:
    • Collaborate: Ability to facilitate dialogue with a wide variety of contributors and stakeholders;
    • Communicate effectively: Ability to adjust communication content and style to deliver messages to work effectively in a multi-cultural environment;
    • Drive results: Ability to persist in the face of challenges to meet deadlines with high standards;
    • Manage complexity: Ability to analyze multiple and diverse sources of information to understand/define problems accurately before making proposals;
    • Instill trust: Ability to apply high standards of team mindset, trust, excellence, loyalty and integrity.
  • Additional Behavioral Competencies:
    • Proven top-level executive managerial skills characterized by approachability, accessibility, openness/transparency, personal integrity, persuasiveness, and the charisma to inspire loyalty of his/her subordinates and reach consensus with stakeholders;
    • Courage: stepping up to address difficult issues, saying what needs to be said;
    • Decision quality and accountability: using judgment to make timely decisions to move the organization forward, holding self and others accountable to meet commitments;
    • Drive engagement, vision and purpose: creating a climate where people are motivated to do their best to help the organization achieve its objective, by painting a compelling picture of the vision and strategy that inspires others to action;
    • Organizationally savvy: maneuvering comfortably through complex policy, process, and people related organizational dynamics to remove obstacles that affect Project’s performance, move work forward, and engage teams and stakeholders at all levels;
    • Strategic mindset: seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into breakthrough strategies.

The following important information shall apply to all jobs at ITER Organization:

  • Maintains a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of the ITER Safety Program, and ITER Values (Trust; Integrity; Excellence; Team mind set; Diversity and Inclusiveness);
  • ITER Core Technical Competencies (Knowledge of these competencies may be acquired through on-board training at basic understanding level for all ITER staff members) :

1) Nuclear Safety, Environment, Radioprotection and Pressured Equipment

2) Occupational Health, Safety & Security

3) Quality Control & Quality Assurance Processes

  • Implements the technical control of the Protection Important Activities, as well as their propagation to the entire supply chain;
  • May be requested to perform other duties in support of the project as defined by your line manager, and when relevant upon the request of the matrix manager;
  • Informs the IO Director-General or Department Head of any important and urgent issues that cannot be handled by line management and that may jeopardize the achievement of the Project’s objectives.
  • For staff expected to perform on-call, shift hours, or other work outside ITER Organization reference working hours, including nights, weekends, and public holidays, the possession of a driving license valid in France is required. No commuting vehicle will be provided by the ITER Organization.

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