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Title Principal Operational Research Analyst
Ref HE/3529
Directorate Strategy & Planning
Preferred Location Nationwide
Salary £47,304 - £54,400
Number of Positions 1
Working Pattern Full Time
Closing Date 28 Mar 2017

About Us

Highways England is the new government owned company responsible for driving forward our motorways and major A roads. This includes; modernising and maintaining the highways, running the network and keeping traffic moving. Over recent years, investment in our highways has increased. This has led to advances in technology, such as smart motorways; enabling traffic to flow better. However, even more is yet to be done.

Certainty of funding and greater flexibility will enable us to become a better business. In our first 5 years alone, we’ll invest £11 billion in motorways and A roads – boosting capacity, tackling congestion and improving safety. At the same time, we’ll improve how we work. That means we will be able to; plan roadworks better to minimise disruption; clear incidents more quickly; and save more than £1 billion by working more efficiently.

For further information on Highways England, please visit our website:

Job Description

Highways England is currently recruiting for a Principle Operational Research Analyst to be based Nationwide

Strategy and Planning is the single focal point within Highways England, responsible for providing the corporate strategic planning function for the organisation. It fulfills this role by directly leading on key corporate initiatives, such as the long-term ambition for our Strategic Road Network (SRN), the production and review of the 5-year Strategic Business and Delivery Plans, and developing our national plans covering route strategies, investment and economic growth. To successfully deliver this function, fostering collaboration right across the business and commissioning other parts of the Company in specialist areas to deliver this function is an important pre-requisite to fulfilling this role.

The Chief Analyst has matrix management responsibility across the company to ensure that timely, fit for purpose and relevant analysis is produced to improve decision making.  The Performance Analysis Unit (PAU) is part of the Performance and Modelling Group within the Chief Analyst Division.

The Performance Analysis Unit is responsible for providing Highways England with in depth analysis on the performance of the network and the business we operate. This includes analysis, reporting, and support for information commitments we have made to our monitors. We produce performance analysis, predictive modelling, statistical analysis, and reporting to senior management.  We support the business with technical tools to help them do their work, and with support and development for analysts throughout the business.   Our primary area of skill is in the area of analytical and operational research (OR) techniques, which we apply to understand the performance of the business, and to carry out detailed studies where needed. Our outputs are accessible management reports and briefings, designed to allow well informed decisions to be taken.

The job holder is responsible for providing a technical lead for analytical projects and programmes including developing predictive models that will inform the future Road Investment Strategies (RIS). The job holder will provide leadership for the programme analysis for predictive models and other analytical projects that will provide effective insight, analysis and evidence to support decision making and provide evidence base for delivery plans in future road investment periods. The Job holder will be also be responsible for managing a team of analysts and provide analytical assurance for analytical models and other analytical projects developed within the business.

Key responsibilities:

  • Technical leadership - Providing technical insight combined with standard project management approach to oversee the design and delivery of relevant and proportionate research, modelling and analysis that support Highways England’s objectives. Ensure that analyses are in line with Highways England’s analytical assurance process and communicated in a clear and objective way, highlighting relevant risks and opportunities.
  • Predictive  Models - By applying Operational Research principles, theories, concepts and techniques, build predictive models to support the analytical platform for road investment strategies and delivery plans. Provide technical lead for the development of mathematical models and provide analytical assurance.
  • Operational Research - As one of the focal points for Operational Research technical knowledge and experience, the role holder should provide analytical leadership to support the provision of advice and guidance for all areas of the business, directly supporting the Performance Analysis Unit and the Chief Analyst Division. Shape, define and lead analytical projects that support evidence based decisions and the delivery of Highways England’s performance objectives Provide in-depth analysis, insight reports and projections that support Highways England’s performance objectives
  • Management - Manage a team of analysts, ensuring the coordination of analysis work carried out in relation to the performance through the collaborative work with economists, transport planners and analysts within the PAU and other parts of the organisation. Drive the research and analysis in analytical working groups
  • Analytical Assurance - Champion Highways England’s analytical assurance processes, providing clear analytical leadership to support the development of analytical plans and provide analytical assurance statements for analytical projects across Highways England and ensure decision makers understand risks and confidence around analysis. Build the analytical capability of the organisation, influencing the standard of analytical work within the team and wider business. Contribute to development of consistent and best practice approaches across the Analytical Community by promoting Analytical Assurance Framework
  • Collaborative working - Establish and lead analytical working groups in outcome areas such as safety, environment and economic growth, Work collaboratively with Operational Research Analysts, Transport Planners and Economists within the Chief Analyst Division and other analysts within wider business such as Regional Intelligence Units, other working groups and stakeholders to improve business delivery. Liaise and consult with technical experts and external consultants on analytical projects on behalf of Highways England.
  • Data Quality - Champion better data and network information systems across the organisation, identifying opportunities and driving positive change. Ensure the continual development of relevant data sources, data storage/access and tools for analysis.



  • Experience of managing analytical projects in a leading Operational Research Analyst role.
  • Experience of applying Operational Research principles, theories and concepts to difficult analytical assignments to build predictive models and to solve problems of varying complexity.
  • Strong numerical and analytical skills and the ability to communicate complex information to a wide ranging audience effectively.
  • Ability to lead and develop a team both individually and strategically and prior experience of leading a team of analysts in a project or operational management role.
  • understand the key relationship between the Highways England and the Department for Transport and be aware of the key decision makers who may need help from operational analysts
  • have project management and contract management experience
  • have a Master’s degree in Operational Research  or a degree in numerical discipline  with at least five years of relevant work experience in a leading Operational Research Analyst role.
  • have the in depth level of technical knowledge and experience of Operational Research techniques, Data Analytics and must have developed and applied a range of mathematical modelling and statistical techniques at project level.
  • Be able to demonstrate a sustained and varied experience of providing analytical assurance at project level.
  • Have a proven track record of leading and developing team analysts.
  • Have knowledge of and strong hands-on experience in programming, modelling or data query languages such as SQL, SAS or similar as well as having an advanced knowledge of Excel.
  • Exhibit excellent written and verbal communication skills with proven record of writing technical papers.

All applications must be accompanied with a current CV which will be used to assess your suitability for the role. Please ensure all the skills, experience and qualifications requested are clearly demonstrated in your CV as explained in the body of the advert.

Please note that Highways England reserve the right to close the advert before the advertised closing date should a sufficient response have been received.  Therefore, please complete your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.


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