Senior Design Thinker


Location: Harwell, Oxfordshire

Responsible to: Head of User Centred Design

Working Hours: 37.5h a week

Contract: Permenant, 3 month probation and 1 month notice.

Holiday: 28 days per annum, plus statutory holidays

Equal Opportunities: The Satellite Applications Catapult strives to be an equal opportunities employer and commitment to this process will be expected.

About Us

The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent technology and innovation company whose purpose is to promote, develop and facilitate the commercialisation and advancement of the satellite applications industry. The company is a not for profit Research Organisation, with a commercial trading subsidiary. The organisation embraces an open and innovative culture, encouraging an ethos of knowledge exchange and sector engagement, and has quickly become a world class centre of facilities and expertise.

We’re one of ten “Catapults” launched by Innovate UK (formerly the  Technology Strategy Board). The aim for each of them is to become a world-leading innovation centre in its own specialist area.

Our Mission

To innovate for a better world, empowered by satellites”

Our Visions

‘’To be a world-leading technology and innovation company, helping businesses of all sizes to realise the potential from space. By embracing a pioneering, agile, collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit, we create valued partnerships to deliver game-changing results.”

Our Culture

The Catapult fosters an open and collaborative culture that stimulates and develops staff and encourages collaboration and innovation. Our employee value proposition is strong. We have worked hard to create an environment which is dynamic, exciting, challenging, rewarding, flexible and, most importantly, fun

The Team

The User Centred Design Team at the Catapult bridge the gap between technical specialists, business experts, and end-users, blazing the trail in the space industry with a needs-driven rather than technology-pushed approach to application development. We are climbing the Danish design ladder by strides, applying design thinking not just to application development, but organisational strategy too.

We are changing the world through applying space technologies in areas as diverse as commercial fishing, disaster relief and sustainable development, supporting small and large companies alike. Projects may be internal or external, but your work will very likely be used and seen by a global audience.

We want to help you develop, so tell us what you want to learn and we’ll support you where we can. We value enthusiasm, a willingness to learn and someone who values joy in their process. Humour is an essential part of our day to day life.

Your Role

As a Senior Design Thinker you will take lead of projects of various sizes. You will conduct research, and carry out field work, both within the UK and internationally. You will help support the translation of user requirements into design specifications, and support the development of new technologies and applications to solve real world problems.

You will champion design across not only the space industry, but all the industries we support, engaging with start-ups and industry giants, academic institutions and governments (both at home and abroad).

You will bring new ideas, methods, and strategies to not just the team, but the organisation as a whole, and will inspire those you work with, as well as be inspired by them.

About You

  • You are someone who wants to change the world and believes that user-centred design is an essential tool in achieving this.
  • You prototype as proof of concept, work visually as much as possible and itch to teach people why these are great ways of working.
  • You can act as a translator, encouraging and facilitating work between disparate groups with differing skills, values and approaches.
  • You can tell stories and use these narratives to win people over to your cause.
  • You are naturally curious and not afraid to ask questions.
  • You want to influence how the team works, rather than simply following orders. You would have no qualms telling the Emperor he needs to put some clothes on.

Required Skills and Experience


  • You have a minimum of 4 years working experience (along with a relevant degree) in one of the following design-related areas:
    • Product/Service/Interaction/Experience/Industrial/Graphic
  • You have experience leading design projects.
  • You can comfortably express yourself and your ideas using Adobe Creative Cloud (PS, Ai, Ae, Id, etc. – whichever you need).
  • You can communicate through sketching and whiteboard markers are a natural extension of your hand.
  • You can explain why understanding need is essential to creating a sustainable solution, where sustainable doesn’t just mean green.
  • You know what HCD and design thinking means and have experience using them.
  • You have a good grounding in design theory, are keen to learn more, as well as create new methodologies.
  • You are self-driven, organised and able to motivate others.

Great to have

  • You dabble in coding (or are interested to learn) and are able to have a meaningful conversation with developers (or show your own prototypes).
  • You are entrepreneurial and either understand or are keen to learn more about how to create a sustainable business case.
  • You have experience with using Invision for prototyping and UI development.
  • You consider yourself a master Lego builder.


If you are up for the challenge and thrive in a fast-paced and creative environment, send your CV along with a covering letter to

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