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Research Engineer - Digital Engineering & Technology

Posted 17 May 2024
Work experience
0 to 2 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
Degree level
Required language
Dutch (Fluent)

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GKN Aerospace is reimagining air travel: going further, faster and greener! Fuelled by great people whose expertise and creativity sets the standards in our industry, we’re inspired by the opportunities to innovate and break boundaries. We’re proud to play a part in protecting the world’s democracies. And we’re committed to putting sustainability at the centre of everything we do, opening up and protecting our planet. With over 16,000 employees across 33 manufacturing sites in 12 countries we serve over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers and achieved sales of £3.35 2023. There are no limits to where you can take your career.

New role: Research Engineer - Digital Engineering & Technology

We're seeking a Research Engineer in Industry 4.0 to drive projects that showcase and support specific implementations. This role emphasizes the integration of physical automation solutions with digital solutions (Industry 4.0), with a particular focus on the aerospace manufacturing sector, proficiency in connected worker systems, data-driven operations, and a dedication to innovation.
Based at our Papendrecht site in the Netherlands, you'll primarily work on projects at SAMXL, part of TU Delft University, and you will be a member of an international and multicultural Technology team. As a Research Engineer, your will initially focus on implementing mature technology solutions within GKN's current product lineup, with an emphasis on enhancing Health & Safety, Productivity, Quality, and Sustainability by integrating these technologies into our operations. This is a global role and you will focus on the management, development and demonstration of near term relevant technology projects up to TRL 6, including building requirements, knowledge base, technology selection, and demonstration. Once the project scope is determined, you will provide the technology support/expertise to the business during the implementation phase. Depending on business needs and focus, there is a possibility of deployment in other areas where automation and digitalization Research and Technology is possible.

What you'll do

  • Development and execution of technology projects.
  • Build relationships with key stakeholders ensuring support for the projects across the business.
  • Specific, tasks for the role would include:
    • Complete technical tasks throughout the duration of projects focused on automation and digitalization of our manufacturing processes like assembly, fabrication and machining.
    • Collect and integrate a robust set of business/technology requirements for the specific technology project.
    • Develop the case for technology introduction for the point of value and risk, finding agreement with the business in line with the Technology Readiness Level process.
    • Produce all supporting project documentation (presentations, for technology communication and reporting, technology development plans, test definitions, technical reports, equipment specifications, and CapEx case).
  • Contribute to the development and the upkeep of a technology database that will be used to capture, communicate and evaluate the value and risk of current technologies available internally and externally to GKN.
  • Support building relationships within the current transnational Civil Airframe eco system and technology supply chain.
  • Support challenging internal & supplier costs, whilst working to a tight budget.
  • Ensure the program impact and risk is vetted using the Technology Readiness Assessment process, and project reviews.
  • Contribute to making GKN a 'Great Place to Work', embodying core principles of safety, innovation, openness, care & respect, and ownership.

What you'll bring

We are looking for a Research Engineer with a good technical understanding across a broad range of aerospace technologies, automation of manufacturing processes and digital (Industry 4.0). You should be able to develop a clear technical, value & risk case for all proposed technology implementations. Therefore, project management skills are essential to develop the Work Package tasks and ensure the progress to qualification.

The projects within Technology will demand that you contribute to a multi-year planning and internal/external funding proposals.

To achieve the aforementioned, we are looking for a Research Engineer with the following qualifications:

  • Experience in automation technologies, including robotics and cobotics.
  • Strong background in the manufacturing industry, with hands-on experience in connected worker systems and Industry 4.0 technologies.
  • Experience with data analysis tools and techniques, with a focus on applying data-driven approaches to manufacturing operations.
  • Experience with ME as-is analysis and process optimization.
  • CAD experience (preferably Catia) with knowledge of Delmia or equivalent.
  • Understanding of aircraft structures automation.
  • Familiarity with the TRL process.
  • Some project management experience.
  • Strong understanding of quality improvements.
  • Robust collaborative skills for effective teamwork.
  • Demonstrates innovation across all job facets.
  • Adaptable and adept in navigating complex environments.
  • Proficient in project status reporting and progress tracking.
  • Proactive, self-driven and resourceful in problem solving.
  • Professional and adept in interfacing with customers
  • Fluent in English.
  • Flexible in working hours to accommodate occasional tight deadlines.
  • Open to travel (UK, Europe, Asia & USA).

What we'll offer

We offer an innovative and international environment in which we work in a High Tech organization with a rich history in the field of aircraft construction. Our organization exudes a passion for technology and our employees are rightly proud of what they develop and build. Within GKN Aerospace, you get every opportunity to build your career and personal development.

Furthermore, you will get a competitive benefits package, including:

  • A monthly gross salary up to € 5.658,- depending on your experience (salary scale L1, of CLA Metalektro),
  • 8% holiday allowance,
  • 42 paid holidays for full-time employment in line with the Collective Labor Agreement Metalektro (29 holidays and 13 ADV days),
  • An excellent pension scheme (PME) and travel allowance,
  • Hybrid working, giving you the opportunity to balance home and office working,
  • Profit sharing scheme,
  • A pleasant and informal working environment, in which we work together to achieve the best result for our customers.

Next to a competitive package, we will offer you a world of opportunities: we want to see your career fly! We will support your career progression by providing you with learning and development opportunities. That's the beauty of being part of a global business, once you're on board you never know where your career journey may take you!

Extra information

You can apply by clicking on the 'apply' button and attaching your CV and (preferably) your cover letter. For questions you can contact our Talent Acquisition Specialist Marina Monogyiou at You can expect a first chat with Marina and possibly 1 or 2 online/F2F interviews with the hiring manager and members of the team.

Everyone is welcome to apply to GKN Fokker Aerospace. Through our commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging and by living our five powerful principles we’ve created an environment where everyone can be at their best. We are also committed to providing an accessible recruitment process, so if you require reasonable adjustments at any stage during our recruitment process please get in touch and let us know.

Be part of our journey!


We’ll offer you fantastic challenges and amazing opportunities. This is your chance to be part of an organisation that has proven itself to be at the cutting edge of our industry; and is committed to pushing the boundaries even further. And with some of the best training on offer in the industry, who knows how far you can go?

A Great Place to work needs a Great Way of Working

Everyone is welcome to apply to GKN. We believe that we can only achieve our ambitions through a coming together of diverse minds who enjoy collaborating in an inspirational environment. Through our commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging and by living our five powerful principles we’ve created a culture where everyone feels welcome to contribute. It’s a culture that won us ‘The Best Workplace Culture Award’. By embracing and celebrating what makes us unique we encourage everyone to bring their full self to work.

We’re also committed to providing an accessible recruitment process, so if you require reasonable adjustments at any stage during our recruitment process please get in touch and let us know.

We are the place where human dreams, plus human endeavour, shape the future of aerospace innovation and technology.


With 50 manufacturing locations in 15 countries, we serve over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers. We design and manufacture innovative smart aerospace systems and components. Our technologies are used in aircraft ranging from the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world to business jets and the world’s advanced 5th generation fighter aircraft.

1,000 employees