Senior Design Thinker

Harwell, United Kingdom (UK), Satellite Applications Catapult [100153]

Field(s) of expertise
Project and Service Management
Job type

About this job

The User Centred Design Team at the Catapult bridges 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. Our work ranges from user experience design to service design and strategy.

We are changing the world through applying space technologies in areas as diverse as agriculture, disaster relief, healthcare, extractive industries 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 value enthusiasm, curiosity, and people who value joy in their process. We recognise that diversity of thought drives innovation – that’s why we welcome applications from people of all ethnicities, educational backgrounds, sexual orientation, and identities.


As a Senior Design Thinker you will support and lead design projects of various sizes. You will conduct generative and evaluative research, and carry out field work, both within the UK, remotely, and internationally. You will capture user requirements and translate them into design specifications, supporting the development of new technologies and services which solve real world problems. You will champion design thinking 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, inspiring those you work with, and being inspired by them.

This is a 9 Months Fixed Term Appointment.


  • You are someone who wants to change the world and believes that human-centred design is an essential tool in achieving this.
  • You can act as a translator, encouraging and facilitating work between disparate groups with differing skills, values and approaches.
  • 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.
  • You have significant demonstrable experience (and possibly a relevant degree) in one or more of the following design-related areas: design, design research, service design, interaction design, user experience, human factors, ergonomics, industrial design.
  • You have experience leading design projects.
  • You have experience in designing and carrying out generative and evaluative research, including ethnographic study, contextual inquiry, observation, usability testing and more
  • You can comfortably express yourself and your ideas using Adobe Creative Cloud (PS, Ai, Ae, Id, etc. – whichever you need) or other software
  • You can communicate through sketching
  • You can explain why understanding need is essential to creating a sustainable solution, where sustainable doesn’t just mean green.
  • 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 HTML and CSS (or are interested to learn) and can have a meaningful conversation with developers.
  • You have worked with technical teams to deliver digital service projects from inception to delivery.
  • You have run or been part of a Google Design Sprint.
  • You are entrepreneurial and either understand or are keen to learn how to create a sustainable business case.
  • You have experience with using tools like Axure, AdobeXD, and Sketch for prototyping and UI design.

We regret to inform, only in exceptional circumstances, are we able to employ anyone who does not have formal consent to work in the UK. Current limits on immigration to the UK mean that our ability to sponsor employees under Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system is very limited. You are advised to explore possible alternative procedures which do not require sponsorship.

For information on how the personal data in your application is processed, please see the Satellite Applications Catapult Privacy Policy.