Design Manager

Location: Birmingham

About Colas Ltd

Colas Ltd is a UK subsidiary of the global Colas Group, which operates in over 50 countries worldwide and employs over 55,000 people. We are specialists in highways construction and have been involved in large scale UK and international construction projects within the highways, airfields and marine sectors as well as offering highways maintenance services and manufacturing our own innovative surfacing products. We hold a ‘Gold Investor in People’ award for continuously developing and rewarding our employees, offering excellent career potential.

Our UK Projects team specialise in major road, airfield and marine build projects in excess of £100m in value. We work on large-scale projects all over the world such as our Hoima International Airport joint venture project in Uganda. With a big focus on developing this area of our business and some high profile recent wins, it’s a great time to join our UK Projects team.


About the Role

The design manager will be responsible for the management and coordination of the design process for allocated projects within the Colas UK Projects (UKP) business. They will support the effective management of external design consultants to provide value engineering solutions and designs for major infrastructure projects in the UK and overseas. The role will require interface and close working with our bidding and operation teams throughout the project life cycle. You will:

  • Responsible for the design process during preconstruction and delivery stages of the project lifecycle. Ensuring that the process is implemented and followed on all UKP opportunities
  • Drafting design scope documents and deliverables to support contractual negotiations and commercial agreements with design partners
  • Development and delivery of the design to time, budget and quality requirements
  • To be the key point of contact with our design partners throughout the design development stages, providing responsive and constructive feedback on design progression
  • Managing the overall design performance to cost and programme expectations
  • Produce budget forecasts for tender design requirements as required
  • Act as the first point of contact for all design related deliverables during the tender process Challenge and review designs to ensure that they meet the company’s safety, operational and commercial objectives whilst responding to the employer’s requirements and works information in a compliant submission
  • Leading the value engineering and innovation within the design process for opportunities using engineering and technical expertise including commercial, contractual and programme/time awareness
  • Collaborate with the commercial and operational team to generate designs that are cost effective whilst meeting the clients outcomes
  • Contribute to the wider tender quality submission deliverables where requested
  • Provide reports as required by the bid steering committees and the UKP management team
  • Line Management responsibility for members of the technical team as it grows
  • Assist in the development of succession and business continuity plans for the UK Projects technical team
  • Management of design risks and issues
  • Monitoring and control of the overall design scope
  • Support stakeholder engagement on design issues as appropriate
  • Approving and controlling the issuing of designs for construction
  • Instructing change to the designers and managing design change across the design disciplines
  • Liaise with other team members and all other stakeholders and develop best practice working
  • Take overall responsibility for Performance Indicators applicable to design activities. Manage and monitor requirements and report monthly. Produce corrective action reports and implement their recommendations where required


On top of a highly competitive salary, Colas also offer some great benefits with this role, which include: 


  • Competitive pension contribution
  • Company car or car allowance
  • 25 days annual leave per annum + bank holidays with the option to buy or sell up to 5 days annual leave
  • Opportunity to study towards a professional qualification
  • NI free childcare vouchers
  • On-going training, and personal professional development
  • Discounts on car leasing, holidays, cinema tickets, restaurants, shopping and much more through our online employee benefits portal


  • About You
  • You will have significant previous experience in a Design Manager position or a similar role and have worked in multi-disciplinary teams to deliver portfolios of projects throughout the project lifecycle. You will also:
  • Hold relevant qualifications for the position such as a degree and membership of a professional body such as IMechE IET, ICE etc.
  • BIM accreditation would be highly desirable but is not essential
  • Experience working on a construction site and develop strong relationships with the project team and third parties
  • Be willing to travel UK wide and Europe as required
  • Demonstrable experience of preparing high quality bids, reports, publications and presentations

Colas is fully committed to promoting equality and diversity and maintaining a culture of fairness, transparency and respect for all employees, clients, communities, suppliers, contractors and other stakeholders. Colas aims to be inclusive, meet diverse needs and promote awareness and ownership in the workplace and the communities in which we serve.

Colas values the strength and differences that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation and believes that by harnessing these differences, we will foster a productive environment where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic, where talents are being fully utilised and organisational goals are met.


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Equal Opportunities

We are committed to being an Equal Opportunities Employer. We wish to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and appointed solely on their suitability for the post.

The equal opportunities information requested is strictly confidential and for monitoring purposes only. The information will be stored securely in line with the Colas Limited Candidate Privacy Notice and kept separate from the information used in recruitment decisions.

The Equality Act defines a disability as “A physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”. To be protected by the Act an individual must therefore have: • A long term physical or mental impairment (lasting or likely to last for 12 months or more) and • A condition that has a substantial adverse impact on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities

In submitting this application, I acknowledge that I have read and understood Colas Limited’s Candidate Privacy Notice