Workshop Technical Equipment Officer

Edinburgh, UK
Oct 19, 2018
Nov 18, 2018
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type
Other job types
The School of GeoSciences has an excellent opportunity for an experienced technician interested in developing their skills in the design, build and operation of bespoke equipment for field and laboratory in a constantly evolving research environment. We are looking for someone with a desire to learn and develop a diverse skill-set. The post holder will be required to use their mechanical workshop skills, participate in the design and build of bespoke apparatus, act as a support technician for School equipment, train and support staff and students, and will acquire know-how on Geosciences specific field equipment. In addition the role will support the Thin Sections workshop, where the post-holder has an opportunity to develop a unique skill within this field.

The successful candidate will join the Geosciences Technical Equipment Services Team which brings together a group of highly skilled and experienced electro/mechanical technicians.

The School aims to ensure equality of opportunity and holds an Athena SWAN Silver award. We welcome applications from everyone irrespective of gender or ethnic group. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

This post is full time and open ended and is available from January 2019.

Salary: £22,659 - £26,243 per annum

Closing Date: Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 5pm (GMT)

1. Job Details

Job title: GeoSciences Workshop and Technical Equipment Officer

School/Support Department: GeoSciences

Line manager: Physical Resources and Scientific Technical Services Manager

2. Job Purpose

As a key member of the School's Technical Equipment Services team, to provide skilled, flexible and professional technical support to staff and students in the School. In particular, the post-holder will assist with the manufacture of precision-engineered products, support many aspects of technical services and assist with fieldwork.

3. Main Responsibilities (Approx. % of time)
  • To take responsibility for the manufacture and production of high quality large and small precision-machined products in a wide variety of materials (e.g. nickel, ceramics, stainless and tool steels), as required by the end user, and working collaboratively with senior technical colleagues on larger projects. (40%)
  • Undertake onsite and infield maintenance of scientific and technical equipment (facility, lab and field) to ensure the Schools facilities, research and field equipment can run effectively and efficiently. (30%)
  • To support fieldwork activities for undergraduate and postgraduate students and all research groups. This will involve: a) assisting in the provision - and often the operation in the field - of the appropriate equipment and b) providing logistical support to the organisation of fieldwork and associated health and safety requirements. (10%)
  • To support the Thin Sections workshop. This will involve assisting in the maintenance and operation of equipment and in the production of thin sections especially during periods of high demand. (10%)
  • Monitor and maintain a safe environment in accordance with Health and Safety procedures by proactively assessing risks in the workplace and assisting staff in maintaining appropriate Health and Safety standards in the School. (5%)
  • Carry out any other reasonable duties and undertake professional development or training as requested by line manager. (5%)

  • 4. Planning and Organising
  • Carry out tasks allocated within each area (workshop, field equipment and thin sections) in accordance with priorities set by line manager. The post-holder is expected to plan their own workload to achieve the objectives and timelines set by the line manager, seeking to adjust priorities when appropriate (e.g. to deal with competing deadlines).
  • Ensure availability of materials to allow timely commencement of allocated jobs with guidance from the line manager if required.
  • Manage competing workloads between the main areas of work; workshop, technical services; fieldwork and thin sections to ensure effective cover of all tasks.

  • 5. Problem Solving
  • Assist with the development and construction of design and build projects to ensure that the customers' requirements are met. Delegated responsibility for satisfactory completion of part of a larger project.
  • Resolve most work problems independently, without reference to more senior colleagues.
  • Assist in the investigation of, and devise solutions to, more complex fault/problems and equipment malfunctions such as workshop machinery and/or field equipment.

  • 6. Decision Making
  • Contribute to the discussions and planning on how to complete the assigned task, e.g. how to manufacture a project item from a drawing.
  • Assessment of all health and safety aspects associated with the completion of the allotted piece of work, e.g. assessing their own safe working practices and those of staff/students working with them.
  • Decide when to refer to the customer, senior colleagues or line manager for additional guidance or to feedback issues about design and build.
  • Know when to refer to line management for approval of revised work, e.g. when significant job specifications change such that the new specification will utilise more time or considerably more materials than originally assessed.

  • 7. Key Contacts/Relationships
  • The Technical Equipment Services team: line manager and senior colleagues in each area (workshop, field equipment and thin sections) for allocation of work and advice/assistance with projects.
  • Academics and students when providing support and training in the appropriate use of equipment and techniques.
  • Liaison with the broader Physical Resources & Technical Services team, to provide effective and flexible support in order to meet the School's teaching and research objectives.
  • Staff at all levels, postgraduate and undergraduate students to ensure the smooth running of the field activities.

  • 8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

    Essential Criteria

    • Educated to ONC/HNC level in a relevant discipline (e.g. mechanical / manufacturing engineering) or equivalent professional experience.
    • Relevant working experience in mechanical engineering/workshop/ manufacturing environment (e.g. use of centre lathes and milling machines), sufficient to demonstrate good manual machining skills and good drawing interpretation skills.
    • Relevant experience in the build/maintenance and use of technical equipment.
    • Demonstrable ability to critically asses verbal and written design & build instructions.
    • Ability to critically assess the quality of the work performed.
    • Demonstrable ability to transfer skills across multiple scenarios (e.g. transfer electronics skills from the lab to the field)
    • Independent worker, able to work unsupervised.
    • Knowledge of Health and Safety issues associated with workshop/lab environments.
    • Reasonable IT skills as a user (e.g. Microsoft Office Excel).
    • Desire to develop new skills.
    • Proactive character who engages with tasks and challenges.
    • Excellent inter-personal and communication skills and desire to work with others, including fellow technical staff, academic staff, and PhD and undergraduate research students

    Desirable Criteria

    • CAD experience
    • Knowledge/experience in instrumentation
    • Basic knowledge of electronics
    • Trainer or demonstrator experience

    9. Dimensions

    • Provide support for c.50 members of teaching and research staff, 20 postgraduate students per annum plus undergraduate students on field activities.
    • Work across 3 buildings
    • Approx. £1 Million of technical and scientific equipment
    • Supporting a School of c. 400 staff and 1500 students.

    10. Job Context and any other relevant information

    The Geosciences Technical Equipment Services Team aims to cluster together all electro/mechanical technicians that operate the available equipment in the mechanical workshop and have the specific skills and competence to design and build, operate, maintain and repair field equipment as well as bespoke equipment to school's facilities.

    This role requires a diverse skill-set, and the post holder will be required to use their mechanical workshop skills, participate in the design and build of bespoke apparatus, act as a field technician, training and supporting students, and will acquire know-how on Geosciences specific field equipment. In addition the role will look to support the Thin Sections workshop, where the post holder has an opportunity to develop a unique skill within this field.

    Application Procedure

    All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments

    We anticipate interviews will be held in the week commencing the 19th of November 2018. You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

    The closing date is 5pm (GMT) on Wednesday 14th November 2018.

    Eligibility to Work

    In accordance with UK legislation the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

    To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

    For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work website

    In the circumstances where the vacancy does not meet the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) criteria for sponsorship the successful applicant must have the existing right to work in the UK or individual circumstances which enable permission to work to be obtained.

    For further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes please visit the GOV.UK website

    Conditions of Employment

    Pension Scheme

    For employees on University Grades 1-5 or equivalent there are two pension schemes available: University of Edinburgh Staff Benefits Scheme (SBS) or the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).

    This role is grade Ue05 and therefore the post holder will automatically become a member of the NEST scheme if their monthly earnings are deemed to be 'qualifying earnings' (equivalent to the HMRC monthly threshold above which their earnings are taxable). If the post holder's earnings are not deemed as "qualifying earnings" and therefore will not automatically become a member they can opt in to the NEST scheme.

    The post holder can choose to join SBS and by doing so they will not become a member of the NEST scheme.

    Further information on the different employer/employee contribution levels required for each scheme and different levels of benefits that the post holder may receive may be found at on our Pensions website


    The role is grade Ue05 and attracts an annual salary of £22,659 to £26,243 per annum for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

    The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.
    var links = document.querySelectorAll(".targetLink"), i, j, aTags, string; for(i=0; i The School of GeoSciences The School of GeoSciences explores the factors and forces that shape our world. The School aims to understand the world through fundamental curiosity-driven research and to support prescient decision-making at individual to global scales. We undertake world-leading research; offer new ways of understanding natural and social drivers of change; provide inter-and trans-disciplinary solutions; and work in partnership to improve livelihoods and explore ways to manage the environment that are both sustainable and socially equitable.

    With over 500 academics, researchers and research students, we are the largest and most successful interdisciplinary grouping of geoscientists and geographers in the UK. Research activity is coordinated within three main Research Institutes - Global Change, Earth and Planetary Science, and Geography and the Lived Environment - and within smaller research groupings that reach across and beyond the School.

    A distinctive feature of the School is the combination of academic strength, intellectual breadth and societal relevance. Our interdisciplinary research and teaching builds on established core disciplines (ecology, environmental sciences, geography, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography) to provide a variety of approaches to understanding the world (including, for example, system-scale modelling, process studies and the development of urban and social theory). The School's research covers fundamental 'blue-skies' questions, as well as having application to key societal challenges including inequality and vulnerability; urban precarity; nature and cultural meaning; development and sustainability; climate and environmental change; energy, food and water security; health and wellbeing; natural resources; and natural hazards.

    The School holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to gender equality in higher education. Our aim is to recognise and value diversity in our staff and students, and to support flexible and family-friendly working.

    More details about the School is available from
      College of Science and Engineering ( ) The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) is one of the largest and highest-ranked science and engineering groupings in the UK. Headed by Professor David Robertson, CSE comprises seven Schools (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, GeoSciences, Informatics, Mathematics, and Physics and Astronomy) as well as a national supercomputing centre (the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre) and the Bayes Centre for interdisciplinary data science and innovation. We extend beyond the University through many joint activities - for example we host the cross-Scotland DataLab innovation Centre, we are a founding partner in the Scottish Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, and we are a partner in UK-wide collaborations including the Alan Turing Institute and the Rosalind Franklin Institute. Most Schools are located 2 miles south of the city centre at the King's Buildings whilst Informatics, EPCC and Bayes are located in the University's Central Area near George Square. The College has over 3,000 academic and support staff, and educates some 6,000 undergraduates, over 1000 taught postgraduates and more than 2,000 research students. It is in the front rank of UK university science and engineering groupings for research quality and income, and is a key player in many European and international research consortia.

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