Job: Senior Lab Technician

Applications are invited for a fixed term position of a Senior Laboratory Technician. The position will be based in the Nuclear Futures Institute, in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at Bangor University. The post is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

EU Funds: Investing in Wales.

Duties will include working with the existing team at Bangor University’s Nuclear Futures Institute and related departments (including chief technician, H&S managers and building managers) to ensure that the laboratory facilities are used to their full potential. The technician will organise access to the facility, work with the central health and safety team to ensure training is provided and procedures are adhered to, ensure that the facilities are well maintained and provide expert advice on use of equipment to ensure successful research outputs from the facility.

Candidates should be educated to A level or NVQ level IV (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area e.g. engineering, materials science, physical sciences, or other related discipline and ideally have previous experience in a materials laboratory environment in a technician role. Experience working with materials preparation techniques and analysis is an essential requirement of the role as is experience of working with research groups or students in field work situations.

The successful candidate will be expected to commence as soon as possible, and the post is initially fixed term until 28/02/2023, with the possibility of permanency, subject to funding.

Applications will only be accepted via our online recruitment website, jobs.bangor.ac.uk. However, in cases of access issues due to disability, paper application forms are available by telephoning 01248 383865.

Closing date for applications: 04 March 2021.

Committed To Equal Opportunities

Closing Date

04/03/2021

Salary

£26,715- £32,816 (Grade 6)

Contract Duration

28/02/2023

Ref: BU02342

Overview

The city of Bangor is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty close to the mountains of Snowdonia and the beach resorts of the North Wales coast and offers a quality of life that surpasses that in most regions of the UK. Lying on the Euroroute to Ireland, Bangor is served by fast train services to most major cities and excellent road connections via the A55 expressway to the motorway network. Manchester and Liverpool airports are within 90 minutes away by car.

Bangor University was established in 1884 and currently has over 11,000 students. It comprises 14 Academic Schools grouped in to 3 colleges. The College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Bangor University is one of the leading centres in the UK for teaching and research in biology, environmental sciences, geography, ocean sciences, chemistry, computer science and electronic engineering. The University was awarded a Gold rating in the recent UK Teaching Excellence Framework.

The Nuclear Futures Institute is funded through the Sêr Cymru programme by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, and aims to establish “a world leading capability in nuclear engineering, which establishes North Wales as a global centre, delivering international partnerships and opportunity from a rich mix of existing and new talent, leading the UK new nuclear agenda and rejuvenating the UK and Welsh nuclear sector.”

The NFI has two laboratories for the manufacturing and characterization of materials, containing a suite of systems able to work with uranic materials, ultra-high temperature ceramics, alloys and glasses relevant to the nuclear industry. We are also developing laboratories and facilities at the Menai Science Park (M-SParc) on Anglesey in the area of thermal hydraulics. The Laboratory Technician would support the installation and running of these facilities.

The Project

This position is part of the expansion of Bangor University’s research capacity in Nuclear Science and Technology and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. EU Funds: Investing in Wales. This appointment provides a unique opportunity to develop one’s skills within an established nuclear centre working with leading industrial partners and researchers from around the world. We expect the successful candidate will use the opportunity to not only support the research aims of the others in the group, but also to begin to develop their own expertise to accelerate the research within the NFI.

Purpose of the Job

This role will support the Nuclear Group within Bangor University’s Nuclear Futures Institute (NFI) and its aim to establish “A world leading capability in Nuclear Engineering, which establishes North Wales as a global centre, delivering international partnerships and opportunity from a rich mix of existing and new talent. Leading the UK new nuclear agenda and rejuvenating the UK and Welsh nuclear sector.”

The Laboratory Technician will directly participate in the research projects and will be responsible for training and providing technical assistance for students, postdoctoral fellows, and researchers visiting the facility. The successful candidate would also carry on methods development in relation with the ongoing projects and in phase with the strategical orientations of the facility. The candidate must be able to work reliably, efficiently, independently and be able to multi-task and organize and run several projects in parallel.

In addition, the Laboratory Technician will work with the Chief Technician and NFI group to ensure the general organization of the laboratory, including the management of the different equipment. Involvement in the maintenance of reagents and protocols databases will also be required.

Person Specification

Qualifications/Training

Essential
  • A levels or NVQ level IV (or equivalent) in materials science, engineering, physical sciences or a similar related subject.
Desirable
  • A relevant technical or laboratory qualification.
  • A degree in engineering, materials science, physical sciences, or other related disciplines.

Experience/Knowledge

Essential
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience in the relevant area, ability to follow problem solving directions in a laboratory, calibration of machinery, preparation of solutions and setting up class laboratory equipment.
  • Experience in training and laboratory organisation.
  • Experience of working with research groups or students in field work situations.
Desirable
  • Knowledge of high-temperature synthesis techniques (e.g. vacuum induction furnace operation), X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and electron microscopy.
  • Experience working with materials preparation techniques, characterisation (e.g. microscopy) or synthesis techniques (e.g. ceramic sintering). Ideally a combination of all of these.
  • Demonstrate competence in specific software use (e.g. Labview).
  • Experience performing mechanical testing of materials.
  • Experience/knowledge of working with alpha-active, low activity radioactive materials (e.g. uranium), and in developing associated safe working practices · Awareness of regional ambitions in nuclear research in North Wales.

Skills/Abilities

Essential
  • The candidate should possess the ability to clearly communicate with scientists and engineers within a laboratory environment.
  • Ensure safety standards are maintained within the laboratory spaces.
  • Proven project management skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent analytical skills, with the ability to analyse numerical data and present results appropriately.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prioritise workload and work to deadlines.
Desirable
  • Demonstrate a good level of computer literacy.
  • Demonstrate ability to work as part of a team.
  • Website management experience/ability.
  • Knowledge/experience preparing COSHH forms.
  • The ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh is desirable for this role. If applicants are not able to speak/write in Welsh at present, there are many opportunities to learn if the successful candidate wishes to do so.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Be involved in basic scientific measurements using research related equipment and methods
  • Assist in using experimental equipment, including helping to set up equipment (including, for example, thermal-hydraulics equipment at M-SParc and high-temperature materials testing facilities)
  • Be involved in training the facility users, including visiting researchers
  • Scheduling maintenance of equipment and organise consumables required for research in the facilities.
  • Creating robust working practices to ensure safe working conditions are adhered to in the facilities
  • Replenish stocks, preparation of standard solutions, maintenance of equipment
  • Undertake calibration of equipment; preparation of standard specimens
  • Supporting the chief technician in their role.

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • Being involved in routine maintenance of equipment
  • Checking and replenishing stocks
  • Cleaning and sterilisation of equipment
  • Attend laboratory management meetings
  • Liaise closely with other members of the project team
  • Basic fault finding and fixing
  • Arranging for engineers to deal with more complex problems
  • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities
  • Overall management responsibility for the technical team including line management of a small number of technicians.
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University equal opportunities policies, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Policy and the Welsh Language Standards.
  • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions. The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
  • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their post.

General

The University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds. We strive to develop a workforce from all sections of the community regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age. We promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language through our progressive Welsh Language Policy. We comply with the Welsh Language Standards and are committed to equality of opportunity. You are welcome to apply for any job in English or Welsh and all applications submitted will be treated equally.

We are a member of Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Gender Equality charter and hold a Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to and progress towards gender equality within the University’s policies, practices, and culture.

We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer.

All members of staff have a duty to ensure their actions are in line with the overall environmental aims of the University and minimise their environmental impact.

All offers are made subject to proof of eligibility to work in the UK and receipt of satisfactory references.

All candidates must meet the requirements of UK ‘right to work’ requirements *** If you require Home Office permission to work in the UK, or need to switch your visa status in order to take this job, please note that following the introduction by the Government of immigration limits on skilled workers we recommend you use the following link to information about the routes into employment and to check eligibility requirements: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/

Please note that, in the event of applications being received from candidates on the University’s Redeployment Register with a reasonable skills match to the post specification, these applicants will be given prior consideration. In addition to those on the Redeployment Register, staff members who have been directly affected by the current restructuring exercise will also be given prior consideration.