Core Technician – Coventry
To provide high quality technical support to staff, students and visitors in the Department of Chemistry’s research and teaching laboratories. Responsible for the day-to-day running of teaching and/or research laboratories, supporting the provision of a safe working environment.
Duties And Responsibilities
- In the teaching laboratories:
- Take operational responsibility for core technical support for an area within the teaching laboratory, including the day-to-day allocation of work to and the supervision of other technical staff working within this area, under the general direction of the Deputy Technical Services and Facilities Manager.
- Preparation of reagents, solutions, intermediates and other materials as requested, using published or agreed methods and techniques with minimal or academic supervision. This applies equally to UG, PGT, Outreach and recruitment-related activity.
- Setting up experimental systems and research apparatus for laboratory based courses. This applies equally to UG, PGT, Outreach and recruitment-related activity.
- Operating and maintaining complex and sophisticated research apparatus, equipment and instruments.
- Ensuring agreed Health & Safety standards, processes and systems are fully implemented in their area of responsibility, to include: chemical segregation and risk assessment etc.
- Maintaining agreed standards of general cleanliness and maintenance, ensuring the laboratory is clean, tidy, well maintained (with any faults or issues reported) and safely closed down at the end of each day.
- Maintaining stock of reagents, glassware and other apparatus as necessary, and maintaining the chemical and stock inventories for their area of the teaching laboratories, undertaking appropriate periodic stock checks (frequency to be agreed).
- Assisting in the provision of training and advice to demonstrators as appropriate.
- Maintaining a visible and accessible presence in the teaching laboratory, proactively supporting students, demonstrators and academics and responding to queries and serving at the hatch when required.
- Supporting the writing and updating of laboratory scripts, ensuring all changes are approved by the academic in charge of the experiment.
- In the research laboratories:
- Assisting with the organisation of the daily running of the research laboratories, including but not limited to fault reporting, oversight of visitors, Estates and other University staff and external contractors etc.
- Oversight of minor building or refurbishment projects
- Identification, classification, safe segregation and storage of waste and surplus chemicals for disposal.
- Delivering laboratory induction and training in the safe use of research laboratories for new members of staff, visitors and students, in-house trades staff and contractors etc. and ensuring that use of equipment is done in a safe, sensible manner, following protocols and complying with all relevant codes of practice and current legislation.
- Issuing safety permits and providing safety oversight of contractors needing access to laboratories
- Creating and maintaining space, equipment and chemical inventories ensuring compliance with Health & Safety procedures.
- Supporting research groups in the completion and maintenance of the University space and hazard management system (QuEMIS)
- Supporting the operation and maintenance of major laboratory systems, including fume hoods, laboratory air conditioning systems, gas supplies, gas detection systems and cryogens etc.
- Supporting the development and implementation of good health & safety practice in the Department and promoting compliance with relevant policies and legislation
- Supporting the management of the Department’s physical estate including collecting information to aid the completion of space returns/surveys, helping with office and laboratory moves, fault reporting, coordinating minor maintenance and refurbishment projects, providing access and issuing access permits etc.
- Developing, maintaining and updating risk assessments and Standard Operating Procedures for laboratory-based activities including preparation, instrument usage, waste disposal, emergency procedures etc. to ensure best practice is embedded in the Department.
- Providing day-to-day supervision and ad hoc training of Core Technical Assistants.
- To take responsibility for a specific activity/expertise within the Department e.g. manual handling, biological safety, LEV, maintenance clinics etc.
- Issuing solvents and accepting returned waste solvents on a rota basis and autoclaving and disposal of biological laboratory waste. Organising disposal of non-standard laboratory and office waste.
- To act with professionalism at all times and show respect to their colleagues and to understand and adhere to the University’s value of dignity at work; they are also expected to work collegially and to support all the teams with which they have contact in achieving the University’s objectives.
- Any other duties commensurate with the grade and level of responsibility of this post, for which the post holder has the necessary experience and/or training.
The Person Specification focuses on the knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications required to undertake the role effectively. This is measured by (a) Application Form, (b) Test/Exercise, (c) Interview, (d) Presentation.
Essential Criteria 1Good Honours Degree or equivalent work experience in a relevant field of science (a) Essential Criteria 2A minimum of 2 years’ relevant experience in a research or teaching laboratory (a), (c) Essential Criteria 3Experience of working in a customer facing role (a), (c) Essential Criteria 4Experience of working within an organisation where procedures have to be followed (a), (b), (c) Essential Criteria 5Up-to-date working knowledge of COSHH and DSEAR regulations and relevant Safe Handling Regulations (a), (b), (c) Essential Criteria 6Good oral and written skills in order to communicate effectively with students and staff at all levels (a), (c) Essential Criteria 7Highly organised with experience of managing and prioritising a large volume of work and working to deadlines (a), (c) Essential Criteria 8IT knowledge, including Microsoft Office and email (a), (b), (c) Essential Criteria 9A can-do attitude with a high degree of flexibility and the ability to adapt to frequently changing priorities (a), (c)Essential Criteria 10An ability to work collaboratively and effectively with academic and administrative colleagues, and with colleagues outside the University to promote collegiality. (a), (c)Desirable Criteria 1Formally recognised workplace qualification in safe working practice, e.g. IOSH Managing Safely (a)Desirable Criteria 2Experience of accurately inputting in to databases, maintaining manual/ electronic records, specifically previous experience of using a hazard management system (e.g. QuEMIS) and chemical inventory databases (e.g. Quartzy) (a), (c)Desirable Criteria 3Up-to-date knowledge of techniques and new instrumentation gained via certificated recognised short courses, attendance of seminars and actively keeping appraised of developments via relevant scientific journals and press (a), (c) Further ParticularsThe post involves working with acute hazards capable of causing severe injury or death.
Chemical Hazards Include
- Strong acids and alkalis, capable of causing severe burns
- Toxic gas e.g. sulphur dioxide
- Toxic chemical
- Flammable material
- Cryogens such as liquid nitrogen and solid carbon dioxide which can cause severe injuries and are also asphyxiants
- There are also chronic hazards including:
- -Sensitisers such as isocyanates which can cause severe allergic reaction
- -Carcinogens and teratogens e.g. pyridine, chromium salts
- -Heavy metals especially mercury and mercury salt
These hazards require the use of special precautions such as fume cupboards and personal protective equipment
Heavy lifting is sometimes required – for example large gas cylinders using a trolley
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A summary of the facilities available to Warwick Chemistry are given in Chemistry Overview and Research Themes
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Diversity and Inclusion
The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.