Senior Technician

Heriot-Watt University - School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

The successful candidate will manage the day–to–day running of the aquarium and associated facilities of the Lyell Centre, within the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences. This involves ensuring the running order of the aquarium facilities, managing stocks of consumables and equipment items, set up, adjust, calibrate, clean, maintain, and troubleshoot laboratory and field equipment, order equipment and consumables, as necessary, including researching new equipment and contacting suppliers for detailed specifications, obtaining quotations for equipment or services, pricing, and on-site demonstrations, maintaining records of expenditure, overseeing safety in the laboratories and aquaria and keeping the risk assessments and COSHH information up to date, managing waste disposal,  maintaining stocks of test organisms (e.g. algae, bacteria, invertebrates, fish etc.) and carrying out periodic water quality checks and sterility/purity checks of cultures; and servicing equipment as appropriate (routine, non-electrical checks, etc.). Good mechanical ability and understanding of plumbing and, pumps, gases, etc. is required. In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to participate in the ongoing research programme and be competent to advise new postgraduate researchers and research students on technical matters. Therefore, work may also include recording and analysing experimental data, assist on research, including collecting information and samples, prepare chemical reagents and media, conduct standardized biological, microbiological, and biochemical tests and laboratory analyses, monitor experiments, ensure compliance with relevant regulations, for example environmental, occupational health and safety, and animal-care regulations, and write reports and summaries of findings. 

Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post. Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve.

The successful candidate must have:

  • A good Honours degree (or equivalent), Masters’ degree or PhD in a relevant subject area (e.g. Aquatic Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Chemistry, Toxicology).
  • Laboratory experience in organismal husbandry, microbial culture, microscopy, biochemical assays, toxicity testing, elemental analysis.
  • Technical experience with equipment, aquaria, tubing, water and gas supply.
  • Microsoft Office and statistical software (e.g. Minitab, SPSS).
  • Excellent communication skills and experience of supporting users with varying technical backgrounds.
  • Ability to work both alone and within a team working co-operatively with junior and senior colleagues.
  • You will have excellent organisation and communication skills, be a strong team player and work on your own initiative in a busy environment.
  • A willingness and ability to understand new technologies and to use appropriately.

This role does not meet the minimum requirements set by UKVI to enable sponsorship of migrant workers. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website:

For application details and further information please go to:

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