Back to search results
Header Image

Workshop and Instrument Technician

UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Full time (37 hours per week)
Based at UKCEH, Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, OX10 8BB
The closing date for application is Sunday 6th February 2022.

We reserve the right to close this vacancy early if we receive sufficient applications for the role, therefore we encourage you to apply early for this fantastic opportunity to join us!

We are seeking a mechanical/electro-mechanical workshop and instrument technician to produce bespoke scientific research field and lab equipment!

You will be part of an active research focused team based at our Wallingford site, developing leading-edge sensor systems and monitoring networks, survey equipment and experimental apparatus for all manner of research. You will need to be enthusiastic, proactive and highly motivated with dedication to your role and have flexibility to achieve the required outputs.  

You will have a fantastic opportunity to visit UK and overseas field sites for new system installations, decommissioning, and servicing and fault resolution. This work will contribute strongly to new hydro-climate datasets and UKCEH scientific outputs. You will develop IT skills for data quality control and data analysis of sensor performance. You will contribute to scientific outputs by fabricating and maintaining monitoring systems for improved water resource management, and land surface climate modelling.

Main Responsibilities

  • Conduct responsive and planned maintenance of field instrument systems (data loggers, sensors, telemetry and data collection server.) 
  • Produce machined parts and complete electro-mechanical assemblies, wiring and PCB soldering, from drawings for a range scientific monitoring purposes.
  • Receive training in technical drawing software and be able to read drawings and work to specified tolerances.
  • Learn machining skills on a selection (as required) of conventional lathes, milling machines, semi-automatic CNC lathe, welding equipment and other machines.
  • Assist the designing of bespoke experimental equipment
  • Learn to configure, test, deploy and document data logger and sensor systems.
  • Quality control built assemblies, data, record sensor faults and provide information on fault causes and resolution.
  • Comply with approved operational and maintenance procedures.
  • Maintain and write thorough documentation of working procedures, assembly, inventory etc.
  • Learn how to calibrate and maintain environmental sensors and associated equipment.

What you will gain

At UKCEH we believe in developing and investing in our staff, which is why this role will have a training element for the first 3 years. You will have the opportunity to gain a broad range of specialised skills in the technical aspects of environmental field instrumentation and scientific equipment construction, to meet the needs of succession planning identified in UKCEH Science Programmes Training Needs Analysis, and to underpin UKCEH’s National Capability in long term measurements. You will learn how to design, build, operate and maintain weather stations and state-of-the-art soil moisture measurement systems ( and other hydro-meteorological sensors, along with their automated data collection systems using 3G/4G and satellite modems.

Selection Criteria

Knowledge & Qualifications

  • A good degree (2:1) in environmental science, physics or engineering, or 3 years’ equivalent proven skills and knowledge with a strong interest in environmental applications. Mechanical/Electro-Mechanical qualifications considered
  • Strong interest in sensors/instrumentation, electronics and awareness of the Internet-of-Things (IoT), combined with keen enthusiasm to contribute to world-leading environmental science
  • An understanding of simple electronics and experience of basic test equipment such as a digital voltmeter.
  • Understanding of workshop/Lab or machine shop duties

Experience/Proven abilities related to the position

  • Must be able to demonstrate an aptitude for instrumentation and/or data logging and familiarity with basic electronic test equipment such as a digital voltmeter.
  • Must be able to demonstrate an aptitude for precision machining 
  • A logical, systematic approach to problem solving and/or module level fault-finding.


  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Meticulous attention to detail, with dependable engineering discipline to follow procedures and maintain documentation.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Awareness of workshop and lab safety
  • Flexibility and skills to work across engineering disciplines is required. 

Core Behaviours & Values

  • You will demonstrate a commitment to promote and adhere to UKCEH values of Excellence, Integrity and Teamwork.

Other Requirements

  • A full driving license and a willingness to work outdoors, often alone at remote field sites and sometimes overseas, with occasional work at height (full training given).
  • Be willing to regularly spend some nights away from home independently, when attending field sites across the UK, with occasional short overseas visits
  • Comfortable with occasional work at height

Desirable skills 

  • Previous experience in wiring and cable fabrication
  • Experience of fieldwork outdoors, and be willing to work alone, often at remote UK field sites and possibly overseas with local collaborators
  • Experience in programming in R or Python
  • Workshop/ machine shop experience

How to apply

To apply for this position, click on the link below. As well as a CV, please provide a covering letter detailing why you may be suitable for this role. For more information on our values, please click here

What we offer

To find out the benefits of working with UKCEH, please click link below


Location: Wallingford
Salary: £26,533 to £27,958 depending on skills and experience
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 21st December 2021
Closes: 6th February 2022
Job Ref: JR540
Additional Logo Footer 1
Additional Logo Footer 2
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Show all jobs for UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology …
Advert information

Type / Role:

Subject Area(s):


Job tools

Browser Upgrade Recommended has been optimised for the latest browsers.

For the best user experience, we recommend viewing on one of the following:

Google Chrome Firefox Microsoft Edge