Electronics Technician

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
09 Sep 2019
End of advertisement period
23 Sep 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Location Edinburgh, GB      

Organization Name School of Engineering & Physical Sciences      

About Heriot-Watt University          

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team          

Two electronics technicians are required to assist in the setting up of teaching laboratories, the operation and maintenance of laboratory equipment, the training of staff and students as well as the design of custom circuits for teaching and research. The post holder supports work in the area of Electrical and Electronic Engineering teaching as well as research within the broader School. The technician works as part of a team and will be required to provide cover during other team members’ absences.

The successful candidate will set up and maintain equipment, prepare materials, organise consumables and diagnose and rectify faults and proactively monitor and maintain safety in teaching laboratories. When not in the teaching labs the post requires that you work as part of a team which provides custom circuit design and production for students and research groups. In addition, the technician will provide technical supervision, guidance and training for undergraduate and masters' students, post graduate and post doctoral researchers and other staff.

The Roleholder will be expected to be flexible in the hours worked covering a shift pattern of 8 am to 4 pm and 2pm to 10pm Monday to Friday on a rotational cycle working on average 35 hours per week.  Occasional work at weekends may be required for Open Days, student events etc. A flexible approach to work is essential and a willingness to learn new techniques and procedures.

The post holder will assist the Technical Services Manager in general safety, estates and maintenance issues across the School.

Potential candidates are encouraged to contact Andrew Haston to discuss the post informally (email: a.haston@hw.ac.uk or telephone 0131 451 3332

Detailed Description          

The post holder will be responsible for achieving and maintaining high standards with regards to laboratory and workshop practices. Although part of a workshop based team once work has been allocated the role holder will be required to work to a large extent on their own initiative and have a flexible approach to the workload. The role demands that undergraduate, postgraduates and academics needs are met, thereby ensuring the efficient carrying out of teaching and research of the highest quality.

Key duties and responsibilities          

  • Setting out and preparing teaching class and research laboratory equipment and materials
  • Basic testing, fault finding, repair and maintenance of equipment.
  • Design and assembly of analogue and digital circuits.
  • Preparing standard operating procedures for techniques and equipment
  • Technical supervision and assisting of students and staff in undergraduate classes and research laboratories.
  • Pricing of equipment, materials and consumables and procurement according to University procedures.
  • Ensuring good lab practices including health & safety, lab housekeeping, staff/student monitoring   
  • Assisting Technical Services Manager in safety, estate and maintenance issues across the School.

Education, qualifications and experience          

Essential Criteria

  • Minimum HNC/HND or equivalent in Electronics or other relevant subject or substantial work experience in a similar role
  • Experience of laboratory skills working in a teaching/research environment or similar industrial workplace.
  • Knowledge of analogue and digital electronics
  • Experience using standard laboratory equipment, oscilloscopes, signal generators, multimeters etc.
  • Experience of maintenance and fault finding of equipment
  • Good understanding of health & safety regulations and procedures.
  • Good planning, team, communication and organisational skills
  • A positive, can-do, attitude with a willingness to accept responsibility.
  • Can provide technical supervision, guidance and training to staff and students.
  • A flexible approach and the ability to communicate at all levels.
  • Able to work effectively as an individual and as a member of a team planning, team, communication and organisational skills
  • Some manual handling will be involved requiring fitness and physical effort.

Desirable Criteria

  • Science degree.
  • Experience of working in a practical role.
  • Experience using microcontrollers, FPGAs and DSPs.
  • Experience of risk assessment, COSHH, Safe Systems of Work, radiation, lasers
  • Experience of working within a teaching and learning environment.
  • Awareness of science outreach activities.
  • An aptitude for IT
  • A willingness to learn new skills and processes

Competencies, Tasks and Responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities listed under the following Competency Headings form part of all technical roles in the University at this level and it is expected that the role-holder will perform them to at least an effective standard at all times.

Team Work

  1. Contribute to and provide general support across the team
  2. Contribute to collective decisions on discipline issues through meetings and direct communication with the Technical Supervisor 
  3. Train team/colleagues in operational activities by providing technical instruction and guidance for students and staff on the appropriate use of equipment as required.
  4. Cover for other colleagues within the immediate team

Service Excellence

  1. Create a positive image of the University by being responsive, prompt and courteous when responding to requests or enquiries from customers
  2. Maintain service standards for the team
  3. Produce standard and ad hoc reports as requested
  4. Enter and maintain records and data into the appropriate university system
  5. Develop and refine designs from limited or incomplete information
  6. Liaise with internal and external teams, committees, bodies etc. to ensure an effective service
  7. Carry out general lab duties, and maintain lab equipment.
  8. Keep working area clean and tidy in line with appropriate H&S requirements
  9. Ensure that equipment/apparatus/systems etc in your area are maintained, serviced, backed-up and repaired as required, reporting any issues to your manager

Clear and Consistent Communications

  1. Explain regulations, operating instructions or other information to colleagues and students
  2. Reply to simple requests for information, routing enquiries where information is standard/routine.
  3. Write standard communications using templates, understanding what parts of the template to use as appropriate
  4. Draft non-standard communication for review and use by more senior members of the team
  5. Collect and analyse data and report results where necessary.

Planning and Organising

  1. Plan, schedule, prioritise and manage own work activities within established procedures and protocols
  2. Organise and set up teaching labs and demonstrations as required
  3. Provide appropriate support for technical inspections
  4. Plan projects and work programmes delegated by the Supervisor
  5. Organise and prioritise access to equipment and work tools in conjunction with colleagues
  6. Organise installation and trial of manufactured components in close liaison with customers

Initiative and Problem Solving

  1. Act as first point of contact for queries from customers by phone, email, system-generated and in person
  2. Carry out compliance/safety checks
  3. Decipher verbal instructions, drawings, electronic media and propose solutions where information is inaccurate or incomplete
  4. Diagnose faults/problems, identify solutions and effect suitable repairs/fixes

Decision Making

  1. Provide advice and guidance, respond to queries and refer more complex queries to more senior members of the team as appropriate, or where unfamiliar technologies make it necessary
  2. Make decisions on technical approach and methods of manufacture 
  3. Make decisions on selecting appropriate equipment, apparatus and materials
  4. Make decisions about working safely and how to minimise risks

Management Responsibilities

  1. Mentor junior staff and engage with training and instruction of apprentices, other non-specialist staff and students in line with a philosophy of encouraging skills improvement and development.
  2. Take on management or supervisory duties on occasion as part of your personal development


  1. Demonstrate the University Values at all times through performance and behaviour
  2. Positively promote the University internally and externally through positive behaviour and  supporting University-wide activities

This job description is intended as a flexible framework which outlines the key general areas of activity in your position. Other activities may be required which are not outlined above but which are appropriate to the position and grade. Your personal objectives (Forward Job Plan) will also set out specific tasks and objectives for you to achieve, including objectives to help your career development.

 How To Apply          

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 23 September 2019

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: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.