Senior Technical Specialist Earth Observation

University of Stirling

Stirling, UK 🇬🇧

Post Details

Full time
Open ended

The closing date for applications is midnight on Thursday 14 October 2021 
Interviews are expected to take place on Thursday 04 November 2021

For the purposes of sponsorship, this is a role under SOC code 2429

The University of Stirling recognises that a diverse workforce benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers and welcome applications from those who would contribute to further diversification of our staff and ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is woven into the substance of the role. We strongly encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds including gender, identity, race, age, class, and ethnicity. 

The Post

Scotland’s International Environment Centre is looking to appoint a highly motivated, forward-looking Earth Observation Technician to join a multidisciplinary team working on the ground-breaking Forth Environmental Resilience Array (Forth-ERA) programme and the development of a world-leading digital catchment observatory for the Firth of Forth in close collaboration with a range of regional and national stakeholders. 

You will join a dynamic, innovative team focussed on delivering a project that will help deliver on Scotland’s net zero targets and support the green recovery.  The postholder will support the development and deployment of the in-situ sensor network in collaboration with our technology partners and other supporting SMEs and research organisations, support the acquisition, validation and operational processing of satellite data across a new high performance computing cluster. 

Working alongside scientists with expertise in water quality, hydrology, ecosystem ecology, and Earth observation, the postholder can expect to apply their skill set to support the broad range of scientific challenges, from organising and supporting field campaigns for sensor deployment and data validation, the operational processing of satellite data and the implementation of modelling routines such as forecasting floods and droughts, modelling surface water pollution events, and quantifying changes in terrestrial carbon dynamics.  We expect the postholder will be familiar with a broad spectrum of laboratory analytical capability, environmental sensing technologies especially in relation to water quality and quantity, and the operationalisation of routines for data processing.   The postholder will also support the new SIEC Data Centre which will include a scalable, multi-million-pound high-performance computing infrastructure to be launched in early 2022.

Description of Duties

Customer Service and Liaison

  • Act as an internal and external consultant, advising on the development and application of specialist techniques and/or procedures
  • Liaison and communication with project partners across academia, business, and regulatory communities
  • Advise staff and students on the application, techniques and use of specialist equipment
  • Support postgraduate skills development and academic research through the use and demonstration of complex equipment and techniques
  • Set and monitor technical standards in own area of work
  • Advise and assist staff in the development, design, preparation, construction, assembly and application of equipment, the setting up of experiments and deployment of particular techniques
  • Utilise technical knowledge and experience in own area to conceptualise, interpret and specify the requirements of the “customer”
  • Communicate and liaise with the wider university body as well as regular suppliers and contractors

Maintenance & Management of Work Environment

  • Contribute to the development of research and the meeting of customer requirements
  • Advising on future physical resource requirements within Forth-ERA and related projects where Earth observation and Forth-ERA outputs are scaled up or implemented in new locations in the UK and overseas
  • Plan, organize and supervise fieldwork for the maintenance of scientific equipment and infrastructure and collection of research data on both land and water
  • Act as a recognised source of technical expertise in own area of technical skill/expertise through the effective utilisation and application of substantial skill and experience
  • Responsible for the technical organisation and/or operation of advanced scientific/technical work requiring specialist skills, techniques and knowledge
  • Work with novel techniques and/or procedures, typically in support of research activity
  • Ensure the security of buildings/sensors/equipment in own area
  • Ensure compliance with legal, health & safety standards in the area of responsibility

Analysis, Reporting and Documentation

  • Generate original ideas and innovative solutions through the provision of specialist know-how and advice as appropriate
  • Carry out quantitative and qualitative analysis and contribute to the interpretation of results
  • Contribute to publications and other scholarly outputs as appropriate

Planning & Organisation

  • Organise the provision of a technical service through the day-to-day organisation and technical supervision of a medium sized work area/workshop/laboratory or a research section
  • Ensure work is carried out and performed to the required standard, taking the necessary follow-up measures to ensure effective performance
  • Monitor project status and take remedial action where necessary to ensure that projects are delivered on time
  • Gather and analyse requirements for systems in order to identify optimum solutions

Finance/Resource Management

  • Under the direction of a senior staff member and project managers, support the coordination of expenditure and procurement in a timely manner
  • Ensure maintenance of stocks of equipment and consumables within budget

People Management

  • Train customers (e.g., students, academic staff, visiting teams) and junior staff in use of equipment and techniques in own area of expertise
  • Supervise staff allocating and prioritising their work and monitoring individual progress and performance  to contribute to the achievement of faculty/work unit objectives
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Contribute to developments in policies/procedures/plans in own work area

Essential Criteria


  • Relevant university degree or equivalent

 Knowledge & Experience

  • Demonstrable experience of relevant technical/scientific work, demonstrating development through involvement in progressively more demanding work/roles
  • Requirement to understand, conceptualise and interpret the requirements of staff and students
  • Developed understanding, through both qualifications and experience of the scientific/technical theory
  • Well developed understanding of Health & Safety and other relevant regulations and procedures
  • Excellent technical problem-solving skills
  • Management skills – coaching, motivation, managing performance
  • Ability to manage and control budgets

Skills & Attributes

  • Performance of tasks to agreed time and quality standards
  • Compliance with Health & Safety regulations
  • Satisfaction of staff and/or students with the quality of technical support provided
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Receptiveness to new ideas and approaches
  • Organising ability and delivery to deadlines
  • Effective delegation
  • Focus on priority issues

Behaviours and Competencies

The role holder will be required to evidence that they can meet the qualities associated with the following behavioural competencies, as detailed within the AUA Competency Framework.

  1. Managing self and personal skills
    Being aware of your own behaviour and mindful of how it impacts on others, enhancing personal skills to adapt professional practice accordingly.
  2. Delivering excellent service
    Providing the best quality service to external and internal clients. Building genuine and open long-term relationships in order to drive up service standards.
  3. Finding solutions
    Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically to analyse problems and to develop workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.
  4. Embracing change
    Being open to and engaging with new ideas and ways of working. Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, shifting demands and changing roles.
  5. Using resources effectively
    Identifying and making the most productive use of resources including people, time, information, networks and budgets.
  6. Engaging with the wider context
    Enhancing your contribution to the organisation through an understanding of the bigger picture and showing commitment to organisational values.
  7. Developing self and others
    Showing commitment to own ongoing professional development. Supporting and encouraging others to develop their professional knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to reach their full potential.
  8. Working together
    Working collaboratively with others in order to achieve objectives. Recognising and valuing the different contributions people bring to this process.
  9. Achieving Results
    Consistently meeting agreed objectives and success criteria. Taking personal responsibility for getting things done.

About Us

The Faculty of Natural Sciences was formed in August 2016 and encompasses the Divisions of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Computing Science and Mathematics, Psychology and the Institute of Aquaculture. The FNS is a distinctive academic arena where new fundamental understandings of the complex and challenging inter-relationships between human behaviours, technologies, biological, and environmental systems are created, explored and tested.  Results of REF2014 confirmed that our research is regarded as world-leading and internationally excellent. Our research is supported through UK Research Councils, the European Union and a range of research charities and private enterprises.  We work with businesses and public service organizations both at home and overseas to achieve direct and positive outcomes for society across a range of critical problems.

Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES)

The strength of Biological and Environmental Sciences lies in our unique focus on the interface between people and the environment, which positions us well to exploit growing funding opportunities and to develop strong student interest in environmental and ecological systems science and management.  Our research interests are broad, ranging from conservation and evolutionary ecology to environmental processes including carbon and nutrient cycling, aquatic sciences and ecology, pollution, environment and human health, and impact monitoring. Our studies incorporate science, policy and practice; they are used to inform national and international policy makers and practitioners in conservation and environmental regulation, planning and management. Our research and impacts are found in all continents of the world and positions us as a leading institution in Environmental Protection and Biological Conservation. Our location, the City of Stirling, is fast becoming a centre for environmental and conservation activity in Scotland, with four times the national average number of jobs in the environment sector.

The University

The University of Stirling is a leading UK teaching and research-intensive university, created by Royal Charter in 1967. Since its foundation, the University has embraced its role as an innovative, intellectual and cultural institution with a pioneering spirit and a passion for excellence in all that it does.

In 2016, the University launched its current Strategic Plan (2016-2021), with targets to: be one of the top 25 universities in the UK; increase income by ÂŁ50 million; enhance its research profile by 100 per cent; and ensure internationalisation is at the heart of everything it does.

With three-quarters of its research ranked world-leading and internationally-excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2014), the University’s groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research makes a difference to society and has a positive impact on communities worldwide. Stirling’s research is making a positive impact on people’s health, education and wellbeing, with key strengths across our research themes of: Cultures, Communities and Society; Global Security and Resilience; and Living Well. The University collaborates with international governments and policymakers, businesses, industry, and charitable organisations, to tackle and provide solutions to some of the toughest global societal challenges.

For more information on working at Stirling, please visit

The University offers great benefits such as generous annual leave and membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. Additionally staff can benefit from a reduced membership rate at the University’s excellent Sport Centre facilities.

A full list of FAQs can be found here, we recommend you read these before making your application.

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Terms and conditions of this post can be found here.

After the closing date, this job advert will no longer be available on the University of Stirling website therefore please keep a copy for your records.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development