Technical Lead

UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Wallingford, UK 🇬🇧

Salary – £45,065 to £47,823 Depending on experience
Fully Site Based (with occasional working from home)
We will be reviewing applications upon receipt. We reserve the right to close this advert if we find the right candidate, so we encourage you to apply early.

UKCEH is looking for an experienced Technical Lead to join our 600-strong team, contributing to scientific discovery and generating the data, insights and solutions that researchers, businesses and governments need to solve complex environmental challenges. 

Working at UKCEH is rewarding. Our science makes a real difference, enabling people and the environment to prosper, and enriching society. We are the custodians of a wealth of environmental data, collected by UKCEH and its predecessors over the course of more than 60 years.  

As a valued member of our team, you’ll get: 

  • 27 days annual leave, rising to 29 days after five years  
  • 10% employer pension contribution 
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity leave  
  • 24 hour, 365-day access to support with physical, mental, social, health or financial issues plus access to our trained Welfare Officers 
  • Flexible working opportunities 

And much more… 

We have a fantastic opportunity for a Technical Lead based at our Wallingford site. We’ll provide the design tools, instrument workshops, technicians, and the capital funding (c. £8m) for a large suite of innovative, new field sensing technologies.  All with your ongoing personal development in mind.

Can you bring consistency, creativity, and innovative engineering solutions to support excellent environmental science with impact?

You will be joining a dynamic and multi-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers.  Your work will play a key part in supporting a flagship Floods and Droughts Research Infrastructure (FDRI) project.

You will be responsible for the implementation of integrated sensing systems, telemetry, data logging and operational design of the UK based FDRI network.  Translating scientific monitoring requirements into a reliable, low-maintenance automated sensor network.

You’ll work with the project manager to design and deploy systems at remote field sites. Addressing site specific installation requirements, (e.g., in river mountings, forest flux towers, reservoir evaporation buoys) and off-grid power requirements (primarily solar). Following prototype installations, you will progress to writing installation, maintenance and calibration protocols that will be controlled through the design office.

You’ll be joining a leading independent, not-for-profit research institute that’s committed to recruiting talented people like you, progressing your career and giving you the support you need to thrive at UKCEH. 

Your main responsibilities will include:  

  • Technical ownership of the infrastructure design of the network, leading on deployment techniques and strategy, fault detection and network resilience, including dealing hands-on with more complex technical issues referred upwards
  • Developing in-depth field sensor, data logger and data system technical knowledge and experience, enabling fault resolution, root cause fault analysis, and recommendations for preventative actions and or/system enhancements (both hardware and software, at the modular level)
  • Contributing to continuous improvement through responsive and planned maintenance for automated field instrument systems – this could be contracted or in-house, your assessment of the most practical / efficient methodologies here, is highly valued
  • Training and mentor technicians within the team
  • Working collaboratively with lead scientists, community advisory groups and other FDRI stakeholders to develop new, innovative, environmental monitoring sensor systems
  • Visiting nationwide field sites for new system installations and fault finding, when issues are escalated beyond mobile and fixed or sub catchment capabilities
  • Constructing, wiring, programming, testing and deploying new systems
  • Procurement – of parts and ready-made systems
  • Improving data capture and data quality performance, reducing operational costs and minimising data gaps
  • Keeping up with available/emerging innovative technology and best practice for sensor networks
  • Producing and updating sensor and system documentation, developing maintenance procedures and calibration protocols, with assistance from the Technical Coordinator
  • Actively managing the health and safety requirements (to UK standards) of the above activities, including the supervision of lone field working and risk assessments

For the role of Technical Lead, we’re looking for somebody who: 

  • Has a degree – equivalent qualification or experience
  • Has a full UK driving licence (essential – please confirm in your CV), as well as a willingness to be occasionally away from home overnight, to visit field sites across the UK (some overseas travel may be required) 
  • Has a broad understanding of field data logger hardware (or similar data acquisition hardware), hydrological or other environmental field sensors, and their maintenance requirements
  • Has the ability to work with technical drawings, schematics and wiring routing diagrams of a sensor station, network or mesh network
  • Has experience of programming loggers, interfacing sensors and telemetry networks – including various methods and comms protocols e.g., IoT connectivity, 4G/5G, Satellite, WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRaWAN, MQTT
  • Understands project management methodologies and practices
  • Has team leadership experience or readiness to take that next step
  • Understands the importance of accurate data management and version control
  • Can deliver fieldwork activities safely, in remote outdoor environments year round, with experience of Safe Systems of Work in the field/Lone Working Safety
  • Is comfortable with occasional working at height 

Ideally, you will also have: 

  • Experience of IP and serial bus networked sensors and basic computer/sensor networking configuration
  • Experience of quality management systems, such as ISO9001
  • Programming experience (e.g., R or Python)
  • Sensor network experience 

If we’ve just described you, we’d love to meet. Apply now. 





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