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Senior Technician (Controlled Environment Specialist)
Whiteknights Reading UK

Job reference: SRF34136

Location: Whiteknights Reading UK

Closing date: 31/01/2021

Job live date: 18/12/2020

Salary: £25,941 - £30,048

Employment type: AAS-Technical

Department: Technical Services

Division: Not specified

Hours per week: 36

Employment Basis/Type: Full time, Permanent

Technical Services is seeking an experienced Senior Technician with a background in Electrical Engineering. The post-holder will join a small team based in the Crops and Environment Laboratory (CEL) that sits within the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development (SAPD). The main duties are to ensure the operation of a suite of controlled environment growth cabinets. The post also requires a flexible and ‘can-do’ approach to ensure that excellent technical support is provided for teaching and research activities carried out across the entire CEL site, comprising of the following crop-growing environments:​​​​​​​

  • Matched sets of controlled environment cabinets remotely controlled and monitored, permitting factorial experimentation involving various environmental and nutritional factors.
  • A suite of walk-in growth rooms.
  • Various ancillary laboratory spaces, equipment rooms, storage lock-ups, hazardous waste stores, mechanical farming equipment and a controlled environment workshop.
  • A large suite of specialised glasshouses permitting varying degrees of control of light and shade, temperature (heating and cooling), carbon dioxide, along with bespoke irrigation / fertigation regimes.
  • Five hectares of grounds where protected crops are grown outdoors on a small plot scale.

The Senior Technician will be responsible for:

  • The operation, troubleshooting and maintenance of controlled environment cabinets, walk-in growth rooms and associated apparatus used for teaching and research (including liaising with external engineers and organising service and repair by external contacts).
  • Maintaining a workshop and associated equipment, consumables, housekeeping, waste management, stock keeping and ordering.
  • Provide training and advice in use of the CEL facilities for research, including novel solutions to research requirements.
  • Maintaining CE facilities and workshop to a high standard by ensuring H&S compliance, best practice and excellent standards in housekeeping.
  • Helping CEL staff to erect polytunnels, caging and netting, along with general maintenance of the experimental grounds and electrical installations.

You will have: 

  • Significant experience in maintaining complex electrical equipment or refridgeration plant. Ideally with experience of operating and maintaining controlled environment cabinets or walk-in rooms.
  • Ability to diagnose and troubleshoot faults in electrical systems and refridgeration plant.
  • Experience in risk assessment and knowledge to identify gaps in current health and safety procedures.
  • Experience of working in a demanding environment.

Interview date w/c 15th February 2021

Informal contact details

Alternative informal contact details

Contact role:

Technical Manager, CEL

Contact role:

Associate Director, Technical Services

Contact name:

Mr Liam Doherty

Contact name:

Dr Karen Wicks

Contact phone:

+44 (0)118 378 6834

Contact phone:

+44 (0)118 378 7758

Contact email:

Contact email:


The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce, supports the gender equality Athena SWAN Charter and the Race Equality Charter, and is a Diversity Champion for Stonewall, the leading LGBT+ rights organisation. Applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements are welcomed and will be considered in line with business needs.

Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications. However, non-EEA candidates who do not already have permission to work in the UK should note that this role is not recognised as a graduate level job by UK Visas and Immigrationand the Tier 2 sponsorship route is not available for non-graduate level occupations. There is further information about this on the UK Visas and Immigration Website.


The closing date for this job has now passed.


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