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1. Give a short summary of the duties and responsibilities of your job.
Reporting to the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) Facilities and Operations Manager, the Electro-Mechanical Technologist provides technical expertise and assistance to support academic, engineering design teams, and administrative needs within FEAS. Although most support will be concentrated within Beamish-Munro Hall, the incumbent’s expertise and services may be utilized in any FEAS department’s facilities.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
Maintains the efficient operation of undergraduate laboratories by performing the following:
- Inspects, tests, calibrates, repairs, modifies and constructs laboratory equipment
- Sets up individual lab experiments and ensures that those experiments function properly for the duration of the lab schedule
- Provides support and advice to academic staff on equipment use and acquisition
- Issues electronic components and test equipment to students and Teaching Assistants
- Instructs Teaching Assistants and undergraduate students in the proper use of laboratory equipment
- Advises students in the design, construction and testing for course projects
- Ensures that all laboratories, laboratory benches and equipment are clean, fully operational, and secure
- Ensures that all Beamish-Munro Hall users adhere to safe work practices
- Inspects, tests, and maintains department workstations and associated peripherals.
- Sets up demonstrations for special events, such as undergraduate orientation, high school liaison, Science Quest, etc.
- Maintains an inventory stock of components and parts to keep the labs running efficiently
- Acquires materials and equipment so that students can build projects for classes and personal skills development
- Designs and fabricates special purpose sensors and electronic and software interfaces.
- Provides technical and operational support to students and staff requiring rapid prototyping services (e.g. 3D printing, laser cutting/engraving)
- Building Health and Safety Officer duties as assigned
Advises students, instructors and teaching assistants in the use of electrical, electronic and mechanical equipment and the live building data for courses and projects. This includes assisting with the design of hardware and software interfaces between the building systems and project hardware.
Assists with the development and maintenance of a website for the purposes of demonstrative the Live Building systems and other sustainable technologies, initiatives and facilities for the use of web teaching-related activities.
Operates and maintains the electrical, electronic and mechanical systems of Beamish-Munro Hall, which includes:
- The temperature, pressure, strain, etc. sensors of the Live Building system
- The data acquisition interfaces for the Live Building’s sensors
- The computer servers, software, databases, and hardware integrations of the data logging system
- The FEAS photovoltaic system
- The lighting automation system
- The design and fabrication of special purpose sensors and electronic and software interfaces
2. To fulfil your duties, what knowledge, skills and specialized techniques are required? How would each be normally acquired? How long would it take to become proficient in each of the areas of your work?
This position requires a minimum of a three-year Engineering Technologist diploma or equivalent with a strong emphasis in electronics and computing, and a minimum of 3 years’ work experience in electro-mechanical systems. The incumbent must be prepared to upgrade his/her education through appropriate technical courses and by reading periodicals and professional journals to keep current with rapidly changing technology. The incumbent is also expected to keep abreast of new equipment and techniques, which are required to assist with developing lab experiments that support what instructors cover in their labs and are also easily understood and used by students.
The following knowledge and skills are required by the incumbent:
- Comprehensive knowledge of analogue and digital electronics
- Comprehensive knowledge of equipment troubleshooting and repair procedures
- Knowledge of Microsoft Windows operating system
- Knowledge of the principles of communication protocols with respect to local and wide area networks
- Familiarity with computer, microprocessor and network hardware, and peripherals
- Working knowledge of software packages used in the undergraduate labs and in the Live Building systems
- Strong verbal and communication skills
- Analytical, creative and problem solving skills
- General knowledge of tools required for fabrication purposes
- Writing skills appropriate for reports, proposals and technical manuals
- General familiarity with web technologies applicable to learning management
- Knowledge and skills to use workshop tools (drills, band saw, metal shear, bending machine, etc.)
3. Is it necessary in this position to oversee the work, or to instruct other staff? If so, what does this involve?
The incumbent oversees students working in the undergraduate laboratories ensuring safe work methods and proper use of equipment. The incumbent also instructs faculty and students in the proper operation of lab equipment and the use of the Live Building systems to faculty and students.
4. What other people must you deal with in this job and why? (I.e. is there direct contact with students, teaching staff, other departments, and people outside the university community).
The incumbent deals with people in the following areas:
- Undergraduate students, teaching assistants and academic staff in undergraduate courses across all departments within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
- Graduate students and faculty.
- Other university departments, sales representatives and equipment service personnel
- Visiting lecturers and external users making use of the conference facilities and A/V equipment
- Integrated Learning Constables; students who are in charge of the workspace after regular working hours
- The FEAS competitive teams, where the incumbent must regularly seek the advice and opinion of others in the University community and deal with advisors to the teams who may not be part of the University community
- External users of the Live Building data, such as the public
- Industry partners for the development of hardware and software for the Live Building system
5. How is your work assigned to you and how closely is your work checked by someone else?
The Operations and Facilities manager assigns general duties and specific tasks are assigned to the incumbent, who usually responds independently to the equipment problems and issues raised by instructors, TAs or students. Difficult or unusual problems are referred to the Operations and Facilities Manager.
6. a) Are the sorts of problems encountered in this job usually covered by established procedures or do you frequently have to develop or invent solutions to problems yourself?
Most jobs are covered by established procedures. Occasionally, innovative techniques are required when dealing with undocumented hardware and software. Operations and maintenance procedures will evolve over time under the direction of the Operations and Facilities Manager. The incumbent is a major partner in this process.
b) Are you involved in establishing standard procedures? (Give examples)
Because of the unusual nature of the systems that the incumbent maintains, documentation of procedures and instructions is a significant component of the job. The incumbent must provide technical information, guidelines and operating instruction for newly-purchased equipment or equipment that has to be modified, particularly in Beamish-Munro Hall where students are always using new technology.
7. a) What is the size of your department (i.e. #of classes for which you are involved with labs., # of students, # of staff you might come in contact with, # of technicians in department).
The incumbent’s potential pool of clients may extend to all students and staff of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. There are over three thousand undergraduate students and over 150 faculty and staff in Engineering and Applied Science. During the summer months, the incumbent works with persons employed by outreach groups, the summer project office and the Engineering Society, who provide summer camps for children between the ages of 8 to 17.
b) What kind of equipment or material are you responsible for? Are you solely responsible for it and what is its approximate value?
When working in the Engineering and Applied Science facilities on general technical support activities, the incumbent works within his/her area of expertise and may encounter a variety of equipment used in support of any one of ten engineering programs. On such occasions, the incumbent is partially responsible for several million dollars’ worth of specialized equipment. For example, Beamish-Munro Hall has over 100 teaching stations, each with several thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. There are specialized installations for design and prototyping as well as for the competitive design teams. The incumbent shares responsibility with the other technical staff for the care and proper functioning of this equipment. The incumbent shares responsibility for organizing, cleaning and maintaining the three equipment storage areas of the building. The incumbent shares responsibility for ordering any parts required for the lab courses and picking up the supplies from local sources for student projects.
8. Give details of any unusual factors affecting this job? i.e. hazards, unusual working conditions, requirement for a high degree of manual dexterity etc.
The incumbent must possess a high degree of manual dexterity to repair or assemble printed circuit boards, small complex devices, specialized equipment designed for the labs and where necessary, repair test and measurement equipment used in the labs. There is the ever-present risk of electric shock when working with voltages from 110 volts to the kilovolt range. The incumbent must have the ability to work efficiently with numerous interruptions as well as the ability to juggle tasks according to changing priorities. Working under the Faculty umbrella creates a challenge for the incumbent, who must deal with the constant changing of instructors, TAs and course materials. It is important to be proactive in seeking advice and insight from instructors in other departments, otherwise experimental outlines and materials arrive late, leaving inadequate time for preparation. The incumbent often has constant interruption during the term by students, TAs, instructors and competitive teams, creating an environment with competing priorities.
9. Do you have any general comments about this position, which may not be covered by the preceding questions?
Beamish-Munro Hall is a unique facility, and as such, it will evolve in its use and management. The technical personnel, along with the rest of the staff, must be highly flexible and responsive to new operating conditions. There are teams and specialized groups working in the facility that have 24-hour access, which is challenging with respect to lab safety. Assisting students who regularly work under unrealistic deadlines, with material and equipment they are inexperienced in dealing with, also creates a challenging safety environment.
The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous/Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ+ persons.
The University provides support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant's accessibility needs. Candidates requiring accommodation during the recruitment process are asked to contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.