Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail NERC - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford
Reference Number IRC246165
Location Wallingford See on Map
Salary £35222 - £40000
Date Posted 01 August 2018
Grade NERC-5 New
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 31 August 2018
Interview Date 20 September 2018

Brief Description

Salary: circa £40,000
Grade: NERC-5
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 31st August 2018
Interview Date: 20th September 2018

This is an exciting opportunity to lead a very successful small technical team responsible for delivering research grade environmental real time field observations of weather, hydrology and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology operate long-term environmental sensor monitoring networks at field stations across the UK and at locations overseas (India, Africa etc.) recording novel datasets for applications such as drought and flood forecasting, improving crop yields and improving GHG inventories. Only through such long-term consistent monitoring can we develop our models and statistical records to manage and mitigate hydro-climate risks and improve livelihoods.

We now seek an experienced Senior Field Service Engineer to lead responsive and planned preventative maintenance (PPM) of installed instrumentation and telemetry and the development of new methods and systems. Leading and managing the team, this role will efficiently operate our observation networks and lead the deployment of new stations. You will be enthusiastic and driven by the delivery of world leading datasets for a better environment.

The role will require the occasional specification and management of sensor system integration and installation of new field monitoring stations. This will provide interesting system engineering challenges to meet the cutting-edge requirements of a variety of science projects in the UK and overseas. All of our systems are installed in outdoor environmental conditions across various climates. They deliver real time data through mobile phone or satellite modems with automated data processing and most operate from solar/battery power supplies. More information on the technical and scientific background of these networks can be found at and . Training will be given on our sensor systems – technical aptitude, drive, flexibility and team leadership skills are more important than specific knowledge of environmental sensors.


  • to take technical ownership and responsibility for the overall data quality and data delivery from our observation networks: leading on fault detection, fault recording and fault resolution, including dealing hands-on with more complex technical issues that are referred upwards
  • to develop 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)
  • to specify and budget new science project field monitoring stations and to manage their procurement, wiring, test and configuration
  • to lead installation and commissioning of new stations in both the UK and overseas and to provide training and capacity building to overseas site maintenance personnel
  • to line and project manage small teams on multiple projects, with some staff and many collaborators being tasked at remote sites. This role will be responsible for resource scheduling, task delegation, budgeting and reporting
  • to support and train technical staff in module level fault detection, system test, fault diagnosis, task prioritization, work planning and documentation
  • to specify and maintain calibration and PPM procedures, intervals and documentation; to manage contractors undertaking this work on behalf of CEH
  • to manage and record the repair, replacement and recalibration of sensors and other system parts
  • to actively manage the health and safety requirements of the above activities, including the supervision of lone field working and occasional work at height up to 10m above ground level.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and is the UK's Centre of Excellence for integrated research in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and their interaction with the atmosphere. Working in partnership with the research community, policy makers, industry and society, CEH undertakes cutting edge research to deliver world class solutions to the most complex environmental challenges facing humankind. CEH has an annual turnover of £35 million, and employs staff across four sites; the headquarters is at Wallingford with further sites at Bangor, Edinburgh and Lancaster.

Experience Required:

  • strong technical/engineering background with experience of configuring and maintaining integrated modular electronic systems, preferably in a measurement environment
  • ability to plan, manage, organise logistics and staff for responsive maintenance and new installations globally, with limited support
  • you must be highly computer literate and familiar with a variety of Office and other software for project management, technical information tracking, reporting and maintenance of system documentation
  • proven ability to think quickly and make reliable decisions in a fast moving work environment
  • evidence of team leadership or readiness to take that next step
  • experience of health and safety risk management
  • experience of data logging, sensor interfacing (analogue or digital), PLCs or similar embedded systems programming or configuration is preferred
  • experience of IP and serial bus networked sensors and basic computer/sensor networking configuration is preferred
  • experience of telemetry systems is preferred
  • demonstrable creative problem solving, attention to detail and innovation in working practices as well as technical success
  • ability to communicate well and engage positively with collaborators and stakeholders at all levels – from interactions with farm staff to meetings with overseas research and commercial directors
  • willing and able to travel around the UK, for a few days each month and to do hands on technical work outdoors, as well as to lead work overseas for one to two weeks at a time, up to several times each year
  • must have a full driving license.

In addition NERC offer a public sector pension scheme, 30 days’ annual leave and 10½ days’ public and privilege holiday per annum. We offer a flexible and supportive working environment and will encourage your continuing professional development as part of our career support. NERC has an equal opportunities policy and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. People with disabilities and those from ethnic minorities are currently under represented and their applications are particularly welcomed. Guaranteed interview scheme for applicants with disabilities.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive background and pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process.

Further information regarding working for CEH can be found on our website.

It is CEH policy to use an online application form (link below), please ensure that you complete an application form as CVs will not be accepted as a standalone. The form should be uploaded via the "My Account" menu option on the "Jobs Home" page.

CEH Application Form

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