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Mechanical Technician - DWE, QNC

Department: Chemical Engineering Effective Date: January, 2014


37.5 hr/wk

Reports to: Director, Technical Operations

General Accountability

This position reports to the Director – Technical Operations as the main department staff position in the DWE building, and functions within a “TEAM” of Technical Support staff for the department of Chemical Engineering. 

Nature and Scope

Responsible for the design, construction, installation and maintenance of research and teaching lab apparatus upon request.  Also responsible for arranging all inbound and outbound shipments, weekly waste handling at both DWE and E6, maintaining the DWE Mixed-Bed DI Water System, and functioning as a First-Aider and the Building Coordinator for emergency evacuation.

Design: To assist the Researchers and Undergraduate Lab Instructors to select the basic design elements involved with the apparatus of the project. This would include selection of materials, discussion of the pressures, temperatures, utility powers, and controls of the project. Excellent communication skills with a wide variety of nationalities is a must for this aspect of the position.

Construction: From the design, the apparatus construction is then completed.  This is performed using the required knowledge, skill and experience with machine shop materials, tools and equipment. This includes the safe use of lathes, drill presses, milling machines, welding equipment, cut saws and measuring equipment.

Installation:  The installation into the research or teaching lab-spaces is then carried out, either on bench-tops, in fume-hoods or onto work-tables.  Installation will meet the research needs, have flexibility for changing configurations, and ensure the safety of the researcher.

Maintenance: The mechanical aspects of any project may need regular maintenance, which becomes part of the technicians work-plan. If a part breaks and cannot be replaced from market suppliers, the technician must make every effort to remanufacture that item.

Safety:  The technician must safely diagnose a variety of problems that arise, whether it be electrical or mechanical and take the proper steps and involve the proper people to rectify the situation. These decisions must be made with speed and confidence.  Also, this position requires regular updating of emergency first aid procedures.

Statistical Data

The Department of Chemical Engineering has a complement of 35 tenured, and probationary faculty, 11 technical staff, 6 administrative staff, and numerous adjunct faculty, visiting scholars, and post-doctoral fellows. The Department of Chemical Engineering over the next two to four years is expected to grow to a complement of 37 tenured, and probationary faculty, 12 technical staff, and 7 administrative staff. 

Specific Accountabilities

Position Requirements:

1. Must have a minimum of College technical diploma or University technical degree in Engineering or Chemistry, or a minimum 15 – 20 years experience in Chemical Engineering.

2. Continued certification in First Aid is a must as well.


Specific Accountabilities

1. Consulting, design, installation and modification on research projects as described above.

2. Regeneration, supply, and testing of de-ionized water system within the department. This aspect requires knowledge of Anderson water conditioning systems and Lab View software.

3. Skilled at general lab safety, material properties, strength of materials used, pressure and flow rates of all services supplied.  First-hand knowledge of the University sub systems, such as supply pressures of steam, water, air, and natural gas, as distributed to within the department.

4. Regular maintenance of equipment in technician’s workshop.

5. Installation of Ethernet network system within the department. This aspect requires certification in University of Waterloo cabling procedures.   Maintenance and upgrades of the department “ChemCat” undergraduate computer lab.

6. Provide general labour assistance as requested, in DWE and other locations as required.

7. Coordination of building alterations and technical services for the department with Plant Operations.

8. Responsibility for surplus equipment in general storage and to keep an itemized list on file.

9. Conducting the weekly Chemical Waste Handling at both DWE and E6.

10. Arranging all inbound and outbound shipment of goods and equipment, including daily deliveries of packages at both DWE and E6.

11.  Functioning as the DWE Building Coordinator for Fire Drills and Alarms as well as an available First Aider for the department.

12.  Occasional supervision of Co-op students on work terms.  

13.  Other duties as assigned by the Director – Technical Operations.

Working Conditions

Approx. 10% office time, with use of PC for Email, research, etc and 85 to 90% hands-on assistance to the researchers in the Labs, and goods logisitics management.