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Manager Science Technical Services

Department: Science Technical Services Effective Date: June 2005
Grade: USG 12 Reports to: Dean of Science

General Accountability

The manager of STS is accountable to the Dean of Science for directing and managing the  operation and scope STS such that the unit provides a variety of technical services to support the research and teaching activity of the Faculty of Science. There is a requirement for extensive technical expertise, financial management and human resource administration.

Nature and Scope

Organizational Relationships:

Science Technical Services department is composed of Electronic Shop, Machine Shop, Stores and Student Machine Shop. The department has ten permanent staff members with additional temporary or part-time staff hired as required.

Positions that report directly to the incumbent:

Significant Internal Relationships:

Significant External Relationships:

General Framework and Environment:

Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science includes the following administrative units:

STS Operations

The STS department provides one stop solutions to design and construction of various specialized research and teaching instrumentation (electronic, electrical and mechanical), repairs, maintenance, modifications and installations of new or existing equipment, testing, calibration and consultations to faculty, staff and students. 

The value of single pieces of equipment serviced by STS is often in the range of $1 million dollars. Important decisions need to be made when servicing such equipment in terms of safety of the service personnel and its users and possible serious and expensive damage to the equipment if mistakes were made. Examples of highly expensive equipment include: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Instruments, Laser Systems, X-ray Instruments, Electron Microscopes, Environmental Chambers, Mass Spectrometers, Gas Chromatographs, low temperature physics and superconductivity instruments, etc.

Customers of the STS department include Faculty, Staff and Grad Students from the Faculty of Science, but also increasingly from other faculties and departments of UW and occasionally from outside the Campus. The size and scope of projects varies from simple modifications to an existing instrument taking only minutes, to design and construction of highly complex equipment valued at $60,000 or more. Some projects may take minutes to complete whereas others may take up to a year to complete.

Work orders submitted to the department go through a feasibility, design, and cost estimate process followed by ordering of parts and materials and construction stages. Technical details and methods of executing the project are worked out and various decisions affecting the performance, cost, and timing of the fabrication are undertaken.  Resources such as: scientific publications, professional journals, etc, may need to be consulted and some design concepts and methods need to be tried and tested on an experimental basis before finalizing the design.

Technical support to teaching activities in all departments of the Faculty of Science includes support to professors teaching various courses when they need demonstration equipment, and to demonstrators/instructors teaching undergrad labs. Such equipment may need to be designed, built, repaired, modified, tested, calibrated or assembled on very short notice.

Financial and Administrative Management

All activities of the STS: financial transactions, work orders, purchase orders, time keeping, etc, are tracked using two part software system: one custom designed internally and one commercial product. The end of month and the end of year reports are sent to the Financial Services department for integration into the General Ledger. Final reports are no longer sent to the department and the manager and/or administrative assistance must compile and monitor activity using Impromptu web reports. In addition, the Manager prepares periodic reports for the Dean that include measures of activity and backlog (waiting times).

Statistical Data

Faculty of Science


Level of Funding


Data Source

Faculty Operating Budget

$ 29 million


Equipment, Maintenance (Operating Funds)

$ 751,000


Total Research Funding

$ 36 million

(35% of UW total)

highest Faculty


Equipment Grants

$ 394,000

(42 % of UW total)


Specific Accountabilities

The Manager shall have responsibility for:

As a supervisor of the Electronic Group, the incumbent must:

Working Conditions