University of Waterloo

  • Technical Manager

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    3300 - Biology
    Job Status
    Regular Full-Time
    Hiring Range
    $71,363- $89,203
  • Overview

    The Technical Manager in the department of biology independently manages day-to-day operations and maintenance of department labs, equipment and technical tasks within common department space. The incumbent supervises departmental lab technicians and is a liaison between the technicians and department administration. The incumbent is also responsible for ensuring proper health and safety protocols within the laboratories. The Technical Manager reports directly to the Administrative Officer regarding administrative matters and to the Chair/Associate Chairs in relation to technical matters.


    Human Resources Administration

    • Responsible for the recruitment, evaluation, professional development and retention of department technicians
    • Oversight of co-op students who work with departmental technicians. Some technicians may have ‘functional’ supervision responsibilities
    • Make recommendations to department administration on technical job description updates and creation of job descriptions for new technicians
    • Make recommendations to Associate Chairs on technical assignments to ensure equitable distribution of workload
    • Collect input and prepare annual performance appraisals for technical staff following consultation with Administrative Officer and Associate Chair(s)
    • Hire and oversee the work of casual employees (e.g., contractors, work term students)

    Administrative Duties

    • Facilitate updates and renewal of departmental resources in collaboration with departmental technicians and faculty. Make recommendations to department administration in relation to ordering and budget submissions including Waterloo Student Endowment Funds (WatSEF)
    • Financial oversight and signing authority for equipment maintenance budget
    • Attend all Departmental and Curriculum Committee meetings and follow-up as necessary
    • Liaison between technicians, instructors, faculty and department administration to ensure open and thorough communication
    • Be available for consultation with Department Executive Committee and other standing and ad hoc committees
    • Organize and chair meetings with the department technical staff at least once per term


    Technical Duties

    • Facilitate maintenance and operation of department teaching equipment. Perform and/or oversee routine maintenance to ensure that equipment is in good and safe working order and to arrange for technical support when the equipment malfunctions
    • Support the academic program of the department, for example laboratory courses and other academic activities
    • Clean-up of laboratory space with appropriate handling and disposal techniques, including the disposal of hazardous materials
    • Assume technician duties in times of short term-need (e.g. technician absences, unplanned vacancies, etc.), as required
    • Facilitate decommission of research labs including chemical disposal, removal of equipment, glassware and other lab supplies according to health and safety requirements
    • Train or facilitate the training of incoming personnel in technical, procedural or other matters, as appropriate


    Safety Responsibilities

    • Monitor training activity of technical staff to ensure the department is compliant with health and safety guidelines. Report findings to the Department Safety Officer
    • Ensure that all WHMIS documents are up to date and safety instruments are maintained on a regular basis (e.g., eyewash stations, showers, etc.)
    • Coordinate updates with the Departmental Safety Officer and UW Safety Office and communicate with all involved
    • Develop, maintain and make available Standard Operating Procedures for lab equipment
    • Monitor and maintain a chemical inventory with appropriate Safety Data Sheets for preparation rooms and teaching labs
    • Serve as a member of the Department Safety Committee and assist with inspections


    Infrastructure Department Liaison

    • Make recommendations to department administration regarding physical space assignments for teaching and other department initiatives in consultation with the Chair and Faculty of Science Infrastructure, Special Project and Facilities Manager
    • Coordinate lab moves, equipment moves and asset disposal
    • Manage one-off requests for research or other support whether it be related to physical space, time or resources
    • Participate in long-term evaluation and planning for infrastructure needs in the department in consultation with the Chair
    • Establish and maintain relationships with sales representatives for technical equipment and pricing updates
    • Produce and maintain an inventory of department resources (e.g., equipment, museum specimens, chemicals, slides, microscopes, etc.)
    • Maintain all required permits, certification and calibration for departmental facilities, instruments, and activities
    • Initiate regular lab maintenance and minor work requests


    • MSc in Biology or related discipline is preferred. Equivalent education and/or experience may be considered
    • 3 years’ experience in the use and maintenance of scientific equipment in a biology laboratory environment.
    • Experience with finances and budgets is an asset
    • Proven ability to apply health and safety policies and guidelines
    • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills are required
    • Solid organizational skills and leadership capabilities are necessary
    • Superior ability to build and manage interpersonal relationships with Technical and Administrative Staff, Faculty members, students and the Department Chair/Associate Chairs, and external sales reps and vendors
    • Must be able to work with minimal supervision and make sound independent decisions related to the operation and maintenance of labs and equipment
    • Strength in problem solving and driving continual improvement and positive change
    • The incumbent will be required to take courses, workshops and training related to Human Resource Management and Health & Safety in order to maintain current in both fields
    • Some evening and weekend hours based on lab schedules and/or emergency circumstances may be required


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