Plant Growth Facilities Research Technician

Location
Chicago
Posted
Mar 31, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit: Facilities Planning, Design and Construction for the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Division (BSD) supports the University's medical, research and education community, from physicians to patients, principal investigators to laboratory staff, residents to hospital staff, undergraduate students to post-doctoral scholars. Our comprehensive services and dedicated professionals ensure the safety, efficiency and welcoming environment of all of our varied facilities which support research, education and patient care. We are responsible for managing approximately 6 million gross feet of space located on the University of Chicago's Hyde Park campus, including clinical, research and educational space. We also support facility operations at off-campus lease locations and the Howard Taylor Ricketts Laboratory located at Argonne National Laboratory, managed by the UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The Biological Sciences Division (BSD) is the largest operating unit of the University of Chicago. It includes the Pritzker School of Medicine, twenty-three academic departments, twelve interdisciplinary degree-granting committees, and more than a dozen research centers and institutes. Our mission is to discover and create new knowledge of living systems, to preserve and communicate knowledge through education, and to nurture and sustain a community of scholars. These scholars pursue this mission through research, the education of basic scientists, physicians, and others interested in living things, and through enlightened and compassionate care of patients in a humane, academic environment. We have a long and rich history of discovery. Our academic departments have each developed and sustained outstanding programs of research and training in a broad range of programs. These are further enhanced by interdisciplinary committees, centers, and institutes. Unique among our peers, our Pritzker School of Medicine and basic biological science programs are housed in one division, allowing for strong collaborations between basic science and clinical research. Faculty, staff and students interact across programs and disciplines, creating collaborative and innovative approaches to the study of complex problems.

Unit Job Summary: Under the direction of the Hull Court Operations Supervisor: inspects & monitors growth chamber operation, provides general preventive maintenance, coordinates emergency repairs, and assists researchers with moderately complex operation of growth chambers and the Greenhouse in the Biological Sciences Division. 35% Daily inspection of 16 growth chambers in several buildings. Examine chamber functionality, maintaining correct operation of lights, temperature, humidity, airflow, camera, controller, watering, and other systems. Plan and execute replacement light strategy involving hundreds of fluorescent and LED fixtures. Order, receive and burn-in replacement bulbs, document and maintain records of same. Order other supplies as needed. Follow manufacturer's and best-practice maintenance guidelines. Identify problems with supporting infrastructure systems and report to Building Managers to coordinate resolution. Recognize that plants involved may be unique and irreplaceable. Prioritize emergency repairs; coordinate with researchers, University and/or outside contractors. Participate in scheduled maintenance and calibration activities. Assist with watering as needed. Maintain use and repair log. 20% Daily inspection of Greenhouse rooms. Ensure correct operation of Greenhouse rooms, maintain lights, temperature, humidity, airflow, watering & other systems. Plan/execute replacement light strategy involving hundreds of fluorescent fixtures. Order, receive and burn-in replacement bulbs; document and maintain records of same. Order other supplies as needed. Identify problems with supporting infrastructure & systems and report to building managers to coordinate resolutions. Recognize that plants involved may be unique and irreplaceable. Coordinate with greenhouse staff, researchers, University and/or outside contractors. Participate in scheduled maintenance and calibration activities. Assist Greenhouse research staff with other duties as needed. Maintain use and repair log. 25% Acquire and maintain proficiency with control systems in growth chambers and Greenhouse. Assist researchers with developing new programs and protocols. Assist researchers with programming, controlling & troubleshooting chambers in preparation and execution of experiments. Assist researchers with development, setup, operation and troubleshooting of camera and other systems (e.g. high throughput phenotyping). Assist in coordinating and scheduling experiment time and logistics with researchers and scheduling preventative maintenance/repairs to minimize impact on ongoing research. 15% Maintain growth chamber & greenhouse floors, wall and benches, disinfect rooms between experiments, test & maintain alarm systems. Test & calibrate temperature and humidity sensors. Verify proper operation of fans, water and chilled water supplies. Adjust shelving as needed for experiments. Remove access panels, check plumbing, debris around drains, look for leaks. Remove and properly dispose of transgenic plant material. Review operating parameters, collect and review data. 5% Other duties as needed.

Unit Education: Bachelor's degree in a relevant field (including computer science, engineering, biological sciences) required. Advanced degree preferred.

Unit Experience: A minimum of two years relevant experience required. Experience with computer hardware, electronic controllers, and camera/lighting systems required.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Knowledge and experience with computer hardware, electronic controllers, and camera/lighting systems required. Knowledge of power-cleaning equipment such as shop vacuum, power washer required. Demonstrated skill and proficiency in utilizing shop equipment, power and hand tools preferred. Demonstrated ability and knowledge of basic electrical and plumbing repairs and safety required. Ability to follow verbal and written instructions and to communicate instructions, comments and observations both verbally and in writing required. Very good organizational and time management skills are required. Proficiency with sufficient knowledge of programming, including innovating means of controlling devices (such as cameras, scales, counters, etc.) to achieve novel functions preferred. Ability to work with and troubleshoot fluorescent, incandescent and LED bulbs preferred Knowledge of maintenance and shop equipment repair preferred.