RESEARCH TECHNOLOGIST

8358C3

Pay Grade: 26

DEFINITION OF WORK

Summary

This is advanced technical research work in the design, fabrication, installation, maintenance and operation of highly specialized laboratory equipment involving the application of the principles of electronic and mechanical systems.

Work involves collaboration with research scientists and other staff members to plan laboratory development activities, to perform complex scientific examinations and procedures in support of research goals and to conduct a varied range of original research.

Standard Classification Factors

Supervision Received - LEVEL C: "Under direction..." Employees at this level usually receive a general outline of the work to be performed and are generally free to develop their own sequences and methods within the scope of established policies. New, unusual, or complex work situations are almost always referred to a superior for advice. Work is periodically checked for progress and conformance to established policies and requirements.

Difficulty - LEVEL C: Considerable... Duties which require a high degree of concentration because of the many factors which must be considered and weighed before a decision can be reached. Usually positions that require planning, developing, and coordinating programs and directing fairly large groups of people fall into this category.

Complexity - LEVEL C: Work is of a standardized nature that may involve a variety of duties. Analytical thought becomes more important at this level due to increased data and changing situations. Tasks usually have several steps, some of which may not be directly related. Alternatives may exist for processes or methods to be used in solving problems. Workers at this level exercise a moderate amount of independent judgment. Work is controlled by routine review and reporting to or consultation with supervisors. When guidelines exist at this level, they tend to be more complicated or technical in nature requiring careful interpretation.

Consequences of Actions and Decisions - LEVEL D: Consequences of actions or decisions at this level are significant as the work may be rarely if ever reviewed, making errors difficult to detect. Errors may cause major program failure or a high degree of confusion. Injuries to others due to errors are serious or incapacitating or both and costs due to errors are substantial.

Contacts - LEVEL B: The purpose of the contact is to plan, coordinate and advise on work efforts, interpret guidelines or instructions, elicit opinions or give guidance on the basis of facts to resolve common issues or problems when the information is not sensitive in nature or the individuals or groups are working toward mutual goals and have basically cooperative attitudes. Well developed communication skills are required.

Physical Demands - LEVEL C: The work requires moderate physical exertion.

Environmental Conditions - LEVEL C: The work environment involves hazards, risks or discomforts typical of working with or around machinery with exposed moving parts, irritant chemicals, heavy equipment or abusive or hostile clientele and patients. Exposure to disagreeable weather conditions and extreme levels of temperature, ventilation, lighting and sound are normal. Protective clothing or gear and specific safety standards or procedures may be required. Serious injury is possible.

Supervision/Leadership - LEVEL B: Involves functional leadership responsibility. As a "senior worker", performing essentially the same or similar work as those overseen, responsibility includes training, instructing, scheduling and reviewing. As a "project leader" may be responsible for a phase(s) of a single project which includes planning, coordinating and reviewing the work of others. This level may also involve limited administrative responsibility such as participating in the evaluation of work performance.

Distinguishing Features

Differs from the Nuclear Reactor Operator class which involves work in the operation and maintenance of a water-cooled research and training type nuclear reactor.

Differs from the Research Laboratory Shop Supervisor which involves the design and fabrication of laboratory equipment and precision instruments through the use of robotics, computer integrated circuitry, machine tooling and aircraft technology and does not include operation or maintenance.

Differs from the Research Instrument Operator class which involves work in operating scientific instruments and does not include designing and fabricating highly specialized laboratory equipment.

EXAMPLES OF WORK PERFORMED

Installs, calibrates, operates and maintains cryogenic equipment, including LN2 and LHE liquefiers, refrigerators, transfer systems, pumps display equipment, video recording equipment and related research equipment; diagnoses and localizes problems for the repair of accelerator and other research equipment.

Modifies and fabricates interface instrumentation, repair equipment, test fixtures and special purpose circuits.

Maintains log sheets on the operations of laboratory equipment; documents maintenance procedures, operational details and descriptions of equipment modifications; updates inventory records of laboratory equipment.

Operates and maintains particle accelerator, vacuum system, electronic equipment, mechanical apparatus and associated accelerator systems.

Instructs technicians and graduate students in the operation of laboratory equipment and in safety regulations and procedures; recommends the purchase or modifications of equipment and instruments in order to provide specified performance applications.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND SKILLS

Knowledge

*Knowledge of the principles of applied electronics including analog and digital circuitry.

*Knowledge of the principles of mechanical systems.

Knowledge of the operation and maintenance procedures used in high resolution scientific instrumentation.

Knowledge of the principles and procedures used in the manufacture, storage and use of cryogenic fluids.

*Knowledge of the safety procedures used in a scientific research laboratory.

Knowledge of the principles of supervision.

Abilities

*Ability to detect and locate malfunctions in scientific instruments and equipment.

*Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with scientific and technical staff.

*Ability to use hand tools and precision instruments.

*Ability to organize and clearly express information in concise written form.

*Necessary at Entry

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:

Two years of experience in laboratory procedures and analysis.  Education in natural sciences and/or engineering may be substituted for experience as determined relevant by the agency.

NC:   06/93
REV: 12/95
REV: 11/96
REV: 01/97
REV: 10/98
REV: 02/00
REV: 08/05
REV: 06/10