Engineering Technician III (Part time)

Reston, VA
Work Type: On-Site
  • Job Category: Life, Physical & Social Science
  • Travel: None
  • Clearance: Not Applicable
  • Req ID: 2024-7915


Job Summary:

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Mission Area (WMA) Laboratory and Analytical Services Division (LASD) operates multiple research and development as well as production lab facilities at USGS headquarters in Reston, Virginia. These facilities are seeking to improve and unify their IT infrastructure and better integrate with USGS enterprise computing and effectively USGS Quality Management System. The USGS WMA LASD labs operate many different types of instruments that rely on computers to function. Akima Systems Engineering is hiring a Technician III to provide incidental support for legacy and modern personal computer hardware, software, and automation in a laboratory setting.

In the LASD of the WMA in Reston, there are multiple laboratory facilities that conduct scientific research and routine analytical work. These facilities require IT hardware and administration support expertise, as well as basic equipment automation tasks.

The work involves backing up and restoring data from laboratory computers, troubleshooting, and repairing modern and legacy computer system hardware, installing and testing software on modern and legacy laboratory computer systems, assessing laboratory computing workflows and recommending hardware and configurations, basic LAN networking, and writing scripts and simple programs to automate well defined laboratory computing tasks.


Job Responsibilities:

  • Familiarize themselves USGS WMA labs fundamental lab safety policies and procedures, and relevant USGS IT Policy in order to safely and effectively work on the IT facilities used by USGS WMA labs.

  • Operate routine data backup protocols for WMA LASD laboratory facilities. This protocol is combination of manual backups, for non-networked computers and automated backups for systems that can leverage USGS enterprise resources. The USGS and Technician III will develop a schedule for regular backups and will periodically schedule with the Technician III when additional backups and data migration services are needed.

  • Review data being captured by the laboratory condition monitoring system, alerting USGS of irregularities in data and configuration issues. Periodic updates to the configuration of the system and change the number of data sensors logged and the reports generated.

  • When failures of lab IT equipment occurs, the spare systems shall be put into service and the data and software restored from backups, and where possible, the failed systems shall be repaired, or recommendations for replacement based on the laboratory conditions and workflow shall be made. Periodically, will schedule times to update the laboratory IT hardware and software inventory and update a pool of spare systems and parts.

  • Assess the suitability of systems deployed in the labs and recommend upgrade pathways that will improve performance, quality, and reliability of USGS WMA lab workflows. Where computer replacements are required, identify suitable hardware through the official USGS computer hardware acquisition contract. As part of the upgrade process, legacy lab instrumentation software shall be migrated to modern hardware and software. This may consist of testing instrument specific software on computers running DOI approved Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS releases, as well as building and testing virtual machines running legacy operating systems on modern host operating systems and identifying ways to interface instrumentation to the modern hardware.

  • Accomplish various other laboratory IT tasks: Including: the specification, configuration, installation, and testing of new laboratory data systems, Creating and maintaining local area networks for data backup, LIMS, and instrument automation purposes. Help identify and install updates and replacements for instrument control software. Assist in interfacing lab equipment to computers, including determining interface connections and scripts (i.e. VBA) to query values from devices. Assist in identifying air gapped systems that can be efficiently, safely, and securely re-implemented on the enterprise network.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • One (1) or more years' experience with IT support in a laboratory setting, preferably with legacy data capture systems for isotope ratio mass spectrometers. Experience/skill with older windows versions (XP/7), 2 or more years in general IT support. Some post-high school education.

  • Experience with multiple backup and recovery solutions (Acronis, Windows Backup, Ghost, etc..), experience with both legacy (for example).

  • Knowledge of configuring, troubleshooting, and administrating legacy and modern software and hardware. (Typical legacy assets: Microsoft Windows XP, PCI, serial ports, ATA, GPIB, SCSI) (for example modern assets: Windows 10/11, SATA, pci-e, ethernet).

  • Experience with recovering data from legacy or broken computers. Ability to assess, procure, and replace common components of modern and legacy computers (for example, hard drives, memory, video cards power supply, etc.).

  • Experience dealing with instrument specific software, for example to control custom isotope ratio mass spectrometers.

  • Experience with monitoring and logging laboratory environmental conditions.

  • Experience with administrating and troubleshooting modern and legacy Microsoft Windows systems.

  • Experience with basic workstation RAID implementations.

  • Familiarity with basic networking principles and technology (TCP/IP, addressing, drive sharing, CIFS).

  • Configuring legacy operating systems and software in virtual machines (for example, VirtualBox, VMware).

  • Familiarity with common prototyping/automation equipment (Arduino, raspberrypi, SCADA, PLCs, etc.).

  • Basic skills with scripting and/or programming languages useful for workflow automation (VBA, batch, PowerShell, python, C, etc.).

Posted Salary Range

28.21 to 28.73

Benefits Information

SCA - The company offers a comprehensive benefits program, including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, 401(k) and a range of other voluntary benefits. Vacation, holiday and sick Leave offered will be as defined under the DOL's Wage Determination.

Job: Life, Physical & Social Science

Travel: None

Organization: ASE - Akima Systems Engineering

Clearance: Not Applicable

Work Type: On-Site

Remote: No

ReqID: 2024-7915