Mobile Laboratory Technician - Department of Civil Engineering - #366723

University of Pretoria

Date: 3 days ago
City: Randburg, Gauteng
Contract type: Full time





The role will be responsible to assist the Mobile Laboratory Coordinator with the day-to-day operations of the mobile soils laboratory. The Mobile Laboratory Technician in conjunction with the Mobile Laboratory Coordinator will be responsible for conducting of geotechnical laboratory testing, including taking of samples in the field.  Such activities may from time to time involve a significant amount of physical labour.

Off-campus testing:

  • As requested / instructed by the funder:
    • Collect / Gather, prepare and transportation of routine samples from the designated mines (test sites) to the mobile soils laboratory for analyses / testing.
    • Assist with compilation of the documentation required to obtain the necessary accreditation for the laboratory.
  • Perform a full range of laboratory tests in the mobile soils laboratory, according to standard testing procedures:
    • Including the use of ancillary equipment such as local strain measurement and bender elements.
    • Provide support for routine testing such as moisture content testing and specific gravity testing which may be required.
    • Assist with the data entry, analysis, preparing and processing of laboratory test result reports.
    • Compile, log and record testing or operational data for review and further analysis.
    • Maintain and update databases of lab test results.
  • Carry out all quality control procedures, document any non-conformances and report them to the Mobile Laboratory Coordinator, this will include but is not limited to the:
    • Maintenance, calibration, troubleshooting, and performing routine repair to laboratory equipment.
    • Responsible for the maintenance of a clean and safe environment and to be the designated custodian for assigned laboratory space.


On-campus duties:

When not testing on sites away from Pretoria, the role will be expected to:

  • Provide technical support of research, training, teaching duties and practicals in the Department by:
    • Contributing to the teaching of undergraduates and the supervision of undergraduates and postgraduates in the use of equipment during individual research projects.
    • Advising students and staff on the design, construction and provision of research and laboratory equipment.
    • Supervising and demonstrating the safe usage of equipment to the students/staff.
    • Aiding with laboratory testing for research purposes for students (undergraduate and post graduate) and academic staff.
  • Responsible for specific tasks relating to commercial laboratory testing which may from time to time be carried out through Enterprises University of Pretoria.



  • In conjunction with the Mobile Laboratory Coordinator, take responsibility for:
    • Processing of laboratory test results;
    • Drafting laboratory reports;
    • Obtaining health and safety approvals from mines;
    • Conducting risk assessments, obtaining approvals for sampling/testing, etc.


Closing date: 28 May 2024

No application will be considered after the closing date, or if it does not comply with at least the minimum requirements


  • Relevant 3 year National Diploma
  • Minimum: 3 years’ experience in:
  • Experienced with standard soil testing (grading, Atterberg limits, SG, moisture content, compaction tests, min & max dry density)
  • A valid driver’s license (essential)
  • The Assistant will require a Code C1 driver’s license to be allowed to drive the truck housing the mobile soils laboratory. If the technician does not have such a license, he/she will be expected to obtain such a license once appointed. The costs will be covered by the University of Pretoria.




  • B-Tech or BSc
  • Training courses in geotechnical laboratory testing



  • Experienced with advanced geotechnical testing (triaxial testing)
  • Experienced in managing and operating a geotechnical soils laboratory
  • Experienced with soil sampling




Proficiency Level

  • Standard geotechnical lab testing
    • Proficient
  • Advanced geotechnical lab testing
    • Basic
  • Typical safety procedures
    • Basic
  • Basic Soil Mechanics
    • Basic
  • Basic research methodology
    • Basic

Technical Competencies

Proficiency Level

  • Conducting basic geotechnical lab tests
    • Proficient
  • Conducting advanced geotechnical lab tests
    • Basic
  • Processing of geotechnical laboratory test results
    • Basic
  • Ability to maintain geotechnical lab equipment
    • Basic
  • Computer skills
    • Proficient

Behavioural Competencies

The successful candidate will be expected to possess leadership qualities and be comfortable leading people.

The successful candidate should be comfortable guiding students.

The successful candidate must possess initiative and be pro-active in problem solving.

The all-inclusive remuneration package for this contract position will be commensurate with the incumbent’s level of appointment, as determined by UP policy guidelines.

Should you not hear from the University of Pretoria by 30 September 2024, please accept that your application has been unsuccessful.

The University of Pretoria is committed to equality, employment equity and diversity.

In accordance with the Employment Equity Plan of the University and its Employment Equity goals and targets, preference may be given, but is not limited to candidates from under-represented designated groups.

All candidates who comply with the requirements for appointment are invited to apply.

By applying for this vacancy, the candidates consent to undergo verification of personal credentials and related information including, but not limited to, qualifications, criminal record, credit record, current and historic disciplinary proceedings as part of the selection process.

The University of Pretoria reserves the right to not fill the advertised positions.

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