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Comp Modelling Research Associate

Department: Earth Science Effective Date:
Grade: USG 10 Reports to: Manager CGWR

General Accountability

This position is accountable to Dr. Ed Sudicky (50% funding) and the Chairman of the Dept. of Earth Science (50% funding) for general computer support for faculty, staff and students in the department and also support of numerical models of groundwater flow and transport used by faculty and students.

Nature and Scope

Dr. Sudicky has a group of students and post–doctoral fellows who report to him.  The chairman of the department has the support staff and faculty who report to him.

There are no positions who report formally to the incumbent.  There are, however, a large group of staff, faculty and students who rely on the incumbent for help with day-to-day computer problems and also with more technical aspects of numerical modeling.  

Like most computer support positions, this one has no well defined list of tasks and responsibilities, and no way to schedule much of the work.  For example; computers may stop working; network connections may need to be set up; students may request assistance etc.

Concurrent with this activity, the incumbent is responsible for developing and supporting state-of-the-art groundwater software which is used by staff and students in the department as well as at other universities and in industry.

In addition, the incumbent also has responsibilities to carry out work on third-party contracts for Dr. Sudicky, which require that specific computer modeling and report writing tasks be completed prior to deadline.

This combination creates the major challenge of the position, which is essentially a time management problem.  Other challenges include the development of complex numerical models, and technical support calls which may require intense sessions of debugging and interaction with model users. 

Significant internal relationships include interaction with undergraduate and graduate students who are carrying out numerical modeling.  The incumbent also maintains close ties with the Science Computing support staff and acts as the first line of support in many instances.  

Externally, the incumbent has developed relationships with industrial partners for whom contract work has been done (e.g. Ontario Power Generation, US Bureau of Reclamation).

Statistical Data

Sale of software co-developed by the incumbent may bring in anything from several hundred to several thousand dollars per year.

Support of Dr. Sudicky’s research indirectly brings in several hundred thousand dollars per year.

Operating budget is small, on the order of several hundred dollars per year.

Raw material costs for computers, hardware etc probably a few thousand dollars per year.

Payroll about $60,000 per year.

Value added relates to the quality of the modeling work carried out in Dr. Sudicky’s research and also by students for degree work.

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions