Desktop and Server Support Specialist - Engineering and Physical Sciences - 96485 - Grade 6

United Kingdom
£27,511.00 - £33,797.00
Nov 19, 2020
Dec 19, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Part Time
Position Details

Engineering and Physical Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range of £27,511 to £30,046. With potential progression once in post to £33,797

Grade 6

Part time


Closing date: 7th December 2020

Job Summary

The post holder will play a key role within the College of EPS' IT Support Team, providing support for users, desktops, servers and services. The post will primarily work within the School of Engineering's Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) and its new Centre of Excellence for Digital Systems (CEDS), whilst providing cover and support to other areas of the university when required.

Using their own knowledge and expertise, the postholder will be required to analyse complex desktop, server and service issues, identify causes, and using their own judgement, restore function as quickly as possible, in line with University Computing and IT Standards. This will involve a risk assessment, short term measures to bring the server or service back on line, and then to follow a longer-term plan to fully resolve the issue, and to prevent further failure.

This role also encompasses development and enhancement of new and existing servers and services that are the post holder's direct responsibility, in line with University Computing and IT Standards. This includes, but is not limited to, initial build and test, production support, service sustenance, ITIL change control, writing documentation and delivering training.

The post holder will undertake project management activities for specific projects within their specific area of technical expertise, evaluate new technologies, assist in the development and upgrade of IT services, and to support the BCRRE/CEDS IT infrastructure, all whilst ensuring agreed deadlines are met. It is expected that this role will include the development of new services in support of research activity being undertaken within the group. Where the requirements of specific projects can be met by services provided centrally by the University, it is expected that appropriate signposting will be provided to end users. Where the requirements of end users cannot be met by centrally provided services, or where the central offers are not considered suitable as a result of end user or partner requirements (e.g. commercial or privacy considerations), it is anticipated that the post holder will be responsible for the delivery of new services hosted within the CEDS virtual infrastructure.

The post holder must be able to communicate complex IT technical problems and requirements in an understandable fashion to technical and non-technical staff, including department managers, academic and managerial/administrative staff.

Main Duties

Desktop and server support
  • Support the management of the CEDS network in accordance with the University's networking standards, policy and infrastructure, including the following specific tasks in consultation with the IT Services Network Team. Manage and support desktop resources (hardware and software) for the whole range of PC users on campus, including high profile academic, administrative staff and partners e.g. Heads of Schools, Senior Officers and visiting companies.
  • Develop specialist knowledge around specific service provision within the team, including in-house bespoke applications and research-specific IT systems, and be able to contextualise and convey this knowledge to end users in support of their research needs. It is expected that the post holder will understand and signpost University-provided services to end users where appropriate to the research problem. However, where the centrally-provided systems do not meet the needs of the research users the post holder will be required to develop new workflows and systems to meet those research requirements, and document the process such that central provision may easily be implemented later if the user base expands. The scope for specialism is wide and covers, for example, fileserver responsibility and development of server application expertise.
  • Deploy and manage a range of databases, research and management-focussed applications and provide expert advice and guidance on best practice.
  • Be fully conversant with all areas of desktop IT support including Windows desktop operating systems, Microsoft applications and other best of breed desktop applications. Also conversant with deploying and managing server operating systems, both Microsoft and Linux based.
  • Managing Active Directory, User, Computer and Group Policy Objects, and setting up physical and virtual server management in a mixed environment. Support of SANs supporting infrastructure.
  • Troubleshoot problems, many of which may require in-depth knowledge, and develop, test and implement new approaches and services. This requires the post holder to have the technical experience to ensure continuous development and reliable operation of all services within their area of responsibility, to assess problems and judge the appropriate solution.
  • Set up of new users, printers and general system administration to ensure access to all networked servers and systems. Monitor the interaction of desktop PCs with supported servers and services to ensure reliability and smooth operations for all aspects of the work of the customer base as a whole.
  • Support and manage backup services to ensure the security and integrity of the information store. The post holder will be expected to have the requisite knowledge and experience to undertake daily monitoring of scheduled backups, to identify any failures and to initiate 'ad-hoc' backups of data as may be required.
  • Be responsible for servers and services assigned, to ensure access to all systems and services meets appropriate service level agreements.
  • Monitor and react to logs and events, providing fixes, resolution, service enhancements and service improvements, where required. Support to and maintenance of network active equipment and cabling including troubleshooting of faults and application of fixes to ensure continuity of network services. Recommend provision of additional network points where required.

Communication and project operation
  • Communicate effectively with customers, partners and colleagues to deliver an excellent level of service. Maintain and deliver documentation pertaining to the servers and services assigned to the post holder.
  • Implement appropriate Change Management and provide service status updates as required.
  • Obtain quotes, specifying and making recommendations for the purchase of computer equipment and software. Make recommendations on a Value for Money basis whether to repair, upgrade or replace hardware and software in line with overall strategy and standards. Implement disposal mechanisms for redundant hardware.
  • Be responsible for discussions with external companies and contractors, to ensure prompt and adequate service. Liaise with 3rd parties or the University network team to resolve issues or perform changes to the service as required.
  • Provide 1 to 1 technical training and advice to users and team members, either verbally or via written documentation.

Workload management and coordination
  • Be responsible for project activities within own area of expertise, in conjunction with the work of other team members and providing written documentation and training as required
  • Meet service needs when required. To include managing other project team members to ensure that each part of the project is completed on time and does not adversely impact on the overall project plan.
  • Determine priorities for one's own allocated workload and co-ordinate with other team members to ensure that these meet overall ITS priorities, including continuity of service.

The post holder will take responsibility within the IT team for:
  • Support and development of Windows Servers and Services as agreed by the IT Manager.
  • Patching and maintenance of Servers and Desktop IT systems.
  • Contribute to optimisation of the desktop experience for members of the centre, to include software packaging and end user self-service for standard processes.
  • Writing scripts in Powershell for automating existing processes.
  • Day to day Data Centre service monitoring and service improvement.
  • Maintenance of server and storage hardware and datacentre infrastructure.
  • Contribute to a cycle of continuous service improvement.
  • Any other duties as may be required from time to time in furtherance of the work of IT Services.

Person Specification


It is essential that the post holder be fully conversant with all of the following:

1. Operating Systems:

a. Windows 7, Windows 10 - staying up to date with newer releases

b. Windows Server 2012 and later releases

c. Familiarity with a broad Linux Desktop and Server OSs

2. Environment:

a. Microsoft Active Directory

b. Database maintenance/administration

c. Virtualisation - VMWare experience preferred

d. Physical and Virtual Server backup

e. Labview/Matlab Experience desirable

f. ITIL v3

3. Programming:

a. Powershell

b. Windows batch scripts

Specialised knowledge and support experience in several of the following areas would be an advantage:

Microsoft Office 365, Sharepoint Online, Onedrive for Business, Microsoft Dynamics AX, WSUS, RADIUS, IIS webservers, Ethernet, TCP/IP, DHCP, Network switches and mobile devices (smartphones, tablets etc...),

The post holder must have clear and concise communication skills and be able to demonstrate a strong understanding of customer requirements, in order to ensure the any solutions developed meet customer needs.

The post holder must be able to work effectively as a member of a team, working towards quality service goals and to tight deadlines.

The post holder must have demonstrated ability to prioritise needs to ensure continuity of service and schedule workloads in the face of conflicting demands.

The post holder must employ structured and methodical approaches to problem solving, in order to anticipate issues within own area of responsibility.

  • Minimum of five GCSEs (grade C or above) essential, including Maths and English.
  • An MCP/MCSE or other industry recognized IT qualifications would be an advantage.

  • Significant experience within a complex Microsoft server and service support environment.
  • Extensive experience of troubleshooting server and service support issues, both routine and unique, from initial problem analysis through to implementation of solutions is essential.

For further information please contact Javiera Squadritto -

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community '

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