Post/s of Part-Time Research Support Officer II - Department of Conservation and Built Heritage

University of Malta - Msida, Malta

apply before November 13, 2023

Tasks: Education, Research

Topics: Urban Transformation

Type: Part-time

Experience required: Intermediate

Language: Local language(s) needed

The Department of Conservation and Built Heritage within the Faculty for the Built Environment was set up in February 2009, subsuming the Institute for Masonry and Construction Research, and initially as the Department of the Built Heritage. The remit of the Department is to focus, in a wide sense, on the problems of the existing urban and heritage fabric. Particular attention is also given to the composition and properties, behaviour, deterioration and conservation of local traditional building materials. The Department fulfils its remit through teaching and research on a wide variety of topics within the fields on conservation and management of Cultural Heritage, also in international fora, regular publications and outreach activities.

The University of Malta invites applications for a part-time Research Support Officer at level II in the Department of Conservation and Built Heritage. Applications will be considered from graduates holding a Master (MSc) degree (at least Merit Classification/Upper Second Class classification) in any one of the following or a combination thereof: architecture, engineering, physics, or related subjects. A good working knowledge/experience in the following will be considered favourably: environmental monitoring and relevant data interpretation; environmental/materials interactions; traditional/historic buildings in Malta and/or the wider Mediterranean; satellite imagery and UAV (drone) images.

All requirements for the post/s need to be in place at the time of appointment.

The area of research is aimed at understanding the contribution that local roofs have in the creation of the UHI (Urban Heat Island) effect in localised urban centres, in preparation for later expanding this information to look at the future impact of climate change on the same roof types, and the temperatures at street level. This will involve the monitoring of specific buildings (in particular roofs and roofing materials), as representatives of traditional, modified and modern constructions, through the collection of physical data (in particular air temperature, air humidity, wind) both in-situ (inside and outside chosen buildings) and remotely, to understand the physical behaviour of such roofs. Part of this work will involve the recruitment, basic training and deployment of lay persons (citizen science e.g. schoolchildren) for data gathering and the involvement and dissemination to the community.

Candidates should:

  • Be highly motivated, capable of working under their own initiative;
  • Be a good team-player, able to collaborate closely with partners on the project, stakeholders and colleagues providing consultancy, disseminating information, and lending other assistance to the project;
  • Be fluent in the English language and in Maltese and be highly numerate;
  • Have basic experience in environmental/materials interactions data collection (thermal, moisture, etc);
  • Possess good knowledge of software relevant to data collation and manipulation, and report generation;
  • Possess good problem solving, interpersonal, organisational and communication skills;
  • Must demonstrate high quality writing skills (in English);
  • Be organised, enthusiastic and ambitious;
  • Be able to work independently and under minimum supervision.

Preference will be given to candidates who also have one or more of the following:

  • Have experience in public speaking;
  • Have experience with working with lay-persons, including schoolchildren, also in a mentoring role;
  • Have experience in outreach to various audiences of different ages;
  • Have some experience in building behaviour (materials and environment), especially traditional/historic buildings;
  • Have experience in report writing and writing of scientific papers;
  • Have experience in project management;
  • Knowledge of web design and development will be considered an asset.

The specific duties attached to the position, besides the above are:

  • To conduct research under the supervision of academic staff of the Department Conservation and Built Heritage, and other University of Malta entities (as required) and in collaboration with other partners on the project. Specifically, the RSO/s will be required to work with basic environmental instrumentation, and to work with, and provide basic training to, identified groups (citizen science e.g. schoolchildren) to identify and collect environmental data, and subsequently help in the management, manipulation, analysis and interpretation of these data, both qualitative and quantitative, in collaboration with the project partners and other RSO/s. Data collection will involve the use of hand-held and fixed in-situ instruments and may also include operating UAVs with imaging sensors for remote data collection. Familiarity with satellite imagery will be an asset.
  • To disseminate such information verbally and in written form, to various audiences, also using social and other media. This will include dissemination and outreach to the general public, targeted audiences, professionals and the heritage community in general (including heritage organisations) and scientific communities; radio and television interviews; provision of short courses; presentations and demonstrations on the research at conferences and meetings, locally and abroad, and also to the general public.
  • To write technical reports and papers for publication in scientific and popular journals.

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