Infrastructure Specialist (Networks)

Durham University
Closing date
9 Jul 2021

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Technology & New Media
Contract Type

Job Details

Job Family: Estates and Information Infrastructure Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.

OUR VALUES: We are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family manage and maintain the integrity of University buildings, estates and information services.

Overall family purpose

  • Ensure safe, sustainable and fit for purpose buildings, internal and external environments in and on which to conduct University business.
  • Liaise and engage with stakeholders across the University to identify and plan infrastructure projects to update and improve services and facilities.
  • Align services to meet organisational strategic and operational objectives.
  • Design new, adapt existing and implement services, working with external contractors and suppliers.
  • Manage and monitor systems, mechanisms and processes to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations.
  • Implement procedures to ensure safe and secure buildings, facilities, estates and information networks.
  • Design and construct real and virtual test environments to ensure the most fit for purpose technology and services are available to underpin University business needs.
  • Manage technology driven services and third-party platforms to underpin teaching, learning, research and administrative activities across the University.
  • Engage with external suppliers, contractors, manufacturers and developers to ensure the highest-standards and quality of buildings, estates and information services.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering infrastructure services across the University;
  • Develop an academic estate that will allow the University to deliver world-class education, research and student experience;
  • Ensure the long-term availability of suitable residential accommodation;
  • Ensure the continuing renewal and maintenance of our estate;
  • Improve the environmental sustainability and ease of travel around our estate and city locations;
  • Support and facilitate a first-rate digital learning environment and experience on a par with the best in the UK;
  • Running and ongoing development of a first-rate digital learning environment on a par with the best in the UK
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

The Department and role purpose

The Computing and Information Services (CIS) has an annual operational budget in the order of £10m, multi-million pound programmes of change within year, and approximately 140 staff who are predominately based at the Durham University campus. The Senior Leadership Team report directly to the Chief Information Officer with the following portfolios: Strategy and Change; Operations; and Information Systems. CIS provide academic, teaching and administrative services across the organisation that underpin the day-to-day activities of the whole organisation.

Recent infrastructure improvements include investment in a new network backbone, including new cable runs throughout the city to all of the Universities core buildings, new scalable user facing storage, and a new hosting environment. Corresponding business led investment also continues to be made with a new Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning suite, investment in research administration, and maximising the breadth of opportunities available to the University through Office365, alongside numerous other important initiatives.

CIS is a friendly, but demanding department, where much is expected and can be achieved by competent, self-motivated individuals who are demonstrable in their team work ability.

Core responsibilities:

  • Recognised Infrastructure specialist (Network) with responsibility for the management of team members and decision making within the team, deputising for the network lead as and when appropriate.
  • Provide input to the design and development of service processes, techniques and deliverables for one or more service areas or projects, promoting best practice across the University and adoption of a service-led culture within IT.
  • Manage operational service levels and activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience, delivering outstanding customer service and communicating in non-technical terms appropriate to audience.
  • Contribute to the analysis of stakeholder feedback to help define needs and requirements, inputting to the design and planning of services.
  • Internal and external relationship development and partnership working. Using engagement opportunities to influence future services and the University reputation and sharing relevant developments with the operations team.
  • Provide feedback on team and individual performance and identify development needs, conducting regular staff ADR and performance reviews.
  • Handle the vast majority of welfare issues within a team, referring more complex welfare issues to appropriate support services/senior management.
  • Delivery of ongoing coaching, mentoring and training to team members, maintaining a high level of technical knowledge and competency through the completion of continual professional development to further expertise.
  • Maintain an awareness of current policy for University business goals such as widening participation and access.
  • Contribute to business meetings, working groups and sub committees at departmental and operational service levels, converting business requirements into viable technical solutions.
  • Responsible for managing small budgets for consumables and some capital items, keeping records and processing invoices.
  • Devolve responsibilities to team members to ensure continuity of service provision and encourage skills development.

Role responsibilities

  • Report to the Network Team Lead working as part of a collaborative team with other CIS teams and academic colleagues to lead in the delivery of infrastructure connectivity.
  • Provide management for the delivery of high-quality network infrastructure and support services across the University.
  • Perform the tasks of a network engineer to ensure the integrity and high availability of the network infrastructure so that it provides optimal performance for users.
  • Coordinating support around the configuration, deployment, and maintenance of the network infrastructure encompassing switches, routers, firewalls, telephony, wireless, fibre and copper infrastructures.
  • Promote and foster positive and highly collaborative approaches to problem solving and project implementation, helping to motivate, mentor and coach other team members.
  • Coach and assist team members, ensuring work streams and activities are allocated correctly and performance expectations are met by adapting in order to meet deadlines.
  • Make decisions about the nature and level of problem solving, physical and analytical tools, techniques and protocols in a pressured and complex technical environment to deliver projects and service objectives and communicate them clearly using non-technical language as appropriate to the audience.
  • Collaborate with other specialists within the service and across the University, regarding the use of modelling and analytical tools, methods and standards to deliver integrity and consistency with service delivery.
  • Monitor and maintain network and telephony systems for capacity and performance.
  • Schedule and monitor maintenance and installation works, projects and work streams across the University.
  • Provide regular status reports and identify risk management and contingency planning to other service staff, specialists, users and managers.
  • Liaise with internal and external suppliers, agencies, contractors, industries and visitors to ensure the University receives excellent service and value for money.
  • Take responsibility for monitoring and updating risk assessments and safety procedures, providing guidance to others where necessary.
  • Develop, modify and optimise protocols and methodologies ensuring adoption of standard tools and best practice for data networking.
  • Liaising with other staff to ensure program and project activities are supported in line with defined ITIL processes.
  • Coordination of network traffic and the firewall, traffic shaper, VPN, Network Access Control and other network security components.
  • Lead in continual service improvement activities to further the resilience of the network infrastructure to support the needs of the University, anticipating changes in technical delivery and promote cost effective solutions.
  • Create and maintain documentation, developing and providing technical and end user training and support.
  • Take responsibility of development and continual service improvement of SDN Data centre network delivered using Cisco ACI technologies.
  • Liase with internal teams to advise on and implement best practice network security
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific role requirements

Participate in an on call system to provide 24 hour cover.

Working outside normal office hours, including responding to significant incidents.

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification.

In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

1. A CV;

2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;

3. Examples of how you satisfy the essential criteria in the person specification, this will require completion of the 'Questionnaire' application section.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

Contact details

For further information please contact; Glen Mallows, Senior Manager (Networks) E:

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work. We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally, working to professional standards in client facing environments. Ability to understand end user requirements and translate into business solutions; and written ability in relation technical documentation Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office. Five GCSE's at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience). Post-16 qualification (or equivalent experience). Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience as a network engineer managing complex environments). Professional craftsperson/practitioner with knowledge and expertise in one or more areas of buildings, estates, services, or IT service provision. Cisco CCNA certification or equivalent experience Proven experience of service operation and continual service improvement Experience with network solutions design, either formally or as part of an infrastructure role Extensive knowledge of Cisco switches and routers A good working knowledge of routing protocols (OSPF, BGP, MPLS, etc.), switching (VLANS, STP, etc.) Strong understanding of corporate LAN and WAN data networks Good working knowledge of Firewall technologies, such as Fortinet, Juniper, Checkpoint, Cisco, F5 Experience using network management and monitoring tools (e.g. Solarwinds) Ensuring compliance with architectural frameworks Experience of managing support agreements with external supplier partners. A thorough understanding of data network principles, standards and technologies, including wired and wireless. High levels of self-motivation, initiative and ability to promote and demonstrate a flexible 'can do' attitude. A self-starter able to work independently but comfortable working in a team environment Demonstrable evidence of Implementing Large scale SDN network using Cisco ACI technologies

Desirable Criteria

  • Relevant industry and professional recognition and certification of achievement of skills and knowledge.
  • Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition.
  • Regulatory, local and national professional knowledge and experience of compliance.
  • Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships.
  • Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions.
  • Experience of delivering and developing specialist services for buildings, estates, services, or IT provision.
  • Ability to deliver infrastructure projects.
  • Health and safety compliance knowledge.
  • Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.
  • Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  • Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.
  • HP Enterprise / Aruba Wireless accreditation
  • ITIL Foundation
  • Experience with support and configuration of HP Aruba switches
  • Proven experience of managing a team of IT technicians

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