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University of Massachusetts Amherst Technical Specialist II - Chemical Engineering in Amherst, Massachusetts

Technical Specialist II - Chemical Engineering

Apply now ( Job no: 515704

Work type: Staff Full Time

Location: UMass Amherst

Department:Chemical Engineering


Categories: College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Technical Specialist II in Chemical Engineering provides facilities and equipment maintenance, technical services, and support to department laboratories, skilled and semi-skilled machine shop services, and mechanical and electrical construction services. Interprets blueprints, disassembles, rebuilds, tests, and reassembles chemical engineering equipment. Skilled in use of specialized and standard shop and hand tools. With consultation from faculty, supports and advises staff and students in teaching labs including purchasing lab materials. Proficient in instruction and operation of undergraduate laboratory equipment. Responsible for chemical solution preparation and maintenance of undergraduate chemical inventory. Assists in laboratory safety and hazardous waste inspections. Proficient in basic skills such as carpentry, plumbing, and electrical service. Responsible for audio-visual equipment, housekeeping, and the receipt and distribution of incoming department mail and equipment as needed. Provides moving services as required. Maintains safe and professional work environment.

Essential Functions

  • Provides technical support to teaching and research labs concerning proper equipment maintenance and repair, construction of unique equipment, and modification of equipment. Disassembles, rebuilds/reassembles, and tests laboratory equipment in accordance with specifications. Provides skilled and semi-skilled machine shop services to faculty, staff, and students. Proficient in reading blueprints and the subsequent construction of specified item. Skilled in operation and use of common shop equipment and tools such as metal lathe, Bridgeport milling machine, Mig-welder, plasma-cutter, oxygen-acetylene torches, multimeter, and pressure and temperature sensing equipment. Provides services to department regarding basic carpentry, plumbing, and electrical service. Coordinates with the Laboratory Technician II to open machine shop for consultation and equipment repairs throughout the year.

  • Supervises, monitors, and provides training and mentoring to graduate teaching assistants (TA’s) and other subordinate personnel for undergraduate lab classes in cooperation with the faculty. Provides laboratory-based source for course rules and procedures, along with technical support, during lab classes. Monitors class activities for proper TA procedures, including proper instruction of undergraduate students and safe practices. Develops and supervises TA startup and post-lab shutdown procedures as prescribed by experimental workbooks or handouts, faculty, or other technical staff. Maintains clean and organized labs.

  • Coordinates with the Laboratory Technician II to purchase and maintain an inventory of supplies, chemicals, instruments, equipment, hand-outs, and instructions manuals for the undergraduate laboratory with guidance from Undergraduate Program Director (UPD) and faculty. Prepares chemical solutions such as calibration standards or distillation column feed in support of undergraduate lab. Replaces chemicals and reagents, estimating needs sufficiently in advance to accommodate departmental ordering procedures. Follows department budget guidelines in collaboration with the UPD. Uses university bank card and purchasing systems (BuyWays) using university contracts when possible. Conforms to Mass Higher Ed Consortium, Campus, University, and MA State contract regulations. Consults regularly with principal vendor representatives to maintain familiarity with changes and trends in markets. Conducts comparative cost analyses of all purchases to assure best pricing. Creates and maintains an ongoing list of required off-budget instrument and equipment purchases for quick response to availability of alternative funds.

  • Prepares, assembles, calibrates, operates, demonstrates, and maintains technical equipment and computers for instructional purposes. Proficient in instruction and operation, as well as maintenance, troubleshooting, and minor repair, of undergraduate chemical engineering laboratory equipment. Analyzes and determines when assistance is necessary for major repairs to ensure proper functioning of equipment. This is done with guidance from faculty, other technical staff, and direction by representatives from instrument manufacturers, or using instrument operation manuals. Records preparative notes to supplement the instrument manuals as deemed useful to facilitate future setup and use.

  • Acts as department building and facilities liaison. Responsible for maintaining department equipment in working order. Receives, processes, and distributes incoming department mail, supplies, and/or equipment as needed. Provides moving services for equipment and office furniture as required. Secures, delivers, and maintains department’s audio-visual equipment as needed. Assists the Department Health and Safety Coordinator in performing safety and hazardous waste inspections of department laboratories as needed.

Other Functions

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • High school diploma or equivalent with three years related experience (with trade school certificate/diploma preferred) OR Associates degree with one year related experience.

  • Ability to communicate clearly with faculty, staff, students, other university personnel, and with outside vendor sales and technical representatives in an educational environment.

  • Ability to physically move laboratory equipment, tools, and materials when necessary, including the ability to pick up and safely move 50 lbs. of equipment, chemicals, and gases.

  • Strong oral and written communication skills and the ability to give instruction in a precise, understandable manner.

  • Ability to work in a courteous, collaborative, and collegial manner with faculty, other staff, students, international scholars, and visitors with diverse backgrounds and training.

  • Computer skills including experience with:

  • Email

  • Calendar systems such as iCal, Outlook, or Google

  • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs

  • Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets

  • Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Ability to perform general maintenance duties (painting, and general work related to plumbing, electrical, carpentry, masonry, etc.).

  • Able to perform general maintenance duties on the various equipment and items in the teaching laboratory.

  • Experience with reading blueprints and with metalworking and welding.

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Experience in a Higher Education setting.

  • Knowledge of safety regulations, practices, and procedures followed in a chemical engineering laboratory.

  • Ability to assess experimental procedures and streamline them to provide more efficient preparations and reduce the costs associated with instructional laboratories.

  • Experience in training individuals in protocols or procedures.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Ability to lift/move at least 50 lbs.

Typical workshop/laboratory conditions

Potential hazards due to exposure to toxic gases and chemicals including acids and corrosive and flammable substances.

Work Schedule

Monday-Friday, 37.5 hours per week, 9:00am – 5:00pm.

Salary Information

USA/MTA Grade 16

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please apply online and submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three professional references. Search will remain open until filled.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Aug 25 2022 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: