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CRF Thermal Mechanical Properties (TMP) & Plastics Engineering Technologist

Apply now Job no: 515756
Position type: Staff Full Time
Benefit Status: Benefited-Union
Campus: UMass Lowell
Department: Core Research Facilities
Salary: Salary commensurate with experience and grade/range
Applications Open:
Applications Close:

General Summary of Position:

This Position is a dual report between the Thermal Mechanical Properties Core lab overseen by the Core Research Facilities (CRF) and the Plastics Engineering Department.  CRF Thermal and Mechanical Properties (TMP) Lab: Assist in the daily operation of the TMP, a Core Research Facility at UMass Lowell, offering training and services to students, faculty, and external users on a fee-for-service basis. This operation includes: Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC), Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA), and Instron Universal Testing Machine (UTM). The responsibilities of the TMP Lab Manager include performing thermal and mechanical analyses of routine and research samples in collaboration with faculty and commercial clients, developing TMP experiments and methodologies, training new TMP instrument users, and the assisting in and the implementing of the preventive and corrective maintenance program and supplies inventory for the TMP laboratory. This job includes equivalent responsibilities as outlined above for equipment maintenance & operation, training and advising of faculty, students, external users, service work and analysis.
Plastics Engineering: Perform a wide variety of administrative, lab equipment instruction, equipment installation, equipment maintenance/modification and technical duties and other tasks related to specific and sophisticated plastics processing and testing equipment and machinery. Assist faculty and students in technical laboratory projects, troubleshooting, and diagnosing equipment problems. Supervise students in use of plastics processing, testing, and characterization equipment. Perform duties in the Department of Plastics Engineering which require a high degree of technical and/or engineering competence. Provide lab instruction, supervision, and technical support for the plastics engineering undergraduate laboratories, graduate research laboratories and the department's computer systems.

Essential Job Duties:

1. Technical Laboratory Services, Lab Management & Equipment Maintenance:

Responsible for operations of the TMP Core lab as well as the Plastics Processing lab for both internal and external users.  This responsibility includes the safe use of the equipment and providing service to those customers requiring training, service work and data analysis using the equipment of the respective labs. (Other equipment as required).

  • Provide general technical laboratory services for the CRF TMP Lab and Department of Plastics Engineering.
  • Design, install, operate, modify, maintain, and repair technical equipment and apparatuses for the plastics engineering laboratories.
  • Estimate amount of material, supplies and equipment required for the operation of the laboratories and initiate procurement through established procedures. Maintain laboratory stock.
  • Make recommendations for new instructional, research and maintenance techniques in field of specialization. Assist in technical laboratory services in various programs.
  • Maintain laboratory financial records.
  • Participate in meetings pertaining to instructional and facility related activities.
  • Train new instrument users for Level 2 safety training and equipment specific training.
  • Provide and maintain SDS for all Hazardous Materials used in said labs.
  • Instruct both external and internal researchers in the proper and safe use of plastics processing and TMP equipment. Provide training on equipment and approval of users for self-use.
  • Maintain equipment use schedules using Filemaker scheduling software.
  • Author and maintain SOPs to support all of the equipment on the Saab ETIC Shared Drive.
  • Author and maintain training records for all equipment requiring an SOP.
  • Daily maintenance of all equipment (system checks).
  • Maintain inventory control of laboratory supplies and consumables.
  • Perform preventative maintenance and instrument performance measures.
  • Triage complex maintenance and repairs with, Plastics Department Chair and Nanofab Equipment Manager.
  • Monitor the labs temperature and humidity to provide a safe comfortable environment.
  • Provide reporting as required by supervisor.
  • Maintain Records of CRF Training, Maintenance and Documents using the Shared Drive.
  • Establish and maintain a program of preventive maintenance.
  • Maintain all equipment in the laboratories at a high level of effectiveness.
  • Follow prescribed safety regulations, precautions, university rules, policies, and procedures.
  • Make frequent inspections and tests to determine safe and efficient operation of equipment and apparatuses.
  • Maintain record of student and faculty utilization of laboratory resources.

2. Supervising students and Instruction:

  • Exercise substantial independent responsibility and judgment without immediate supervision. Through specialized knowledge and expertise, provide direct consultation with graduate and undergraduate students as well as faculty concerning thesis and honors work and term course projects with respect to feasibility of the design, construction, and operation of the research equipment.
  • Supervise students and technicians in the use of highly complex technical equipment and apparatuses. Demonstrate proper use of equipment. Interbed laboratory instruments and/or equipment manuals.
  • May assume full responsibility for instruction, supervision and performance of students in laboratory sections of courses in the department. This responsibility may involve working closely with faculty, teaching assistants and/or grading assistants and/or lab assistants assigned to the course.

3. Opportunity Identification, Research Community Outreach, Customer Service:

  • Provide leadership in updating current and in developing new in-person and online lab experiences.
  • Work closely with department faculty to introduce new laboratory modules that are aligned with current industry needs.
  • Champion equipment use and outreach by being an active participant of the CRF team’s effort to increase research community engagement through presentations, facilities tours and demos, University Open Houses and meetings with community researchers.

Promote the University’s commitment to customer service by:

  • Build effective partnerships with co-workers throughout the University and externally by freely sharing appropriate information and providing assistance.
  • Ensure optimum service to all internal and external clients in response to all requests for services, training and information.
  • Maintain an environment that welcomes persons of all backgrounds, nationalities, and roles.
  • This position requires that the person present themselves and represents the university in a positive and professional manner.

Other Job Duties:

  • Performs other related duties as assigned.
  • Manage toxic and hazardous materials in related laboratories in accordance with federal, state and local regulations.
  • Coordinate proper collection and disposal of laboratory wastes.
  • Follow and enforce prescribed safety precautions, University and department rules and regulations, with special consideration of Export Control and other Office of Compliance issues.
  • Maintain work areas in clean, orderly, and safe condition.

Minimum Qualifications (Required):

  • Bachelor’s degree Plastics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Materials Science with 1 to 5 years of relevant experience Relevant senior research work will be considered towards experience
  • Thorough knowledge of the practices, techniques, plastics tooling, equipment in the field of Plastics Engineering
  • Experience in the areas of plastics molding, extrusion, compounding, rubber processing
  • Demonstrated experience in the areas mechanical testing and thermal characterization required (TMP analytical techniques)
  • Thorough knowledge of occupational hazards and safety precautions
  • Ability to supervise and instruct both external and internal researchers in the proper and safe use of plastics processing and TMP equipment
  • Ability to communicate orally and in writing (MS Office)
  • Ability to set up and conduct experiments/demonstrations
  • Skill in laboratory setup and operation
  • Mechanical aptitude.  Capable of troubleshooting, repairing and maintaining instruments
  • Must be able to operate independently with little supervision
  • Must be able to lift and move 50 lbs. or less
  • Reliable, dependable and team player
  • Ability to maintain harmonious relations with others
  • Ability to carry out written, verbal and/or other instructions
  • Thorough understanding of discipline terminology and principals 

Additional Considerations:

  • Customer-service oriented
  • Ability to multitask and support two facilities and various technical functions on campus simultaneously
  • Ability to use good judgment and is an independent self-starter
  • Occasionally may be required to work varying schedule

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with digital data acquisition systems. Ability to prepare and conduct experiments using instrumentation, data acquisition and control
  • Ability to make oral presentations and written reports
  • Ability to read and interpret sketches, CAD files, prints, SOPs and specifications

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Only Internal Professional (SEIU 888 Professional Union) Bargaining candidates will be considered during the first 10 business days of the posting. All other candidates will be considered after that period. 

This is a SEIU 888 Professional Union position, Grade P17.

Initial review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. However, the position may close when an adequate number of qualified applications is received.      

Please include a resume and cover letter with your application. Names and contact information of three references will be required at the time of application.



Posting updated 9/22/2022.

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