Job Category Technical
Position Title Teaching and Research Support Specialist
Requisition Number: 1042
Division/Department: P/DF-Physics & Astronomy
Full time/Part Time: Full-Time
Working hours: 37.5 hours/week, flexible / 12 months
Job Description The Teaching and Research Support Specialist is vital to the functioning of the Physics and Astronomy department and supports both the teaching and research missions of the department. On the teaching side, the set-up, take-down, maintenance and improvement of classroom laboratories and demonstrations is an essential part of our program. Our teaching laboratories and demonstrations present a variety of different challenges: handling vacuum systems, dealing with chemicals, wiring and maintaining a variety of electrical circuits, interfacing measurements with computer software, and working with complex mechanical parts. On the research side, this position provides vital research support to the faculty research mission. The Physics and Astronomy department operates a large number of research facilities and are responsible for an array of equipment including, two cryogenic systems, several high-power lasers, a calibrated force indenter, a 16-and 12-inch telescope, a wire bonder, a polisher, a thermal evaporator, several hoods with wet chemistry benches, and a helium liquefier and recovery system. Physics and astronomy machine shop maintenance and safety standards are also the responsibility of this position including training and supervising students when working on research or class projects.
Accountable for accurate and timely preparation of student laboratory experiments. Responsible for setup of classroom demonstrations. Responsible for development and continual improvement of student laboratory experiments.
Ensures proper maintenance, training and safety of physics and astronomy machine shop. Accountable for maintenance, repair and improvement of departmental 12 and 16 inch telescope.
Ensures proper calibration and maintenance of laboratory equipment, including electronic supplies, electronic circuits, lasers, optical components, vacuum equipment and cryogenic instruments.
Accountable for recommending optimal equipment and technology for purchase. Ensures equipment and supplies are properly collected, organized and catalogued in various spaces (e.g. electronics lab, machine shop, research storeroom, demonstration room). Responsible for adherence to relevant budgets. Ensures proper delivery and service levels of consumables (liquid cryogens, gasses and chemicals).
Responsible for the design and manufacture of equipment as required by faculty in support of research. Responsible for modification and repair of existing equipment in support of faculty research.
Accountable for effective training of students and other workers in the proper operations of machine shop.
Accountable for adherence to Colgate University's Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) that defines the university's laboratory safety policies, practices, and procedures to ensure a safe learning environment for students, staff and faculty. Accountable for staying current with relevant regulations (e.g. health, safety, care, and otherwise).
Essential Functions Individuals will be expected to master the following technical competencies:
Subject Matter Expertise: Expertise and understanding of specific field of science in order to create demonstrations and design laboratory experiments.
Machine Shop Skills: Demonstrated expertise in machining and shop fabrication (including welding) sufficient to effectively support faculty research and student laboratory development.
Electronics Technical Skills: Demonstrated expertise in troubleshooting and debugging electrical circuits to fulfill faculty research requests and student laboratory development.
Data Management: Demonstrated ability organize and manage data sufficient to follow data capture and analysis requirements of specific labs and experiments.
Laboratory Skills: Demonstrated physics and astronomy skills sufficient to configure and bring to completion laboratory experiments.
Laboratory Support: Demonstrated ability to organize lab environment and effectively manage inventory levels of materials and supplies.
Equipment: Demonstrated ability to diagnose problems with key lab equipment and arrange for proper repair. Knowledge of all related equipment sufficient to teach others how to operate same.
Training: Demonstrated ability to teach and train others on the proper use of equipment and safe handling.
Regulatory and Safety Knowledge: Working knowledge of relevant OSHA and other safety regulations sufficient to follow policies, practices, and procedures established by the University and other relevant regulating bodies.
Additional Essential Functions: Individuals will be expected to master the following behavioral competencies:
Personal Accountability for Results: Takes responsibility for decisions, performance, and outcomes; behaves in a responsible manner with a positive attitude; shows self-awareness and openness to feedback. Effective Communication: Demonstrates effective written and oral communication skills; shares information and seeks input from others; adapts communication to diverse audiences; protects private and confidential information.
Problem Solving and Decision Making: Analyzes and prioritizes situations to identify and solve problems; generates solutions to improve efficiency and quality; involves others in solving problems and making decisions; factors organizational goals into decisions; makes clear, transparent, and timely decisions.
Change Management: Responds positively to changing university initiatives and readily adapts behavior to maintain effective performance; understands the long-term direction of the university and can relate this to departmental area; adapts to new methodologies; identifies and acts on areas where change is appropriate.
Leadership and Teamwork: Applies skills and knowledge to provide a climate to achieve departmental and organizational success; balances individual and department goals; helps others perform at their best; builds productive relationships to enhance individual and organizational effectiveness; treats others with respect; resolves
conflicts among team members.
Creativity and Innovation: Generates, explores, encourages, and implements innovative ways of creating strategic value for the university, division, department, and individual level; critically assesses the effectiveness of new initiatives.
Diversity and Inclusion: Demonstrates respect for people and their differences; understands the benefits of a diverse workforce; earns the trust and respect of others; includes and welcomes others; works to understand the perspective of others; promotes opportunities to experience diversity within our community.
Sustainability: Understands the impact of decision-making and personal behavior in achieving the university's commitment to a sustainable and carbon neutral
campus; supports and advances the university's sustainability initiatives; influences others to use sustainable practices.
(Education and Experience) A minimum of a Bachelor's degree in physics, astronomy, or engineering is required, or a combination of education and experience from which comparable skills are attained. The ideal candidate will have an avid interest or background in physics or astronomy, and a sufficient understanding of concepts at an undergraduate level to be able to design demonstrations and laboratories that will illustrate these concepts. The following skills are all highly desirable. Electronics: an understanding of basic circuitry, with the ability to design and troubleshoot simple circuits; familiarity with digital and analog devices sufficient to order components for courses, especially our electronics course. Machine shop: ability to use machine and hand tools effectively and safely, including the lathe, milling machine, drill press, soldering apparatus, welding, and common tools (hammer, saw, etc.); skills should be sufficient to construct small parts from shop drawings, and to teach safe and effective shop practice to undergraduates. Cryogenics and vacuum systems: familiarity with techniques used for laboratory research and ability to troubleshoot problems such as leak checking. Information technology: familiarity with computer systems sufficient to install new software, maintain computers having specialized software and hardware for data collection and analysis, and troubleshoot software or computer interface problems. The candidate must be self-motivated, able to prioritize and balance many ongoing projects and anticipate departmental needs, and capable of working without close supervision. Must be capable of working collegially with a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, and visitors on a daily basis.
Additional Preferred Qualifications: An advanced degree is preferred.
Job Open Date 06-09-2016
Job Close Date Open Until Filled
Review Begin Date: 06-23-2016
Application Types Accepted General Application
Special Instructions to Applicants Colgate is committed to responding to the diverse educational needs of our students, and strives to be a community supportive of diverse perspectives, identities, ways of life, and philosophies. Colgate is an EEO/AA employer; women and candidates from historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.
Please view our robust benefit plans at http://www.colgate.edu/working-at-colgate/benefits. Full-time regular employees are eligible to enroll, audit and earn undergraduate and graduate credits!