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Machine Shop Supervisor

Department: Science Technical Services Effective Date: May 2007
Grade: USG 10 Reports to: STS department manager

General Accountability

Under the administrative and financial supervision of the STS department manager, the supervisor of the Machine Shop shall be responsible for managing operations of the Machine Shop Group of the STS department and to efficiently provide a variety of technical services to meet the needs of the Faculty of Science.

Nature and Scope

Science Technical Services department is composed of Electronic Shop, Machine Shop, Student Machine Shop and Stores. Student Machine Shop supervisor reports to the Machine Shop Supervisor. Presently the STS department has ten permanent staff members, occasionally, when workload requires, extra persons may be hired on temporary or part-time basis.

Machine Shop supervisor and administrative assistant who is also in charge of the Stores and all Electronic Shop personnel report directly to the manager.

Having an in-house expertise to service, design and build instruments is a very important feature for the Faculty of Science.

On the technical side of the STS operations, the department provides one stop solutions to design and construction of various specialized research and teaching instrumentation (electronic, electrical and mechanical), repairs, maintenance, modifications and installations of new or existing equipment, testing, calibration and consultations to faculty, staff and students.  The value of single serviced piece of equipment often approaches 1mln dollars. Important decisions need to be made when servicing or building such equipment in terms of safety of the service personnel and its users and possible serious and expensive damage to the equipment if mistakes were made. Examples of more expensive equipment include: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Instruments, Laser Systems, X-ray Instruments, Electron Microscopes, Environmental Chambers, Mass Spectrometers, Gas Chromatographs, low temperature physics and superconductivity instruments, specialized vacuum instrumentation, centrifuges, ovens, etc.

Customers of the STS department include faculty, staff and grad students from the Faculty of Science, but also increasingly from other faculties and departments of UW and occasionally from outside the Campus. The size of the projects varies from simple modifications to an existing instrument taking only minutes to finish to design and construction of highly complex equipment valued at $60,000 or more and taking up to a year to complete.


The work orders submitted to the department go through feasibility, design, estimate and ordering of parts and materials and construction stages. Technical details and methods of executing the project are worked out and various decisions affecting the performance, cost, and timing of the fabrication are taken.  Resources such as: scientific publications, professional journals, etc, may need to be consulted and some design concepts and methods  need to be tried on an experimental basis before finalizing the design. Technical support to teaching activities in all departments of the Faculty of Science includes support to professors teaching various courses when they need demonstration equipment, and to demonstrators teaching undergrad labs. Such equipment may need to be designed, built, repaired, modified, tested, calibrated or assembled on a very short time notice.


All activities of the STS: financial transactions, work orders, purchase orders, time keeping, etc, are traced using two-part software system: one custom, designed internally, and one commercial. The monthly and the year end reports are sent to Financial Services department.

End results are the financial statements showing expenses and revenues.

Statistical Data

Sectors served by STS:

Specific Accountabilities

As a Supervisor, the incumbent shall have responsibility over: 

 The Supervisor should, time permitting, participate actively in completion of various work orders.


In this function :


Working Conditions