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Manager, RF MEMS Laboratory

Date: August, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Lab Director, Research & Special Projects
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering


Main Campus


USG 10
37.5 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Centre for Integrated RF Engineering (CIRFE) houses a state-of-the-art RF test and characterization laboratory and clean room. The Manager, RF MEMS Laboratory (Manager) is responsible for a wide variety of operational, research and administrative laboratory (lab) support services. S/he identifies, enhances and implements specific processes and procedures to maximize efficiencies of research activities conducted in the lab and ensures the continual functioning of facilities and equipment.


The Manager reports to the Lab Director, Research and Special Projects (Lab Director) for administrative purposes and to the Director CIRFE for functional and operational matters.  

Key Accountabilities:


MEMS RF Lab Management:

  • Supervises operation of the lab and ensures that lab facilities remain functional for all its users;
  • Controls access to lab and manages security system;
  • Maintains user records, manuals, material safety data sheets (MSDS), inventory, financial documentation and relevant information;   
  • Schedules instrument usage to ensure effective prioritization, and fair and equitable distribution related to research projects;
  • Ensures effective instrument/equipment calibration for accuracy and reliability of tests/experiments;
  • Provides technical support for industrial and research or contract projects including performing micro-assembly for lab users and customers;
  • Collaborates with faculty and external users regarding their research needs;
  • Coordinates billing for lab services and consumables;
  • Consults with graduate students on their research activities e.g. testing, mechanical design, etc.
  • Coordinates weekly lab meetings with faculty, graduate students and research group;
  • Ensures proper disposal of all chemicals and/or hazardous materials in accordance with waste procedures;
  • Responsible for coordinating maintenance, troubleshooting and repairing of lab equipment and instrumentation;
  • Sources equipment and materials for lab, obtains quotes and specifications, and orders;
  • Determines cost per sample pricing charts and ensures appropriate billing to customers;
  • Identifies and recommends areas where facility upgrades are necessary, obtains cost estimates and implements approved upgrades and improvements to lab facilities and practices.



  • Enforces Health & Safety guidelines and coordinates safety training for all lab users as required;
  • Maintains quality checks on lab safety and ensures maintenance of lab facilities;
  • Controls risks associated with the identified hazards and reports exposures or spills of nanomaterials to the Safety Office and follows emergency procedures;
  • Develops lab and safety procedures and ensures that the facility functions according to all applicable safety rules and regulations;
  • Manages and coordinates all lab based certifications and permits;
  • Evaluates new chemicals/materials and equipment for risk management.



  • Trains graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, faculty and external users in operation of equipment specific requirements, techniques and clean room processes;
  • Ensures adherence to established procedures for equipment operation and processes;
  • Develops standard operating procedures and protocols based on best practices to improve work flows and current processes.


Other Duties:

  • Maintains the lab website;
  • Writes technical portions of grant proposals related to the lab and equipment;
  • Leads facility tours for potential industry collaborators and academic colleagues;
  • Consults with potential external users on future projects;
  • Serves as a resource for other lab managers concerning unusual and/or difficult technical problems;
  • Occasionally attends technical meetings or conferences to maintain technical expertise;
  • Creates effective promotional materials to raise the visibility and reputation of the lab;
  • Assists with other duties or special projects which may be assigned by the Lab Director or Director CIRFE.

Position Requirements


Masters of Applied Science degree in Engineering or Physics, or an equivalent combination of Bachelor of Science degree and related experience.   


Five years of experience managing lab operations in a research engineering or industrial setting.
Experience in working with clean rooms is required.
Experience in the use of cryogenic test equipment and systems is required.
Experience monitoring and enforcing safety in the labs or a similar environment is required.
Must have a thorough knowledge of complex lab operations.
Well-developed interpersonal and oral and written communication skills.
Excellent organizational and time management skills to ensure smooth functioning of lab.
Strong analytical and critical thinking skills.
Problem-solving and ability to troubleshoot many different types of problems.
Demonstrated ability to work independently in a busy and dynamic environment.
Proven ability to establish and maintain procedures for ensuring safety of students and staff in the lab.
Experience in use of RF and other lab test equipment is an asset.

Experience in thin-film materials and device assembly and integration is an asset.



undamental knowledge in semi-conductor fabrication and clean room operation is required.
Comprehensive knowledge of current applications used in a clean room and semiconductor device fabrication environment.
Knowledge of guidelines for dealing with hazardous materials disposal and Canadian standards for materials testing.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Intermediate Basic

Databases: Intermediate (SharePoint/FileMakerPro/Oracle or other)

Drupal: Intermediate, WCMS or other web editing software
Other: Extensive hardware and software knowledge in the area of nanotechnology engineering and/or science.

Experience with Photoshop is an asset.

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, the Manager liaises with faculty members, administrative, financial and research staff, Postdoctoral Fellows, as well as staff in Plant Operations and Procurement. Provides advice and assistance to graduate students for research projects.   

Externally, the Manager will regularly communicate with suppliers, vendors, clients. Communicates with and assists vendor service personnel in repairing malfunctioning systems.

Level of Responsibility:

The Manager is responsible and accountable for the smooth operation of the lab and works on his/her own initiative with minimal daily supervision. The incumbent ensures that appropriate Safety protocols are in place to prevent the occurrence of accidents or injuries. S/he is responsible for the coordination of all regulatory and compliance activities for the lab.   

Decision-Making Authority:

The Manager makes independent decisions daily on operational functions. The incumbent must solve specific operational problems and improve technical activities of the lab requiring independent judgment and expertise as well as the utilization of advanced technical and operational skills.   

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Moderate demands typical of a technical position operating within a research lab environment that may involve some lifting of equipment and standing for extended periods of time.  Demand for diligence, accuracy and attention to detail.  

Working Environment:

The Manager will have an office but will spend a great deal of time working in the lab and interacting with researchers. Due to the hazardous nature of clean rooms the Manager must be present during all lab periods and safety procedures strictly enforced. Much of the time is spent working in a cleanroom environment where cleanroom gowning (head to toe) must be worn. May be periodically exposed to moderately disagreeable conditions (e.g. handling of chemicals, disposal of waste materials, fumes, etc.)

This role involves dealing with multiple users including graduate students and managing limited resources with time pressures and conflicting stakeholder demands.

Hours of work: 37.5 hours per week.  Lab space and scheduling restrictions may necessitate after hours work.  Provides technical troubleshooting and crisis management, which may require being on call after hours.