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Laboratory Manager/Instructor-Nanotechnolgy

Date: April, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Lab Director, Teaching
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles):

Graduate Teaching Assistants
sessional Lab Instructor/Hardware Specialist

Department: Electrical & Computer Enginerring


Waterloo Campus


USG 11
37.5 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The undergraduate Nanotechnology Engineering (NE) program is a multi-disciplinary curriculum encompassing materials science, material engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, and medicine.  The “Laboratory Manager/Instructor - Nanotechnology Engineering” (Lab Manager) administratively reports to the “Laboratory Director, Teaching” (Lab Director).  The Lab Manger reports to the faculty ECE Coordinator for NE Laboratories for functional/ operational matters.  The ECE Coordinator for NE Laboratories will ensure that the laboratory functions according to the NE undergraduate lab requirements as overseen by the Director of the Nanotechnology Engineering Program.  S/he will also collaborate with faculty members assigned with the tasks of planning and overseeing the delivery of lab courses in the NE program.


This position is essential for NE laboratory course delivery, technical operation and maintenance of the undergraduate cleanroom facility and metrology suite.  The Lab Manager is responsible for the development and enhancement of the laboratory experience, for monitoring laboratory safety and maintaining the general infrastructure of NE undergraduate clean room and metrology suite space.  In addition, the Lab Manager monitors the day-to-day operations and gives oversight of safety in the NE undergraduate clean room and metrology suite.  In addition, the Lab Manager will help raise the visibility and reputation of the NE undergraduate program by generating and maintaining the sound technical/operational capability of the lab.


Key Accountabilities:


Instruction of students and assessment of their academic performance:

  • Prepares lab experiments and provides instructions related to NE undergrad labs;
  • Designs, constructs and tests specific set-ups for some lab experiments;
  • Monitors students’ lab progress by evaluating reports and lab exams in the technical and theoretical aspects of the subject matter;
  • Ensures academic integrity is maintained in the lab;
  • Assesses NE work term reports;
  • Assists students on an individual or group basis with lab and related assignments/problems;
  • Evaluates NE student technical presentations and symposium poster marking;
  • Consults/coaches/marks student fourth‑year design projects;
  • Develops experiments and writes laboratory materials/manuals in conjunction with faculty;
  • Recommends and/or makes necessary changes in materials, techniques or procedures to optimize the value of the lab exercise;
  • Plans new labs, conducts and evaluates prototype labs;
  • Keeps lab content and resources current.


Supervises Teaching Assistants who oversee the students performing the experiments and exercises:

  • Ensures the effective utilization and development of TAs who assist with undergrad lab from term-to-term on a changing basis;
  • Directs lab TAs through the academic term cycle: assigning duties, coordinating their lab activities, etc.;
  • Trains new teaching assistants in lab equipment procedures and/or theory, as well as, instruction on experiments and design exercises before each term’s lab sessions begin;
  • Participates in TA interviewing, ranking, and rating their performance;
  • Trains other Laboratory Instructors in the use of specialized hardware or software as required.


Lab Operations:

  • Ensures the daily operational capability of the NE clean room and metrology facility;
  • Identifies all hazards associated with use and manipulation of nanomaterials;
  • Controls risks associated with the identified hazards and reports exposures or spills of nanomaterials to the Safety Office and follows emergency procedures;
  • Monitors and updates the clean room and metrology suite equipment inventory;
  • Monitors performance to ensure adequate quality control and arranges maintenance of technical equipment/software;
  • Oversees teaching inventory, researches and recommends purchases to keep current with evolving technology;
  • Ensures proper disposal of all nanomaterials in accordance with waste procedures for handling hazardous materials;
  • Provides technical support for the purchase of new laboratory equipment and makes recommendations for replacement of outmoded laboratory equipment;
  • Develops lab and safety procedures and ensures that the facility functions according to all applicable safety rules and regulations;
  • Identifies areas where facility upgrades are necessary and provides cost estimates for implementing improvements;
  • Recommends and implements approved upgrades and improvements to lab facilities and practices.


Other Duties:

  • Attends lab planning and review sessions;
  • Maintains an awareness of current innovations in the area of nanotechnology engineering, and, where feasible, incorporates them into the laboratory curriculum;
  • Assists with other duties or special projects which may be assigned by the Lab Director or ECE Coordinator for NE Laboratories.

Position Requirements


Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Engineering, or equivalent combination of education and experience.  MASc degree preferred.
Has fundamental knowledge in clean room and metrology suite operation





Broad knowledge of current applications used in an undergrad clean room and metrology suite environment.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Intermediate Basic Databases: Intermediate (SharePoint/FileMakerPro/Oracle or other)
Other: E
xtensive hardware and software knowledge in the area of nanotechnology engineering and/or science.

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, the Lab Manager liaises with undergraduate students, faculty members, grad student TAs, and research staff, as well as administrative staff.

Externally, the Lab Manager will have contacts relevant to accomplishing laboratory delivery objectives, as well as equipment and/or software suppliers.

Level of Responsibility:

The Lab Manager is responsible and accountable for the smooth operation of the NE undergrad clean room and metrology suite, as well as, works per the assigned lab instruction schedule, on his/her own initiative, with minimal daily supervision.  The Lab Manager ensures TAs and students are made competent to perform the work they have been assigned through training and any other means that the instructor or Safety Office feels is reasonable.  S/he is responsible for communicating Health & Safety guidelines to the users of the NE facility as well as coordinating safety training as required.  The Lab Manager is responsible for lab exercises and other academic responsibilities within the program.  S/he supervises teaching assistants assigned to assist with the undergrad labs from term-to-term on a changing basis.  The Lab Manager’s actions may have a direct impact on the success of the students.

Decision-Making Authority:

The Lab Manager works independently in the operation of assigned labs.  The Lab Manager makes independent decisions typical of those associated with an undergrad lab instructor e.g. assignments.  The Lab Manager must solve specific operational problems and improve technical activities of the NE lab.  Work is based on course objectives and performed in accordance within defined practices, procedures and policies.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Moderate demands typical of a technical position operating within a teaching lab environment that may involve some lifting of equipment, rearranging of furniture, and standing for extended periods of time.  The Lab Manager must be able to project his/her voice to communicate with students in a relatively noisy lab setting.

Working Environment:

Due to the hazardous nature of nanotechnology laboratories, the Laboratory Manager, must be present during all laboratory periods.  Safety procedures must be strictly enforced.  Much of the time is spent working in a cleanroom environment where cleanroom gowning (head to toe) must be worn.  Occasional exposure to chemicals and/or fumes.
Hours of work: 37.5 hours per week.  Lab space and scheduling restrictions may necessitate after hours work.  Work outside of normal hours may be occasionally being required to deal with emergencies, maintenance, upgrades, or scheduling issues.