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Lab Instructor

Department: Chemical Engineering Effective Date: July 2009

USG 10

35 hr/wk

Reports to: Senior Lab Instructor/Manager

General Accountability

The Chemical Engineering Laboratory Instructor shares responsibility for the effective operation of all undergraduate teaching laboratories and related operations in the Chemical Engineering curriculum.  Duties include:

Nature and Scope

1. The Chemical Engineering Laboratory Instructor works on their own initiative with minimal daily supervision, and reports to the Senior Laboratory Instructor/Manager.

2. The Chemical Engineering Laboratory Instructor supervises Teaching Assistants assigned to assist them with the undergraduate laboratories from term-to-term on a changing basis, including:

Giving supervision and instruction on experiments and design exercises to new teaching assistants prior to the commencement of laboratory sessions each term.

Providing up-to-date manuals and/or written handouts about each experiment or exercise with specific emphasis on safety, equipment preparation, problems potentially encountered during the experiment, and data analysis. 

The Chemical Engineering Laboratory Instructor's potential responsibilities include any undergraduate course involving experimental and/or computational laboratory exercises.  Subject to changes in the curriculum, these are represented by the following courses:

Ch.E. 101, Ch.E. 121, Ch.E. 290, Ch.E. 291, Ch.E. 390, Ch.E. 391, Ch.E. 490, Ch.E. 524

3.  The primary objective and challenge of the Chemical Engineering Laboratory Instructor's job is:

3.1  Take full academic responsibility for the courses and lab exercises to which they are assigned each term.  This includes:  developing course syllabi including the grading scheme, using web-based course material delivery where appropriate, assigning lab groups and schedules for the experiments, giving instruction to students regarding course expectations and requirements, assisting with grading, assessing and submitting final course grades, responding to inquiries and appeals regarding grades.

3.2  Work with other teaching staff to ensure that all experiments in all courses work when classes meet.   Work with others to ensure that all the Chemical Engineering lab exercises have consistent expectations and practices, where possible.

3.3  Make improvements to existing experiments and exercises so that they are more suitable for achieving educational goals in the context of a Chemical Engineering education.

3.4  Provide technical support in the teaching process by being present at laboratory classes and explaining proper use of equipment, both to the Teaching Assistants and to the undergraduate students performing the experiments.

3.5  Where abilities, interests and opportunities exist, deliver undergraduate lecture courses and/or tutorials in the Chemical Engineering program.

4. Other duties of the Chemical Engineering Laboratory Instructor:

These include:

(a) preparation of chemical solutions and other materials required in the laboratories.

(b) familiarity with and operation of special laboratory equipment, including analytical equipment, data measurement devices and meters, pumps, reactors, membranes, heat exchangers, other unit operations, and biological materials and equipment such as microscopes.

(c) handle paperwork associated with the purchase and repair of laboratory equipment, supplies and inventory.

(d) be responsible for maintaining the laboratory manuals up-to-date for reproduction purposes.

(e) supervise health and safety aspects of undergraduate laboratories for all students, Teaching Assistants and others.

(f) perform library searches, reading, and professional training to remain current with developments in Chemical Engineering and education.  

(h) Where feasible by virtue of their education and experience, pursue and maintain Professional Engineering licensure in the Province of Ontario.

Statistical Data

Courses in Chemical Engineering, including the laboratory courses, enroll up to approximately 75 students per lab course per term.  Laboratory courses occur in each of the three terms per year.  There are approx. 500 Chemical Engineering undergraduate students.

Specific Accountabilities

1.  Smooth operation of all undergraduate Chemical Engineering Laboratories.

2. Administration of the assigned undergraduate laboratory courses and exercises, and a commitment to continuous quality improvement.

3. Supervision and instruction of Teaching Assistants.

4. Development and construction of new or improved Chemical Engineering undergraduate experiments, including exercises based on engineering software applications.

5. Provide effective leadership in the laboratory, including instruction of students and assessment of their academic performance.

6. Collaborate with the other department teaching staff to provide course coverage in case of absences.

Working Conditions

The Chemical Engineering Laboratory Instructor is expected to organize their work such that they can be available during all scheduled lab periods, and occasionally some extra sessions.  Most of the time is spent in teaching labs (including computer-aided teaching) or the office, working with TAs and undergraduate students, or preparing equipment and materials for the labs.