The CU Community Fab is a cutting-edge, exciting and fun place to work. Our hiring patterns vary by time of the year and programs and grants, feel free to get involved as a volunteer to be the first to hear about future opportunities. As a place where a lot of innovation happens the Fab Lab depends on and greatly values cognitive diversity. Therefore we are especially interested in hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds, and kindly encourage all sorts of people to apply.
We will accept, contact and hire candidates on a rolling basis, as we are looking for someone who can begin as soon as possible.
Technical Lab Manager
The Illinois Informatics Institute, Fab Lab, seeks a Program Coordinator: CU Community Fab Lab Manager. This position will manage advanced digital fabrication and rapid prototyping tools as well as assisting open hours lab attendants at the CU Community Fab Lab in the service of support of the Fab Lab core mission: design and fabrication related education, research and art-entrepreneurship. Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community.
Manage advanced digital fabrication and rapid prototyping tools as well as assisting open hours lab attendants at the CU Community Fab Lab in the service of support of the Fab Lab core mission: design and fabrication related education, research and art-entrepreneurship.
Duties and Responsibilities
Project Management: Implement and oversee programs as directed by the Fab Lab Director.
- Independently implement programs: collaboratively set goals, metrics for success, and process; set timelines, track progress, and measure success; and report outcomes for all programs of the CU Community Fab Lab. Make recommendations to the Director for major modifications to programs. These programs include outreach, education and services to students, faculty and community.
- Create and sustain a positive, problem-solver atmosphere conducive to effective collaboration and sharing. Promote participation in an inclusive, creative community; keep staff and patrons motivated in creating and sharing interesting digital fabrication projects; be a role model by demonstrating empathy, diplomacy and proactive listening.
- Supervise hourly staff who primarily work as interns and open lab support. Manage the staffing schedule for open lab hours and workshops; delegate daily operations tasks and keep people informed, accountable and on target. Propose, and collaborate with the director on setting. Open lab hours, policies and procedures.
- Handle digital and in-person communications and information organization tasks with a combination of email and phone as well as collaboration and project management platforms.
Education and Training: Support educational programming, including instructional materials and class support
- Develop training materials and train lab assistants and high school interns to leverage documentation and local expertise to help them know how to safely, effectively and creatively use — as well as fix — equipment in the lab.
- Oversee delivery of workshops as part of program implementation. This includes collaborating on instructor assignments and communicating with instructors on curriculum, audience, scheduling and review. This may include preparation and delivery of one or more workshops open to campus and community members.
- Provide feedback on open lab and workshops educational experiences, including defining learning objectives and prerequisites as well as assessing documentation, tool/technique instruction methods, and evaluation models. Contribute to future modifications of those experiences by making recommendations and measuring success.
Facility and Tool Management: Oversee maintenance and documentation of core fabrication areas and systems
- Retain a regular presence during daily open hours and classes during afternoons and evenings several days a week to ensure that the lab is fit to serve as a classroom and fabrication education space — keeping it safe, clean, supplied, organized and accessible.
- Manage maintenance, repair and upgrades of nearly all fabrication tools in the lab, including 3D printers/scanners, laser engravers, small board electronics, poster plotters, screen printing, casting, molding, milling and textile machines. This includes overseeing and ensuring regular maintenance, scheduling expert repair, and researching solutions as needed.
- Manage repair and maintenance records as well as minor tool acquisitions, parts/supplies and inventory.
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
Preferred Education: B.S., B.A., M.S., or M.A. in a field related to science, technology, engineering or art education
Required Experience: One year of experience supervising a team of staff or instructors. Experience with fabrication tools including one or more of the following: 3D printers, small board electronics, laser engravers, or textile machines. Design experience, or experience teaching others about digital and physical design. Experience with design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Autodesk Meshmixer.
Preferred Experience: Teaching young adults in formal or informal settings
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Successful candidates will process the following: Working knowledge of all Fab Lab operations, history, and mission. Experience with project, personnel and information management systems. Understanding of digital fabrication technologies. Familiarity with project-based curriculum. Any knowledge of information technology, digital arts or STEM. Critical thinking skills with diversity, social inclusion and emotional work.
Salary or Appointment Information
This is a full-time Civil Service Program Coordinator position appointed on a -month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the close date. Salary is commensurate with experience.
See the full posting on the Illinois Job Board.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will be the hours? Where will I work?
This position has regular presence during our operations at the main Fab Lab location (not community sites), including UIUC classes, open lab and summer camps. The Fab Lab does not have much programming in the morning – this position is for someone who is able to work weekday afternoons, three weekday evenings (never Fridays) and Sunday afternoons. The schedule may vary week-by-week and allows for some flexibility but will consistently require work during evenings. The manager will have a small office space at the Fab Lab but in a sense the entire lab (Art Annex 2) is their workspace.
Who will the manager report to? How much autonomy will they have? Do they have help?
They will report to and work closely with Jeff Ginger (Director) and Lisa Bievenue (Director of Informatics). We’re definitely looking for someone who can be an independent leader who can take initiative to drive operations, but that works well collaboratively and diplomatically with others. In our case leadership is thought of more as “lead from the front” than “lead from behind.” They will need to conduct activities actively in tandem with our staff, checking on them regularly and leading by example in-person in an environment with a high degree of mentorship and collegiality. The technical lab manager will have about a dozen staff who will work with them in various roles.
How will the interview process work?
We will invite selected candidates to meet with a hiring committee as well as core-staff review group. They will also participate in a technical knowledge demonstration exercise.