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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.


General Description:

A Machinist Technician is responsible for performing complex work in the fabrication, modification, maintenance, and repair of specialized scientific or engineering equipment and related devices; machining a variety of materials (e.g., metal, acrylic and other plastics) in service to the entire CEE dept. (faculty, students and staff); participating in design activities and resolving operational problems; coordinating with other technicians; and conducting laboratory experiments.  The work involves significant collaboration and creativity working with a diverse group of graduate students and faculty to develop concepts, make improvements then finalize prototype systems used in state-of-the-art research.  Thus, inherent curiosity and interest in research, communication skills and collaborative spirit are important attributes.

Research Support ~ 40%

  • Fabricate and modify complex devices/apparatus for research using shop tools such as drill press, band saw, table saw, lathe, CNC mill, etc.
  • Work with faculty and students to develop concepts, modify and improve them, and finalize preliminary designs
  • Design prototype of projects and produce them efficiently to save project funds, typically sponsored research funding
  • Work with students on various technical needs such as testing design and fabrication, equipment improvements and space setup; resolving any technical problems, flaws or areas of improvement
  • Advise professional staff regarding component and equipment requirements and capabilities
  • Prepare complex drawings with specifications and tolerances
  • Aide in design and engineering of test set-ups
  • Assist with purchasing necessary materials in appropriate amounts for use in research support

Class Support ~ 20%

  • Fabricate and modify laboratory equipment for teaching labs using available shop tools or coordinating with outside vendors when necessary
  • Set-up laboratory tests with required equipment and supplies
  • Instruct and assist students with laboratory tests

Equipment Maintenance/Repair ~ 20%

  • Test, repair, and calibrate equipment such as saws, drills, and lathes
  • Resolve design problems or malfunctions in specialized equipment
  • Fabricate/Install fixtures to test components
  • Repair/Maintain mechanical/electrical equipment such as hydraulic pumps, controllers and actuators as needed (training can be provided)
  • Work with other technical staff and appropriate faculty to anticipate and schedule equipment repairs, upgrades, replacements or new purchases

Safety Issues ~ 10%

  • Instruct new laboratory users regarding lab specific safety procedures and document their training
  • Determine safe operating procedures for test equipment; monitor and enforce codes to be in compliance with OSHA and U-M OSEH requirements
  • Actively participate in department committees as assigned, including the Safety, Facilities Committee, and/or any ad hoc committees from year to year
  • Learn the basics of the other technicians’ work responsibilities to communicate effectively and work safely in their absence to cover the needs of the department
  • Determine safe operating procedures; monitor and support students and laboratories to be in compliance with OSHA and U-M OSEH requirements (

Facilities Issues ~ 10%

  • Assist with space renovations, moves, updates and utilizations
  • Notify Plant Operations Call Center of building related issues and follow up to ensure work was completed satisfactorily
  • Actively participate on the Facilities Committee (may be part of the Safety Cmte) to plan for equipment or software maintenance, repair, upgrades or replacement over a multi-year period, including the estimated budgetary effects of such plans

Required Qualifications*

  • Associate’s degree (Bachelor’s Degree preferred) plus 2-4 years’ relevant experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Demonstrated communication skills, listening, written and oral, to effectively communicate with diverse groups of students and faculty who have varying ranges of experience with machining
  • Willingness and ability to learn new skills as presented via various training methods to remain up-to-date with latest technology and techniques
  • Two years of trade school in mathematics, physics, chemistry, electronics or engineering, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Minimum of two years of experience using general machining skills, including standard lathe and CNC milling machine
  • Experience in the design, fabrication and repair of scientific or engineering equipment systems, or an equivalent combination of education / experience, preferably in an educational setting
  • Basic knowledge of the methods and materials used in the repair and maintenance of mechanical and electromechanical devices
  • Minimum of two years of experience operating hand and power tools and laboratory instruments, including soldering equipment
  • Experience with, or ability to learn to operate, an overhead crane for moving and assembling structures
  • Operate lift truck for loading/unloading, moving supplies, equipment and test specimens
  • Ability to move 50 lbs. and use ergonomic equipment and resources appropriately
  • Ability to stay well-organized and negotiate deadlines where appropriate to avoid over-committing to projects or missing due dates for deliverables

Desired Qualifications*

  • BS degree in Engineering, preferably Mechanical or Civil Engineering
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, efficiently and productively with a diverse group of students, staff and faculty
  • Considerable experience in the design, fabrication and repair of scientific or engineering equipment systems, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Considerable knowledge of the methods and materials used in the repair and maintenance of mechanical and electromechanical devices
  • Ability to read and interpret complex drawings and specifications and to design and modify complex mechanical apparatus

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.