The Laboratory Assistant is a part of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering work unit at Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. The position provides educational, operations, and research support in the laboratory areas of ChBE related to faculty teaching and research. Example duties include preparing the undergraduate laboratory for teaching and learning, ensuring the undergraduate laboratory has adequate supplies, placing orders, supporting faculty and student research needs, maintaining equipment, communicating laboratory safety and policies, and ensuring compliance in laboratory practices.
Vanderbilt's Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) department mission is to educate those who will advance the knowledge base in chemical engineering, become practicing chemical engineers, and be leaders in the chemical and process industries, academia, and government; to conduct both basic and applied research in chemical engineering and related interdisciplinary areas; to provide service to the chemical engineering profession, the School of Engineering, Vanderbilt University, the country, and the world.
Duties and Responsibilities
Support on-going safety culture in the Chemical Engineering Innovation Laboratory (ChIL) and Chemical Engineering research laboratories. Maintaining situational awareness is a critical component of a safety culture
Ensure and document safety and regulatory compliance in laboratory practices; perform safety analyses of laboratories; update MSDS library; coordinate waste disposal
Carry out safety review of experiments and lab operations with class instructors and students and for new procedures before they are initiated. Document safety reviews
Request online safety training assignments; maintain training compliance records, document, communicate and update safety policies and guidelines
Assist faculty with preparation and execution of undergraduate laboratory classes. This will include setting up experiments and carrying out analysis in support of instruction as requested
Assist with laboratory operations, testing, and analysis on an "as requested" basis commensurate with training and capabilities
Assist faculty, post-docs, and graduate students with research laboratory trouble shooting that involves equipment/instrumentation on an "as requested" basis commensurate with training and capabilities
Maintain organization in shared supplies and user spaces; assist with laboratory organization on "as requested" basis
Oversee the operation of the digital fabrication facility on the 4th floor of Olin Hall
Provide effective operation of the ChIL by initiating changes or development of new policies, procedures, or methods. Develop and maintain written safety policies and procedures documents for laboratory
Create/maintain laboratory procedures manual; perform administrative duties associated with lab operation; assist with the level of support appropriate for individual faculty needs
Provide budgetary input for lab-related expenditures; anticipate lab needs and order supplies
Responsible for operation, standard methods, calibration, standard operating procedures development (including documentation), maintenance, and usage and maintenance logs, of general laboratory equipment (e.g., balances, pipettes, pH meters, and water purification systems) and selected analytical instrumentation (as delegated)
Assure implementation of all necessary quality assurance procedures and documentation for general laboratory equipment and applicable analytical instrumentation and methods, including conformance with project sponsor requirements (e.g., EPA and DOE)
Coordinate purchase of teaching and scientific equipment as requested, with price quotes and cost comparisons; maintain capital equipment inventory; support annual capital equipment inventory audit for the Environmental Engineering Laboratory and verify information recorded
Plan and initiate new equipment/supplies/chemical delivery logistics
Assist faculty and staff in assessing appropriate configuration and compatibility of existing systems with new equipment and computers for teaching and research purposes
Ensure cost-effective vendor/supplier utilization; maintain liaison with VU Procurement and suppliers; expedite purchases, maintain supplies utilization and cost records
Enter all purchasing transactions for lab supplies in eProcurement; complete requests for purchase orders as needed, per VU Procurement policies
Resolve organizational issues and/or carry out disposal of legacy equipment, samples and materials
Report of laboratory facilities issues to building Manager and expedite resolution (e.g., air flow, door lock issues, and other facility maintenance issues)
Works closely with the instructor(s) of the chemical engineering laboratory courses, the director of the digital fabrication laboratory, as well as the department lead
Additional duties as assigned
Bachelor's in science, engineering, or related field is necessary
Individual in this role must maintain all training certifications necessary and deemed appropriate for the position
Minimum 2-years of laboratory experience is necessary
Technical understanding of basic lab procedures, safety culture and compliance requirements and equipment is necessary
Analytical and quantitative skills with attention to detail are necessary
Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel is necessary
Good written and oral communication skills are necessary
Good interpersonal skills are necessary
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.
Internal Number: 10000608
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.