Machine Shop Assistant Manager - Geophysical Institute

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  • Job Number:522231
  • Classification:Research Professional 3
  • Grade:Grade 80
  • Work type:On Campus, Staff Full-time
  • Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • School/Business unit:UAF Geophysical Institute
  • Location:Fairbanks
  • Categories: Engineering/Computer Science, Facilities/Skilled Trades

Position Summary:

Do you enjoy creating and have experience in machining and/or engineering? The Geophysical Institute is looking for a Machine Shop Assistant Manager to join our research-focused Machine Shop team. This position plays an important role in supporting management and administration of the shop workload, consulting on projects, and designing/ fabricating equipment and tools that will be used by researchers all over the world. This position is located in Fairbanks, Alaska where hiking, ski trails, fishing, and a variety of outdoor activities are easily accessible. We hire skilled individuals from a variety of backgrounds with a passion for supporting research!


1-55Machine Shop Management: Under the Machine Shop Manager’s supervision, assist in serving as a spokesperson for Machine Shop projects. Assist in providing detailed designs through highly technical engineering drawings and sketches. Produce programming for computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machines. Design and implement systems and procedures under the guidance of the Machine Shop Manager. Ensure quality control of projects and resulting data. Troubleshoot issues and create solutions as necessary. Solve complex research questions/problems by using analytical skills. Operate, maintain, and modify project equipment and facilities as assigned. Ensure that all operations are in compliance with UAF safety regulations. Assist Machine Shop Manager in ensuring that project goals and technical deliverables are defined and executed. Assist in developing, administering, and monitoring financial and technical progress for projects to ensure work is completed in a timely, fiscally responsible, quality-controlled, and professional manner, and in alignment with larger program goals. Assist in the development of the research facility while prioritizing the requirements of current and future research programs. Under the guidance of the Machine Shop Manager, direct the fabrication of a wide variety of equipment, devices, and mechanical systems used in scientific data gathering and analysis. Work with UAF Facilities Services and Design and Construction to ensure that all work performed is to code, and that any modifications to the building comply with all UAF requirements. Publish research in peer-reviewed publications.Essential
20Collaboration with researchers: Collaborate with Machine Shop Machinists in developing ideas and transforming them into practical design concepts through close cooperation with the scientific research community. Assist in providing safety training and supervision for all visitors, researchers, and clients on-site during tours and active testing operations. Under the guidance of the Machine Shop Supervisor, consult with researchers to develop projects in accordance with their individual needs and create budget proposals to ensure funding availability for the completion of projects by the Machine Shop. Estimate resources necessary to identify solutions. Respond to inquiries in a timely, approachable, and comprehensive manner.Essential
3-15Leadership: Lead staff as assigned, focusing on service excellence, continuous improvement, and compliance with policies, processes, and regulations. As assigned, coordinate with the Geophysical Institute (GI) Operations Manager as a hiring manager and Human Resources liaison for the Machine Shop. Assist in developing position descriptions, recruitment materials and onboarding plans for department positions. Serve as a member of recruiting committees. Under the guidance of the Machine Shop Manager, schedule projects to ensure maximum output of shop personnel and funding sources. Assist in conducting safety meetings as needed within the shop. Attend monthly safety meetings chaired by the GI Operations Manager as part of the Local 6070 CBA requirements. Under Machine Shop Manager’s guidance, collaborate with the GI Business Office to complete recharge timesheets and generate work orders for Machine Shop. Ensure that work orders are charged and recorded correctly on timesheets.Essential
4-5Proposal Management: Assist in identifying funding opportunities. As assigned, develop, conceive, and submit proposals for review by the Machine Shop Manager to obtain funding for projects to be completed by the Machine Shop. Assist Machine Shop Manager in identifying budgetary, human, and equipment resources and supplies required to achieve project success. Take the necessary steps to meet objectives of externally funded projects.Essential
5Equipment Management: As assigned, assist with the procurement and ordering of materials, components, and equipment for shop use. Under the guidance of the Machine Shop Manager, oversee electrical, and mechanical design, and layout of all equipment to be installed. Specify required equipment, assist in obtaining quotes, and work with the procurement department to purchase. Assist in managing all shipping, and logistics of both new equipment, and research projects in and out of the Machine Shop as required. As assigned, maintain Machine Shop’s inventory of hardware, spare parts, and tools as required to ensure minimum downtime during operation.Essential

Additional Department Information:

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute has relied on professional machinists to fabricate specialized equipment for scientific studies since the institute’s inception in 1949. The Machine Shop operates as a service center for scientists, researchers, and graduate students. The shop’s main function is to fabricate devices, machines, or equipment that researchers cannot buy off the shelf. The Machine Shop staff have the skill sets, equipment, software, and resources necessary to accomplish these tasks. 

The Machine Shop’s capabilities include complete fabrication and assembly, repair of mechanical equipment, 3D printing, and computer-aided design and manufacture.

Geophysical Institute:

The Geophysical Institute is a research-driven organization at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The university offers an attractive work environment and strong benefits including retirement and health insurance, generous leave policies, and tuition waivers for UAF courses. The Geophysical Institute is committed to equity, inclusion, and accountability and values the open sharing of different perspectives. We support a respectful and welcoming environment and a commitment to serving Alaska and Alaskans with strong applied science. Career growth and professional development are expected and encouraged.

As a public, regional, comprehensive university, UAF is committed to building a culturally diverse and inclusive organization and strongly encourages women, minorities, members from marginalized communities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:
  • Knowledge of manufacturing and machine shop practices including knowledge of machine shop safety procedures.
  • Knowledge of the properties of metals and materials.
  • Knowledge and training in the production of engineering drawings. Machine design training and experience.
  • Knowledge and training in Computer Driven Machine Tool programming. Knowledge and experience in Cad-Cam software.
  • Understanding of governmental accounting practices.
  • Knowledge of grant writing procedures and the ability to secure monies from external entities.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Ability to assess the nature of an inquiry and formulate a response in line with the inquiry.
  • Scientific technical knowledge.
  • Experience in business operations in a machine shop environment.
  • Knowledge and ability to perform in leadership positions.
  • Conceptual knowledge of manufacturing from the design level to the final production of products.
  • Ability to train others and conduct meetings.
  • Knowledge of Local 6070 collective bargaining agreements and ability to follow contract guidelines. Stays current on all changes made by the union.
  • Technical problem-solving skills, planning, cost analysis, budgeting, management, and organizational skills.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
Required Experience, Education or Training:

Master’s degree and two years of research experience at the postgraduate level in a field relevant to the research (mechanical engineering preferred), or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Journeyman/Master Machinist-Toolmaker Certificate or equivalent is required. Completion of a full machinist apprenticeship or equivalent is required.

Candidates with the following experience will be given preference:

- Advanced working experience in a machining trade.
- Experience in business operations in a machine shop environment.
- Supervisory and management experience preferred.

Salary Information: This position is full-time, Grade 80, term-funded, exempt, 12-month position complete with a competitive salary and UA employee benefits package. New hires will be placed on the UA staff salary schedule, based on education and experience.
Special Instructions to Applicants:

This position will be physically located at the UAF campus in Fairbanks, Alaska. The successful finalist will be expected to report to duty at the UAF office on the first day of employment.

*To ensure consideration, please apply prior to the review date. Applicants must be legally eligible for unrestricted employment to work in the U.S. No work visas will be sponsored for this position. 

Review of applicants will begin immediately, to ensure full consideration you must apply by 2/20/2023.

If you need assistance applying to this posting, please contact GI - Office of Human Resources at 907-474-7357.

UAF COVID Requirements:


At this time, all university employees are strongly encouraged to vaccinate themselves against the COVID-19 virus. While the federal government is not actively enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine mandates, including its mandate requiring vaccination of federal contractor employees, UAF remains contractually obligated as a federal contractor to comply with those requirements should federal enforcement efforts recommence. As a result, UAF may adjust its vaccination requirements for covered UAF employees (currently Troth Yeddha’ campus and employees working in connection with certain federal contracts) at any time in the future, as needed, in order to comply with its contractual obligations.

This position is a term-funded position and is reviewed annually for contract renewal at the University's discretion.

The University of Alaska (UA) is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities throughout the applicant screening process. If you need assistance in completing this application or during any phase of the interview process, please contact UA Human Resources by phone at 907-450-8200.

UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:

The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

Your application for employment with the University of Alaska is subject to public disclosure under the Alaska Public Records Act.

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Cassandra Ellis, HR Coordinator, UAF Geophysical Institute, at or (907) 474-5880.

Advertised: Alaskan Standard Time
Applications close: Alaskan Standard Time

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