Careers at UMass Amherst

Sr. Laboratory Planner

Apply now Job no: 499670
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Design & Construction Mgmn
Union: PSU
Categories: Facilities/Grounds/Skilled Trades

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Under the general direction of the Director, Design & Construction Management, this position is responsible for coordinating university laboratory space utilizing directives of Design & Construction Management with other Administration and Finance areas, Academic Affairs, and Research and Engagement areas. The successful candidate will have the ability to lead all phases of lab planning including programming, planning, feasibility, scope and concept development and must possess the skills required to successfully lead lab planning by defining and developing client relationships.  The Senior Laboratory Planner is also responsible for conveying the technical aspects of user needs to Design & Construction Management, coordinating and supervising placement/relocation of research equipment and biological/chemical materials, overseeing management of assets for estimating costing, developing laboratory design standards and reviewing laboratory design.  This includes consulting and acting as a resource for all parties to efficiently utilize university space during renovations or new construction and fit out of new space.


Essential Functions

  • Coordinate and supervise placement/relocation of laboratory equipment, and research materials including biological and chemical inventory in a safe, efficient and expedition manner.  Senior Laboratory Planner must take into account the impact on research productivity as well as allocated resources for placement/relocation.
  • Identify biological, chemical and mechanical hazards relevant to the project and implement procedures to address potential concerns. Perform comprehensive risk assessments to ensure all issues are documented.
  • Establish strategies and guidelines to relocate faculty, staff, centers or programs.
  • Determine magnitude costs of relocation of research faculty, personnel, equipment and materials.
  • Consult and advise end users in architectural programming and decision-making processes to determine the scope of work based on functional and operational requirements.  Coordinate user agency needs to project engineers, architects, construction engineers taking into account established university procedures and policies of Design & Construction Management, Physical Plant, Environmental Health & Safety, and other administrative areas.
  • Develop laboratory design standards for research and teaching facilities taking into account environment, health and safety policies and governmental/code regulations.  The Senior Laboratory Planner must address other factors such as efficiency, economy, energy conservation, design flexibility and having an understanding of the interrelationships between function of the building program and personnel.
  • Review laboratory design to ensure research needs are met.
  • Evaluate equipment specifications to identify mechanical, electrical and plumbing provisions for alteration, renovations and new construction of laboratory facilities taking into account institutional goals of sustainability.
  • Compile, identify and review specifications for capital equipment purchases, acknowledging state procurement rules, end user specific research needs and general building requirements. Develop standard operating procedures for equipment use and maintenance. Maintain systems manuals.
  • Consult with researchers and laboratory directors regarding issues relevant to current space modifications and required fit-out of future space.
  • Review laboratory requirements of new research faculty prior to hire.
  • Lead the documentation of laboratory systems and user requirements including casework systems, lab utility service fixture selections, lab equipment and overall coordination with MEP systems and design to assure seamless integration.
  • Use good judgement and discretion during discussions and initiatives for specific space assignments during planning.
  • Identify relocation needs and potential fit-out for transient research groups and new faculty during renovations and construction projects. Advise on reprogramming of existing space to accommodate these needs.
  • Understands, is committed to, and supports affirmative action and non-discrimination goals of the university.
  • Perform administrative tasks: compile reports, assist in review of program goals and objectives.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor of Architecture or a Bachelor of Science (Biology, Chemistry or associated fields).
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the life and physical science research disciplines.
  • More than five (5) years experience in configuring laboratory layouts, procurement of equipment, and service contracting.
  • More than five (5) years technical experience supporting research in a university setting.
  • General understanding of processes, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing building requirements for scientific research, equipment and environment controls.
  • General knowledge of architectural and construction terms and processes.
  • Ability to access any portion of construction sites/facility, including working at heights and in confined spaces.
  • Excellent organizational, communication and interpersonal skills needed to serve a diverse campus community.
  • Strong oral and written skills.


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday, First Shift


Salary Information

Grade 27


Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three (3) professional references by May 10, 2019 in order to ensure consideration; however, applications will be accepted until the position has been filled.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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