Careers at UMass Amherst

Instrumentation Engineer

Apply now Job no: 523789
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Chemistry
Union: PSU
Categories: Technical, College of Natural Sciences, PSU A

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

The Electronics Shop Manager - Instrumentation Engineer for Chemistry Department’s electronics shop works under the minimal direction of the Director of Operations and Administration). This position maintains and develops resources essential to the Chemistry and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Departments’ teaching and research facilities focused on both aging and advanced technology instrumentation support. This includes design, fabrication, installation, repairing, maintaining and documenting complex electronics instrumentation and related mechanical equipment. Supports for additional affiliated departments will be considered as time and resources permit.


Essential Functions

  • Troubleshoots defective systems, equipment, components and associated cabling and power supplies.
  • Repairs defects found in troubleshooting by direct component repair or replacement of subassemblies as necessary. Calibrates and aligns instruments as necessary. Performs mechanical repairs as necessary.
  • Independently designs and manufactures prototype research/teaching/support apparatus as required to support Departmental objectives.
  • Maintains and troubleshoots autoclaves, coordinates repairs to environmental growth chambers.
  • Prioritizes and coordinates a multitude of simultaneous projects.
  • Communicates with Directors of departments (audio/visual, PC, Maintenance, Physical Plant) and their subordinates, commercial vendor representatives and technical support persons as needed to coordinate installation or service of Departmental equipment.
  • Participates in requisitioning parts and supplies within Departmental guidelines and maintaining auditable records.
  • Maintains an up-to-date laboratory safety profile using on-campus resources (EH&S).
  • Develops instructions and trains faculty, students or staff in proper usage of equipment.
  • Protects the safety of users by ensuring the safe condition of equipment.
  • Supervises student workers being used for specific projects.
  • Supervises proper and safe usage of adjacent machine shop in a backup role.
  • Assists Department computer support team in wiring (adhering to state electrical code), troubleshooting, maintaining computer networks and keeps related documentation.


Other Functions

  • Works collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Works in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Performs other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the Department of Chemistry and the College of Natural Sciences.


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

  • Bachelor's degree (preferably in electrical engineering or related field), plus at least five (5) years experience in computerized instrumentation or similar electronics.
  • Working knowledge of mechanical, electrical, electronic and pneumatics for equipment and instrumentation used in scientific research.
  • Basic knowledge of refrigeration cooling systems.
  • Thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of analog and digital electronics, including detector and transducer technologies, signal processing circuitry and standard practices regarding grounding/shielding of instrumentation.
  • Ability to read and interpret schematic and logic diagrams, specifications and technical literature.
  • Basic computer networking skills.
  • Ability to work with appropriate machine shop equipment and tools.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Familiarity with state electrical code.
  • Experience working in a teaching and/or research lab environment.
  • Experience repairing electronic equipment(including soldery) at the component level.
  • Proficiency with desktop computers (PC based preferred).
  • Comprehensive knowledge of basic laboratory safety procedures.
  • Must be able to work effectively with people whose research or programs may suffer due to instrumentation failure.


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

  • Basic knowledge of vacuum systems and vacuum pumps.
  • Experience with autoclave sterilizers.
  • Experience with designing and manufacturing prototype research/teaching/support apparatus as required to support Departmental objectives.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Required to work with maximum safety in laboratory environments which commonly include cramped environments, high-powered lasers, lethal voltages, medium-pressure steam and/or potentially hazardous chemicals.
  • Ability to comfortably handle heavy equipment (30 lbs.).
  • Ability to climb and work from ladders.


Work Schedule

  • Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm (37.5 hours a week).
  • Occasional off-hours support for rare emergencies.
  • Some weekend hours may be required.


Salary Information

Level 30

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume and a cover letter which should include a Diversity Statement (see below). References will be checked at the finalist stage. Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references. Applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis until the position is filled. Early submissions are encouraged.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations.  In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination 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 UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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