This position’s primary responsibilities include training scanning and transmission electron microscope (S/TEM) users in sample preparation facility (SPF) techniques and supporting their skill development; providing technical support and assistance to users on a wide variety of unique projects; maintaining the facility and instruments, and developing training and educational materials; providing services on sample preparation and basic TEM characterization for external users. NUANCE Center’s EPIC (Electron Probe Instrumentation Center) facility includes five SEMs (with a variety accessories and capabilities including Cryo-SEM, EDS, WDS, EBSD, lithography systems, hot/cold stages, etc.), four TEMs (with a similar variety of capabilities) and one FEI dual beam FIB. Each of these instruments is served by a cadre of world-class sample preparation instruments, such as: sputter coaters, ion beam thinning, ion polishing, plasma cleaner, metallography (etching, cutting, grinding, electro-polishing, etc.). The SPF Technician will be responsible for the operation, training, maintenance and development of these capabilities in support of NUANCE’s interdisciplinary imaging and analysis mission.
Please Note: There is limited office space, as most work is performed in lab areas.
Work schedule may include evenings and weekends.
User Training and Technical Support:
- Develops, reviews and maintains training materials for all SPF equipment and procedures,
- Trains new SPF users on instrument use and lab safety,
- Provides high level training with advanced users in EM sample preparation techniques,
- Maintain Lab Safety records for all SPF users,
- Provides technical support for all S/TEM users, including undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, faculty and external users.
- Provide technical support for all SPF users,
- Support users in S/TEM sample preparation, as needed,
- Monitors all users for safe and appropriate instrument and lab use,
- Addresses any improper instrument usage, research-safety, risk-management concerns.
- Maintains SPF equipment and the lab area in good condition
- Continuously monitors, tracks the proper function, reliability of SPF equipment and related supplies,
- Places service calls promptly and tracks completion of attendant repairs and maintenance,
- Develops and maintains systems for communicating instrument status to facility users and management staff,
- Works with instrument vendor service staff to maximize instrument “up time” to promote high level of service to the facility users
- Assists in writing internal proposals for equipment funding
- Participates in writing of major equipment grants
- Oversees installation of new equipment
- Oversees maintenance/vendor relations for equipment service
- Assists in negotiating Service Contracts
- Troubleshoot and repair equipment not under service contract
- Represents Northwestern University according to the stated research and education mission to the public in this outreach function.
- Assists in educating existing and potential users on the applications and benefits of specific instruments and the shared university facility in general
- Assists in preparation of publication-quality images and other materials (videos, brochures, posters, etc.) for education, outreach, and facility visibility
- Conducts tours and demonstrations for internal student and faculty groups, industry representatives, prospective students and faculty, faculty and groups from other universities, and other visitors;
- prepares lab and materials ahead of such tours;
- Conduct tours and demonstrations for various internal or external organizations
- Participate in Research Experience for Undergraduates/Teachers (REU/RET) program
- Develop/propose joint development activities with vendors
- Assist in developing and executing instructional workshops and training
- Contributes to NUANCE Outreach programs (REU, Museums, Nano-Journalism, et al.)
- Establish equipment beta-test for NUANCE facilities
- Demonstrate leading edge equipment to internal and external user base
Course Development and Teaching:
- Assists SEM and TEM facility managers in preparation for laboratory instruction for undergraduate and graduate courses including written documents and video modules.
- Reviews and updates existing SPF-related materials for SEM and TEM lab sessions and other users.
- Develop lab/lecture material as needed for Materials Science (MatSci) SEM courses
- Schedule lab sessions for student groups
- Prepares appropriate samples for lab sessions
- Performs other activities in support of the efficient use of limited time-periods available to work with users from classes
- Assists primary teaching assistant for SEM and TEM lab courses
- Supervise graduate student lab assistants
- Provide technical expertise and training for other MatSci courses
- Provide technical assistance for undergraduates from McCormick
- Coordinates SPF facility strategic planning with NUANCE administrative staff
- Assists in SPF data management and reporting,
- Maintains SPF User lists, liaises with NUANCE administrative staff,
- Contributes to NUANCE print , website and social media communications,
Performs other duties as assigned.
- Associates in Materials Science, Engineering or equivalent technical training in science/engineering discipline.
- Interest in instrumentation and microscopy.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
- Customer focus – going out of the way to be helpful and pleasant, striving to meet all users’ needs
- Communication – ability to speak and write clearly and accurately while keeping others informed
- Collegiality – team oriented, promoting a positive work environment while building strong working relationships;
- Coachability – receptive to feedback and embracing an environment of continuous improvement
- Strong computer skills and knowledge of basic science principles.
- Ability to work with complex machines and teach skills to others
- Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in Materials Science, Engineering or related discipline; OR appropriate combination of education and experience
- 1+ years’ experience in a technical position.
- Experience in TEM sample preparation by FIB is preferred.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
- Efficiency – ability to plan ahead, manage time well and suggesting ideas to improve processes
- Initiative – taking ownership of work, acting without direct supervision and implementing systems to ensure follow through
- Leadership – ability to set clear expectations, monitoring and reviewing progress while providing feedback and guidance to colleagues
- Minimum+ knowledge of materials science and engineering principles at college graduate level, including some background in nanotechnology.
- Ability to instruct others on instrument use, scientific principles, and safety and desire to work with laboratory instruments.
- Demonstrated ability to learn new information quickly and to be able to assimilate it into a base of knowledge.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities.
Date Posted: 10/11/2016