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Our Department of Physics has an outstanding opportunity for a Manager, Introductory Physics Laboratories.
This Professional Staff position reports to instructional labs Teaching Faculty and works closely with instructors teaching introductory physics laboratories. The manager is responsible for daily operations of introductory laboratories associated with the introductory physics (1xx) sequence of courses. Laboratory topics cover the full range of physics typical in introductory courses, including experiments in mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, waves, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. The lab manager is expected to oversee the labs, work closely with faculty to develop and improve apparatus, experimental curriculum and related pedagogical materials, manage the introductory labs budget, and maintain a high quality, safe learning environment for instructors and students.
Support and improve students’ learning experience: Work strategically with faculty instructors to improve educational experiences of students in laboratory contexts. Keep abreast of developments in teaching and learning in experimental physics via literature research, attendance to meetings, and original research with department’s physics education group. Consult with instructional faculty generally and department’s 1xx Coordinating Committee specifically to improve pedagogy of labs. Guide undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants in matters related to lab instruction. Oversee design, development, and improvement of experiments to use new technologies and improve clarity of presentation.
Oversee daily operation of labs: Direct staff and student hourly employees to properly set up and disassemble apparatus in up to ten classrooms weekly during each academic term. As necessary, assist with lab preparation, coordinating with other lab personnel and instructors. Create and distribute room and time allocation plans for lab courses; ensure adequate support for periods of increased lab usage (e.g., make-up labs and quarter transitions). Create original lab instruction documents, and other instructional materials (webpages, videos, etc.) in collaboration with faculty; work with publishers and vendors to ensure quality and timely delivery of instructional materials.
Supervise personnel: Interview and hire staff, assign, and review work, conduct performance evaluations, and provide positive work environment and opportunities for professional growth for up to two Scientific Instructional Technicians 1 or 2. Manage student hourly employees and undergraduate teaching assistants working short-term appointments: define tasks, train, and ensure completion of needed work to standards.
Manage the apparatus collection and related documentation: Direct staff to inspect, maintain and repair existing equipment as needed, work with staff to ensure that apparatus operates properly prior to student use, identify problems or malfunctions with apparatus and oversee replacements or repairs as necessary, keep current on advances in technology and propose updates, revisions or replacements to equipment or methods of use to instructional faculty. Monitor and correct equipment inventory documentation. Create and revise documentation concerning repair/replacement procedures and direct staff in how to access such procedures and keep them current.
Advise instructors and teaching assistants: Collaborate with staff and expert faculty to communicate principles of operation, configuration and use of apparatuses to instructional faculty and teaching assistants. Oversee instruction of undergraduate teaching assistants on a weekly basis. Create, improve, and oversee documentation on teaching experiments and apparatus use for Teaching Assistants. Create and distribute additional material on general lab procedures and policies (e.g., TA training guides).
Manage budget: Monitor and analyze purchases, ensuring that introductory labs remain within budgetary constraints. Establish expenditure priorities and develop budgets: evaluate needs, consider alternative designs and vendors as well as in-house manufacture, and prepare requests for additional expenditures based on revised or new apparatus or curriculum design.
Maintain Lab IT infrastructure: In collaboration with department’s computer support group, direct staff to set up, test, and troubleshoot the lab computers, network, and related hardware and software. Oversee organization of lab-related network directories and data, including data acquisition programs and experiment files, lab manual files, and lab-related webpages. Work with vendors to maintain lab printer systems.
Maintain a safe laboratory environment: Develop and implement appropriate procedures to comply with department and university safety rules, report safety issues to building administration personnel, and maintain lab materials and rooms in accordance with university’s offices of Environmental Health & Safety.
Lead Responsibilities Student hourly employees assigned to work in lab support:
Give instruction on equipment setups, testing, and equipment organization.
Assign daily responsibilities for lab support, such as which experiments are to be prepared for a given week, deadlines for completion of tasks, documentation to be collated and prepared, etc.
Ensure that assigned work is completed to a satisfactory standard.
Report to instructors and introductory program coordinator on employees' work. Recommend for continuing employment within the department.
As part of a selection committee, review applicants, conduct interviews and recommend person(s) for hire.
Train technician on all aspects of lab management and daily operation.
Coordinate technician and hourly employee tasks.
Direct laboratory development work to be carried out, and work collaboratively with technician, faculty, and other support staff.
Evaluate work of technician and make recommendations for professional development and growth.
REQUIREMENTS: Bachelor’s degree in physics or closely related field, three to four years’ experience working in physics or other basic science instructional or research laboratory setting, demonstrated experience working with students, demonstrated experience working with a wide range of experimental apparatus and computer networks, ability to lift or move equipment weighing up to 50 pounds.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
DESIRED: Experience managing college-level instructional laboratories in basic science, experience developing curriculum for laboratory instruction, machine shop and/or electronics design/construction/troubleshooting experience, post-baccalaureate study in basic or applied science, experience teaching science in a higher education setting.
Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
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