Research Associate

Apply now Job No: 22129
Department: Chemical Engineering
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Engineering

Department: Chemical Engineering

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Research Associate is responsible for fabricating, maintaining, supervising,
troubleshooting, and safely operating all equipment and processes used for
undergraduate and graduate research, and for the undergraduate curriculum in the following courses:
CM4110: Unit Operations Lab, CM4120: Pilot Plant Operations Lab, CM3215:
Transport Lab, CM3310: Process Control Lab
The Unit Operations Lab features 18 bench and pilot-plant-scale unit-operations
experiments focused on pumping fundamentals, heat exchange, membrane separation, kinetics, liquid extraction, vacuum drying, and flow measurement, among other chemical processes. The Pilot Plant Operations Lab contains two fully automated pilot plants: a three-story distillation column (solvent recovery unit) and a two-story batch reactor. These processes are operated with a Delta\fTM control

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

1. Direct the construction, fabrication, and installation of new equipment in Chemical Engineering Department.
2. Test, evaluate, maintain, and improve existing laboratory equipment in Chemical Engineering Department.
3. Provide detailed design of new, bench and pilot scale laboratory equipment.
4. Provide consultation for proposed modifications to lab course content and Chemical Engineering research labs.
5. Insure compliance with standard construction and fabrication specifications.
6. Install new control systems and instrumentation in graduate and undergraduate labs.
7. Prepare and review requests for quotation of equipment, materials, and labor for capital improvement projects.
8. Develop, implement, and maintain maintenance records for Pilot Plant Lab, Unit Operations Lab, Transport Lab, and Process Control Lab.
9. Participate in Chemical Engineering safety compliance activities and help to maintain safety programs in all Chemical Engineering labs.
10. Work with students and faculty on continuous improvement of laboratory courses, safety, and facilities.
11. Direct the activities and functionally supervise student workers and temporary full-time trade's helpers.
12. Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work.
13. Actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives.
14. Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

High School Diploma/GED

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

Minimum of 2 yrs of work experience as an instrumentation and electrical technician, a mechanical technician, or a process technician or equivalent in industrial processing

Desirable Education and/or Experience

Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Process Engineering Technology

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

• Basic personal computing skills including Microsoft Excel and Word or equivalent
• Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of people
• Demonstrated commitment to contribute to a safe work environment.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

- Experience in Autocad or similar drawing software
- Experience with DeltaV process control software or similar
- Process control experience
- Instrumentation experience
- Industrial process knowledge
- Able to read Piping and & Instrumentation Diagrams
- Industrial electrical and piping systems
- skills in welding, cutting, machine metals
-Good interpersonal, communication, and teamwork skills

Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training


Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

The successful applicant will be responsible for ensuring eligibility for employment in the United States on or before the effective date of the appointment. Visa sponsorship is unavailable at this time. This is not an E-Verified Position.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status



1st Shift

Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable, based on experience (No less than $37,000)

Title of Position Supervisor

Lab Manager

Posting Type

Internal & External

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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