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Lab Equipment Manager - Research & Instructional Lab Facilities

Work Arrangement:  Hybrid (On-Site and Remote mix)
Requisition Number:  212560
Regular or Temporary:  Regular

Durham, NC, US, 27710

Personnel Area:  UNIVERSITY
Date:  Sep 17, 2023

Duke University:


Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.


Occupational Summary:

The Research and Instructional Laboratory Manager will provide comprehensive management and coordination of equipment maintenance and operations for an assortment of Duke University laboratory facilities including the Levine Science Research Center (LSRC), the Genome Science Research Building (GSRB II), the Physics and Biological Science (BioSci) buildings and the French Family Science Center encompassing the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences (TCA&S) Science Quad portion of campus. Duke’s laboratories house modern and diverse instrumentation, support apparatus and infrastructure for a range of analytical needs and academic endeavors including mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and other wide-ranging innovative research studies including materials discovery, design, and synthesis efforts.

The Lab Manager will be closely involved in overseeing the day-to-day lab support activities required to maintain this high-level research and be responsible for tasks primarily focused on lab equipment maintenance and support. The Manager will be responsible for coordinating new lab equipment procurement, equipment replacement planning to support researchers’ workflow, providing input on equipment policy implementation, and overseeing equipment safety within various departmental labs including the Biology, Chemistry and Physics Departments. Principal Investigators in these three departments currently oversee ninety-four (94) research labs in the Science Quad area with another forty-six (46) teaching labs also active on campus. This position’s responsibilities will also include working closely with the TCA&S Facilities Building Manager and Facilities Maintenance Division staff for lab equipment related issues that need to be coordinated in conjunction with general building repair, renovation, and construction activities.

The Manager shall be experienced in planning, coordinating, and executing lab equipment maintenance and operations for multiple stakeholders, provide equipment related input as needed to the Building Manager for major building and lab renovations, and oversee regular lab maintenance and equipment management, including end of life replacement cycles and repairs.


 Work Performed:

 Manage Science Department Lab Equipment Maintenance

• Take ownership of the existing set-up and responsibility for ongoing required front-line maintenance of TCA&S lab equipment: ensure all areas and equipment components are maintained properly and fully prepared for research and teaching activities, (i.e. all equipment properly set and maintained for correct function and ongoing use.) Serve as the primary lab liaison and point of contact for suppliers, vendors and contractors on the servicing, repair, and testing of lab equipment. Maintain up to date records of maintenance and testing of lab equipment.

Provide equipment related support as needed to assist researchers, staff and any student employees working with equipment and apparatuses during each academic term. Oversee lab equipment supply material ordering and delivery by third party vendors.

• Manage multiple department labs’ equipment collection: inspect, inventory, maintain and repair existing equipment as needed and provide input on any new equipment (including experimental equipment) needs and requests. Ensure that lab equipment and related apparatus operates properly prior to use, identify problems or malfunctions with apparatus and replace or repair as necessary.

• Oversee regular recurring inspections of labs to verify proper equipment and component systems operation and to ensure all safety protocols are being followed. Maintain all inspection related documentation as part of ongoing inspection program.

• Maintain rolling cycle of life cycle expectations and plans for end of service life equipment replacement. Coordinate maintenance funding and procurement logistics with departmental business managers and TCA&S facilities. Assist TCA&S Building Manager with lab equipment related issues impacted by or pertaining to building systems and operations tasks.

 • Lab equipment operations and training: implement and maintain standard equipment operations and maintenance documentation and training procedures and ensure all pertinent staff have access and familiarity with equipment operations and any equipment training required. Assist with final testing, commissioning by vendor/installer, training, and owner acceptance of any newly installed equipment.

• Develop and maintain regular lab equipment maintenance schedule and coordinate all required maintenance visits and supply deliveries by third party vendors. Systems to maintain will include components such as toxic gas monitoring system (TGMS), reverse osmosis water systems, chillers, sample characterization tools, specialty ventilation hoods and related components and maintenance needs including filter replacement, regular system testing etc. Keep current on advances in technology, maintain life cycle replacement schedule and propose equipment and apparatus updates, revisions or replacements to equipment or methods of use.


Coordinate Maintenance and Operations with University Stakeholder Departments

• Coordinate with related building facilities infrastructure: maintain positive working relationship with university’s FMD staff and coordinate on building infrastructure related issues that affect lab equipment including repairs, replacement work, inspections, testing, temporary shutdowns, etc. to ensure proper working conditions, minimizing internal user impacts and ensuring proper conditions for start-ups after infrastructure shut down periods

• Provide proper maintenance coordination for related building systems. Coordinate with Building Manager and university’s Facilities Management (FMD) staff on related building utility infrastructure and systems that serve the labs to ensure proper lab operations, equipment performance and maintenance is maintained and performing as intended.

• Coordination with university IT staff: Assist university and department’s information technology and computer support staff on IT related components pertaining to lab equipment including hardware and software related issues and updates.

• Monitor and maintain lab maintenance budget: Coordinate procurement needs with department and TCA&S facilities for maintenance of lab equipment and apparatus, analyze and prepare purchase orders and ensure that labs remain within budgetary constraints. Establish and coordinate with departmental staff and business managers on expenditure priorities, assist in developing and maintaining maintenance operations budgets including evaluating alternative equipment needs for new experiments, and prepare requests for additional expenditures based on revised or new experiments.

• Advise instructors, researchers, and teaching assistants: Communicate principles of operation, configuration and use of apparatuses as needed to instructional faculty, researchers and teaching assistants. Develop and maintain any supplemental documentation on apparatuses, experiments, other lab procedures and policies that may inform operational and maintenance needs.


Support Equipment Related Issues on Renovations and Facility Needs of Laboratory Areas

• Coordinate with Building Manager on renovation and construction projects: assist with providing information and coordination on lab equipment related issues for design and construction projects overseen by Facilities staff.

• Analyze laboratory and related infrastructure conditions and be proactive in identifying and advising on assignment of lab management resources where needed

• Serve as lab equipment authority to advise facilities staff, university departments and administration on lab issues impacted by building conditions and repair / maintenance projects to properly coordinate.


Space Allocations, Safety Preparations and Team Representation

• Maintain proper laboratory safety environment: Coordinate with existing procedures and develop and implement any new appropriate safety procedures and protocols to comply with department and university safety requirements and regulations, report safety issues to building administration personnel, and maintain lab materials and rooms in accordance with the university’s safety requirements.

 • Maintain all required certifications and undertake regular refresher training relating to areas of work and specifically to hazardous materials, toxic gas and radiation protection

• Prepare and update plans for response to and recovery from emergency and disaster conditions for laboratory spaces within department buildings; lead and participate in implementation of emergency plans in appropriate situations; coordinate with Building Manager and Occupational & Environmental Safety Office (OESO) for lab and building safety operations, preparedness, and life safety drills.

• Provide lab equipment related support for new construction and renovation projects plans and proposals including relocations of equipment and temporary space assignments during renovation projects.

 • Provide equipment related information as needed to update as-builts, space planning and existing conditions floor plans in university Web Central database. Support TCA&S Building Manager and Facilities with recommendations and solutions related to efficiency and layout of lab space within TCAS. • Ensure that allocated areas are kept in good order and that all safety devices are in place and operational and tested regularly. Ensure all waste produced is disposed of in accordance with Departmental and University procedures.

• Represent departmental labs and related committees as needed in meetings and other administrative tasks.

 • Work co-operatively with the other members of the department and lab in support of the team, department, and faculty objectives.



Applicants should have background in laboratory equipment, machine shop and/or electronics design/ construction/ troubleshooting and experience working with computerized experimental lab apparatus and computer networks, experience working with scientific principal investigative researchers, undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students, and have the physical ability to lift or move equipment weighing up to 50 pounds. Applicants must have a broad knowledge of the natural sciences and should possess familiarity and expertise with experimental techniques used in contemporary college level teaching laboratories or an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience.



• BS/BA degree or equivalent combination of related experience and/or education.

• Ability to work both as a team member and independently as tasks require

• Strong organizational and time management skills including the ability to prioritize workload and efficiently maintain documentation and records

• Strong interpersonal communication skills, both oral and written

• Demonstrated analytical thinking

• Formal experience managing a physics or materials science laboratory facility, including overseeing equipment setup and maintenance.

• Work requires ability to plan, implement and coordinate activities involved in lab management and related ancillary operations.

• Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein. The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personal so classified.

Minimum Qualifications





Work requires knowledge of biological laboratory exercises, techniques and procedures generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree in Biology, Botany, Zoology or a directly related field.




Work requires 5 years of laboratory and/or management experience to acquire skills necessary to develop and implement biological laboratory exercises, supervise and instruct teaching assistants, students and lab personnel, and manage overall operations of the laboratory.  OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE


Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


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Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


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