Oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the undergraduate physics laboratories and develop and maintain demonstration equipment used in introductory physics classes. This person coordinates with faculty and other staff to ensure continued renewal and relevance of the laboratories for the courses they serve. The employee instructs graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) on the lab procedures, including any safety concerns, maintenance of equipment, and departmental grading standards. This person will also select vendors' products, design and maintain equipment needed for physics laboratories and lecture demonstrations, and work with the faculty to develop new setups in both contexts. Finally, this person will assist with physics outreach activities (such as student lab tours) as needed.
Instructional lab equipment support: Coordinate physics teaching laboratories in support of classroom lectures to include developing experiments, updating lab manuals, and maintaining and improving teaching laboratory equipment. Make minor equipment adjustments or repairs as needed. Maintain accurate records and organization of teaching lab equipment to facilitate semester-to-semester continuity. Consult with related professionals to obtain information or identify new ideas and techniques to support the teaching labs. Design and develop new experiments and construct experimental apparatus where practical. Conduct informational research, select methods, develop experiments and write laboratory procedures to demonstrate or illustrate physical representations of lecture concepts. Identify needs, prepare specifications, review and select vendors' products and order supplies and equipment as needed. Receive, inspect and approve deliveries for acceptability. Supervise hourly employees supporting these efforts.
Instructional lab coordination: Coordinate GTA activities to make sure that accurate, consistent, instruction and grading are maintained across all sections, and that lab safety is maintained. Provide training and monitor performance for accuracy and adherence to established teaching lab standards. Work with course faculty to take any corrective measures required to maintain those standards and consistency. Hire and supervise hourly students as needed. Conduct meetings with GTAs to discuss experiments, grading and student expectations. Serve as a resource person to troubleshoot experiments and provide advice to GTAs. Work proactively with other physics department and School of Science staff members to assure that equipment, consumables, IT, and other laboratory needs are met.
Demonstration equipment support: Consult with faculty on the needs for lecture demonstration equipment. Design, develop, and maintain teaching aids for faculty and GTAs. Such aids could include physical demonstration equipment, informational handouts, small physics-related "giveways" and other items. Work to ensure that lecture demonstrations are functional, effective, and up to date. Maintain accurate records of teaching aids. Support faculty in the use of demonstration equipment. Conduct classroom demonstrations.
Assist with departmental outreach activities such as lab tours and demonstrations for visiting grade school and high school students, and for physics outreach programs conducted in K12 schools and other remote locations. Assist physics department faculty and staff with other activities in support of the department's educational and research mission.
Combinations of education and related experience may be considered.
Proficient communication skills. Maintains a high degree of professionalism. Demonstrated time management and priority setting skills. Demonstrates a high commitment to quality. Possesses flexibility to work in a fast paced, dynamic environment. Highly thorough and dependable. Possesses a high degree of initiative. Ability to build strong customer relationships. Knowledge of physics principles at the introductory course level. Strong problem-solving abilities. Facility with computer office-suite software. Ability to effectively utilize time and financial resources. Ability to work occasional evening and weekend hours as dictated by the schedules for courses and outreach activities and the needs of the program.
Degree in a relevant field. Two years of related industry and/or field experience. Experience with both Windows and Macintosh platforms. Ability to use machine tools (lathe, milling machines, drill press, band saw, grinding wheels, etc.).
Working Conditions / Demands
The role regularly requires the ability to effectively communicate. The role frequently requires the ability to move about the work environment and to position oneself to operate laboratory equipment effectively. The role requires the ability to move objects weighing up to 25 pounds and will occasionally work near moving mechanical parts. The person in this role must be able to perform the essential functions with or without an accommodation.
Use of relevant equipment: Electronic test equipment (oscilloscope, signal generator, digital voltmeter, etc.). Basic optics tools (lenses and mirrors, low power laser, optics rail). Typical introductory physics lab equipment (air tracks, carts, force sensors, digital balances, electronic, timers, etc.). Basic hand tools (drills and other power tools, wood and metal saws, wrenches and other hand tools).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be differences in the working conditions as advertised in our standard job postings (e.g., the ability to travel from one campus to another, etc.). If you are invited for an interview, please discuss your questions or concerns regarding the working conditions at that time.
This posting is scheduled to close at 11:59 pm EST on the advertised Close Date. This posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University, but will remain open for a minimum of 5 business days. To guarantee full consideration, please submit your application within 5 business days of the Posted Date.
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Founded in 1820, Indiana University is the state’s public university system, comprised of two core campuses—IU-Bloomington and IUPUI—and six regional campuses located throughout the state. Combined, the total student population is more than 114,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional school students. IU is one of the largest employers in the state, with over 20,000 faculty and staff. Indiana University is an equal employment and affirmative action employer and a provider of ADA services. Diversity and inclusion remains a core commitment to IU’s mission to cultivate an educational environment that supports equal access, participation and representation on all of its campuses and that provides educational and career opportunities for all.