MIT.nano job opening: Chemical safety engineer

June 16, 2023

CHEMICAL SAFETY ENGINEER, MIT.nano, to manage safety systems and programs within MIT.nano, a state-of-the-art laboratory complex serving a large research and development community.  Will work closely with technical staff and central MIT EHS to identify hazards, design systems, develop procedures and incorporate solutions to mitigate injuries, property damage, and maintain operations.

MIT.nano is an approximately 214,000 gsf state-of-the-art laboratory complex that contains a fully equipped 40,000 sf cleanroom, as well as an additional 60,000 sf of facility-intensive specialty research spaces, dedicated imaging and characterization spaces, prototyping laboratories, a subfab, additional clean spaces, and staff support spaces. In addition, the building contains approximately 114,000 sf of highly complex facilities space for supporting the programmed spaces as described above. The facility serves a large research and development community of faculty, students, businesses, and staff by providing a mostly shared environment for fabrication, study, and imaging of novel nanostructures, materials, devices, and processes.

The responsibilities of this position are associated with the operation of a service center focused on providing services and research facilities. The primary goal is to enhance and enable the research and educational goals of the Institute by way of MIT.nano.

We are seeking a chemist or chemical engineer who is an individual contributor that will manage safety systems and programs within MIT.nano. With guidance from MIT.nano Assistant Directors, the candidate will work closely with technical staff and MIT Central EH&S to identify hazards, design systems, develop procedures and incorporate solutions to mitigate injuries, property damage and maintain operations.

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Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions):

Lab Operations

  • Maintain and update of the Chemical Hygiene Plan for MIT.nano, acting as the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
  • In collaboration with existing staff, create and maintain a user and staff manual based on BKMs, SOPs, and the MIT.nano Chemical Hygiene Plan.
  • Responsible for safety systems, programs, and processes for MIT.nano.  This includes, but is not limited to, assisting MITnano EH&S coordinator with internal lab inspections (in preparation for MIT EH&S lab inspections); ensuring MIT EH&S statutory requirements, policies and best practices are satisfied; conducting and coordinating hazard assessments (electrical, mechanical, gas, radiation) in partnership with MIT EH&S; maintaining building safety records,, monitoring training compliance; communicating and participating with EH&S as required to assure MIT.nano’s overall safety.
  • Oversee chemical security and tracking, including implementation of a chemical inventory system and review/approve new chemical requests.
  • Support biosafety needs of MIT.nano.
  • Work with the Assistant Director of Operations to ensure a Lockout/Tagout program is executed and maintained.
  • Maintain an appropriate and significant presence in the cleanroom to be available to assist staff and users with their day-to-day challenges.

Trainings and Documentation

  • Develop engaging safety training materials for staff and users. Establish and oversee the safety training program for all research areas in MIT.nano.
  • Train and supervise student, industry users, contractors and staff to satisfy emergency preparness, lab specific and other OSHA/MIT requirements.
  • Establish and maintain effective procedures for the safe handling and storage of hazardous production materials (gases, chemicals and waste) as well as ensuring the proper engineering and administrative controls are established and maintained for all other potential hazards (mechanical, electrical, and radiation) associated with assigned equipment / tooling / instrumentation.
  • Write and maintain safety aspects of laboratory documentation including Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Lockout/Tagout Procedures (LOTO).

Construction, Installations and Safety Systems

  • Supervise the review and preparation, as they relate to overall safety (gas, chemical, radiation, and mechanical), for tool and instrument installations in MIT.nano.
  • Co-supervise operation and development of Toxic Gas Monitoring System (TGMS) with Assistant Director of Infrastructure of MIT.nano. Responsibilities include optimizing the Safety Requirements Specification (SRS) matrix, service and maintenance contract, and annual re-commissioning.
  • Lead the Electrical Equipment Hazard Assessment (EEHA) Committee.  This is a first-of-its-kind undertaking at MIT and is critical to the successful migration of existing tools and instruments to MIT.nano.  The program will first be developed for MIT.nano and will involve electrical safety inspections of tools and instruments identified for relocation to MIT.nano from across campus.
  • Manage air permit compliance, including record keeping and developing methodology for future emission factor studies.
  • Become appropriately familiar with building systems that include, but are not limited to: DI water, process chilled water, HVAC, security, video, acid waste neutralization (AWN), and power distribution.Coordinate with existing DLC laboratory staff to develop and execute effective methodologies for decommissioning / decontamination / recommissioning of equipment migrating to MIT.nano.

Emergency Response

  • Support the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, responsible for maintaining the Emergency Preparedness Plan. Manage  MIT.nano’s Emergency Response Team (ERT), with responsibilities to include, but not limited to, protocol development, document management, creating and maintaining ERT web content, implementing a training program, coordination with other campus emergency response groups, and ensuring emergency response equipment is maintained.
  • Coordinate with Chemistry Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory for emergency response and in addressing any other safety needs.

Foster an environment of teamwork and cooperation with fellow staff members, faculty, DoF staff, MIT Central EH&S and the user community. Establish and maintain contacts with peer institutions with similar facilities in order to coordinate collaborations and mutual best-known methods (BKMs) for operations of similar facilities. Other duties as needed or required.


  1. BS in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or safety related discipline; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  2. At least four years experience working in a laboratory environment.
  3. Experience identifying workplace and research hazards, conducting hazard assessments, managing projects and participating in engineering solutions, particularly with team approaches.
  4. Strong regulatory knowledge in federal, state and local regulations (Massachusetts Fire Prevention Regulations, Massachusetts Building Code, NFPA Codes, ANSI Standards, OSHA Regulations and Cambridge Municipal Code, as well as general EHS expertise)
  5. Experience working with hazardous materials including wet corrosive chemicals, solvents and polymers. Knowledge of chemical compatibilities and reactivity. Knowledge and experience with safe working practices for working with hazardous materials. Proficiency in hazard communication and learning/understanding safety information (e.g. Safety Data Sheets, PubChem, etc).
  6. Excellent written and oral communications skills as well as strong interpersonal skills and ability to work alone or within a team environment. Must demonstrate a keen interest in training the user community or speaking to large groups.
  7. Maturity of judgement, goal-oriented, and a personality that will allow the candidate to function in a highly research-oriented yet disciplined environment that requires strong interaction with faculty, students, and research staff.
  8. Ability to regularly lift and transport up to 50lbs.
  9. Ability to wear respiratory protection, including air-purifying respirator and self-contained breathing apparatus.
  10. Demonstrated ability to recognize and respond to unsafe conditions or dangerous situations.


  1. Five or more years of experience in a laboratory environment.
  2. Experience working in a semiconductor process facility, cleanroom facility, or other research lab.
  3. Experienced trainer in one-on-one interactions or in large groups (20-30 people), with the ability to convey complex ideas to personnel with diverse backgrounds and education experience.
  4. Proficient in document and data management tools (e.g. Microsoft SharePoint sites, Wikis, Quickbase, Dropbox).

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