MIT.nano Job Opening: Operations Engineer

May 14, 2024

The Operations Engineer (OE) is primarily responsible for operation, training and maintenance of semiconductor research equipment within the MIT.nano facility. Each OE has an area of specific expertise, but also requires broad knowledge of general laboratory and cleanroom protocols and operation. The OE will work as a part of a team in their area of expertise, and with other Operations Engineers and Domain Experts of other areas to enable successful research within the lab. We are seeking an Operations Engineer who will support state-of-the-art semiconductor equipment including the vacuum pumps, chemical delivery cabinets and building systems that serve those tools. The OE will interact closely with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) including acting as the primary interface between MIT.nano and the process and maintenance engineers from the OEM to ensure successful performance of the tools. Equipment responsibilities include reactive ion etchers (RIE), chemical and physical vapor deposition systems (PVD and CVD)  and thermal processing systems. Support equipment will extend to include gas cabinets, valve manifold boxes, and inert gas distribution panels as well as liquid chemical delivery cabinets and abatement systems. Expertise will include etch and deposition techniques, proper chemical handling, safety and storage, and support system maintenance and service. 

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The Operations Engineer title is a technical staff position within MIT.nano that reports to the Assistant Director of Operations of MIT.nano.  This position will support laboratory operational functions to provide services and research facilities to multiple communities inside and outside of MIT. 

Equipment Operation

  • Interface with equipment manufacturers (OEM), process engineers and maintenance engineers for equipment support and troubleshooting, as well as process and recipe development. This demands a thorough knowledge of the technical details associated with the equipment.
  • Ownership or co-ownership for primary tooling, auxiliary equipment and building systems as assigned ensuring up-time, safety, and performance metrics are achieved.  
  • Maintain effective training protocols, documentation, and training materials to enhance the user communities’ access to tooling and instrumentation.  Support the efforts of MIT.nano to assure the user community has easy access to both training materials and staff. Training could include formal presentations (classroom), hands-on at the tool / instrument, and the creation of training materials.  
  • Run process qualification, at meaningful intervals, to enable tracking and documentation of equipment / tool / instrument performance over time. Publish and share performance metrics with the user community.
  • Attend equipment / tool / instrument training events and utilize this formal training to provide users with enhanced training programs (scheduled and unscheduled).  

Facility Operation and Safety

  • Establish and maintain appropriate levels of knowledge and proficiency with building systems.

  • Follow 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. Exhibit safe working practices at all times.

  • Establish and maintain appropriate levels of knowledge and proficiency regarding BKM’s for laboratory cleanroom and non-cleanroom protocols which involve multi-user and multi-project environments. Exhibit appropriate housekeeping and cleanroom protocol practices at all times.

  • Participation in all forms of safety process and procedures which include, but are not limited to: EHS trainings, lock-out tag-out (LOTO) programs, emergency response team training sessions, responding to lab emergencies (including gas leaks and chemical spills), etc.

User Interactions

  • Engage the user community, MIT.nano staff and outside resources in a meaningful and productive manner such that the users’ process needs are met and well matched to the capabilities of the facility and the equipment within it.

  • Train and supervise student and industry users and staff in proper equipment use.

  • Maintain an appropriate and significant presence in the cleanroom to be available to assist users with their day-to-day processing challenges.

  • Assist with the undergraduate educational mission of MIT.nano.

Other duties as needed or required


Minimum Requirements:

  • BS in Electrical, Mechanical or Chemical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, or related discipline; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ability to regularly lift and transport up to 50lbs.

  • Ability to wear respiratory protection, including air-purifying respirator and self-contained breathing apparatus.

  • Demonstrated ability to recognize and respond to unsafe conditions or dangerous situations.

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