Operations Director, Research Shop

Job ID #: 


Job Summary: 

The Operations Director is responsible for the day-to-day operational, administrative, financial, and human resource functions of the Instrument Shop and Student Shop, and is expected to collaborate with the Operations Directors of Ford and Electronics Shops on both daily and strategic initiatives.

Please Note: This position has the following particular working conditions associated with it:

  • Must be able to lift, carry, push, and/or pull items weighing up to 40 pounds.
  • Frequent standing, walking, stooping, and bending required.
  • Exposure to typical elements associated with a machining classroom and lab environment.
  • Work environment can be stressful at times in dealing with a wide variety of challenges and deadlines.



  • Has primary oversight of both in-house and out-sourced projects.
  • Ensures optimal capacity and staff utilization in the assignment and scheduling of projects.
  • Manages shop safety programming and regulatory compliance.
  • Develops and monitors training programs for users.
  • Coordinates health, safety, and risk management protocols.
  • Maintains OSHA compliance.
  • Determines routine and incidental equipment service and maintenance needs.


  • Responsible for prioritizing scheduling, tracking and billing of both ongoing and completed projects.
  • Compiles monthly and annual reports on Shop metrics including usage, safety, and financial metrics.
  • Leads and approves major supply procurement processes.
  • Sets, monitors, and maintains supply levels.

Collaborative and Strategic:

  • Consults regularly on new projects with researchers, staff, and suppliers;
  • Drives strategic planning relative to the Shop, including but not limited to:
    • Coordination with Operations Director of Ford Shop on user training and educational initiatives.
    • Opportunities for growth and integration with the other shops.
    • Collaborates with Operations Director of Electronics Shop on projects involving relevant electronics.
    • Assures effective shop facilities coordination.


  • Assists in the development of the Shop's annual budget.
  • Manages the budget.
  • Produces monthly and annual budget and expense reports.

Human Resource Management:

  • Serves as final approval in the candidate selection process;
  • Leads performance management activities for Staff:
  • Develops annual and quarterly performance goals.
  • Conducts annual performance reviews and proposes annual merit increases.
  • Plays a key role in determining when disciplinary action is necessary in order to maintain the standards and integrity of the Shop.


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Job Qualifications: 

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in Technology, Engineering, Machining, CNC Machining, Military Training/Education or a closely related technical degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • Working knowledge of standard machine shop equipment and processes.
  • Working knowledge of CAD systems, packages and design processes.
  • Working knowledge of CNC processes, equipment packages and programming.
  • Working knowledge of standard shop materials for construction, and material processing.
  • Should meet minimum criteria of pertinent level of professional competence, i.e., National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credentials recommended. (NIMS) administers performance-based examinations for metalworkers that consist of written and practical components, or equivalent.
  • Personnel Management experience including creating cost studies, reconciling budgetary line items, and participation in annual budget preparation.
  • Supervision and management experience of Shop Personnel.
  • Experience in the development, implementation and management of safety programs.
  • Experience with Quality Systems implementation and management.
  • Experience in ISO Certification.
  • Experience in Safety Certification.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced Degree in Technology, Engineering, Machining, CNC Machining, or a journeyman level proficiency in machining and CNC machines.
  • 10 years of shop or production related management experience.
  • Expert knowledge of CNC packages and programming.
  • Expert level of professional competence, i.e., National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credentials recommended. (NIMS) administers performance-based examinations for metalworkers that consist of written and practical components, or equivalent.
  • Expertise and experience with ISO Certification.
  • Expertise with Safety Certification.
  • Expertise in EPA compliance.
  • Expertise in OSHA compliance.
  • Leadership skills and experience working in academia.
  • Computer literacy; MS Suite, CAD, CAM, CNC, and equipment operating systems.
  • Computer based program leaning experience in support of using alternate learning management and training systems preferred (online or web training reinforcement).
  • Professional network to local prototyping and specialty shops in the Chicago area.
  • Experience with competitive out-sourcing of machine shop work and cost containment.
  • Experience with ANSI, NEMA, NIMS, ANSI, OSHA, and other industry regulations and standards for production environments.

Employment Status: 

Full Time