Technical Specialist 1- Chemistry

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN
Closing date
Sep 19, 2021

Job Details

Technical Specialist 1 (Instrument Maker/Machinist) –

Department of Chemistry

Regular Full-time, Paygrade MR07, non-exempt

The Department of Chemistry has a Technical Specialist (Instrument Maker/Machinist) position open which is under the general supervision of the Technical Director. This position performs mechanical repairs of department scientific instruments and rebuilding of vacuum pumps.  This position exists to keep all departmental scientific instruments and vacuum pumps functional for the teaching and research laboratories; minimizing loss of teaching and research time due to non-functioning equipment.  The person in this position will also advise faculty and students on part design as needed for the projects.  Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Plan machining by studying work orders, drawings, engineering plans, materials, specifications, and interpreting geometric dimensions and tolerances.  Advise customers (faculty, students and staff) on aspects of the design and what stock is needed for projects.  Assist in ordering stock as needed.  Set up and program mills and lathes to machine precision parts, includes programming of numerically controlled machines, setting zero and referencing points, tool registers, offsets, compensation, and conditional switches; calculating requirements, including basic math, geometry, and trigonometry; proving part programs.  Set up mills and lathes by installing and adjusting three- and four-jaw chucks, tools, attachments, collets, bushings, cams, gears, stops, and stock pushers; indicating vices; tramming heads.

Machine parts, including maintaining specifications in drilling, grooving, cutting, turning, facing, knurling and thread chasing operations; taking measurements; detecting malfunctions; troubleshooting processes; adjusting and reprogramming controls; sharpening and replacing worn tools; adhering to quality assurance procedures and processes.

Maintain equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; following manufacturer’s instructions; troubleshooting malfunctions; calling for repairs.  Perform mechanical repairs and rebuilding of vacuum pumps.

Maintain continuity among other staff by documenting and communicating actions, irregularities, and continuing needs.  Communicate status of projects to the customers, including indicating delays and reasons for delays.  Document actions by completing production and quality logs.  Any other tasks requested by Department Head or Immediate Supervisor.

Vacuum pumps management for the department.  Install, maintain, test for leaking, repair/modify, rebuild, and remove vacuum systems.  Analysis of cost of repair versus cost of replacement and providing information to PI so they can make an informed decision.  Consult with faculty, staff, and students regarding the needed solution to correct issue.  Diagnose the vacuum issue, order parts for repair, and testing the corrective solution.  Fabrication of parts, if parts are unavailable to order for repair.  Disassemble and cleaning of vacuums, when needed.  Record keeping with precise notes for each vacuum and its maintenance history.  Adherence to all safety regulations.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Required:  Knowledge of repairing vacuums; Working knowledge of CAD-CAM (computer aided design and machining) programs such as FeatureCam, MasterCam, SolidWorks; ability to operate manual and computer controlled lathes; vertical and horizontal milling machines; drill presses; grinders; hand tools; knowledge of precision measuring instruments; ability to machine materials to a tolerance of 0.001" from a variety of materials; design and read blueprints; knowledge of Microsoft Office software and general computer operations; ability to repair, disassemble, and reassemble mechanical systems; ability to communicate effectively to understand and perform the desired work and to suggest better alternatives; able to interact positively in a diversely cultural environment; good judgment, stay on task and pay attention to detail; knowledge of Environmental, Health and Safety requirements; reliable in attendance, clean and neat in appearance, in good physical health to perform moderately strenuous work activities; welding skills: mig, tig, stick brazing, silver and lead soldering; knowledge and ability to complete vacuum pump:  rebuild and repair; knowledge and ability to mentor and train an apprentice instrument maker in advanced machining techniques; must have good problem solving skills.


Required Experience: High School Diploma, Vocational Certificate or Diploma, 2 years work experience, knowledge of algebra and trigonometry

Preferred Experience:  Experience with CNC machines utilizing CAD/CAM software

Conditions of Employment:  Perform advanced machining operations; produce high precision parts; required to guide CNC machines through step by step operations to completely fabricate parts; ability to lift or move 50lbs.

Job: Technical Specialist 1

Primary Location: Knoxville, TN

Organization: Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry

Schedule: Regular, Full-time

Pay Grade: MR07

Applicants must apply through the UT HR website:


Job: Other Tech/Para-Professional
Primary Location: US-Tennessee-knoxville
Organization: Chemistry
Schedule: Full-time
Job Posting: Jul 19, 2021, 10:44:02 AM


Working at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is one of the nation’s oldest and most storied public universities. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee’s flagship land-grant institution includes the statewide Institute of Agriculture and the Space Institute in Tullahoma. The university embodies excellence in teaching, discovery, scholarship, research, creative activity, outreach, and engagement. Known as the Volunteers, we lead with a spirit of selflessness, empathy, and courage, and strive to be champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion

UT Knoxville is a Research 1 university with 11 academic colleges and more than 900 programs of study. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, our academic programs are repeatedly ranked top in their class. The university co-manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the country’s most prominent national lab, driving innovation in advanced manufacturing and materials, national security, and more. We are closely connected with our communities through outreach and extension efforts across Tennessee and through partnerships with non-profits, corporations, and industries—regionally, nationally, and around the globe.

The city of Knoxville is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The modern, thriving community is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and hundreds of miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. Situated along the banks of the Tennessee River, our beautiful features an eclectic music scene, internationally recognized festivals, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of diverse cultural activities. Knoxville is located within a day’s drive of Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a population of more than 850,000 people. The region houses many leading corporations and organizations, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pilot/Flying J, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Regal Cinemas, along with HGTV, Food Network, and other networks owned by Discovery Inc.

As a member of the UT family, you will be surrounded by top-notch faculty, staff, and students from around the world. You will be part of a diverse campus community that is passionate about changing the world and cheering for the Vols on game day.

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