The Lab Manager for the Makerspace works in the Wond'ry, Vanderbilt University's Innovation Center, and is a key member of the team. The ideal candidate embodies a demonstrated commitment to, and interest in, 'making' and innovation. The Lab Manager will help lead the makerspace practice area alongside the Director of Making to fulfill a core mission to support students, staff, and faculty with the tools, training, and resources to pursue their passions and actualize ideas.
The Lab Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Wond'ry makerspaces and will work directly with the Director of Making to cultivate a culture of safety, collaboration, sharing, empowerment, exploration, camaraderie, and sense of belonging within the innovation center's makerspaces. The ideal candidate will understand the design thinking process and the role of maker tools to creative positive change, and use this knowledge to educate and support students and community partners. The Lab Manager will help train and supervise the Wond'ry's student maker mentors.
The Wond'ry is the university's center for innovation and design. We are an outwardly facing, customer service-oriented unit that serves the entire Vanderbilt community of faculty, staff, and students from all colleges and schools, while also working to build up the innovation ecosystem in Nashville and beyond. We provide a variety of programming, resources, and funding opportunities to help our constituents express and test their ideas, to develop design and systems thinking skills and an innovation mindset, as well as facilitate interdisciplinary and immersive learning experiences. Because we assist with the development of innovations and collaborations across all disciplines, we look for dynamic, curious individuals with a variety of background experiences they can leverage to help people along their innovation journey.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Lab Manager will perform a variety of complex duties, ensuring the success of the Wond'ry makerspace programs and the Wond'ry generally. Ideal applicants are excited about working with technology, facilitation, coaching & teaching, and stewardship of our space & equipment. The responsibilities include:
Equipment Management and Safety
Serve as a passionate and dedicated caretaker of the Wond'ry's makerspace equipment, tools, and resources, including oversight of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly maintenance; troubleshooting; and coordination with equipment manufacturers for servicing
Manage the schedule of equipment, including print queues and equipment reservations
Create, implement, and enforce safety protocols for makerspace equipment, including laser cutters, CNC routers, woodworking equipment, 3D printers, electronics stations, and garment/textile work
Teaching and Advising
Guide and coach students, staff, community members, and other stakeholders in prototyping, design thinking, entrepreneurial innovation, personal projects, and other related efforts using makerspace technologies and equipment
Cultivate collaboration and sense of belonging among all makerspace stakeholders
Supervise student workers
In collaboration with the Director of Making, teach workshops and classes for students, staff, faculty, community members and other stakeholders, focusing on both technical and soft skills development
Pilot and manage special projects, including makeathons/hackathons and prototyping to support research activities from across the university
Collaborate with University partners and Wond'ry colleagues to develop articles, blog posts, social media, and website content to promote the Wond'ry and the creative projects its participants undertake
Identify new project opportunities with internal and external partners
Participate in regular team meetings and strategic planning sessions
Assist in the identification of grant opportunities that could support core Wond'ry areas and related initiatives
Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
Provide assistance to other team members and work on other projects on an as-needed basis.
Undertake other duties as required
A Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education is preferred
3-5 years of experience in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics), or maker education is necessary
Entrepreneurial mindset - comfort with taking educated risks, excitement to pilot new ideas, research best practices, and reflect on experience for continuous improvement
Prior experience coordinating a shared workspace
Prior experience creating with digital fabrication technologies
Prior experience creating electronic devices
Ability to quickly learn new pieces of technology, including digital fabrication equipment and design software
Flexible with job expectations and schedule in an office that is on the cutting edge of innovation
Willing to jump in wherever needed
Ability to take initiative, work independently, and troubleshoot in a fast-paced, work environment
Strong organizational and time management skills
Passion for and understanding of the mission and vision of the Wond'ry
Experience navigating university policies and procedures
Demonstration and alignment to our core values and commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Proactive attitude, upbeat personality, good sense of humor, and ability to thrive and adapt in a fast-paced environment
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.