Job Description
Graduate Student Lab Assistant


The USC Viterbi School of Engineering is seeking experienced graduate student Lab Assistants to support the general machine and advanced fabrication operations in the Baum Family Maker Space (BFMS). The BFMS is an undergraduate student facility supporting curricular and extracurricular student activities. The Maker Space has a combination of high- and low-tech equipment and tools, and the position will support CNC and conventional machine shop operations, along with 3-D fabrication. The graduate student Lab Assistant will work with individual students, student project/design teams, faculty and staff to assist in the design and fabrication of student models and designs, to fabricate hardware for projects, equipment and prototypes in an educational environment. The work schedule for this position varies as the facility is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 11:00 pm and weekends Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. The graduate student Lab Assistant  reports directly to the Maker Space Lab Manager.   

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist full time staff to fabricate hardware and assemblies from student designs, CAD models, prints, sketches and verbal/conceptual descriptions, using manual and CNC milling machines, and manual lathes.  Depending on individual skills, the selected candidate will be expected to work on projects with little supervision.
  • Operate, maintain and troubleshoot MakerBot, Stratasys and other 3D printers, and the ULS Laser Cutter/Etcher.
  • Under faculty direction, may teach instructional modules involving use of equipment to groups of students. 
  • Provide mentoring/training/consulting for students working on projects and equipment. 
  • Provide training and ensure compliance with health and safety procedures for safe usage of all machinery, equipment and tools.
  • Maintain shop machinery, tools and equipment, including ensuring the shop is kept in a safe and orderly condition.
  • Train and supervise undergraduate student workers.
  • Other related duties, as assigned.

Minimum Education and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree and enrollment in USC gradute degree program.  
  • 2 years of experience machining a variety of materials, such as metals, alloys and plastics.
  • Experience with programming and operating CNC milling machines using SolidWorks 3D models and creating g-code using MasterCAM software. 
  • Experience operating and maintaining a variety of 3D printers and other equipment.
  • Ability to design and manufacture components/equipment based on CAD models, blueprints, sketches, oral descriptions and performance requirements.
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of health and safety procedures.
  • Excellent verbal communication, with strong, collegial interpersonal skills.

Preferred Education and Qualifications:

  • Experience working in an academic environment with students.
  • Ability to work within defined project schedules, manage multiple simultaneous projects, and multi-task effectively.
  • Experience with prototyping and one-of-a-kind work.
  • Experience with TIG and MIG Welding.
  • Strong computer skills; ability to work with MS Office.
  • Ability to serve students with a broad range of experience and expertise.

Published on December 9th, 2020

Last updated on May 26th, 2021