RESEARCH SCIENTIST 2 – University of Washington – Seattle, WA

University of Washington
576 reviews

Seattle, WA
The University of Washington (UW) is proud to be one of the nation’s premier educational and research institutions. Our people are the most important asset in our pursuit of achieving excellence in education, research, and community service. Our staff not only enjoys outstanding benefits and professional growth opportunities, but also an environment noted for diversity, community involvement, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits, and natural beauty.

The UW’s Clean Energy Institute has an outstanding opportunity for a RESEARCH SCIENTIST 2 to work as part of the professional staff of the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds (WCET) and the Photonics Research Center (PRC). Research undertaken at WCET and PRC is focused on the development of novel energy materials devices, algorithms and other technologies. The equipment, analytical instrumentation, and computing capabilities are designed to meet the flexible needs of a multidisciplinary user base.

This position supports academic and outside research activities by a) providing an integrative training environment for upper-division undergraduates and graduate students that helps them understand energy materials, devices, and systems; and b) operating as an open user facility for other University and industry research activities when not being used for classes.

The Research Scientist 2 is responsible for instrument maintenance, demonstration, training, and sample evaluation using a variety of fabrication and analysis techniques. The position is split between two closely located user facilities. The WCET Research Training Testbed houses industry-grade fabrication and analysis equipment for studies of new clean energy-related materials and devices. Similarly, the PRC is a multi-user shared research facility that houses state-of-the art equipment for the fabrication, materials characterization, and device testing associated with thin film optoelectronic devices. This position will be included in the WCET staff hierarchy and will support WCET facilities focused on prototyping, commercial-scale fabrication and systems integration as needed.

Specifically, the person in this role will execute the following duties:

Equipment Maintenance

  • Perform basic preventative maintenance and calibrations.
  • Investigate instrument-related issues, execute troubleshooting procedures.
  • Contact vendor maintenance specialists if problem cannot be fixed by WCET or PRC staff.
  • Anticipate the need for consumables and accessories for equipment based on demand.
  • Be cross trained on fabrication, processing, manufacturing, and systems integration instruments to provide secondary support to other parts of WCET.

    Facility Operation

  • Work with other facility staff and users to perform and train users in sample preparation, execution of analysis, interpretation of data, and reporting of results.
  • Participate in activities related to laboratory-based classes, ensuring safe and proper use of fabrication equipment and analytical instruments.
  • Coordinate with other staff members in order to schedule facilities and equipment use in an efficient fashion.
  • Execute standard operating procedures for facility users. Suggest and document practical changes for approval by management. Feasibility and validation studies of new or revised methods.
  • Fabricate, test, and evaluate thin films in device architectures ranging from solar cells to batteries using a variety of experimental research materials including organic semiconductors, nanoparticles, perovskites, and quantum dots.
  • Ensure compliance with UW and local regulatory and permitting authorities’ requirements.
  • Make recommendations related to the organization of the lab, space, safety, equipment management, software, procedures, etc. to support continual process improvement within WCET.
  • Participate in the preparation of new grant and contract proposals to secure research funding. Assist in assessment of cost, scope and schedule of projects.
  • Contribute to reports to universities, sponsors, funding agencies, and other requesting organizations.
  • Participate in the acquisition, management, and installation of equipment and/or devices relevant to current and upcoming research projects.

    User and Community Interaction

  • Work directly with local researchers from UW, industry, national labs, and other academic institutions to support their needs through equipment and processing training and support.
  • Develop and implement protocols for training junior scientists in the safe use of laboratory equipment for preparing and testing thin film solar cells, semiconductor materials, colloidal nanoparticles, batteries, and photocatalysts.
  • Communicate with users to thoroughly understand their research and facility needs and report results.
  • Conduct experiments in the laboratory, including taking measurements, recording observations, and collecting, compiling, processing and interpreting data.
  • Contribute to technical and educational resources (manuals, webpages, training modules, etc.) and provide materials, lessons, and presentations for visitors, users, and guests to WCET.
  • Assist in science technology engineering and math (STEM) outreach activities and events.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, or other relevant field.
  • At least 2 years of experience working in a technical position in an academic or industrial research setting.
  • Knowledge of and experience with a variety of materials analysis and/or electroanalytical instrumentation, sample preparation, health and safety regulations, and equipment maintenance.
  • Experience with complicated instrumentation with auxiliary equipment (chillers, vacuum pumps, etc.).
  • Demonstration of logical problem solving to provide expedient and enduring corrective actions for laboratory problems.
  • Ability to write and document lab policies and procedures clearly, communicate with users during training and supervisory exercises.
  • Experience providing excellent customer service to clients in technical fields.
  • Ability to multi-task and complete multiple projects in a timely manner.
  • Ability to train and interaction with students and scientists with a range of backgrounds and levels of education.

    Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


  • Master’s degree or higher in Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, or other relevant field.
  • Experience with fabrication of novel devices and/or systems.
  • Experience in clean energy or clean technology research.
  • Experience with computer programing and software coding.
  • Ability to plan and execute complex projects involving characterization of experimental devices fabricated by novel methods.
  • Extensive background in chemistry, physics, materials science and/or engineering with a focus on analytical technique use and development.
  • Experience working in a university setting.

    Condition of Employment:

    Appointment to this position is contingent upon obtaining satisfactory results from a criminal background check

    Application Process:

    The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Criminal Conviction History, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your “My Jobs” page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

    The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability , and committed to becoming climate neutral.

    The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.
    To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 / 206-543-6452 (tty) or [email protected] .

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