Jobs at Western

Research Engineer - Plastics and Composites Engineering

Apply now Work type: Permanent Full Time
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: College of Science & Engineering

Position Title Research Engineer - Plastics and Composites Engineering
About the University Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 83,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
About the Department The College of Science and Engineering and the Engineering and Design Department support Western's mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.
About the Position

This research position in the Engineering and Design Department supports the mission of rigorous research opportunities for students with hands-on engineering experience. This position manages grant based and industry-partnered research projects in the Plastics and Composites Engineering program focused on materials development and characterization in areas such as advanced composites, thermoplastics processing, additive manufacturing and sustainable materials.

The primary activities of this position include:

  • Development of novel research methods using experimental design to measure properties of materials and performance of systems
  • Implementing research methods to accomplish research objectives
  • Verifying research methods are meeting research goals
  • Analyzing experimental data
  • Supervising research students
  • Providing technical support to research staff and students
  • Communicating to internal and external stakeholders through technical reports, papers and presentations.

This research is conducted in several labs in the Engineering and Design Department and shared research spaces on campus, and involves utilization of related equipment and processes. This position is responsible for ensuring a positive student research experience as well as the research outcomes, and supporting the Plastics and Composites research classes – PCE 495 (Directed Research in Plastics and Composites Engineering) and PCE 491-493 (the Plastics Capstone Project Series) when appropriate.

Required Qualifications
  • BS in Engineering, Chemistry, associated degree or equivalent education/experience
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong ability to multitask and prioritize project responsibilities
  • Ability to recognize when guidance or direction is needed by students
  • Self-motivated and able to work efficiently in a demanding environment
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills, works efficiently in group settings
  • Proven ability to manage a university level research project, or equivalent
  • Extensive knowledge of thermoplastics and composites technology
  • Ability or experience working effectively with diverse students, faculty and staff
  • ITAR eligibility (see "Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment" section below for more information) needed for restricted research projects
Preferred Qualifications
  • Ability to operate plastic processing machinery and testing methods
  • Well versed in Design of Experiments methodology
  • Extensive knowledge and experience with analytical instrumentation such as TGA, FTIR, DMA, DSC, and Rheology
  • Experience with additive manufacturing
Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment
Documentation of U.S. Personhood for Research Team Members:  In order to view ITAR restricted experiments, data or reports associated with restricted projects, all members of the research team are required to prove their ability to work on ITAR restricted research to WWU’s Human Resources (HR) department. Individuals allowed to work on ITAR restricted projects are those considered U.S. Persons including:
- any individual granted U.S. citizenship; or
- any individual granted U.S. permanent residence ("Green Card" holder); or
- any individual granted status as a "protected person" under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)
Salary Starting salary ranges between $50,831- $56,470, commensurate with experience.  Includes an excellent benefits package.
Application Instructions

A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications, including your ability or experience working effectively with diverse students, faculty, and staff. 

Please include the names and contact information of three professional references.

Closing Date Notes Application review begins November 30, 2019; position is open until filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 497436
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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