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University of Massachusetts Amherst Technical Assistant II (Pilot Plant Specialist) in Amherst, Massachusetts

Technical Assistant II (Pilot Plant Specialist)

Apply now ( Job no: 520651

Work type: Staff Full Time

Location: UMass Amherst

Department:Food Sciences


Categories: Administrative & Office Support, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450 acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

About UMass Amherst Department of Food Science

The UMass Amherst Department of Food Science is the oldest Food Science program in the nation with a strong collaborative history. We are currently ranked #3 in the world and the top-ranked Food Science program in the US by the 2022 US News & World Report Ranking of Subjects. This position will have the opportunity to join our team to train the next generation of food scientists and work on the exciting future of food.

Job Summary

The Food Science Pilot Plant facility in the Department of Food Science furthers the department’s teaching, research, and outreach mission and houses equipment for the Institute for Applied Life Sciences Nutraceutical Formulation Core Facility. The Pilot Plant Specialist works with enthusiastic students and assists with food science courses, is responsible for maintaining and the operation of pilot plant equipment, management of consumable supplies, ensuring compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and managing waste and equipment disposal.

Essential Functions

  • Responsible for performing, training, and enforcing GMPs in the pilot plant.

  • Coordinate and support teaching laboratories for classes and research activities, including attending field trips, operating machinery, preparing materials, and supervising teaching assistants preparing, setting up, and taking down laboratory exercises.

  • Manage pilot plant activities, equipment users, and coordinate maintenance and repairs.

  • Responsible for procuring laboratory and pilot plant materials online and at local vendors and managing financial records.

  • Facilitate laboratory compliance and maintain proper disposal techniques for hazardous waste and equipment.

  • Training and supervision of students.

Other Functions

  • Represent the Department of Food Science in scheduling and coordinating the pilot plant facilities and IALS center equipment used by on and off-campus entities.

  • Obtain and maintain up-to-date certification in Right to Know (Hazardous Materials in the Workplace), Hazardous Waste Management, and Laboratory Safety.

  • Obtain food safety and food processing certifications and trainings such as GMP training, ServeSafe, FSPCA QI certification, HACCP certification, and completion of Better Process Control School.

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness.

  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.

  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the Department of Food Science and the College of Natural Sciences.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • High School diploma and two (2) years' of related experience or an Associate's degree in science, engineering, culinary, or related field can be substituted for the two (2) years' of related experience.

  • Basic knowledge of science and/or engineering.

  • Ability to troubleshoot processing equipment and coordinate visits by field representatives for repair and maintenance.

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently to organize multiple tasks and set priorities for action in a fast-pasted work and teaching environment.

  • Demonstrate a willingness to engage in professional training.

  • Experience with basic laboratory techniques and laboratory instr ument calibration.

  • Proficiency in computer word processing, datasheet, and graphic programs.

  • Skill in using the English language (oral and written).

  • Valid driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Food manufacturing and/or pilot plant experience (1-3 years).

  • Knowledge of food processing and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

  • Operation of food processing equipment.

  • Experience with UMass systems such as Buyways or other systems.

  • Food Science certifications: FSPCA QI certified, HACCP certification, and/or completion of Better Process Control School.

Phy sical Demands/Working Conditions

Requires the ability to stand, stoop, lift, and/or carry heavy objects up to fifty (50) pounds unassisted.

Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday; 8:30am – 5:00pm.

  • Evenings hours may be required to support scheduled courses.

  • Required to work occasional nights and weekends.

Salary Information

Grade 13

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please complete online application, submit a resume and provide contact information for three (3) professional references. Search may remain open until filled.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Sep 27 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: