University of Waterloo

  • Laboratory Instructor/Software Specialist

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    2200 - Electrical & Computer Eng
    Job Status
    Regular Full-Time
    Hiring Range
    $65,535 - $97,398
  • Overview

    The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) undergraduate curriculum has two core programs and four interdisciplinary programs. Reporting to the “Lab Director, Teaching” (Lab Director) and to the “theme area Laboratory Instructor/Coordinator” (Coordinator), the “Laboratory Instructor/Software Specialist” (Lab Instructor) enhances student success through a positive learning environment and teaches undergraduate (undergrad) laboratory (lab) portion of courses within the established scope and guidelines of the professional degree program.

    These positions are responsible for laboratory course delivery and other academic responsibilities, and the technical operation and maintenance of the ECE undergrad laboratory facilities in support of assigned labs. The Lab Instructor collaborates with course instructor for lecture-lab synchronization and works in conjunction with faculty members on lab content, development and design of any new experiments to be introduced into the undergrad lab portion of the course.


    Area of specialization should include a working knowledge of: data structures and algorithms, systems programming and concurrency, operating systems, real-time operating systems, database systems, computer networks, embedded software, software testing, quality assurance and maintenance, and programming for performance


    1. Instruction of students and assessment of their academic performance:

    • Prepares and teaches assigned undergrad lab courses;
    • Collaborates with faculty course instructors for lecture-laboratory synchronization,
    • Monitors students’ laboratory progress by assessing reports and lab assignments in the technical and theoretical aspects of the subject matter;
    • Ensures academic integrity is maintained in the laboratories;
    • Marks student work‑term reports;
    • Assists students on an individual or group basis with lab and related assignments/problems;
    • Evaluates student technical presentations and symposium poster marking;
    • Supervises/consults/advises/marks fourth‑year student design projects;
    • Develops experiments and writes laboratory materials/manuals in conjunction with faculty;
    • Recommends and/or makes necessary changes in materials, techniques or procedures to optimize the value of the lab exercise;
    • Plans new labs, conducts and evaluates prototype labs;
    • Keeps course content and resources current.

    2. Supervises Teaching Assistants who oversee the students performing the experiments and exercises:

    • Ensures the effective utilization and development of TAs who assist with undergrad laboratories from term-to-term on a changing basis;
    • Directs laboratory TAs through the academic term cycle: assigning duties, coordinating their laboratory activities, etc.;
    • Provides new teaching assistants with training in lab equipment procedures and/or theory, and instruction on experiments and design exercises before each term’s laboratory sessions begin;
    • Participates in TA interviewing, ranking, and rating their performance;
    • Mentors new or sessional staff in area of expertise;
    • Trains other Laboratory Instructors in the use of specialized hardware or software as required.


    3. Lab Maintenance:

    • Monitors and updates the laboratory equipment inventory;
    • Monitors performance to ensure adequate quality control and arranges maintenance of technical equipment;
    • Oversees teaching inventory, researches and recommends purchases;
    • Maintains the technical and safe operation of the assigned laboratories;
    • Recommends and implements approved upgrades and improvements to lab facilities and practices


    4. Other Duties:

    • Attend lab planning and review sessions;
    • Participate in class prof/student rep meetings;
    • Trains for other specializations as required by the department;
    • Assist with other duties or special projects which may be assigned by the Lab Director or Coordinator.


    • Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Computer or Software Engineering. MASc degree or relevant industrial experience is an asset.
    • Area of specialization should include a working knowledge of: data structures and algorithms, systems programming and concurrency, operating systems, real-time operating systems, database systems, computer networks, embedded software, software testing, quality assurance and maintenance, and programming for performance
    • P.Eng is preferred, or industry experience as a computer engineer or software engineer to support the PEO licensing experience requirements.

    • Experience in working with different measurement instruments in the area of specialization is required.
    • Experience with hardware design procedures and software packages related to the area of specialization.
    • Experience in running labs, troubleshooting electrical circuits; software; and equipment, giving tutorials/lectures and demonstrations, writing and updating lab manuals, developing new labs, marking reports, and evaluating technical presentations is strongly preferred.
    • Experience monitoring and enforcing safety in the labs or a similar environment is a strong asset.
    • Knowledge of computer interfacing with measurements instrumentation is required.
    • Previous teaching experience is highly desirable.
    • Proven aptitude for teaching and a demonstrated interest in working with undergraduate students.
    • Well-developed interpersonal and oral and written communication skills.
    • Proven ability to establish and maintain procedures for ensuring safety of students and staff in the lab.
    • Strong organizational, problem-solving, and analytical skills are essential.
    • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team within a busy and dynamic environment.
    • Approachability, consistency, and the ability to motivate and earn students’ trust.
    • Self-motivation in taking initiatives to improve the quality of labs, teaching, and working environment is required.
    • Demonstrated ability to specify, evaluate, install, test and service the required hardware for labs is required.
    • Willingness to train for other specializations as required by the department.
    • Experience in purchasing hardware and software in the area of specialization is an asset.
    • Broad knowledge of current computer hardware and software applications used in an undergraduate computer or electrical engineering environment.
    • This job may involve some lifting and standing for extended periods of time.
    • Lab space and scheduling restrictions may necessitate after hours work.  Work outside of normal hours may be occasionally being required to deal with emergencies, maintenance, upgrades, or scheduling issues.


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