University of Waterloo

  • Lead Hand, Engineering Machine Shop

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    2225 - Engineering Machine Shop
    Job Status
    Regular Full-Time
    Hiring Range
    $59,433 - $74,291
  • Overview

    The Lead Hand is the principal initial contact for clients requiring the services of the Engineering Machine Shop (EMS). Responsibilities include client consultation, work scheduling, prioritizing tasks for assignment to technicians, confirming material availability for job completion, job cost estimating, and ensuring machinery and equipment is properly maintained. The Lead Hand must promote a culture of safety in all areas of shop operations. This position works closely with the Manager, EMS, to plan and implement measures to continuously improve efficiency, safety and client satisfaction.


    Client Service:

    • Serves as the primary technical contact for clients requiring the services of the EMS
    • Advises and discusses with clients the best practices for manufacturability and cost efficiency. Ensure clients’ needs will be met with the design chosen
    • Provides cost estimates based on submitted drawings, CAD files, and material quotes
    • Recommends outside services and resources to clients requiring specialized services not provided by the EMS
    • Provides excellent client service while carrying out all responsibilities above


    • Ensures all operations in the EMS are carried out in a safe manner and ensures that all staff members follow established safety protocols
    • Assists with researching, planning and procuring items necessary for appropriate PPE and SOP’s for new equipment and potentially hazardous new materials
    • Works closely with the department health and safety coordinator to ensure all documentation, postings and notifications are in place, complete, and up to date
    • Makes recommendations for staff safety training where applicable
    • Conducts monthly EMS safety inspections and follows up on action items to ensure a safe working environment


    • Provides additional support for Technicians tasked with complex machining, fabricating, and assembly jobs.
    • Assists with inspection, repairs, and maintenance issues regarding all shop equipment and machinery, including CNC programming and CAD/CAM software issues and updates.
    • Makes recommendations for continuous improvement through enhanced methods, specialized equipment and tooling purchases
    • Fosters a team environment by encouraging colleagues to contribute ideas and collaborate on new and complex projects
    • Reports all safety related issues to the Manager, EMS
    • Assists the Manager, EMS, with the recruitment of technical staff as needed
    • Makes decisions as required with respect to the day-to-day operations of the EMS in the absence of the Manager, EMS.  Duties include but not limited to decisions involving facilities maintenance, equipment, safety concerns, and general workflow through the shop.  The Lead Hand will bring human resources related issues to the attention of the Associate Dean, Research and External Partnerships, in the absence of the Manager
    • Communicates with the Manager, EMS, on any issues that may arise regarding staff and/or customer conflict


    • Assigns specific jobs to technicians based on experience, talent, and level of expertise to achieve the desired outcome for client satisfaction.
    • Ensures all material and special tooling has been ordered or is in stock to ensure smooth workflow wherever possible.
    • A significant portion of the position involves working directly with clients.  As time permits, the incumbent participates in the technician pool to assist in reducing the workload backlog utilizing conventional machines and equipment as well as CNC machines.


    • High School Diploma and Certificate of Qualification (Ontario preferred) in one of the following trades: General Machinist, Tool and Die Maker, Mould Maker
    • A minimum of 5 - 7 years of experience in the programming and operation of CNC equipment and the ability to operate manual machinery found in the Engineering Machine Shop
    • Demonstrated proficiency in the use of CAD/CAM and solid modelling software for design, tool-pathing, and customer file evaluation and validation
    • Extensive experience working with numerous and varied materials including metals, plastics, composites, and wood
    • Prior experience in a leadership/mentoring role
    • Extensive knowledge of CAD/CAM systems (Mastercam, Solidworks), ability to set-up, program and operate CNC machines, estimating experience as well as material selection proficiency
    • High attention to detail with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
    • Strong problem solving skills with the ability to offer creative solutions
    • Proven track record in continuous improvement initiatives
    • Superior time management, organizational and planning skills



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