Columbia University in the City of New York

Scientific Machinist

Serving as a member of the Advanced Instrumentation team, the Scientific Machinist is a highly technical role that provides fabrication support helping the advancement of research at the Zuckerman Institute.

Columbia University's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute (Zuckerman Institute) supports interdisciplinary neuroscience research and discovery by scientists and scholars across the university and promises to be the most comprehensive institute for brain science. Located in a state-of-the-art facility, world class researchers are brought together to transform our understanding of the brain and mind. We are conducting pioneering research into how the brain develops, performs, endures and recovers. From effective treatments for disorders like Alzheimer's and autism to advances in fields as fundamental as computer science, the arts, economics, law and social policy, the potential impact for humanity is staggering.



Serving as a member of the Advanced Instrumentation team, the Scientific Machinist is a highly technical role that provides fabrication support helping the advancement of research at the Zuckerman Institute. Reporting to the Director of Advanced Instrumentation, the Scientific Machinist operates a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. The majority of these tasks will be machining in nature and require a deep expertise in all types of machining, including competency with CNC programming and CAM systems.

The Scientific Machinist will work collaboratively with research customers and department engineers on various projects to meet customer specifications.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Machine parts to specifications. Fabricating parts is a fundamental role for the position. This is not a "set-up only" position. May assemble and test simple to complex mechanical components and assemblies.

Manages all aspects of milling, both manual and CNC, and lathe work.

Works with very close tolerances.

Uses secondary operations equipment such as electric and manual hand tools, drill press, free-hand and surface grinding, polishing, and bead blast, etc.

Reads and interprets blueprints, sketches and verbal instructions for project work.

Coordinates activities within tasks and projects insuring all objectives are met according to performance, cost and delivery estimates; tracks costs of labor and materials, reports these to a work order management system.

Ensures flexibility to work from verbal instructions and documents the solution; suggests new, additional or complementary fabrication equipment and machinery for use by the team.

Supports customers from the internal research community and the Advanced Instrumentation staff; excellent communication and customer service skills are vital to the role.

Maintains a high level of attention to detail and broadly understands machining of materials (polymers and metals) and finishes; performs other duties and special projects as assigned.


Position Requirements:

Vocational or other degree and /or equivalent related experience required; minimum of six (6) years as an R&D machinist, tool maker, or similar required. Demonstrated technical skills in all aspects of milling and lathe operations required. CAM experience for milling machine operations required. Experience in mechanical assembly, 3D modeling and drafting highly desired. Degree in machine tool technology or similar field preferred.


Physical Requirements:

Incumbent is expected to perform the following physical movements regularly:

lift and/or carry objects weighing up to 60 pounds;

reach and grasp with arms and hands; stoop and bend; and

stand and/or sit for long periods of time.


The successful candidate must be flexible in nature, have a sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. Must have a passion for science and excellent customer service, commitment to exceptional quality.

Columbia University offers great benefits. Competitive salary and excellent work environment.

To be considered an applicant, all interested parties MUST apply through the Columbia University online employment application system. Paste the following quick link into your browser to access this position posting:

Columbia University is an Equal Employment / Affirmative Action Employer.

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