Research and Development Reliability and Process Engineer
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Position Location Fort Collins, CO
Research Professional Position Yes
Posting Number 201900813AP
Position Type Admin Professional/ Research Professional
Number of Vacancies
Work Hours/Week 40
Proposed Annual Salary Range typically starts at $50,000, commensurate with experience
Desired Start Date 10/15/2019
Position End Date (if temporary)
To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by 11:59pm (MT) on 09/08/2019
Description of Work Unit
The Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) at Colorado State University (CSU) offers a curriculum that integrates exceptional classroom learning and in-depth engineering practice for an unparalleled educational experience. Made up of 38 faculty members, 8 staff members, 1200 undergraduate students, and 150 graduate students, ME is one of the largest departments on CSU’s campus. State-of-the-art labs provide unmatched, hands-on experience to help undergraduate students conceptualize industry environments, and $7.5M in annual research funding provide groundbreaking opportunities focusing on health, materials, and energy, for graduate students to enhance their educational concentrations. Award-winning faculty offer industry and academic perspective, and equip each graduate with the tools needed to obtain leading positions in advanced technology fields. Further information about the ME can be found at

The Next Generation Photovoltaic (NGPV) Center in ME is a site of the National Science Foundation supported Industry/ University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). In this public/private partnership, commercial members pay dues to participate, and the I/UCRC includes leaders from the energy sector and across the industry value chain. The I/UCRC has translated 3 technologies developed at CSU into commercial application.

Position Summary
The Next Generation Photovoltaic (NGPV) Center in the department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) in the CSU Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering (WSCOE) is developing an advanced solar photovoltaic module encapsulation technology. The Reliability and Process Engineer (RPE) in this position will be stationed at the Engineering Research Center (ERC) located on the CSU Foothills Campus, 5 miles northwest of CSU main campus, and will develop, optimize and demonstrate new encapsulation processes for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. They will report to the Associate Director of the NGPV and collaborate with other engineers, vendors and researchers to aid in final hardware design, automation and process development to achieve the needed module specifications. Specifically the RPE in this position will operate advanced research encapsulation equipment to fabricate solar module samples, drive sample testing and experimental design, and schedule and conduct experiments and analyze test results. They will synthesize results and make modifications to the fabrication processes to achieve specification and reliability objectives, and write presentations, reports and other publications and contribute to writing proposals to procure future funding. Additionally, the RPE in this position will specify and purchase components and materials for fabrication and coordinate with vendors and drive research to ensure timelines are archived. This is a 12-month, full-time administrative professional position with appropriate benefits: sick & annual leave, healthcare, dental, vision, retirement. Travel may be required to run departmental errands in a non-CSU owned vehicle.

Required Job Qualifications
Please address required job qualifications in your cover letter.
  • Bachelor’s Degree plus at least 3 years of relevant professional experience in industrial, engineering, physics, or equivalent environment;
  • Demonstrated experience working with complex hardware and processes;
  • Demonstrated experience working with experimental process optimization;
  • Experience in designing experiments to select the best process parameters and methods;
  • Ability to work with minimum supervision;
  • Ability to frequently lift and carry items weighing at least 20 lbs.;
  • Ability to work periodic evenings and weekends as needed;
  • Experience reading procedures and schematics and computer monitors;
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States by proposed start date because the Department of Mechanical Engineering will not sponsor a visa for this position.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license or access to a licensed driver by the employment start date.
Preferred Job Qualifications
Please highlight applicable preferred qualifications in your cover letter.
  • Two or more years of experience in process development and optimization;
  • Experience working with automated manufacturing equipment and tooling
  • Advanced degree in engineering, physics or related field;
  • Familiarity with solar photovoltaics;
  • Familiarity with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61215 and IEC 61730 testing protocols;
  • Experience troubleshooting problems and developing solutions to prevent recurrence
  • Experience working with SolidWorks
  • Familiarity with LabView and / or industrial automation “ladder logic” programing
  • Experience using statistical analysis tools such as Minitab, Weibull techniques and Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood statistics.
Diversity Statement
Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties
Job Duty Category Perform Experiments
  • Lead the development of module encapsulation and polymer application processing techniques;
  • Optimize polymer application processes to maximize performance while minimizing process time and materials usage;
  • Conduct, develop, and apply testing protocols and evaluate data using statistical methods;
  • Utilize test data to implement process and procedural changes and guide experiments;
  • Develop new and maintain existing collaborations with academic and NREL researchers
  • Coordinate scientific, testing and process development activities related to collaborative projects.
Percentage Of Time 50%
Essential Duties
Job Duty Category Reporting of Research Results
  • Share research results with colleagues and the broader scientific community through drafting documents for federal agencies, meetings, scientific conferences, and journal publications.
  • Develop and present project updates, presentations, talks and videos to program managers and other stakeholders.
Percentage Of Time 25%
Essential Duties
Job Duty Category Tool and Hardware Development
  • Contribute to the engineering design of process hardware and software. Collaborate with other engineers, vendors and researchers to bring designs to fruition.
Percentage Of Time 15%
Essential Duties
Job Duty Category Proposal writing
  • Contribute to writing collaborative proposals to federal, state and philanthropic organizations to procure funding for ongoing R&D in PV encapsulation and reliably.
Percentage Of Time 10%
Application Details
Special Instructions to Applicants
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled; however, to ensure full consideration applications should be submitted by 11:59 PM (MT) on September 8, 2019. Please apply with a cover letter, resume and contact information for 3 professional references. References may be contacted immediately and without notification to the candidate.

NOTE: In your cover letter, please address the required and preferred qualifications of this position. A cover letter that fails to address the qualifications of this position may not be further considered after review by the search committee.

Conditions of Employment Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires), Valid Driver’s License
Search Contact Ellen Plese,
EEO Statement
Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement
Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.