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Junior research engineer

Queen's University - 314263
Kingston, Ontario
Closing date
Dec 5, 2022

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Job Details

The McDonald Institute is the Canadian hub for astroparticle physics research, uniting researchers, theorists, and technical experts within one organization. Experiments within the McDonald Institute umbrella are closely linked with SNOLAB, located in Sudbury, Ontario. SNOLAB is an international facility for world-class underground physics research and has an expanding programme in astroparticle physics and underground science.

Reporting to the Senior Mechanical Engineer, the Junior Engineer will aid in the design and engineering of components for various experiments supported by the McDonald Institute. This will include preparation of engineering drawings for mechanical components using standard engineering practices. The successful applicant will also coordinate with in-house and external machine shops for component fabrication, modifying designs where appropriate if required for particular fabrication techniques, and inspecting components after fabrication. The engineer will design key mechanical components and be comfortable with basic systems which may include simple machines, vacuum and pressure vessels, gas systems, and cryogenic systems operating at temperatures as low as 10 mK.

This position may require some travel, including travel to SNOLAB, and/or travel to domestic and international destinations. This position will occasionally require the candidate work variable hours. Dependent on University and McDonald Institute policies, there may be opportunities for hybrid work arrangements (a mix of on-campus and remote work).

• Prepare engineering designs and drawings for component fabrication.
• Assist with the production of prototypes; coordinate with local machine shops to send drawings for component fabrication, including selection of appropriate fabrication techniques.
• Prepare calculations and apply finite element analysis techniques to ensure proper mechanical designs.
• Assemble components and install instruments and data acquisition as needed.
• Interface with suppliers and vendors, obtain and review quotes.
• Address and troubleshoot issues that occur during the design phase prior to implementation, consult with the Senior Mechanical Engineer as needed.
• Prepare progress and summary reports as required.
• Prepare results for presentation of technical details to colleagues and collaborators
• Contribute to, co-author or author scientific papers.
• Analyze and interpret results.
• Liaise with staff and outside agencies to stay aware of developments and foster collaborative design efforts.
• Provides work direction and functional/technical guidance to junior staff and students. Schedules and assigns work and oversees its completion.
• Minimum of a B.A.Sc degree in Engineering. Mechanical Engineering or Engineering Physics preferred.
• Proficient in mechanical modelling and design software such as SOLIDWORKS or SolidEdge.
• Familiar with fabrication and manufacturing processes.
• Relevant working experience with a strong ability to learn on-the-job.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills; interpersonal skills.
• Judgement, initiative, and foresight in order to solve problems as they arise.
• Strong computer skills to aid in research, analysis and presentation of data.
• Leadership skills to provide technical/functional guidance to junior staff and students.
• Strong mechanical aptitude; ability to read and interpret instruments and data correctly.
• Strong analytical and problem-solving skills in order to understand problems in design and development.
• Willingness to travel abroad, especially to the SNOLAB facility to participate in construction of experimental hardware.
• Determine materials, tolerances, sizes, etc. relating to specific mechanical designs of components according to standard engineering practices.
• Make recommendations regarding the manufacturing, testing and implementation of components.
• Make suggestions regarding procedures and protocols. Adapt changes in consultation with Senior Staff, to allow progress and efficiency.
• Make decisions regarding appropriate fabrication techniques, and appropriate shops for component fabrication.
• Inspect constructed components and determine if they meet specified manufacturing tolerances; consults with Senior Staff when corrections/changes are required.
• Determine appropriate content and format for presentations and reports.


Queen’s University is the Canadian research intensive university with a transformative student learning experience. Here the employment experience is as diverse as it is interesting. We have opportunities in multiple areas of globally recognized research, faculty administration, engineering & construction, athletics & recreation, power generation, corporate shared services, and many more.

We are committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcome applications from individuals from equity seeking groups such as women, racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability, persons who identify in the LGBTQ+ community and others who reflect the diversity of Canadian society.

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