Composite Technician and Specialist

Apply now Job no: 506972
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 194100 - Advanced Composites Institute
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Support Staff
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

Mississippi State University (MSU) is seeking a composite technician and specialist based at their Advanced Composites Institute (ACI) in Starkville, MS. The chosen candidate will serve in a multi-faceted role as a composite technician and an area specialist in a state-of-the-art large-scale composite prototyping facility. He or she will execute, develop, and improve composite manufacturing technologies that are easily transferred to industry partners for implementation, following site AS9100 quality and safety requirements. Further, he or she will serve in a specialist role that encompasses achieving and maintaining Subject Matter Expertise and leadership in one or more critical areas of the facility, including, but not limited to, composite training (k12-industrial WFD), additive manufacturing, advanced CNC machining, inventory management, equipment management, quality management, safety management, or facilities management.

Salary Grade:  15

Please see Staff Compensation Structure for salary ranges.

Department Profile:

The ACI is a highly respected university and industry applied research asset focused on pioneering transformational composite technologies in a variety of critical sectors. The Institute is equipped and positioned to support disruptive, transdisciplinary programs that address fundamental upstream and broader downstream needs in aerospace, defense, automotive, marine, energy, and other critical markets. The Institute dramatically enhances MSU’s ability to design, fabricate, and test various full-scale, light-weight composite vehicles and components. The ACI serves as the focal point of inter-departmental research and education by providing exposure to industry focused advanced research in a cooperative environment working directly with technology leading experts. The Institute also operates the co-located Mississippi Advanced Composites (MAC) Training Center focused on providing advanced classroom and hands-on composites training in an industrial environment, at industrial scale, with industrial equipment to deliver engineers and technicians prepared to contribute on day-one at manufacturing sites.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Perform kitting, lay-up, bagging, curing, and final assembly of composite parts.
2. Prepare tools and molds for lay-up
3. Work with dry carbon fiber and glass fiber based materials.
4. Cut, layup, form and assemble dry fabrics to produce preforms as directed.
5. Perform resin infusion processing of dry fiber preforms as directed.
6. Complete all planning paperwork throughout the production process.
7. Perform daily housekeeping of work area.
8. Conduct tours, demonstrations, and presentations in support of ACI public relations, marketing, business development, and outreach programs.
9. Oversee fabrication and test apparatus
10. Provide design input to enhance research and manufacturing equipment.
11. Oversee assembly and/or installation of equipment and instrumentation
12. Coordinate fabrication by outside vendors to assure acceptability of products.
13. Develop infrastructure to facilitate provision of electrical, thermal, and mechanical services to high bay and laboratories.
14. Perform related duties as assigned.

Area Specialist*
*Specific duties and responsibilities depend on area of assignment. Examples provided below:

Lead Hands-on Trainer:
1. Serve as lead hands-on trainer working closely with Lead Training Engineer
2. Provide diverse multi-level hands-on training to include elementary, middle, and high school programs; community college programs; undergraduate, graduate, postdoc, and faculty programs; and industrial new-entry and re-entry workforce programs.
3. Develop palatable and trainable curricula for all levels of trainees
4. Maintain a stocked and prepared training area and assist with coordination of training schedules
5. Possess, or willing to get, a Commercial Drivers License

CNC Specialist:
1. Operate, maintain, and improve state-of-the-art 5-axis machining capability
2. Evaluate and develop novel advanced composite tooling via subtractive manufacturing
3. Serve as SME/Trainer for MAC Training Center
4. Engage and collaborate with other Machining SMEs at partnering facilities (e.g., industry partners, training center, community colleges, sister MSU institutes and centers)

Additive Manufacturing Specialist
1. Serve as SME for additive manufacturing equipment and related technologies
2. Work closely with AM lead engineer to develop and assess new AM technologies
3. Train engineers, technicians, and students to operate ACI AM equipment
4. Provide hands-on support for all AM R&D programs

Supervisory Responsibility
May oversee student workers and graduate students

Minimum Qualifications:

Education: High School Diploma
Experience: 4 years relevant experience

Substitution allowed:
Any equivalent combination of education and/or experience approved by Human Resources Management.

Preferred Qualifications:

Preferred Qualifications:
• Experience working in high-pressure, meticulous environment where quality and cleanliness are crucial.
• Training/Education beyond high school in a technical field
• Training and experience in machining and welding components.
• Competency in plumbing, carpentry, and maintenance of mechanical systems.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Strong work ethic with an open, innovative mind
• Customer focused and task-oriented, prioritizing safety and quality
• Willing, ready, and eager to learn new skills
• Multi-level and flexible communication skills
• Patience, determination, and persistence to troubleshoot client issues
• Problem-solving and analytical skills with a consistent “can-do” attitude
• Self-motivated team player that appreciates alternative opinions
• Ability to troubleshoot equipment or situations
• Flexible and prepared to adapt to new or modified tasks and/or requirements
• Thrive in a team environment and work well with others while maintaining the ability to work independently
• Knowledge of composite fabrication techniques, including lay-up, mold preparation, handling and forming of pre-impregnated materials, vacuum bag application and testing and the curing cycle process for both oven and autoclave.
• Knowledge of Microsoft Office and computer based programs.
• Skill in handling, using and storing materials and components used in manufacturing
• Ability to perform basic math and geometry/trigonometry, including angle measurement and calculation, conversion of fractions to decimal equivalents, etc.
• Ability to use basic measuring tools including tape measure, calipers, and scales.
• Ability to hand-work composites through use of small hand tools including routers, die grinder, band saw, Dremel tool, etc.
• Ability to work alone and to complete tasks with minimal supervision.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

• Work in non-temperature controlled manufacturing environment standing on a concrete floor for up to four hours at a time
• Lift 25-lb. from the floor and carry 100-ft
• Wear personal protective equipment most of the day, correctly
• Climb up and down industrial work platforms with stairs
• Respond quickly to sounds
• See and respond to dangerous situations
• Regularly crouch or stoop by bending at the knees, waist and or spine
• Crawl and work with body weight on hands and knees
• Reach down with arms extended while lying flat on stomach on elevated work platform to manipulate composites materials, i.e. carbon fabric, nylon vacuum bag film placed on tool surface below, for extended period of time.
• Externally exposed to deadlines; set and revised beyond one’s control; interruptions influence priorities; difficult to anticipate nature or volume of work with certainty beyond a few days; meeting of deadlines and coordination of unrelated activities are key to position.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

Apply online by submitting a cover letter, resume and a copy of transcript(s). Any social security numbers included on requested transcripts should be redacted prior to submitting online.

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

What do I do if I need an accommodation?

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at tel: (662) 325-3713 or

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

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