Machine Shop Team Leader

The position

The Research Support Division (RSD) at OIST contributes to research and education by
providing excellent common research facilities and research support services for the
researchers and students at OIST. The Engineering Section is one of the technical
sections within the RSD. It provides support for mechanical engineering, electronics,
nanofabrication, and materials characterization through three teams of technical staff.


The OIST Engineering Section seeks a highly motivated Machine Shop Team Leader who will expand the capabilities of our Mechanical Engineering Team. The principal responsibilities of the position will be to oversee the daily operation of the machine shop and provide excellent support to researchers.

  1. Oversee the daily operation of the machine shop. Provide excellent support by responding to requests in a timely manner, managing workflow, and delegating jobs to machinists.
  2. Provide professional consulting and technical assistance to researchers on the design and  fabrication of custom parts. Must have working experience analyzing and troubleshooting researcher provided drawings. Must be able to provide recommendations for revision to ensure manufacturability.
  3. Mentor staff machinists on job setups and machining skills. Maintain high quality standards with dimensional inspection when necessary.
  4. Manufacture research related components as requested by OIST researchers using manual and CNC machine tools.
  5. When necessary, locate and directly deal with outside vendors for the outsourcing of parts manufacture
  6. Provide safety and technical training to researchers who use machine tools within the users’ corner of the machine shop
  7. Maintain materials and tooling inventory
  8. Ensure that the machine shop remains a clean, safe and modern workplace.
  9. Maintenance and troubleshoot machine shop equipment when necessary
  10. Expand the machine shop’s capabilities by researching the latest technologies, and by seeking professional and technical training
  11. Proactive participation in technical and organizational improvement, collaborating with colleagues and researchers
  12. Supports the purchase and procurement of equipment based on the needs of researchers, by documenting the specifications of the equipment and by communicating with the manufacturers and vendors, etc.
  13. Maintain records regarding jobs, purchasing, research support, equipment maintenance and safety.
  14. Maintain and expand collaborative relationships with other domestic and international institutes
  15. Other duties as assigned by the Engineering Support Section Leader


  1. A minimum of 10 years hands-on experience in producing high-tolerance mechanical parts and assemblies with manual machine tools
  2. Ability to work with both metric and inch systems
  3. A minimum of 5 years hands-on experience in producing high-tolerance mechanical parts and assemblies with CNC machine tools
  4. Experience in using CAM software  
  5. Experience in designing custom parts and creating technical and schematic drawings using CAD software.
  6. Ability to communicate in English. Ability to communicate in Japanese is desirable but not required
  7. Demonstrated effectiveness in communication and teamworking, with peers and researchers as appropriate to achieve requirements. Ability to follow policies and procedures for working safely in an industrial manufacturing environment.
  8. Strong organizational and problem-solving skills
  9. Experience in training or mentoring others in machining techniques
  10. Experience in managing a machine shop
  11. Ability to adapt to local culture and rapidly changing work environment.


  1. Prior experience in welding
  2. Prior experience with additive manufacturing (3D Printing)
  3. Knowledge of ultra-high vacuum systems
  4. Knowledge of cryogenic systems
Compensation and Benefits

In accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations


Submission Documents
  • Cover letter in both English and Japanese
  • Curriculum vitae in both English and Japanese
  • Names and contact information of 3 referees, one of which should be a previous employer

* Applicants whose native language is Japanese are required to submit both documents in English and Japanese.
* Please be sure to indicate where you first saw the job advertisement.
* Up to 3 references may be requested during the final interview stage.
* Prior to the start of employment all new hires are required to successfully complete a background check. Personal information including employment history and academic background should be submitted to OIST after a conditional offer of employment.

  • OIST Graduate University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff. The University strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.
  • Information provided by applicants or references will be kept confidential, documents will not be returned. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications.
  • Please view OIST policy for rules on external professional activities
  • Further details about the University can be viewed on the OIST website
Job Type
Research support
Starting Date
As early as possible
Employment Term

Full-time, fixed term appointment for 2 years. Contract initially with 3 months probationary period (inclusive).  This contract can be renewed.

Working Hours

9:00-17:30  Discretionary

Report To
Research Support Leader of the Engineering Section
Application Due Date
Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled.

We thank all those who apply but only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.