Sample Preparation Supervisor

  • Augusta (Richmond County)
  • Full-time

Apply now

Aurubis – metallurgy is our passion. We are a leading global multi-metal company and one of the largest copper recyclers worldwide. We process complex metal concentrates, scrap metals, and metal-bearing recycling materials into metals of the highest purity. These metals serve as the basis for key megatrends such as digitalization, renewable energies, e-mobility, and urbanization. Aurubis has about 7,100 employees, production sites in Europe and the US, and an extensive worldwide distribution system. Join our team and promote progress together with us!

Sample Preparation Supervisor

Your Tasks

Job Summary: 

The full-time position of SAMPLE PREPARATION SUPERVISOR reports to the Sample Preparation & Laboratory Manager and is leading a sample preparation team in a fixed shift and is responsible for operating the sample preparation equipment in a professionally and technically correct way with focus on quality in Aurubis Richmond. This includes (but is not limited to): establishing an atmosphere of operational excellence within the team, operating incineration and induction furnaces to prepare samples, generating a homogenous and representative sample with various equipment in fine preparation and handling materials with appropriate mobile equipment. The successful candidate will have proven demonstration of day-to-day operations in operating sample preparation equipment (preferably electronic scraps) paired with exceptional leadership skills, is committed to quality and accuracy in performing assigned tasks, used to work in shifts, and is focused on safety and environmental topics.

The position’s focus is the execution, coordination, monitoring, as well as continuous optimization of workflows within sample preparation with a focus on recycling raw materials for non-ferrous metallurgy. 

This includes leading a sample preparation shift in operating sample preparation equipment for all required materials while maximizing quality, balancing costs, and minimizing risks. This role supports the Sample Preparation and Laboratory Manager in establishing operational excellence in Aurubis Richmond.


  • Act as a working team lead, disciplinary and technical employee management in the assigned area.
  • Professionally correct execution of sample preparation of raw materials, including operating sample preparation equipment.
  • Supervising sample preparation of raw materials to generate representative samples.
  • Organize, coordinate, and carry out a (more or less) fixed number of largely recurring, defined activities in the sample preparation department, such as but not limited to operating, cleaning, and maintaining various industrial sample preparation equipment.
  • The operation also includes cleaning and, if necessary, simple maintenance work. The employee usually performs his tasks according to clear instructions. Examples for maintenance works are changing crucible, refractory channel lining, chiseling, and sand layer change.
  • Prepare samples for smelting and execute smelting process, including inspection of the sampling material for hazards, e.g., hollow bodies with water inclusion, ammunition, etc. after training.
  • Operating furnace equipment includes tasks such as but not limited to inspecting furnaces and filter chambers, changing of filter bags, inspection of rapping units, charging, and operating the furnace with sample material including scraping, and casting.
  • Operating sample preparation equipment such as but not limited to incineration and induction furnaces, several mills, and sieves, etc.
  • Prepare sample bags for shipping.
  • Securing separation of different batches to always avoid contaminations.
  • Handling material with forklifts, high lift stackers or cranes from time to time. Must be able to drive listed mobile equipment.
  • Performing basic calculations on different contents of materials.
  • Registering material flows and melting operations in corresponding IT-systems.
  • Executing stock taking activities in respective areas of responsibility.
  • Professionally handling of claim management.
  • Complying with company instructions e.g., on health & safety, environmental protection.
  • Complying with company rules and regulations.
  • Economic behavior about material and time expenditure.
  • Provision of work equipment.
  • Preparing workstations for e.g., maintenance (tasks).
  • Knowing and understanding the processes and procedures in the direct field of activity
  • Assuring quality and actively participating in continuous improvement programs.
  • Proactive exchange of information with Operators and Managers (e.g., on process/condition of aggregates).
  • Must successfully communicate, interact, and interface with international and domestic employees of various levels regarding operational and non-operational topics. Examples of roles include (but not limited to): sample preparation, laboratory, sampling, logistics, engineers, production, maintenance, customer services, purchasing.
  • Contact with external suppliers or their representatives, internal customers, purchasing and customer service department, to identify, research, analyze and resolve challenges.
  • Acts in an industrial environment with high level of compliancy rules (safety, environment, quality).
  • Is aware of and follows performance measurement & KPI tracking for operative responsible area. Establishes corrective actions for underperforming metrics to ensure performance standards are met.
  • Responsible to achieve set lead times in Sample Preparation area.


  • Performs regular performance and goal meetings with subordinates.
  • Induction and instruction of (new) employees, apprentices, trainees etc.
  • Ensuring the transfer of knowledge across shifts, departments, and generations.
  • Accountable for methods which assist employees to effectively retain training and work knowledge in addition to the overall retention of employees.
  • Successfully use established standards to assure shift team is fully staffed and working at full
  • potential yet take opportunities to recommend process’ for review which may have more of an impact.

  • Responsible for working with Team Manager, EHS and HR in organizing training and role developmental needs; technical training and/or training on new policies or processes.
  • Builds a vivid and open feedback culture including transparent communication.
  • Motivate and coach staff; inspire and educate employees; encourage individuals to give genuine feedback and to be involved in company objectives.
  • Build trust and a positive working relationship with individuals.
  • Understands and performs according to Aurubis values.
  • Defines tasks and follows clear expectations for each position.
  • Ensure site conformance to published group policies, programs, systems, or procedures and ensure procedural requirements are understood and followed by site personnel.
  • Identifies and coordinates any required training or resources essential for the operations section to function. Implements guidance regarding ethical behavior and anti-fraud activities throughout the division.


  • Attends regular department safety meeting.
  • Compliance with internal guidelines and derivation of measures regarding occupational safety, environmental protection, quality assurance, etc.
  • Ensuring safety and order in one's own work environment.
  • Ensures all relevant documents and training are current for compliant operations.
  • Participates in behavioral safety inspections at other facilities and ensures they can be conducted in own department.
  • Reports and communicates on LTI, monthly accidents and accident numbers in team and ensures qualified communication and follow up on accidents.
  • Act as a role model to all Aurubis employees; raise awareness and motivate team members to high
  • levels of safety behavior.
  • Responsible for adhering to, identifying, making recommendations, assisting with correcting any unsafe conditions within the company along with following the documentation process for the Sample Preparation & Laboratory department.
  • Act swiftly on all reported safety issues, reporting’s, and work with EHS by taking all measures needed to mitigate any/all environmental, health and/or safety risks.
  • Conduct needed EHS audits, risk assessments and self-assessments and report results on a regular basis. Work with EHS team to ensure controls are implemented to address risk and non-compliance. Train others to audit/assess key areas.
  • From time to time, assist the Safety department in interacting with OSHA/EPA/EPD regarding formal complaints and inspections.

Environmental Protection

  • Supports Manager in central operator responsibility for Sample Preparation facilities.
  • Responsible for operating sample preparation equipment according to all environmental standards and regulations.
  • Ensures and monitors facilities in assigned area of responsibility can be and are operated in an environmentally sound manner through segregated and appropriate division of duties in the department.
  • Maintains active contact with the environmental protection department.
  • Continuous Improvement

  • Structure, coordinate, monitor, optimize and document work processes.
  • Regular review of workflows from an efficiency perspective and development and implementation of optimization measures.
  • Active benchmarking of processes and data maintenance.
  • Supports the management of projects in Sample Preparation Team & Laboratory Team.
  • Prepares specifications for projects in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Ability to understand, implement and analyze SPC (Statistical Process Control) practices, to add validation to all aspects of the operations on an ongoing basis in addition to providing recommendations on aspects of the department’s strengths, weaknesses and needs.
  • Continuous analysis of current Sample Preparation & Laboratory Team processes and procedures, proposals for improvements, implementation and follow through of agreed upon changes.


  • Supports the management in establishing and executing budgeting planning in Sample Preparation & Laboratory Team area such as but not limited to volumes, materials, cost centers.
  • Responsible for creating budget plan and forecasts for Sample Preparation Team in collaboration with department, local and group SCM.
  • If required, responsible for establishing a CAPEX budget and coordinating the execution of investment projects.
  • If required, responsible for setting up an OPEX budget. Maintain the budget and take necessary actions to achieve set goals.
  • Strategy
  • Responsible for working with, understanding and being able to report on metrics of the assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Contribute to set Sample Preparation Team goals in accordance with the Aurubis Richmond strategy.
  • Define, monitor, control, and report relevant KPIs.
  • Define, install, and lead Sample Preparation Team projects and initiatives as assigned.


  • Improve processes and policies to obtain the organizational goals. Suggest, formulate, and implement departmental policies and procedures.
  • Supporting creation and dissemination of department metrics and report to management.
  • Map all risks (safety, process, environment, technical and financial) identified and define corrective actions. Make sure these actions are carried out and have the expected results.
  • Monitoring the operational readiness of aggregates and plant components.
  • Review and verification of production data acquisition.
  • Electronic elaboration and data maintenance such as but not limited to MS Office or SAP.
  • Commissioning, as well as optimization of new plants and aggregates.
  • Monitoring the operational readiness of aggregates and plant components.
  • Act as backup for other supervisors when absent  


  • Ordering and coordination of service companies and craftsmen incl. preparation of repair orders in cooperation with specialists.
  • Support and specify items if required.
  • Work closely together with other departments to ensure lean cooperation.
  • From time to time may support HR in responding to audits from entities such as DOL, Workers Comp, EEOC, etc.
  • Exhibit a committed effort to adhere to build-out timelines and milestones.
  • Strategize with upper management and HR regarding Sample Preparation & Laboratory Team KPIs (setting indicators, outlining cost and budgetary points, timelines, etc.) and how these will be built into the overall employees’ performance review and development.
  • Streamline, establish and implement lean manufacturing initiatives that achieve improved business results which may require individual at some point to obtain Six Sigma Training (Yellow/Green Belt).
  • Other duties as assigned.

Your Profile


  • Minimum of 3 years practical experience in related sample preparation operations/ sampling/ estimation/ smelting/ external sample preparation auditor professions.
  • Proven leadership experience with demonstrated ability to work in and through teams at all levels of the workforce.
  • Proven work experience in operating sample preparation equipment ideally in an international environment.
  • Possess driving license for at least one of the following: forklifts, crane
  • Deep understanding of processes within sampling of raw metal containing materials.
  • Basic computer skills (business system, email, Microsoft Office Suite).
  • Solid knowledge of potentially hazardous materials or practices in the workplace.
  • Solid knowledge of environmental protection, occupational safety, and labor law standards.
  • If filled with an internal current employee of Aurubis, individual must be willing to relocate to the US for a minimum of three (3) years with a possibility of extension upon approval, if needed.
  • Must be conversant in current DOT and OSHA regulations.


  • Previous experience creating and presenting to various levels including relevant stakeholders and external partners.
  • Basic experience with ERP systems (SAP) and product flows.
  • Knowledge of lean/process improvement methodologies.
  • Knowledge of and/or Experience with TPS principles is a plus.
  • APICS certification(s), a plus.
  • Experience with a start-up of a plant is beneficial.
  • Ability to read and interpret prints, drawings, and layouts.
  • Speaking and listening language skills in a 2nd language is a benefit, ideally German.


  • Has a view for details.
  • Individual must thrive in a fast-paced environment and must be strategic yet tactical.
  • Able to speak persuasively in positive or negative situations.
  • Ability to portray customer, business, and solution focused leadership.
  • Exhibits a strong work ethic – willing to do what it takes to get the job done.
  • Must exhibit a leader-coach mentality and act as a change agent with a team-oriented focus; proven commitment to change and continuous improvement.
  • High communication skills – includes listening, leadership style, speaking, etc. to effectively communicate targets and goals to his/her team.
  • Must possess the ability to receive and give constructive feedback.
  • Capability to clearly present information and obtain others’ buy-ins.
  • The ability to provide direction and guidance to a group of people.
  • Must possess analytical and problem-solving ability, with affinity for resourcefulness, and self-driven entrepreneurial style.
  • Proven ability to motivate teams and manage conflict effectively.
  • The ability to act decisively and solve staff or equipment related problems.
  • Possess a mindset that embraces challenge and change.
  • Passion for metals in general and for project results in specific as well as clear willingness for self- development.
  • Must be able to motivate employees, exchange ideas and expectations in a productive manner, learn to be an adaptable and relatable leadership figure to others.
  • Ability to promote win-win outcomes in the workplace.

We Offer

  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Vision insurance

What does Aurubis stand for? Take a look here!

Aurubis is an employer that stands for diversity and equal opportunity. Employment decisions are made regardless of national or ethnic origin, religion and belief, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, mental and physical impairment and social origin or any other legally protected characteristics of an individual.