Laboratory Operator

  • Augusta (Richmond County)
  • Full-time

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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!

Laboratory Operator

Your Tasks

The full-time position of LABORATORY OPERATOR reports to the Laboratory Team Lead and conducts a wide range of laboratory tests, operate, and maintain laboratory equipment, and ensure that the laboratory adheres to all safety protocols and regulations. The Laboratory Operator is responsible for producing accurate and reliable test results that can be used by other members of the organization for research, quality control, or regulatory compliance purposes. Additionally, the Laboratory Operator plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity and safety of the laboratory environment and ensuring that it operates efficiently and effectively. Overall, the purpose of the role is to contribute to the success of the organization by supporting its laboratory operations and producing high-quality data in Aurubis Richmond. The successful candidate will have a passion and proven experience record for laboratory work, be able to work independently and as part of a team and be committed to producing high-quality data.

The position’s focus is to perform laboratory tests and operate laboratory equipment in accordance with standard operating procedures and ensuring that laboratory results are of high quality and accuracy. The goal is to support the laboratory's research objectives by providing reliable and accurate laboratory results in a safe and compliant environment. This role supports the Sample Preparation and Laboratory Manager in establishing operational excellence in Aurubis Richmond.

  • Conduct laboratory tests in accordance with standard operating procedures.
  • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment, such as microscopes, spectrophotometers, and centrifuges.
  • Perform routine maintenance and calibration of laboratory equipment to ensure accuracy and reliability of results.
  • Prepare and analyze samples using a variety of techniques and instrumentation.
  • Record and maintain accurate laboratory records, including test results, equipment maintenance, and calibration records.
  • Troubleshoot and resolve technical issues that arise during testing.
  • Ensure laboratory safety protocols and regulations are adhered to at all times.
  • Maintain inventory of laboratory supplies and equipment, and reorder when necessary.
  • Collaborate with other laboratory personnel to ensure efficient laboratory operations.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to ensure smooth and efficient laboratory operations.
  • Coordinate with other departments to ensure timely and accurate reporting of laboratory results.
  • Provide technical guidance and mentorship to laboratory colleagues to facilitate their professional development.
  • Identify areas for process improvement and develop and implement plans for improvement.
  • Participate in laboratory research activities, including designing experiments and interpreting results
  • Maintain accurate records and documentation of laboratory operations, also in corresponding IT-systems.
  • Professionally correct execution of laboratory analysis, including operating laboratory equipment.
  • Operating laboratory equipment includes tasks such as but not limited to sample preparation, calibration, conducting analysis.
  • The operation also includes cleaning and, if necessary, simple maintenance work. The employee usually performs his tasks according to clear instructions.
  • Prepare sample bags for shipping.
  • Securing separation of different batches to always avoid contaminations.
  • Performing basic calculations on different contents of materials.
  • 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 peers and superiors (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, 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 for Laboratory processes.

 

Staff/Personnel

  • Attends regular performance and goal meetings with superior.
  • Induction and instruction of (new) employees, apprentices, trainees etc.
  • Ensuring the transfer of knowledge across 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 work at full potential yet take opportunities to recommend process’ for review which may have more of an impact.
  • Responsible for working with 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, coach, inspire and educate colleagues; 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.
  • Executes tasks and follows clear expectations for position.
  • Supports to ensure site conformance to published group policies, programs, systems, or procedures and ensure procedural requirements are understood and followed by site personnel.

Safety

  • 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.
  • Supports in assuring that all relevant documents and trainings are current for compliant operations.
  • Participates in behavioral safety inspections at other facilities and ensures they can be conducted in own department.
  • Supports to report and communicate on LTI, monthly accidents and accident numbers in Laboratory Team and ensures qualified communication and follow up on accidents.
  • If required, work with the maintenance team to ensure that production equipment is properly maintained and meets safety standards.
  • 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 owning the documentation process for the SP&L 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.
  • Supports in 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 Laboratory facilities.
  • Responsible for operating laboratory 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

  • If required, support the AOS team and the entire program.
  • Prioritize (improvement) projects and decide on the execution schedule.
  • Structure, coordinate, monitor, optimize and document work processes.
  • Leads the management of projects in Laboratory Team in consultation with Team Lead & Manager.
  • 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 Laboratory & SP&L processes and procedures, proposals for improvements, implementation and follow through of agreed upon changes.
  • If required, support the AOS team and the entire program.
  • Prioritize (improvement) projects and decide on the execution schedule.
  • Structure, coordinate, monitor, optimize and document work processes.
  • Leads the management of projects in Laboratory Team in consultation with Team Lead & Manager.
  • 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 Laboratory & SP&L processes and procedures, proposals for improvements, implementation and follow through of agreed upon changes.

Budget/Finance

  • Supports the team lead and management in establishing and executing budgeting planning in Sample Preparation & Laboratory department area such as but not limited to volumes, materials, cost centers.
  • Supports Team Lead to create budget plan and forecasts for Laboratory Team in collaboration with department, local and group SCM.
  • Support establishing a CAPEX budget and coordinating the execution of investment projects.
  • Support 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 Laboratory Team goals in accordance with the department and Aurubis Richmond strategy.
  • Define, monitor, control, and report relevant KPIs.
  • Define, install, and lead Laboratory Team projects and initiatives as assigned.

Operations

  • Improve processes and policies to obtain the organizational goals. Suggest, formulate, and implement departmental policies and procedures.
  • Create and disseminate 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.
  • If requested, act as backup for superior when absent.

Other

  • 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

  • At least 3 years of laboratory experience, ideally in a non-ferrous metallurgical environment.
  • Experience with laboratory safety and regulatory compliance.
  • Strong technical expertise in laboratory procedures and protocols
  • Demonstrated ability to work in and through teams at all levels of the workforce.
  • Proven work experience in calibrating and operating laboratory equipment ideally in an international environment.
  • Basic understanding of processes within analyzing 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.
  • Knowledge of relevant regulatory requirements, such as those from the FDA, EPA, or OSHA, as well as experience in maintaining compliance with these requirements.
  • Familiarity with current DOT and OSHA regulations is a must.

PREFERRED

  • Basic experience with ERP systems (SAP) and laboratory software.
  • 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.

SPECIAL SOFT SKILLS NEEDED

  • Can communicate effectively with team lead, colleagues, and stakeholders. This includes the ability to give clear instructions, listen actively, and provide constructive feedback.
  • Can manage their time effectively, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines.
  • Can adapt to changing priorities, handle unexpected situations, and adjust plans as needed.
  • Can collaborate effectively with others, such as but not limited to team leaders, scientists, and stakeholders to achieve common goals.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, including the ability to analyze complex situations, identify potential solutions, and make informed decisions.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to build and maintain positive relationships with superiors, colleagues, and stakeholders.
  • Strong attention to detail, ensuring that laboratory procedures are followed accurately and that results are recorded correctly.
  • 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.
  • Proven commitment to change and continuous improvement.
  • Must possess the ability to receive and give constructive feedback.
  • Capability to clearly present information and obtain others’ buy-ins.
  • 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

SPECIAL SOFT SKILLS NEEDED

  • Can communicate effectively with team lead, colleagues, and stakeholders. This includes the ability to give clear instructions, listen actively, and provide constructive feedback.
  • Can manage their time effectively, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines.
  • Can adapt to changing priorities, handle unexpected situations, and adjust plans as needed.
  • Can collaborate effectively with others, such as but not limited to team leaders, scientists, and stakeholders to achieve common goals.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, including the ability to analyze complex situations, identify potential solutions, and make informed decisions.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to build and maintain positive relationships with superiors, colleagues, and stakeholders.
  • Strong attention to detail, ensuring that laboratory procedures are followed accurately and that results are recorded correctly.
  • 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.
  • Proven commitment to change and continuous improvement.
  • Must possess the ability to receive and give constructive feedback.
  • Capability to clearly present information and obtain others’ buy-ins.
  • 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.
  • Ability to promote win-win outcomes in the workplace.

Education Required

  • Apprenticeship in laboratory or related to a relevant scientific discipline such as chemistry, metallurgy, biochemistry.
  • Bachelor’s degree is a plus.
  • Willing to review candidates with an associate or high school degree only if candidate has a proven success record of three (3) years equivalent experience in comparable role.
  • Open to obtaining additional certification at the company’s request.

Physical Requirements

  • Varying periods of time sitting at a desk and working on a computer – some may be prolonged periods.
  • Must be able to perform the following: walking, standing, climbing, pulling, and or pushing, carrying, grasping, using hand-to-finger movement, balancing, reaching, twisting, turning and stooping for most of every day. 
  • May occasionally be required to reach with hands and arms; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • Ability to walk and/or stand for extended periods of time.
  • Good physical condition with the ability to lift 50 lbs. or more occasionally.
  • Good hand/eye coordination, motor skills, 20/20 corrected vision and hearing within the normal range. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
  • There will be prolonged periods of standing and walking in the plant daily.
  • Is required to work in a hot and dusty environment.
  • Ability to travel throughout facility as required to conduct safety inspections.
  • Ability to respond quickly and efficiently to all safety needs on the floor or in the office areas.
  • Must wear all required PPE when in protected areas.
  • Willing to some (overnight) travel domestically and/or internationally.

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.

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