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Innovation Lab Leaders

1.  Purpose

Innovation Lab Leaders are student apprentices and supervisors of the Innovation Lab.  The Lab Leaders Program has two objectives.  First, it aims to provide students with both operational and technical training.  Second, it aims to make the Lab more accessible to a greater number of students by expanding the Lab’s hours of operation to include evenings and weekends.

Innovation Lab Leaders are stationed in the Innovation Lab where they

  • maintain a safe working environment in the Lab

  • help patrons of the lab use the equipment in the Lab

  • carry out certain administrative functions of the Lab

Lab Leaders work in pairs and substitute in for the Lab Manager when the Lab Manager is unavailable.



2.  Training & Responsibilities

Innovation Lab Leaders receive intense training in safety, equipment and operations, in preparation for supervising and managing the Lab.  This training is then used to support and protect patrons of the Lab.


2.1  Safety

Innovation Lab Leaders serve as Secondary Safety Officers of the Lab and report to the Primary Safety Officer (currently the Lab Manager).  As Secondary Safety Officers, Lab Leaders will have supervisory responsibilities to safeguard the use of all equipment in the Innovation Lab.  In certain cases, this means restricting use in the absence of the Primary Safety Officer.  Equipment that Lab Leaders will prohibit the use of include

  • all powered saws

  • all fixed (not hand-held) powered tools including drill presses, oscillating sanders, lathes, mills, etc.

  • certain chemical products

  • other hazardous equipment or materials identified by the Primary Safety Officer


Lab Leaders will receive extensive training on the safe and proper use of equipment in the lab and in the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPEs), including eye protection, ear protection, skin protection, use of dust masks and other protective gear.  Lab Leaders will also receive training on responding to emergencies in the Lab.

2.2  Equipment

The Innovation Lab is equipped with both conventional and modern tools for making.  Some of the tools are digital and some are physical.  To be an effective Lab Leader, students will receive extensive training on the basic operations of the tools in the Lab.  It is expected that Lab Leaders on duty will continue to experiment and work with the equipment in the Lab when they are not actively assisting patrons of the Lab.  While no Lab Leader is expected to acquire expertise with operating all equipment in the Lab, it is expected that each Lab Leader will gain familiarity with the commonly used tools of the Lab (3D printers, laser cutters, etc.) and will work to develop some area of expertise.

Lab Leaders will also receive training in equipment maintenance and will be expected to carry out routine maintenance and troubleshooting of the equipment.


2.3  Operations

Apart from the safety and equipment training, Lab Leaders will also receive training in some administrative operations of the Lab.  This includes equipment checkout, project registration, conducting training and orientation sessions for new arrivals, etc.



3  Hours & Compensation

Lab Leaders are expected to work 10 hours per week for the duration of the academic semester.  These hours will likely include weekends.  The hourly rate of compensation will be in accordance with the rate set by the College for on-campus employment.  Lab Leaders should expect to work in 2-4 hour shifts, on multiple days of the week, possibly rotating through weekend shifts with other Lab Leaders.



4  Application

Apply for one of the prestigious Lab Leader positions through the Spelman student employment application portal (JobX).

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