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Biogas Plant Operator and Research Assistant

Apply now Job no: 497561
Work type: Full-time
Location: Oshkosh Campus
Categories: Non-Instructional Academic Staff

Working Title:

Biogas Plant Operator and Research Assistant

Official Title: Laboratory Manager I
Employment Class: Non-instructional Academic Staff
FTE: 1.0
Compensation: $47,000-$53,000
Terms of Employment: Annual, Fixed-term terminal 
Position Summary: The position functions as a digester operator and research staff member for the UW Oshkosh Biogas Program and reports to the Director of the Biogas Program. This position will support operations as well as other key sustainability and educational initiatives as they relate to the Biogas Program. This position will primarily be responsible for day-to-day functions that are necessary to keep operations moving forward. It will also support research initiatives set forth by the Biogas Program Director to meet the strategic priorities set forth by campus per the Strategic Plan.

60 % Daily operation and maintenance of the biogas plants
• Perform advanced biogas plant operations related to the biological, chemical and mechanical processes that are required to keep a biogas system functioning 24/7
• Monitor and operate various advanced control systems that ensure the biological, chemical and mechanical processes are functioning properly
• Ability to perform scientific calculations and conversations related to feedstock management for proper biogas production (examples would include organic loading rate, hydraulic retention time and biogas yield rates to mention a few)• Interpret scientific data, run trends, communicate results and implement changes to operations to ensure successful running of a biogas system
• Maintain operations logs, data tracking and report writing
• Assist in scheduling and performing maintenance work including scheduling outside contractors if needed
• Assist in ordering plant maintenance consumables
• Follow standard safety procedures to protect yourself, other employees, visiting guests and surrounding environment

30% Support research and other academic initiatives
• Run research experiments and operate pilot unit equipment
• Perform demonstration or feasibility projects
• Assist in operation and training of other field related research equipment
• Teach classes and students as part of the campus internship program that provides students with class credits
• Assist with student and faculty research projects that utilize the biogas systems
• Supervise, training and teach students that utilize the bigoas systems as a living learning lab
• Assisting with the teaching of national training program develop in collaboration with the American Biogas Council.

10% Other duties as assigned
• University committees (e.g. safety, sustainability, etc.)
• Providing outreach for the campus related to key sustainability initiatives
• Provide tours for campus or other community related activities
• After hours support (In addition to standard work hours)
• Provide digester support 24/7/365. There are 128 hrs. of additional coverage per week to ensure safe operation of the Biogas Systems (6,656 hrs. per year).
• Responding to after-hour alarms as needed and have ability to independently trouble shoot advanced problems related to biological, chemical or mechanical issues that could arise with a biogas system.
• Logging in for remote operations support requiring advanced knowledge of SCADA system controls for remote monitoring and controlling of biogas systems.

Required: • College Degree (BS) or relevant experience in a field related to anaerobic digestion
• Ability to work independently and efficiently complete multiple tasks with minimal supervision.
• Must be able to perform heavy lifting, bending, stooping, sitting, standing, twisting, squatting, reaching and grasping.
• Willingness and ability to anticipate, identify, and adapt to change in a fast-paced working environment.
• Knowledge of and ability to maintain all safety standards.
• Must be at least 18 years of age or older.
• College Degree (BS) or relevant experience in a field related to anaerobic digestion.
• Ability to collect, process and analyze operational data.
• Experience working with plant control systems or high comfort level working with computers.
• Experience working with data manipulation using spreadsheets and databases
• Ability to comprehend technical journals and manuals.
• Ability to work nights, weekends and holidays as needed
Preferred: • Basic CHP knowledge, ability to operate and troubleshoot problems.
• Experience with operating heavy machinery, hand tools, power tools, and general maintenance duties.
• Demonstrated ability to consistently perform general maintenance duties effectively and efficiently (e.g. blowers, pumps, CHP, valves, etc.)
• Experience in using and maintaining a variety of air quality and safety devices.
• Scientific background and knowledge of the anaerobic digestion process.
• Experience with operating an anaerobic digester.
• Ability to speak in public to a diverse audience of attendees ranging from school-age children to professionals.
• Ability to perform fieldwork and prior use of scientific monitoring equipment.
To Apply:

Applicants must submit the following documents using the online application: 

Resume, Cover Letter and contact information for three references

For questions regarding your application and additional options to apply, contact Human Resources at or 920-424-1166.

The University of Wisconsin System is engaged in a Title and Total Compensation (TTC) project to redesign job titles and compensation structures. As a result of the TTC project, official job titles on current job postings may change in Spring 2020. Job duties and responsibilities will remain the same. For more information please visit:

Application Deadline:

TO ENSURE CONSIDERATION: Applications received by January 24, 2020 are ensured full consideration. Applications received after that date may be given consideration at the discretion of the search committee. Application materials will be evaluated and the most qualified applicants will be invited to participate in the next step of the selection process. Incomplete and/or late application materials may not receive consideration.

If you have questions regarding this recruitment, or if you are not able to complete the application online due to a disability or system problem, please contact the Office of Human Resources.

Legal Notices:

AA/EO Statement
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. We strongly encourage women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans to apply. UWO, in compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, or protected veteran status.

Reasonable Accommodations
UWO provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. Employment opportunities will not be denied because of the need to make reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual with a disability. If you need assistance or accommodation in applying because of a disability, please contact or 920-424-1166. This job announcement and other material on this site will be made available in alternate formats upon request to an individual with a disability.

Confidentiality of Applicant Materials
UWO is a State agency and subject to Wisconsin's Open Records Law. UWO will not, however, reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing except as may be required by Wisconsin's Open Records law. In certain circumstances, the identities of "final candidates" and/or the identity of the appointed applicant must be revealed upon request.

CBC & Reference Check Policy
All candidates for employment are subject to a pre-employment screening which includes a criminal background check, work authorization, and verification of education. It will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.

Work Authorization
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh does not offer H-1B or other work authorization visa sponsorship for this position. Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the United States at the time of hire and maintain work authorization throughout the employment term.

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (Clery Act)
For the UWO Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports (i.e., Clery Report), which includes statistics about reported crimes and information about campus security policies, see, or call UWO’s Police Department, at (920) 424-1212 for a paper copy.


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Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer

All candidates for employment are subject to a pre-employment screening which includes a criminal background check, work authorization, and verification of education. It will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.

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Reasonable Accommodations

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, UW Oshkosh will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact the Office of Human Resources, Equal Opportunity, Equity & Affirmative Action, (920) 424-1166 or