Manager, Central Workshops

Updated: 3 days ago

Position Summary

The KAUST Core Labs are a system of user-shared, centrally governed and multi-disciplinary laboratories with state-of-the-art technologies, supported by over 250 expertly skilled staff supporting 50 functional areas.  

The Manager of the Central Workshops facilities serves the mission of KAUST and the Core Labs, providing state-of-the-art facilities, training and services to the KAUST faculty, students, collaborators and industrial partners. 

He / She will lead a team of 35 talented Machinists, Engineers, Technicians and Apprentices utilizing a wide range of expertise and advanced equipment, to deliver exceptional services, quality and safety across multiple technology an service platforms. 

The person ensures strategic alignment of the facility with the  manufacturing and prototyping requirements of  KAUST, through continuous advancement the lab's extensive capabilities, which currently includes dedicated teams and functional areas for:

  • Prototyping and Community Makerspaces
  • Electronics Engineering and Device Fabrication 
  • CNC Manufacturing, Woodworking and Welding
  • Additive and 3D Manufacturing Technologies 
  • Scientific Glassblowing and Glassware Forming 
  • Design Engineering and Consulting

As a member of the Core Labs leadership team, the manager will also develop strong relationships with other departments at the University, represent the Core Labs or fulfill Core-Labs wide functions when necessary.  

Main Responsibilities

  • Safety - Ensure the highest standards of safety and security for staff and users of the facilities through stringent enforcement of related policies and procedures 
  • Planning -  Develop strategic and operational plans for the facility by combining expertise and experience together with gaining an understanding of research, community and departmental needs
  • Budgeting - Plan, defend and adhere to annual budgets in accordance with University and Department  policies and guidelines
  • Asset management Drive effective corrective and preventative maintenance strategies for all laboratory assets, including staff training, vendor management, and partnering with the KAUST maintenance teams
  • Quality -  Continuously improve on operational excellence and key performance indicators in areas such as safety, services, operations, budgeting, asset management, staff performance and development
  • Policies – Ensure suitable user policies, procedures and guidelines are in place for staff and users,  ensuring safe, efficient, fair and compliant use of resources
  • Reviews - Undertake periodic reviews and assessments of performance and feedback by engaging with users, internal auditing and conducting benchmarking with global peer entities.
  • Reporting – Provide periodic reporting pertaining to key performance indicators, quality, research, and outreach to the Executive Director, Senior Management and University wide stakeholders as needed. 
  • Workforce planning - Recruit, evaluate and develop staff aligned to strategic plans and requirements of expertise and capabilities, including effective succession planning, upskilling and cross training
  • Leadership - Lead and motivate professional staff with clear goals and objectives in support of both the individual and in creating high performing teams.
  • User engagement Develop and leverage effective user engagement across the User Committees, extended faculty, and other key stakeholders ensuring alignment of services and support
  • Collaboration Initiate and manage collaborative projects with KAUST faculty, with the goal of advancing expertise and capabilities, whist enabling high-impact results for KAUST. 
  • Progress – Stay abreast of the latest developments in the field, and ensure staff engage at appropriate peer level networks, conferences and events
  • Flexibility – Other relevant duties as assigned by the supervisor


  • Proven record of leadership and management within advanced workshop facilities
  • Evidence of high achievement and successful outputs in such an environment
  • Knowledge of technologies and equipment supporting research within the field of study
  • Strong strategic, operational planning and decision making capacities
  • Capable of challenging, persuading and influencing others for positive outcomes
  • Ability of engage positively with others and inspire achievement, accountability and ownership
  • Capable of leading, empowering and developing high performing staff and teams.
  • Excellent communicator in English with maturity to interact well with all levels 



  • 10+ years of experience managing large multidisciplinary machining and fabrication facilities
  • Experienced in managing large resources of financial, assets, and workforce
  • Strong background in CNC manufacturing and fabrication technologies
  • Experience in additive manufacturing and 3d printing technologies 
  • Proven record of safety management and HSE related programs 
  • Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing, Mechanical or related Engineering

Additional Preferred 

  • Master degree or MBA desirable
  • Safety stewardship in welding operations and/or electrical systems 
  • Experience within a university or research driven institution 
  • Experience managing effective training and educational activities
  • Experience in university-industrial engagement projects.

View or Apply

Similar Positions