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You are here: The Job Explorer > Job Description > Scientific Glassblower

Scientific Glassblower Duties and Responsibilities

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Purpose of Classification:

Designs, plans, shapes, and joins glass using off-hand and lathe glass-blowing techniques in fabricate laboratory apparatus. Consults with clients regarding design and cost estimation. This is a skilled position. Working conditions include constructed movement, dirty environment, air contamination and/or hazardous materials.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This is second in a series of two classifications.

Examples of Duties:

  • Designs, fabricates, installs, maintains, and troubleshoots ultra high vacuum systems.
  • Consults with clients regarding design specifications and cost estimation.
  • Constructs related vacuum apparatuses including manometers, vacuum traps, vacuum manifolds, and gas handling systems.
  • Constructs precision metal in glass apparatuses, such as gas discharge tubes and distillation columns using tungsten and platinum.
  • Maintains, repairs or replaces glassware on existing equipment such as rotary evaporators, assorted high purity water skills, and NMR vacuum chambers; grinds and hand laps glass to be used in fabrication and for precision fit.
  • Constructs distillation, sublimation, extraction, filtration, and reaction apparatuses along with gas chromatography coils and liquid chromatography columns.
  • Constructs quartz and Vycor (high temperature) apparatuses, which includes furnace tubes, combustion boats, optical cells, ESR transfer dewars, sample tubes, fiber optics, quartz to Pyrex graded seals, and large quartz combustion tubes used in semiconductor research.
  • Designs equipment to increase production capabilities, including fixtures and holders, burners and mounting hardware, and safety equipment.
  • Maintains oxygen and hydrogen manifolds and cylinders.
  • Performs routine maintenance and upkeep of glass containing apparatuses.
  • Silver coats glass surfaces or utilizes opaque treatment procedures for vessels used in light sensitive reactions.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of cost estimating techniques.
  • Knowledge of glassblowing techniques, materials, tools, and equipment.
  • Knowledge of chemistry and physics.
  • Skill in following blueprints, drawings, sketches, and designs.
  • Skill in applying glassblowing techniques.
  • Skills in working with non-glassblowers to accurately define end users needs.

Minimum Qualifications:

Four years of glass shop experience, which includes extensive experience in non-production glassblowing and in the production of multi component apparatus; OR, Any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.


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