Makerspace Operations Manager, UC Berkeley

Location: Berkeley, CA, U.S.A

About the Jacobs Institute for Design InnovationThe Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation ( expands the role of design in undergraduate engineering education at the University of California Berkeley. As the Institute works to further its mission of educating leading innovators at the intersection of design and technology, it provides students with hands-on experiences and opportunities to work in interdisciplinary teams to address real societal issues. Students are challenged to approach the entire cycle of design, from identifying user needs to rapid prototyping to commercialization and manufacturing, from an integrated vantage point. In August 2015, the Jacobs Institute moved into the brand new Jacobs Hall, a 24,000 square foot building equipped with design studios and equipment rooms featuring the latest in digital fabrication technologies. Currently, the Jacobs Institute’s makerspace is used by 1200+ students, faculty and staff on a semesterly basis, and offers access to 3D printers, laser-cutters, CNC machines, sewing machines and much more.

Job description
The operations manager oversees makerspace digital infrastructure, and works creatively to research and deploy new technology solutions to support operations and improve efficiency in both the Jacobs Hall makerspace and the broader Jacobs Institute. Primary responsibilities include overseeing the makerspace access control system and database system for storing and verifying safety training and waiver completion. Other systems include equipment reservation, activity dashboard, online material store, and billing for makerspace access fees and student material store purchases. This role works with both technical and program staff while reporting to the Technical Lab Lead.


50% Administer and maintain essential software systems, including both third-party systems and custom programs that are presently built with Python 3, MySQL, Sqlite3, Flask, Jinja2, Bootstrap 2 among others. Translate policy changes into system updates, and execute to meet key semesterly deadlines. Work with campus IT staff to ensure secure and redundant systems are in place and compliant. May supervise student employees who contribute to these systems.

  • Maker Pass Admin system: Web interface for granting equipment access. Interfaces with RFID card readers to enforce who should or should not have access. Ensure uptime for card readers and database.
  • Jacobs Access system: An internal facing tool for staff to search the status of a particular user’s Maker Pass activation completion. Consists of a series of python rules and filters to check bCourses learning management system for safety training data. Interfaces with Google forms for certain kinds of payment information such as fee waivers.
  • Coordinate with makerspace staff on changes with new equipment, training data, policies for group users, and cross-lab sharing of training data.
  • Maintain equipment reservation system and other secondary systems and software tools.

15% Research, propose, and implement new systems or significant system improvements within Maker Pass program and for broader Jacobs Institute staff. (e.g. checkout system for technology resources for classes held in Jacobs Hall).

10% Administer Material store and Maker Pass billing: Process billing for user purchases and Maker Pass fees with the student financial system or other payment methods (credit card, check, department). Ensure that processes are compliant with campus requirements and systems. Propose system improvements as appropriate.

10% Data analysis: Support the program team needs to collect, compile and organize statistics relating to makerspace usage and demographics including course enrollments.

10% Building management support: management of poster printers and serve as liaison to contracted AV service group. Advise on general AV and IT improvements. Coordinate building closures and schedules with Jacobs staff and UCPD.

5% Other duties as assigned, including assisting with Jacobs Institute events and tours.

Required Qualifications

  • Technical/software project management experience. Strong time management and organization skills.
  • Experience integrating cloud-based software-as-a-service tools into an organization’s processes.
  • Requires excellent interpersonal and communications skills in order to work with both technical and non-technical personnel at various levels in the organization.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a cross-functional team.
  • Ability to translate high-level goals into technical requirements and actionable improvements.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Software development experience is preferred but not required.

About UC Berkeley:

Jacobs Hall is the design school for UC Berkeley: