Microfluidics Engineer

Microfluidics Engineer

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 3/26/2024
Full Time


Microfluidics Engineer

Harvard Medical School


Position Description

Harvard University is launching a nation-wide initiative around platforms for microfluidics and optical engineering. The DARTS project is a large, high-profile, multi-institutional project that focuses on developing microfluidics and microscopy tools to capture microbes from clinical samples and identify the antibiotics to which they are sensitive. We are searching for a microfluidics engineer to produce novel microfluidic devices to accomplish these goals. This position will work closely with researchers who have developed prototype devices and will engage with faculty and researchers to develop these early- stage devices into robust devices that can be produced at scale and used in real world contexts.

You will work with other team members develop and produce a large number of complex microfluidic devices intended for specific sub-projects within the overall project. Key challenges will include separating pathogens from the other cells and debris in biological samples, and creating channels and devices that allow microorganisms to be imaged while growing. You will collaborate with a range of clinical, academic and industry labs to design and test these devices, trouble-shoot them, and improve them based on feedback. You will recruit and train a small group to produce devices for use by collaborators, developing quality requirements and quality control testing procedures. The ultimate goal is to produce devices that will be used directly in the clinic to identify microorganisms in sick patients, and test their sensitivity to antibiotics. We anticipate that this work will lead to a number of publications and patents, which you will participate in as appropriate.

Key responsibilities:

  • Build novel microfluidic chambers combining tens of millions of channels on the micron- or sub-micron scale (using fluid dynamics, E-beam and 3D lithography, maskless aligners, micro-printers etc), connected to larger mesoscopic features (CNC micro-milling, laser welding). Oversee the specialized instrumentation required for these processes, taking the lead on purchasing, maintenance and management.
  • Optimize and troubleshoot chamber design for use with complex sample types and to microfilter samples to separate cells of interest from debris and other cell types in clinical samples. Perform rapid prototyping of alternate designs optimized for varied pathogens. Participate in experimental design for device tests. Direct interaction with live pathogens is not required.
  • Perform additional troubleshooting and optimization in response to feedback from industry partners. Train collaborators in the use of the devices as required.
  • Recruit and train a small staff to produce chamber designs at scale for use by academic and industry partners. Create and document operating procedures, production pipelines, quality control strategies and training manuals.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required.
  • Minimum of 8 years’ relevant work experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • 7 years of experience developing and producing microfluidic chips preferred. Ph.D. preferred.
  • Energetic and driven problem-solver and team player.
  • Intense focus on precision of measurement and repeatability of results.

Additional Information

This is a term position with an end date of September 26, 2026, with the possibility of extension, contingent upon work performance and continued funding to support the position. 

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Please note that we are currently conducting a majority of interviews and onboarding remotely and virtually. We appreciate your understanding.

The Harvard Medical School is not able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

Not ready to apply? Join our talent community to keep in touch and learn about future opportunities! (https://www.gem.com ?formID=16341e35-cbc6-4904-88a3-09b35763307e)

Work Format Details

This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website (https://hr.harvard.edu/totalrewards) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

395059 Engineer

Work Format




Salary Grade



Systems Biology


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

We are committed to cultivating an inclusive workplace culture of faculty, staff, and students with diverse backgrounds, styles, abilities, and motivations. We appreciate and leverage the capabilities, insights, and ideas of all individuals. Harvard Medical School Mission and Community Values


EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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