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NRRI Employment Opportunities

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NRRI CO Manager 2 - Env Health & Safety
Job Opening: 337759
Location: Duluth and Coleraine facilities

The UMN has suspended hiring for most positions. However, we will continue hiring for positions critical to the University's mission and operations at this time. Applications are being accepted for this position and you are encouraged to apply. In-person interviews are suspended indefinitely and will be replaced by interviews in a virtual format. Thank you for your continued interest in working at the University of Minnesota.
About NRRI:

The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) has facilities in Duluth and Coleraine, MN. Its mission is to deliver research solutions to balance our economy, resources and environment for resilient communities. NRRI's integrated and multi-disciplinary teams contact applied research, technology development and environmental studies in the areas of Water Resources.

Forest & Land
Minerals & Metallurgy
Materials & Bioeconomy
Energy Management
Business Support

Required Qualifications:

B.S./B.A. degree in Environmental/Health/Safety, Risk Management Engineering or scientific field.
8 or more years of experience
Preferred Qualifications:

Master’s degree in similar field of study
About the Job:
The NRRI research sites are complex research and pilot scale industrial facilities. The role of a Safety*/Quality and Training leader will be an essential and strategic role with oversight and “approval to proceed” authority over all activities conducted at NRRI. The Duluth site houses increasingly complex chemistry and research scale processes to achieve our mission in the state of Minnesota. The Coleraine site operates intermediate industrial scale equipment in mineral processing, metallurgical technologies and conversion of biomass materials by heat.

NRRI staff perform a variety of activities from carrying out field sample collection, sample analysis, chemical synthesis, extraction, agglomeration, processing and prototype design in several different applications. NRRI also uses novel and traditional mineral processing and extraction technologies to crush mined materials, process the materials using chemical or high heat processing, and chemical analysis tools requiring several high-risk chemical reagents.

The two research sites conduct activities that could result in environmental and human hazards that must be properly managed to avoid serious injury, environmental release or even death. The Safety/Quality/Training Manager will ensure that these activities are carried out safely, that quality systems support the requirements of clients and granting agencies, and that personnel are skilled and adequately trained to perform their duties without incident.

The two sites can have a diversely educated staff of up to 175 personnel working in a variety of specialized technology areas. Staff education levels span technicians with high school education to research scientists with multiple engineering and PhD+ level technical training.

* Safety is used as the general term that includes Environmental, Occupational Health and Safety related responsibilities.


Compliance (50%)

1. Ensure compliance by developing and overseeing programs and policies that integrate requirements with numerous regulatory agencies (EPS, MPCA, OSHA, MSHA) and University of Minnesota UHS. Continuously monitor performance of existing safety programs and anticipate and identify additional program needs for the sites.

2. Influence, coordinate and lead the implementation of new safety programs, systems and initiatives.

3. Act as the safety professional for NRRI’s multiple sites, representing the safety function when interacting with leadership and staff.

4. Define and develop performance metrics and reporting systems to ensure continuous improvement and responsiveness to Safety and Quality systems.

5. Influence and develop behavioral expectations across NRRI at all levels and for all people to ensure the Safety and Quality mindset is established as fundamental to our culture.

6. Bring forward the safety requirements and expectations during consideration of new projects or management meetings. Interpret standards, rules, and regulations pertaining to projects within NRRI and mitigate risk. Represent and lead by example the critical importance of safety within the site and NRRI.

Quality Strategy (20%)

1. Define the Quality strategy required to support the research mission of NRRI. Develop, manage and provide continual improvement of NRRI’s quality program processes, procedures, tools (flowcharts, forms, templates, checklists, workbooks, etc.), training materials and other product/process related documentation as applicable. Working with the scientific staff, develop short- and long-range goals and protocols for program development, evaluation, data collection and improvement.

2. Represent the Quality program to internal and external stakeholders.

3. Work closely with staff/research groups to provide integrated quality solutions to ensure a consistent approach within the organization.

Training Program (20%)

1. Define a comprehensive training program for NRRI that considers the variety of skill sets and education levels which can be used to demonstrate expertise across a wide range of technologies and processes. The system should recognize achieved skills through education while also identifying internal development needs for consistent application of safety and quality requirements.

2. Ensure that all training requirements are identified and realized for personnel at a defined frequency appropriate to ensure skills are maintained. Support preparation of training materials, conduct training in areas of expertise, and maintain database and physical documentation related to training activities (a compliance requirement).

Leadership participation (10%)

1. Participate in leadership activities at NRRI to ensure visibility and transparent reporting of achievement against goals, including the development and reporting of institute wide metrics to both report results (lagging indicators) and establish leading indicators to anticipate approaching issues and opportunities for improvement.

2. Ensure NRRI leadership has a strong understanding of the management processes and can “speak as an advocate” for the Safety/Quality/Training efforts of the institute.

3. Coordinate and manage the direct reports including one quality manager, one facilities/safety coordinator in both Coleraine and Duluth, and administrative support personnel assigned to support the department.

Job Duties:

• This position will manage NRRIs hazard assessment process. Hazard assessments often reveal unwanted, high risk, related to specific steps of a process. The applicant will have the responsibility to help find solutions that will eliminate or reduce risk to an acceptable level so that a project can move forward. For example, substituting hazardous chemicals with non-hazardous chemicals for an experiment or adding local exhaust to remove a contaminant so that it does not create a hazardous atmosphere.

• The applicant will be responsible for implementing and managing several safety programs. Several of these programs do not yet exist so the applicant would need to prioritize and set goals, develop written plans and implement the plans, all with little guidance.

• The applicant must be able to climb stairs and ladders and be able to make their way through obstructed and confined spaces in order to assess workplaces. When performing industrial hygiene evaluations, the applicant must be able to lift and carry equipment weighing up to 30 pounds. Some work will be conducted in the presence of potential irritants or hazards so the applicant may be required to wear personal protective equipment.

• This applicant will supervise 2 to 4 NRRI employees.

How to Apply:

Applications must be submitted online. To apply for this position, go to and search for job opening 337759.

Complete applications must include:
● A letter expressing interest, availability, experience, and strengths as they relate to the position
● A current resume/curriculum vitae
● Contact information for three professional references

The cover letter and CV/resume will be attached during the application process. First submit the application and then return to the “My Activities” page to attach the additional documents.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (3316).

Performance Appraisal: The performance of this individual will be assessed annually by the NRRI Executive Director. Results of such appraisals will be shared and discussed with this individual.


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

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Background Check Information:

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.