Exhibit Fabrication & Design Manager

Reports to: Director of Programs & Strategy
FLSA Status: Full-time Exempt
Work Schedule: 32 – 40 hours/week (based on selected candidate’s preference), Monday – Friday, with occasional evenings and weekends
How to Apply: Please email your resume to with the title, “Exhibit Fabrication & Design Manger” in the subject line by February 10. Also as part of your application and email, please describe 1-2 projects that you recently designed and fabricated. Please provide visuals and describe the specific design, fabrication, and management skills you applied to the project.

ECHO’s mission is to inspire and engage families in the joy of scientific discovery, wonder of nature, and care of Lake Champlain. ECHO is a dynamic science museum and lake aquarium committed to engaging diverse public audiences and providing experiential, relevant, and lifelong educational experiences for all our guests. ECHO employees are expected to contribute to a productive, respectful, inclusive workplace by modeling humor, communication, collaboration, and accountability to our colleagues, animals, and guests.

Job Purpose
The Exhibit Fabrication & Design Manager is a creative problem solver, diversely skilled fabricator, playful designer of interactive exhibits and environments, proficient project manager, and service-oriented team player with strong communication skills. This position is a member of ECHO’s eleven-person Programs & Exhibits team and the fabrication and 3D modeling specialist on a four-person exhibits working group that also includes a graphic design specialist, interpretive writing specialist, and AV/IT specialist.

The exhibits team is led by the Director of Programs & Strategy and charged with continuously refreshing the museum experience. The position supports the delivery of new and improved exhibits directly by building digital 3D models of individual interactives and exhibit environments, improving existing exhibits, fabricating new exhibits, identifying and managing specialty contractors, and obtaining necessary building permits. The Exhibit Fabrication & Design Manager also works closely with the Director of Programs & Strategy to engage key stakeholders and drive multiple projects through the stages of the exhibit design process, including concept, design, prototyping, evaluation, fabrication, and install. Please click here to see sample projects.

In addition to developing permanent exhibits, this position supports ECHO’s education team in the development of new STEM programming through the fabrication and collaborative design of custom props and traveling exhibits that support ECHO’s floor programming, school outreach program, and traveling STEM festival; maintaining ECHO’s fabrication shop and exhibit long-term storage; and routinely assessing ECHO’s exhibits for quality assurance.

The ideal candidate will be a skilled fabricator comfortable with a diversity of traditional (woodworking, metalworking) and computer-controlled fabrication tools (CNC routers, laser cutters). They will be proficient in CAD or demonstrate potential and an interest in learning 3D modeling software. They will have a demonstrated history of completing durable, safe builds with finish levels appropriate for permanent installation in public spaces. They will have a growth mindset and the drive to continuously learn new skills in order to tackle new design and fabrication challenges in service of audience experience and educational outcomes. They will also have a sincere commitment to audience-centered and universal design and enthusiasmfor developing interactive STEM experiences for a family audience, particularly those with children 0 – 10 years old.
Recognizing the complex skill set required for this position, we welcome candidates with the potential and drive to grow into this position over time through a combination of on-the-job experience and professional development.

Supervisory Responsibilities: None

Job Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the 3D design and fabrication specialist on a four-person creative team to develop new and improved STEM exhibits.
  • Prepare 3D design models using computer design software such as Sketchup.
  • Fabricate permanent exhibits, educational props, and mobile exhibits using a variety of traditional and computer-controlled fabrication methods, such as woodworking, metalworking, CNC routing, etc.
  • Identify and manage specialty contractors, such as makers, tradespeople, and engineers, to support fabrication, fit-out, and install of new exhibits.
  • Work with the Director of Programs & Strategy to engage key stakeholders and drive multiple projects through the stages of the exhibit design process.
  • Work with Education team members to fabricate and collaboratively design custom educational props and traveling exhibits.
  • Work with Facilities to obtain necessary building permits for exhibit projects.
  • Routinely assess ECHO’s exhibits for quality assurance and work with necessary internal stakeholders to address any issues discovered.
  • Perform evaluation studies of exhibit effectiveness.
  • Maintain ECHO’s fabrication shop and exhibits long-term storage.
  • Repair exhibit and educational props.
  • Support ECHO’s facilities team in troubleshooting permanent exhibits, as needed.
  • Work safely at all times, using tools as intended and wearing all required PPE.
  • Other duties and special projects assigned as assigned.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Minimum Education and/or Experience: 5+ years experience in fabrication and design.

Essential Job Skills

  • Capable in a diversity of fabrication methods, including woodworking, metalworking, and simple electrical wiring.
  • Knowledgeable about materials, components, and fabrication techniques.
  • Familiar with computer-controlled fabrication tools (laser cutter, CNC router) or ability to learn.
  • Skilled in 3D design software, such as SketchUp, or ability to learn.
  • Ability to read and understand architectural and engineering drawings.
  • Ability to investigate and creatively solve design challenges.
  • Demonstrated ability to build durable and safe exhibits and educational props.
  • Experience soliciting and managing subcontractors from various trades, including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and structural/mechanical engineering.
    Familiar with local permitting process/building codes or ability to learn.
  • Knowledgeable in and commitment to universal, audience-centered, and sustainable design.
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to drive multiple projects.
  • Knowledgeable in STEM and able to translate knowledge into interactive learning experiences.
  • Comfort with Google Workspace.
  • Experience in front-end and formative exhibit evaluation or ability to learn.
  • Drive to continuously learn new skills in order to tackle new design and fabrication challenges.
    Enthusiasm for developing interactive STEM experiences for a family audience, particularly those with children 0 – 10 years old.
  • Strong interpersonal and written/verbal communication skills.
  • Committed to ongoing learning in cultural responsiveness and multicultural learning styles.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee sometimes works near moving mechanical parts and is exposed to wet and/or humid conditions. The employee may work in high, precarious places and be exposed to toxic or caustic chemicals, fumes or airborne particles, risk of electrical shock, and vibration. Occasional weekend and after-hours work is required.

Executive Director

The ECHO, Leahy Center of Lake Champlain seeks a bold and visionary Executive Director to lead all staff in fulfilling the museum’s mission to inspire and engage families in the joy of scientific discovery, wonder of nature, and care of Lake Champlain. Download the Executive Director Prospectus here.

Building on the museum’s strengths and successful evolution, the ideal candidate will be energized by the opportunity to work collaboratively with both the board and staff on four priority areas: designing and implementing a new strategic plan, building additional financial capacity, developing and empowering the internal team, and engaging with external partners and community members.

The successful candidate will demonstrate their ability to meaningfully engage all constituencies in the development of a compelling strategic plan that propels the museum into its next chapter and beyond. A demonstrated track record of aligning resources to simultaneously address both current operational needs and progress on strategic priorities is equally important. Evidence of innovative thinking coupled with knowledge of best practices and data-informed decision-making is strongly desired.

Top candidates will have a penchant for action while also consistently demonstrating a transparent and consultative style of decision-making. They will be an exceptional communicator and possess the ability to inspire and motivate staff at all levels of the organization. The ideal candidate will demonstrate evidence of inclusive and equitable leadership in previous work experiences. They will view leadership through a growth mindset and will relish the opportunity to support and develop staff and teams to drive maximum operational effectiveness while fostering a positive work culture.

The Executive Director will provide overall leadership and management of the day-to-day operations of the museum and its staff. As such, strong candidates will be able to provide leadership, through and in collaboration with Senior Staff, on exhibit and educational planning, financial and risk management, human resources, marketing/communications, retail and event management, facility maintenance, and animal care.

Candidates must be able to develop meaningful relationships that expand the museum’s relevance and relevance within the community. Direct experience in fundraising, and the ability to cultivate funds through both individual solicitations and grant or foundation-sourced contributions, is required. The ability to leverage professional networks and relationships to develop new partnerships and funding sources is viewed as a valuable asset.

The successful candidate will possess, through a combination of academic experience and professional achievement, a strong science-related background. The ideal candidate will also hold a heartfelt passion for ECHO’s mission and a deep love of science education, native wildlife, and environmental stewardship.

Review of candidates will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, and the names of three references to All correspondence will be treated as confidential and references will not be contacted without prior permission.

ECHO is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates for employment who will contribute to our diversity.

ECHO requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

About ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain is an innovative science and nature museum located on the Burlington Waterfront. Open daily, ECHO encourages visitors to view the natural environment as part of their neighborhood and to explore, learn about, and consider opportunities for stewardship. Since 1995, we have taught more than 3 million visitors about the role of science in our culture and lives. ECHO leverages its unique setting to inspire and engage families in the joy of scientific discovery, wonder of nature, and care of Lake Champlain.

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