Innovation Lab Officer at Kenya Red Cross Society

Kenya Red Cross is one of the many International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement societies around the world. The Kenya organisation was established in 1965, The Kenya Red Cross supports and runs a number of projects whilst raising awareness to the Kenyan public about the current issues or problems which may affect them.

Reporting to: Innovation Lab Coordinator

Job Location: Hindi, Lamu

The Lamu Innovation and Fabrication Lab is a modern innovation workspace and makerspace that is equipped with an array of digital fabrication machines that utilise various materials. The Lab aims to empower communities and innovators to enhance local skills and talent to create, build and improve solutions to strengthen resilience and economic empowerment.

Lamu, based off the coast of Kenya, is rich in culture and tradition. Its narrow streets remain unchanged and markets and squares around the fort life moves at the same pace it always has. There are no vehicles and the donkey and the dhow remain the dominant form of transport. The people of Lamu are great believers in tradition and custom and this is a strong society built on a respect for the past. Local artisans have mastered skills in building dhows, carving the infamous Lamu door and traditional embroidery and weaving.

As the innovation lab officer, you will have the exciting opportunity to engage and work with the community to complement these traditional skills with modern digital fabrication tools and processes that will not only rejuvenate the already nurtured creativity of local skills, improve their efficiency and processes, as well as attract the youth into these sectors. You will also have the amazing opportunity to support other innovation projects and initiatives at the national level and further enhance the work that KRCS does with communities across Kenya.

Overall Purpose

The primary focus for this role will be technical operation of the Lamu Fab-Lab, a facility setup by the KRCS Innovation Unit, administered under the International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA), an establishment of the KRCS.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist lab users with project design and implementation.
  • Responsible for properly operating equipment and creating instructions and standard operating procedures for users.
  • Maintain the current and future equipment in the lab makerspace in good working order including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers and other equipment (new equipment may be added as the space grows and users’ needs evolve).
  • Ensure compliance with safety standards including hazardous material reporting.
  • Keep track of the use of supplies; order parts and consumables in liaison with the lab manager.
  • Oversee safety in the lab and provide the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Assist in the setup and maintenance of the lab including selecting and installing, maintaining equipment.
  • Develop policies and training programs.
  • Identification, sourcing and installing of relevant new equipment and technologies.
  • Create and foster a maker-culture at the lab.
  • Work with and market the activities of the lab to encourage community members to join the lab
  • Run sustainable maker meet-ups and forums.
  • Plan necessary stocks and replacement based on lab inventory.
  • Scheduling of the different tasks in the workshop.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree. Preferably Engineering Degree in Mechanical, Computer Science, Electrical and Electronics or related field.
  • Or
  • Diploma Preferably Engineering Degree in Mechanical, Computer Science, Electrical and Electronics or related field with two years’ experience.

Desired Competencies

  • Demonstrate experience working on technical projects. Preferably hardware technology projects.
  • Experience working with digital fabrication technology or training of the same.
  • Knowledge of fabrication-related technologies will be an added advantage.
  • Ability to learn and apply new technologies and to effectively assist others on the same
  • Strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills
  • Proficiency in written communication skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively and with minimal supervision
  • Ability to balance multiple priorities in a deadline-driven environment
  • Ability to work with diverse groups / populations
  • Knowledge around community engagement and participation

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