Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster Logo McMaster logo

Research Engineer/Neuroscientist Technician

Research Engineer/Neuroscientist Technician

LIVELab, McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind

McMaster University

 

Background

The successful candidate would join a diverse, vibrant group of technicians, research engineers, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students and postdocs engaging in world renowned groundbreaking research in the LIVELab (livelab.mcmaster.ca) in the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind at McMaster University. The successful candidate would join the team providing high level technical, data gathering and analysis, and signal processing support. The research in the LIVELab addresses both fascinating fundamental questions and questions directed at practical solutions to problems facing society.

The LIVELab contains a 106 seat research concert hall that was built as an acoustic blank slate (with < 10dB background noise and very low reverberation); it contains a Meyer Constellation sound system, consisting of 28 microphones and 75 speakers, that can instantaneously recreate the size and reverberation characteristics of almost any space, and present sounds that move around the room in 3-D space. The LIVELab contains technology to measure behavioural responses (100 tablet system), movement (motion capture), brain responses (EEG) and physiology (e.g., heart rate, galvanic skin responses, breathing, muscle tension) in multiple performers and audience members simultaneously. The space contains a Disklavier piano that can record and playback the exact velocity and timing of all key presses during a performance, a video wall, and studio-quality sound recording equipment. The high precision time synchronization between equipment systems in the LIVELab enables cutting edge multi-faceted analysis of complex questions of human interaction related to music, hearing, vision, movement, and learning.

Research underway includes measuring movements, EEG and other physiology in people simultaneously to understand:  how musicians coordinate nonverbally; how technology can be used to engage audience responses and interactions; the dynamics of social interactions across many situations; how to optimize hearing aids for music and movement; how to best promote mental health through music; physiological effects of parent-infant interactions; how to use sound and music to improve outcomes in populations with movement or developmental disorders.

The LIVELab is located in the Faculty of Science at McMaster University, a vibrant community including 8 interactive Departments and Schools, 5 Research Centres and Institutes and 4 critical Core Research Platforms; and including 7,000 graduate and undergraduate students. McMaster University has consistently been recognized as a world-class institution for teaching, research, and scholarship. We are ranked consistently in the top 100 in the world, and as Canada’s most research-intensive university.

McMaster University is located in Hamilton, Ontario, which is part of the “Golden Horseshoe” region of southern Ontario. Hamilton is located between Toronto and the Niagara/Buffalo area. It sits on the shores of Lake Ontario alongside the Niagara escarpment, and boasts an abundance of waterfalls, hiking trails, and green space. McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations and, within the lands protected by the “Dish with One Spoon” wampum agreement. In keeping with its Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, McMaster University strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity. The diversity of our workforce is at the core of our innovation and creativity and strengthens our research and teaching excellence. The University seeks qualified candidates who share our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from women, persons with disabilities, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, members of visible minorities, and LGBTQ+ persons.

 

Job Summary

The Research Engineer will report to the Technical Director of the LIVELab, and together they will consult regularly with Director of the LIVELab. The Research Engineer will also work closely with other LIVELab staff including the Communications and Lab Manager and other technicians in a highly collaborative, respectful, and collegial environment in which everyone is highly engaged. In consultation at weekly staff meetings, the Technical Director and LIVELab Manager decide on staff work priorities for the coming weeks on the basis of our commitments to upcoming research projects and concert performances.

The Research Engineer will be trained on the equipment systems, including the Meyer sound system, the multiperson EEG, other physiological measurement systems, motion capture, and the Disklavier piano, and will contribute to the maintenance of and upgrades to these systems. In turn the Research Engineer will train students, postdocs and other researchers on how to collect data with these systems.

The Research Engineer will engage in modifying, assembling and creating custom engineering solutions to meet novel research needs as they arise. The Research Engineer will contribute to data collection, organization and storage of large datasets generated in experiments. Further, the Research Engineer will engage in complex data analysis and signal processing for EEG, motion capture and other data, and work with students and researchers to define the best analysis processes for particular studies, keeping up to date with advances in the field. The Research Engineer will contribute to writing technical reports. The Research Engineer will help to define the scope and resource needs of new research projects or contracts, help test human participants in some of these studies, and provide technical support at concert performances. The Research Engineer will also contribute to coordinating outreach activities and to generating and maintaining content for online platforms and communication.

 

Qualifications

  • Master’s or PhD degree in Engineering, Neuroscience or in a relevant field

 

Experience

  • Minimum of 2 years experience in a research engineering, neuroscience or related position

  • Experience with experimentation, data analysis, signal processing

 

Knowledge/Skills

Essential

  • Familiarity with audio recording, editing and analysis

  • Interest in sound and music

  • Computer programming skills

  • Knowledge of statistical analysis and ability to quickly learn new techniques

  • Deep knowledge of signal processing for data analysis of audio, EEG and motion capture data

  • Ability to work well in teams

  • Ability to work independently

  • Good organizational and time management skills

  • Ability to adapt to changing requirements

  • Ability to think creatively and come up with novel solutions

  • Ability to write technical reports

  • Interest in learning new skills

Desirable

  • Extensive experience with EEG

  • Extensive experience with motion capture

  • Experience in designing human psychology experiments

 

Details of the position can be found here.

The position is a Unifor Unit1, Staff position, #39090.

 

Interested Candidates should email a (1) letter, (2) resume and (3) the names and contact information for three people who can provide references to:

Dr. Laurel Trainor

Director, McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind

livelab@mcmaster.ca