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SMMA Laboratory Planner in Cambridge, Massachusetts

SMMA is seeking a creative, curious, and motivated Laboratory Planner with demonstrated life science experience within our thriving Science & Tech Studio who will have the opportunity to work on some of the area’s largest and most cutting-edge laboratory commissions to be completed over the next several years. This is a specialized role that one learns through experience and can demonstrate the ability to interpret, understand, and re-translate the scientific workflows, required organization, health and safety concerns, and equipment / utility requirements into cohesive working environments. Lab planners also need to have the ability to communicate and translate between multiple stakeholders including but not limited to the design team (architecture & engineering), end-users (the scientists using the space), EHS professionals, facility managers, and in some cases the construction team.

Professional credentials may include architects (licensed and non-licensed), designers, scientists, lab managers, and equipment installers / specialists. In fact, our Lab Planning Leader is a PHD scientist who found a passion in helping others to plan functional and beautiful laboratory and workplace facilities.   She is committed to mentoring others within SMMA and build up this expertise.  Along with drawing from a rich knowledge base and an award winning portfolio of projects over the past 20+ years, you will also be working within the firms integrated design model — a dynamic and innovative mix of architects, interior designers, landscape architects, site and building systems engineers, design technologists, researchers, planners, and doers.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Involved in programming, design, fit-out planning, major equipment planning, building systems integration, laboratory casework systems design and specification, research on laboratory equipment requirements, and support for construction administration.

  • Attending, and on-occasion leading, laboratory planning meetings with design team and clients.

  • Integrate sustainable strategies into laboratory facilities with support from our internal Sustainable Design group.

  • Developing and maintaining excellent relationships with existing and potential clients. Participating in selected marketing and business development opportunities.

  • Assist project team to research and specify materials, products, and systems working with our internal Specifications Writer and project consultants.

  • Serve as a technical resource across project teams in the S&T and Corporate & Commercial studios.


  • Professional degree; Master’s degree preferred

  • 5+ years’ experience in laboratory planning and design

  • LEED and other sustainable accreditations a plus

  • An understanding of BIM-centered workflows and integration of digital tools

  • Interested in the advancement of scientific research

  • Excellence in written, visual, and verbal communication

  • High emotional intelligence

  • Flexible, proactive, and curious

    About the Firm

    Our clients engage with SMMA to solve complex problems. This kind of problem-solving often involves collaborating with our architects, landscape architects, interior designers, design technologists, and engineers at the earliest stages. Outcomes must please the individual user and elevate the community while fulfilling the goals of the client.

    The firm was founded by MIT and Rensselaer alumni who believed that the balance of architecture, engineering, interiors, and site design afforded clients the agility of a single source of creative and technical expertise. Today, SMMA continues its dedication to a flexible integrated approach while remaining guided by a shared pursuit of design excellence and social responsibility.

    SMMA is organized into five studios of market focus: Corporate & Commercial, Science & Technology, Federal Government, Higher Education, and K-12 Education.  At SMMA, studios represent specialized communities of practice working together to foster knowledge flow around common interests. Together, the firm’s studios form a larger design ecosystem, sharing best practices and nurturing professional growth and project excellence.

    Company Perks

  • Employee-owned firm with Employee Stock Ownership Program

  • Hybrid in-studio and remote working policy

  • Shared on-premises parking or public transportation reimbursement

  • Seasonal Mentor/protégé program

  • Professional Development budget and Educational reimbursement

  • Annual salary review and year-end bonus

  • Opportunity to engage in multi-discipline and industry-partnering research

  • Licensure and membership reimbursement

  • Competitive benefits including paid time-off, company-funded MA Paid Family and Medical Leave, company-paid dental plan, company-paid life insurance, and 401(K) matching

  • Employee Assistance Program (includes confidential emotional support, legal guidance, and financial resources)

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