Computer Systems Engineer (2/3)

Website advlightsource Advanced Light Source (ALS)

Discover your future at Berkeley Lab!

Berkeley Lab’s  Advanced Light Source (ALS) as an opening for a Computer Systems Engineer. Reporting to the head of the Computing and Data Group of the ALS, functions as a computer scientist, supporting ALS data lifecycle developments and R&D goals. This position is in support of the activities within the Computing and Data Group including the design of the data movement and curation of ALS data, planning for R&D upgrades and adherence to environmental, health and safety best practices. Collaborates with teams from the ALS, LAB IT, LBL CRD, CAMERA, and NERSC, as well as other light sources and user facilities to ensure a fully integrated design for the data.

The ALS is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national scientific user facility whose excellent scientific reputation, expert staff, and capabilities in the soft x-ray, hard x-ray, and infrared regimes attract more than 2,000 academic and industrial users each year in disciplines spanning physical, chemical, materials, biological, energy, and Earth sciences. It is one of five Berkeley Lab user facilities that serve a combined 11,000 users annually. The co-location of these user facilities – including the Molecular Foundry Nanoscale Science Research Center and the NERSC scientific computing center, as well as Berkeley Lab’s outstanding programs in materials and chemical sciences among others – offers a prime environment for collaborative science. The ALS has been a global leader in soft x-ray science for more than two decades and is currently undertaking a new project (ALS-U) that will endow the facility with state-of-the-art x-ray capabilities. It’s an exciting time to join our growing team!

The core values of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) reflect a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek candidates that would support a culture where all ALS staff feel welcomed and valued. For those who hold roles as supervisors, an ongoing commitment to recruiting a vibrant, diverse and talented workforce is paramount to promoting a diverse lab community.

This position will be hired at a level commensurate with the business needs; and skills, knowledge, and abilities of the successful candidate.

What You Will Do:

  • Supports the integration of ALS data and computing infrastructure with “open data” systems, providing options for exposing user facility data to the scientific community and the public in a curated database with flexible web front-end.
  • Supports the development of a portable algorithmic code base, and infrastructure for its open source cross-facility dissemination.
  • Collaborate with scientists and software developers to adapt tools and algorithms for use at the ALS.
  • Use best practices for software development, including in the areas of documentation, version control, and build and testing systems.

Additional Responsibilities as needed:

  • Educate, instruct, and provide support to users and beamline scientists in the deployment, maintenance, and use of tools and algorithms for technique/experiment-specific data through informal training and recorded short courses.
  • Attend user facility and other relevant meetings to present tools for cross-facility use, and support collaboration between groups.

What is Required:

  • Typically requires a minimum of 5 years of Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics experience with a Bachelor’s degree; or 3 years and a Master’s degree; or equivalent work experience.
  • Experience in developing open source code in areas such as synchrotron data reduction, management, and/or visualization.
  • Experience with Python, databases and web development/programming.
  • Familiarity with software version control systems (git, github, bitbucket) and automated documentation systems (sphinx etc.)
  • Experience collaborating in a diverse multidisciplinary team environment with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Typically requires a minimum of 8 years of Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics experience with a Bachelor’s degree; or 6 years and a Master’s degree; or equivalent experience.
  • Demonstrated experience resolving complex issues independently.
  • Demonstrated experience determining methods and procedures.
  • Ability to interact with a variety of technical and scientific personnel including Research Associates, Scientists and Software Engineers with varied academic backgrounds.
  • Familiarity with the procedures of synchrotron experimental techniques and data analysis in synchrotron techniques.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills to present and disseminate scientific software developments at group meetings and conferences.
  • Basic experience with HPC environments.
  • Ability to serve as a Team Lead.

Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • A basic knowledge of system administration.
  • User beamtime experience at synchrotron facilities, and knowledge of user needs.
  • A basic knowledge of data acquisition systems.
  • Basic experience in working in the NERSC ecosystem
  • PhD in Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related field or equivalent combination of skills and experiments.

The posting shall remain open until the position is filled.


  • This is a full time career appointment.
  • Full-time, M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Berkeley Lab (LBNL) addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. Berkeley Lab is in compliance with the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4.  Click here to view the poster and supplement: “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.”

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