Scientific Engineering Associate

Website advlightsource Advanced Light Source (ALS)

The Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has an opportunity for a Scientific Engineering Associate (SEA) or Senior Scientific Engineering Associate (Sr. SEA).  

The ALS  is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national scientific user facility with world leading science and research  capabilities in the soft x-ray, hard x-ray, and infrared regimes. The ALS attracts more than 2,000 academic and industrial users each year to conduct experiments in disciplines spanning physical, chemical, materials, biological, energy, and Earth sciences. 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!

This position will work within the Photon Sciences Development (PSD) group and functions as a Scientific Engineering Associate. This is a multidisciplinary technical support position that involves some or potentially all of the following depending on skills and experience:- construction, development, repair,  and operation of x-ray beamlines; development and design of instrument systems; support of visiting researchers either independently or in collaboration with Beamline Scientists at both a technical and scientific level including assistance with experiment definition, data acquisition, data analysis and interpretation, and publication. 

What you will do  – Level 1 Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the development of new scientific methods through maintaining, developing, and upgrading beamlines and scientific endstations.  

  • Troubleshoot and document beamline issues; developing and implementing solutions

  • Assume responsibility for the design and implementation of scientific instrumentation, data acquisition systems, and computer control systems (such as automation). This will include system design, implementation, commissioning, and documentation.

  • Document the results of projects and disseminate information to colleagues.

  • Through on-the-job experience and independent initiative, build upon knowledge base and expand skillset, to encompass as many of the multi-disciplinary areas that interact in our experimental research environment.

  • Utilize and execute continuous knowledge gained to contribute to the many facets of the role indicated (construction, development, repair, and operation of x-ray beamlines

  • Develop and design instrument systems; assist with experiment definition, data acquisition, data analysis, and interpretation, and publication). 

In addition to the above responsibilities Level 2 Responsibilities include:

  • Manage and implement R&D projects from beginning to end with limited supervision, including planning, scheduling, and coordination of technical support, to solve a wide range of complex or difficult technical problems and improve the operation of the beamline or experiment.

  • Requires less supervision and includes more independence in the determination of approach to solutions.

Additional Responsibilities as needed:

  • Flexibility to perform other duties as assigned/needed.

  • Willingness to interact productively in a team environment as both a lead and in support roles.

  • Provide software support for the control, data acquisition, and analysis codes required to operate the experimental system.

  • Disseminate experimental and research results via oral presentations and written reports at internal meetings and when appropriate external conferences and publications.

  • Assume responsibility for tuning, documentation, and operating beamlines or experiments for the success of user programs.

  • Participate in ALS Division or LBNL committees and working groups as appropriate to your skills and Division needs.

  • Maintain current knowledge of and implement relevant Laboratory, Division, and Program Conduct of Operations and Quality Assurance policies and procedures.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to the LBL principles of stewardship, safe working practices, and inclusion, diversity, equity, and accountability

What is Required:

Level 1 Qualifications :

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred in a physical science or engineering or four plus years of directly applicable experience.

  • Ability and desire to work in a multidisciplinary, diverse scientific research environment, collaborating with a variety of both scientific engineering technical and administrative staff at many levels.

  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.

  • Hands-on experience in building/assembling equipment.

  • Demonstrated ability to proactively develop and implement solutions to a variety of technical problems.

  • Ability to learn new skills and techniques as required by the situation.

  • Demonstrated skill in implementing the engineering and design of scientific instrumentation.

  • Knowledge and experience in designing, operating, and/or maintaining scientific instrumentation in multiple types of systems. This can include mechanical, electrical, vacuum, data acquisition, or computer-controlled systems.

  • Experience implementing and/or managing R&D projects, which may include planning, scheduling, and coordinating resources to achieve project goals.

  • Ability to effectively document, present, and summarize results of research and development activities.

In addition to the above qualifications Level 2 Qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred in a physical science or engineering or 2-4 years of directly applicable experience plus an additional minimum of 4 years of related experience.

  • Experience working under limited direction.

  • Experience independently determining and developing approaches to solutions.

What we prefer 

  • Experience with interdisciplinary projects, including collaboration with both scientific and engineering staff.

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of synchrotron radiation beamlines and  techniques.

  • Machine shop experience.

  • Knowledge and experience designing in CAD

  • Knowledge of Python and LabView.

  • Experience using scientific software.

For full consideration, please apply by January 28, 2021.


  • This is a full-time career appointment, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.

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

  • 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.

The core values of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) reflect a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek candidates who will support a culture in which the entire ALS community feels welcomed and valued. An ongoing commitment to recruiting a vibrant, diverse and talented workforce is paramount to promoting a diverse lab community.

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.”

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups presently considering scientific research careers.

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