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Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometrist

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 06/11/2021

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Job Description

We have an opening for a Research Scientist to develop and pursue innovative research on the identification of stable isotope signatures of nuclear and planetary materials, with applications to problems in nuclear forensics and the origin and evolution of the Solar System. You will determine ages of crystallization and planetary differentiation by applying and developing various isotopic systems, such as Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Hf-W, and Mn-Cr to planetary materials through isotopic analysis by MC-ICP-MS or TIMS. In addition, you will develop methods to analyze non-traditional stable isotopes including Ti to evaluate the nucleosynthetic sources of planetary materials as well as the production history of nuclear material. The position is in the Chemical and Isotopic Signatures group within the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division.

In this role you will 

  • Independently develop and pursue advanced innovative research on the origin and evolution of the proto-planetary disk and planetary bodies in the Solar System as well as for problems in nuclear forensics.
  • Establish new analytical protocols and techniques for high-purity separation of Hf-W, Mn-Cr, and other trace metals from complex sample matrices and isotopic analysis by magnetic sector multi-collector plasma source and thermal ionization mass spectrometry.
  • Lead technical efforts with responsibility for budgets, schedules, deliverables, and resource allocation.
  • Collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and technical personnel to accomplish research goals.
  • Prepare research proposals for agencies that fund cosmochemical research.
  • Document and publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific publications and present results at external conferences, seminars and/or technical meetings.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Ph.D. in Geochemistry, Chemistry, or related field, or equivalent level of demonstrated knowledge.
  • Advanced knowledge and significant experience in purification of elements from complex matrices for MC-ICP-MS or TIMS analysis of isotopic composition.
  • Advanced knowledge and significant experience in multi-collector isotope ratio mass spectrometry for determination of isotopic composition and concentration using isotope dilution methods.
  • Significant experience in the interpretation and modeling of chronometric systems used in cosmochemistry and/or stable isotope systematics of planetary and nuclear material.
  • Ability to develop independent research projects as demonstrated through publication of peer-reviewed literature.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to work in a multidisciplinary team environment, author technical and scientific reports and publications, and deliver scientific presentations.
  • Initiative and interpersonal skills necessary to work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary team environment.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Familiarity with Hf-W, Mn-Cr, Sm-Nd isotopic systems.
  • Experience calculating ages of specific events using standard chronology software.
  • Understanding sources and methods to track laboratory contamination (blanks).
  • Knowledge of isotope dilution methods.

Additional Information

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

  • Included in 2021 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor!
  • Work for a premier innovative national Laboratory
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package
  • Flexible schedules (*depending on project needs)
  • Collaborative, creative, inclusive, and fun team environment

Learn more about our company, selection process, position types and security clearances by visiting our Career site

Security Clearance

LLNL is a Department of Energy (DOE) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Laboratory.  Some positions will require a DOE L or Q clearance (please reference Security Clearance requirement above).  If you are selected and a clearance is required, we will initiate a Federal background investigation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or matter. In addition, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  An L or Q clearance requires U.S. citizenship.  For additional information please see DOE Order 472.2.

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position will be required to pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

Pre-Placement Medical Exam

A job related pre-placement medical examination may be required.

Equal Employment Opportunity

LLNL is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer that values and hires a diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please submit a request via our online form

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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