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Noble Gas Mass Spectrometrist

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 10/14/2021

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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 in the analysis of nuclear and non-nuclear materials in support of nuclear security and planetary science research.  The successful candidate will perform isotopic analyses utilizing noble gas mass spectrometry (NGMS) to understand signatures of interest to nuclear forensics, nonproliferation, and nuclear science applications. You will play a leadership role in development and design of analytical approaches and in generating new proposals for funding. This position is in the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division supporting the Chemical and Isotopic Signatures Group.

This position will be filled at the SES.3 or SES.4 level depending on candidate qualifications. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if you are selected at the higher level.

In this role you will 

  • Independently develop and pursue innovative research in noble gas measurements of geologic/planetary samples and nuclear materials and establish new analytical protocols and techniques.
  • Independently prepare samples, analyze samples, and interpret results.  Document and publish results in technical reports and peer-reviewed scientific publications and present results at conferences, seminars, and technical meetings.
  • Lead technical efforts with responsibility for budgets, schedules, deliverables, and resource allocation.
  • Independently develop research proposals for agencies that fund research in nuclear science and nuclear forensics.
  • Independently operate, maintain, repair, and upgrade ultra-high vacuum processing line components, mass spectrometers, and associated hardware and interact with hardware and software vendors.
  • Collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and technical personnel to accomplish research goals.
  • Provide training and support for new and existing users of the laboratory.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.4 level

  • Represent the organization as a primary technical contact across projects.
  • Drive programmatic growth by identifying and addressing sponsor needs.
  • Manage multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and technical personnel.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. Citizenship.
  • Ph.D. in geochemistry, cosmochemistry, nuclear engineering, or a related field.
  • Significant experience measuring noble gas isotope ratios and abundances by mass spectrometry.
  • Significant experience with noble gas purification and spiking methods for mass spectrometry, as well as laser heating and/or ablation systems.
  • Significant experience using noble gas isotope variations to address problems in geochemistry, cosmochemistry, nuclear engineering, or a related field.
  • Experience in the design, evaluation, and construction of ultra-high vacuum systems, including specifying and procuring vacuum, mechanical, and electrical components and working with suppliers and mechanical shops.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently lead research projects, reflected in the publication of first-authored, 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.

Additional qualifications at the SES.4 level

  • Demonstrated ability to develop independent research projects, reflected in prior experience working as a principal investigator for NSF, NASA, DOE, and/or DOD.
  • Experience as the lead scientist of a noble gas mass spectrometry laboratory.
  • Experience managing and leading multidisciplinary project teams.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience in MATLAB, Java, C++, and/or SQL databases.

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

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

LLNL demonstrates its commitment to public safety by requiring that all new Laboratory employees be immunized against COVID-19 unless granted an accommodation under applicable state or federal law. This requirement will apply to all new hires including those who will be working on site, as well as those who will be teleworking.

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.

LLNS is committed to offering reasonable accommodations during the application and recruiting processes due to a disability.  If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, 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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