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Materials Scientist - Metallography / Fractography

Entry Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 03/15/2023

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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.

Pay Range
$103,290.00  - $139,128.00  Annually for the SES.1 level
$123,960.00  - $166,992.00  Annually for the SES.2 level
Please note that the pay range information is a general guideline only. Many factors are taken into consideration when setting starting pay including education, experience, the external labor market, and internal equity.

Job Description

We have an opening for a Materials Scientist with experience in metallography and/or fractography. You will perform a full range of moderate to complex research in the area of metallography, sample preparation, microscopy, and materials characterization for a wide variety of projects at LLNL, including working with hazardous materials, e.g., radioactive materials, beryllium and lead. This position is in the Materials Characterization Group in the Materials Science Division (MSD).

This position will be filled at either the SES.1 or SES.2 level based on knowledge and related experience as assessed by the hiring team. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if hired at the higher level.

In this role you will

  • Conduct moderately complex in metallography, fractography, and materials characterization, including precision sample preparation, macro- and micro-hardness testing, optical microscopy, and density measurements for a variety of principal investigators at LLNL.
  • Contribute to the development and operation of metallography, sample preparation, and materials characterization capabilities, including performing measurements, maintaining instruments, writing safety documentation, and upgrading equipment.
  • Use moderately complex methods for preparing and analyzing one-of-a-kind samples, including hazardous materials, beryllium, and radioactive materials.
  • Prepare written analyses, verbal briefings, and other products that capture and communicate research results.
  • Present research findings to sponsors and customers.
  • Contribute to and actively participate in the development and implementation of tools and techniques to achieve a high throughput of samples in the materials characterization laboratories.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities at the SES.2 level

  • Conduct advanced development of sample preparation techniques using state-of-the-art automated equipment.
  • Serve as the primary technical contact on specific projects for LLNL customers.
  • Assist LLNL staff in planning and coordinating sample preparation and characterization across laboratories within the materials characterization center of MSD.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • BS/BA in Materials Science, Materials Engineering, Engineering Technology, Engineering Science, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or Physics, or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Broad understanding of basic materials science and sample preparation concepts and skills, including sample polishing techniques, optical microscopy, macro and micro hardness testing, grain size measurements, and density measurements.
  • Experience with preparation of metallographic specimens, particularly superalloys and refractory metals, including working with chemicals and etchants.
  • Experience with optical microscopy techniques.
  • Experience operating computers to collect, analyze, and document scientific results.
  • Ability to work independently, as well as a member of a team.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills necessary to interact with a diverse set of scientists, engineers, and other technical and administrative staff within a collaborative research and development environment.

Additional qualifications at the SES.2 level

  • Broad experience in metallographic sample preparation techniques for a diverse range of materials systems.
  • Experience in a broad range of materials characterization methods, including a theoretical understanding of techniques and limitations of the underlying processes and equipment.
  • Knowledge of materials science concepts, including effects of heat treatment, alloying, and/or brazing/welding.

Qualifications we desire

  • Experience with scanning electron microscopy techniques, including expertise in operating an SEM.
  • Experience in other materials preparation, e.g. heat treating, and characterization tools, e.g., x-ray diffraction, electropolishing, ion milling, vacuum coating, and/or white-light interferometry measurements.
  • Experience with instrument maintenance, and design and fabrication of simple fixtures.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Career Indefinite position, open to Lab employees and external candidates.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

This position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance.  If you are selected, we will initiate a Federal background investigation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or matter. Also, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  Q-level clearance requires U.S. citizenship. 

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position must 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.

Equal Employment Opportunity

We are an equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing all with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. 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.

We invite you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive experience for all candidates applying and interviewing at the Laboratory.  If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please use our online form to submit a request. 

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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