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Materials Scientist - Metallography/Fractography

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 02/06/2022

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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 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 Metallurgy and Advanced Microscopy Group in the Materials Science Division (MSD).

This position will be filled at either 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 to complex work in metallography, fractography, and materials characterization, including sample preparation, macro- and micro-hardness testing, optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (including electron backscatter diffraction and energy/wavelength dispersive spectroscopy) for a variety of principal investigators at LLNL.
  • Contribute to the development and operation of metallography, sample preparation, and materials capabilities, including performing measurements, maintaining instruments, writing safety documentation, and upgrading equipment.
  • Independently develop moderately complex to 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 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.3 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.    



  • BS/BA in materials science, materials engineering, engineering technology, engineering science, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, or physics; or 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, scanning electron microscopy, macro- and micro hardness testing and grain size measurements.
  • Broad experience with preparation of metallographic specimens, including working with chemicals and etchants.
  • Experience with optical microscopy techniques.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office software, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • 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.3 level

  • Significant experience in advanced electron microscopy techniques.
  • Significant experience in materials characterization, including a theoretical understanding of techniques and limitations of the tools.
  • Advanced knowledge in advanced materials science concepts, including phase transformations, dislocations, alloying, crystal structure, and grain boundaries.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience with scanning electron microscopy techniques, including expertise in operating an SEM.
  • Experience in other materials preparation and characterization tools, such as x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microcopy, hardness testing, electropolishing, ion milling, vacuum coating, white-light interferometry, and density 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 or At Will appointment. Only Laboratory employees with Career Indefinite or At Will status may apply for this position. If final candidate is an At Will employee, At Will status may be maintained based on funding considerations.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

  • Included in 2022 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

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. In addition, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  Q-level 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.

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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