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Focused Ion Beam Operator

Date: Nov 17, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9287 


We are seeking a Focused Ion Beam Operator who will focus on operation and maintenance of three Focused Ion Beam (FIB) workstations for support of materials research.  This position resides in the Nuclear Energy Materials Microanalysis Group in the Materials in Extremes Section, Materials Science and Technology Division, Physical Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our research team, you will work with a large team of scientists engaged in cutting-edge research for materials for next-generation clean nuclear power systems. You will be responsible for three focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope (FIB/SEM) workstations. You will collaborate with ORNL and visiting researchers to use FIB methods to prepare specimens for transmission electron microscopy. You will also troubleshoot problems with the FIB systems and coordinate service with vendor field service engineers. FIB is a burgeoning materials science technique, and you will collaborate with other staff members to develop and perfect new applications of FIB. You will also occasionally perform optical and scanning electron microscopy and general materials science experiments and laboratory activities.


This position in is a radiological laboratory. The position will require Radiological Worker 2 training and daily work with low-activity radioactive materials. You will receive mentoring and on-the-job-training regarding radiological work. A strong attention to detail and dedication to environment, safety, and health is mandatory.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Use of FIB and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to prepare materials science specimens for transmission electron microscopy

  • Troubleshooting, diagnostics, maintenance, preventive maintenance of the FIB workstations and coordination with field service engineers

  • Collaboration with ORNL and visiting scientists to develop new and innovation applications of FIB and SEM for materials science problems


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor's or Master's degree in Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, or a related discipline

  • Some experience in microscopy, sample preparation, SEM, FIB, or related fields

  • Experience and/or coursework of microscopy or microstructural examination

  • Experience with electronic or mechanical system repair and troubleshooting


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience and/or coursework in SEM and/or FIB is highly beneficial

  • Experience and/or coursework in diffraction, crystallography, and/or X-ray spectroscopy is beneficial

  • Knowledge of programming languages and automation (i.e., scripting, Python, etc.) is beneficial

  • Knowledge of general materials science laboratory practices is beneficial

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 

  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


Physical Requirements: Work involves various physical requirements and working conditions. As such, a pre-hire physical will be required after offer.


Export control:  This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville