| Assistant or Associate Mineralogist (level is dependent on qualifications) |
Illinois State Geological Survey Prairie Research Institute University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) is a premier state geological survey, with over 200 scientists and technical support staff, serving the needs of the public, government, and industry with earth science information and research relevant to natural resources, environmental quality, economic vitality, and public safety. ISGS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. PRI houses five large scientific surveys covering a wide range of expertise including biology, water resources, climate, geology, sustainable technology and archaeology. The University is a land-grant institution that provides access to world-class laboratory and academic facilities, Big Ten athletic events, and internationally acclaimed cultural opportunities.
We are seeking an individual to direct and manage the clay mineralogy, XRD, XRF and other material characterization laboratories and perform related responsibilities, and design, initiate, and complete investigations related to clay mineralogy and mineral resources research. This position is based in Champaign.
Major Duties and Responsibilities: Direct and manage daily operations of the clay mineralogy, XRD, XRF and other material characterization laboratories including sample receiving, sample processing, quality control of analytical results, operation and maintenance of analytical equipment reporting analytical results, preparation of invoices, managing laboratory inventory, and purchasing supplies. Establish and implement scientific methods, protocols, and procedures through research and laboratory experiments for clay mineralogy and mineral characterization. Establish laboratory quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) standards through laboratory experiments and testing and, where appropriate, involve interlaboratory proficiency assessments. Train and supervise laboratory assistants including task assignments, performance evaluation, and mentoring. Develop and maintain records (including electronic databases and paper files) with results of laboratory analyses and appropriate ancillary data for purposes including the storage, maintenance, tracking, reporting and archiving of sample related information. Introduce new computer software and technology to laboratory operation to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of laboratory processes, enhance data quality, and reduce operational cost. Prioritize equipment needs of the laboratories including maintenance and acquisition. Prioritize replacement of laboratory equipment and make decisions on or recommendations for replacement and new acquisition of equipment according to purchasing guidelines. Acquire and assemble analytical equipment required to carry out functions of the material characterization laboratories. Evaluate and set service fees with Survey financial staff in accordance Survey and University guidelines. Manage financial and budgetary resources of the material characterization account (which is funded by XRD, XRF, and other analytical work) with assistance from finance staff. Ensure that the laboratory operates in a fiscally responsible and financially stable condition. Prioritize and manage laboratory workflow based on staff needs and laboratory efficiency. Periodically evaluate staffing needs of the laboratory for efficient and effective operation. Conceive, plan, coordinate, and conduct research related to clay mineralogy, diagenesis, and mineralogical investigations. Carry out research appropriate for characterizing Illinois’ rocks/sediments and developing new techniques. Critically review grant proposals and proposed publications such as maps, abstracts, journal articles, and databases submitted by Survey staff and outside individuals for publication by the Survey or other professional organizations or publishers. Publish results of investigations in ISGS publication series and other venues and formats, which include, but are not limited to, geologic maps, journal articles, web pages, scientific abstracts, and databases. Compile, utilize, and maintain databases relevant to research. Independently plan and perform data collection and field work. Respond to requests for information by and provide technical expertise to staff, government agencies, academia, industry, and the general public. Responses include written memorandum reports, public presentations, telephone conversations, and occasional field work.
Attend, participate in, and contribute to meetings, conferences, and workshops. Participate in professional organizations. Communicate results of investigations as presentations and lectures to a wide variety of audiences in a variety of venues including public lectures and meetings, educational settings, field trips, professional organization conferences and meetings, and academic or research seminars. The assistant level will provide support to research and projects including management of grant funding and production of project, grant, or contract reports and deliverables as well as provide data and support to proposal submissions seeking external funding. The associate level will serve as principal investigator, lead research and projects, and perform tasks in that capacity including management of grant funding and production of project, grant, or contract reports and deliverables as well as pursue externally funded research projects by preparing and writing contract and grant proposals to provide external funding.
Qualifications: Four years of related mineralogical industry, academic, or research experience. Demonstrated experience in laboratory management skills including problem solving, QA/QC practices, data management, and supply management. Database utilization and development, budget management, and invoicing experience preferred. Demonstrated experience with a range of material characterization techniques (e.g., XRD, XRF, microscopy). Mechanical ability applicable to the upkeep of laboratory analytical equipment. Experience and proficiency with operation and maintenance of XRD, XRF, and other equipment used for material characterization highly preferred. Ability to critically review existing methods and research and develop new laboratory methods, procedures, and standards. Demonstrated skills in research related to clay mineralogy, mineral identification and material characterization. Demonstrated record of presenting and publishing research results. Experience in proposal writing and submission and subsequent project management highly desired. Proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet, and analytical equipment specific software. Experience with database or laboratory information management system software desired. Effective communication, organizational, and personal relations skills. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a professional demeanor as both a team member/leader and independently with minimal supervision in a fast-paced environment with multiple and changing priorities. Demonstrated ability to train and supervise the work of laboratory assistants, including students. Assistant level requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred) in geology, chemistry, or related discipline and the associate level requires a minimum of a master’s degree (Ph.D. preferred) in geology, chemistry, or related discipline.
This is a regular, full-time, academic professional appointment subject to the continued availability of funding and programmatic need. The starting date is negotiable after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience. Applications must be received by October 14, 2016. Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after this date. To apply, please visit https://jobs.illinois.edu/academic-job-board to complete an online profile and to upload 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a résumé/CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional references. All requested information/documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
For further information please contact Lori Walston-Vonderharr, Human Resources, Illinois State Geological Survey/Prairie Research Institute, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-244-2401. Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or criminal conviction history. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (http://inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu/). The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.