Scientific Engineering Associate

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley, California
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Closing date
Dec 18, 2021

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Field of specialization
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Job Type
Full time
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Job Details

Scientific Engineering Associate - 93840

Organization: AC-Computing


U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI,, a DOE Office of Science User Facility located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)​, has an opening for a Scientific Engineering Associate - Fermentation Engineer  to join the team. 


The successful candidate will apply engineering, scientific and/or other technical concepts to support production of designed compounds using microbes for the (JGI) DNA Synthesis Science Program.  The SEA will interact with researchers to evaluate technology and research work processes for screening, optimization, scale-up, standardization, and performance of workflows from instrument setup and maintenance, fermentation, sample preparation, and data analysis.  Research will be carried out routinely in micro (200 μL) to large (10L) scale with low to high throughput manner depending on requirements. The SEA will continually evaluate existing protocols and provide recommendations for the implementation of alternative processing options or solutions.  Additional duties include instrument and protocol related quality control and process-based troubleshooting activities.  This position will directly report to the DNA Synthesis Program Head.


What You Will Do:

• Apply engineering, scientific and/or other technical concepts to perform laboratory scale fermentation for optimal production of desired compounds using genetically engineered bacterial and yeast strains including:

• Effectively communicate with the other members of the DNA Synthesis Program and members of the DNA Synthesis Platform. Provide implementation plans that include timeline, procedures, expected outcomes, and risks.

• Investigate, create, and develop new methods and techniques when appropriate.

• Participate in cross-team and cross-group collaborative projects within the DOE JGI as well as users’ projects.

• Continuously provide input and suggestions in processing protocols, reagents, and new automation protocols.

• Produce documentation and SOPs for all technology and optimization projects.

• Summarize experimental results and present them at group meetings.

• Act as a liaison between scientists and scientific, technical, and administrative support within the organization.


What is Required:

• B.S degree in Biology, Engineering, or related discipline; or equivalent relevant experience. 

• Significant technical expertise in an industrial setting and a proven track record for:

• Operating and maintaining bench-top fermentation systems.

• Developing and optimizing fermentation conditions.

• Scaling fermentation from shake flask to 2-L scale.

• Operating and maintaining high-throughput micro-scale (48-96 deep well format) fermentation systems.

• Experience analyzing and quantifying various compounds produced during fermentation.

• Experience in molecular biology (cloning, PCR, electrophoresis, and DNA/RNA purification).

• Experience operating liquid handling systems.

• Demonstrated experience applying technical, scientific, and engineering principles to evaluate manual laboratory protocols and recommend new technology and/or workflow changes.

• Strong motivation to contribute to the development of the areas of research under the DOE mission.

• Strong analytical skills to effectively evaluate data and make recommendations.

• Keep precise and detailed batch records and laboratory notebooks.

• Excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills with the ability to provide resolutions to technical problems of moderately complex scope where analysis of situations or data requires a review of identifiable factors.

• Ability to successfully work independently and in a dynamic team environment (e.g., integrity, trust, teamwork, interpersonal skills, values differences, dealing with change and ambiguity, strategy, and written and oral communication).

• Highly competent in the use of computers and related software programs (e.g., PC, Mac, and UNIX operating systems).

• Excellent and effective interpersonal, communication and presentation skills with the ability to summarize experimental results and present at group meetings.

• Ability to interact collaboratively with staff at all levels of the organization.


Desired Qualifications:

• Advanced degree (M.S/PhD) in Biology, Engineering, or related discipline.

• Flexible to work a variety of work schedules as necessary.



• This is a full time, career appointment, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.

• This position will be hired at a level commensurate with the business needs and the skills, knowledge, and abilities of the successful candidate.

• This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.

• Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at Berkeley Lab. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our faculty positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion.

• Work will be primarily performed at:Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.


How To Apply

Apply directly online at and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process.


Learn About Us:

JGI & Berkeley Lab: A View to Fuel Innovative Science in the Public Interest

They say it’s all about location and Berkeley Lab has it all: a view above the San Francisco Bay, cool breezes, and world-class multidisciplinary science within a diverse and respectful research ecosystem of 5,000 people. Nearly 90 years ago, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, the inventor of the cyclotron, brought physicists, biologists, engineers and mathematicians together in Berkeley above the University of California campus to tackle the most urgent scientific challenges. Today, after garnering 13 Nobel Prizes, Berkeley Lab has sustained and grown that tradition of open, interdisciplinary team science, exemplified by how the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) addresses the most pressing energy and environmental challenges using integrative genome science approaches. JGI takes up residence in the new, state-of-the-art Integrative Genomics Building (IGB) along with the U.S. Department of Energy Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase) to expand the frontiers of energy and environmental science in partnership with the worldwide community of researchers. Will you join us and be a critical part of our next ground-breaking discoveries?


Working at Berkeley Lab has many rewards including a competitive compensation program, excellent health and welfare programs, a retirement program that is second to none, and outstanding development opportunities.  To view information about the many rewards that are offered at Berkeley Lab- Click Here (


Equal Employment Opportunity:

Based on University of California Policy - SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program and U.S Federal Government requirements, Berkeley Lab requires that all members of our community obtain the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible. As a condition of employment at Berkeley Lab, all Covered Individuals must Participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program by providing proof of Full Vaccination or submitting a request for Exception or Deferral. Visit for more information.


Berkeley Lab is committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA, and strives to continue building community with these shared values and commitments. Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We heartily welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and all who would contribute to the Lab's mission of leading scientific discovery, inclusion, and professionalism. In support of our diverse global community, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status.


Equal Opportunity and IDEA Information Links:

Know your rights, click here ( for the supplement: Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law and the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision ( under 41 CFR 60-1.4.


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