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Lab Manager - Laser Ablation ICP-MS Lab

Stanford University Doerr School of Sustainability
Stanford, California
Grade J
Closing date
Dec 29, 2022

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Career Level
Early Career (up to 10 years past degree)
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

This position is based on Stanford’s main campus with consideration given to the option for a hybrid work schedule (partially onsite and offsite), subject to operational need. Interested candidates must include a resume and cover letter to be considered for this position.

About Us

The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability has a unifying goal of creating a future in which humans and nature thrive together in concert and in perpetuity. The school's unique three-part structure consisting of departments to drive scholarship and educate students, institutes to innovate across disciplines, and an accelerator to drive policy and technology solutions reimagines how universities can contribute to the planet's sustainability. We focus on creating knowledge and scaling solutions that benefit our local community and people globally, while also creating a school community that is inclusive of all people.

For more information on the school please go to:


The Stanford Isotopic and Geochemical Measurement and Analysis (SIGMA) shared lab facility in the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability is seeking an experienced Lab Manager to join our team. This position will support the existing lab staff and work directly with Stanford researchers in the lab.  The lab specializes in high precision isotopic composition and concentration determinations in waters, earth materials, environmental monitoring samples, biological samples, and engineered materials. 


The facility is composed of 1000 square feet of metal-free clean lab space and houses 3 mass spectrometers (Thermo Neptune Plus MC-ICP-MS, Agilent 8900 ICP-MS, Nu Plasma HR MC-ICP-MS) as well as an Applied Spectra RESOlution Laser sample introduction system. The facility is part of a network of shared facilities across the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability and Stanford University.


Typical lab activities include analysis by ICP-MS using laser ablation and solutions, acid digestion of materials, and ion-exchange based wet chemistry for elemental separation. Research facilitated by the lab includes geochronology, earth history and climate/environmental change.  We also work with engineering and medical researchers to characterize the chemical composition of materials and to trace the behavior of metals in biological experiments, respectively.


Your Responsibilities will include:  

  • Core responsibility for Laser Ablation (LA) ICP-MS operations Train and supervise laboratory users in sample preparation, laboratory techniques and analytical approaches, including data analysis and QA/QC.  Collaborate with lab users to design and support their LA-ICP-MS research process in the laboratory, including sample selection strategies, calibration, sample preparation and analysis, data processing Collaborate with laboratory staff on technique development and to ensure optimal operations using both laser ablation and solution modes Develop new analytical methods to co-evolve capabilities with user needs Develop, uphold, and document rigorous data quality requirements for lab users Coordinate and organize daily operations, purchase consumables, lab and instrument cleaning and maintenance Maintain compliance with university, state and federal health and safety requirements, including the permit, handling and storage of radioactive materials


* - The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities.  Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility.  Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.


To be successful in this position, you will need:



Education & Experience:

Bachelor's degree and three years of relevant experience, or combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Thorough knowledge of the principles of engineering and related natural sciences.
  • Demonstrated project management experience.
  • Understanding of academic research facility needs.
  • General background in a discipline related to the work of specific lab(s).
  • Demonstrated supervisory experience.
  • Demonstrated experience managing multiple budgets.
  • Knowledge and experience in managing facilities, operations, maintenance, space, and equipment administration in a research or teaching setting.
  • Excellent communication and customer services skills.
  • Ability to coordinate and manage multiple projects in a complex and technical environment.
  • Familiarity with health and safety compliance regulations.

In addition, our preferred requirements include:

  • M.S. in Earth Science, Analytical Chemistry, or a closely related field
  • Earth or engineered materials identification and preparation skills
  • Programming in Matlab, C++, R or Python
  • Experience working with hazardous materials in a laboratory
  • Minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience involving the topics above is required



  • Frequently stand, walk, twist, bend, stoop, squat, grasp lightly, use fine manipulation, grasp forcefully, perform desk-based computer tasks, use telephone, write by hand, lift, carry, push and pull objects weighing over 40 pounds.
  • Occasionally sit, kneel, crawl, reach and work above shoulders, sort and file paperwork or parts.
  • Must have correctible vision to perform duties of the job.
  • Ability to bend, squat, kneel, stand, reach above shoulder level, and move on hard surfaces for up to eight hours.
  • Ability to lift heavy objects weighing up to 50 pounds.
  • Ability to work in a dusty, dirty, and odorous environment.

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.



  • May be exposed to high voltage electricity, radiation or electromagnetic fields, lasers, noise > 80dB TWA, Allergens/Biohazards/Chemicals /Asbestos, confined spaces, working at heights up to 10 feet, temperature extremes, heavy metals, unusual work hours or routine overtime and/or inclement weather.
  • May require travel.

How to Apply

We invite you to apply for this position by clicking on the “Apply for Job” button on the following Stanford Careers website


Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Stanford welcomes applications from all who would bring additional dimensions to the University’s research, teaching and clinical missions.

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