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Research Software Engineer

Cyclotron Road

Cyclotron Road

Software Engineering
California, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s (LBNL) Advanced Light Source (ALS) Division has an opening for a Research Software Engineer.

Working within ALS Photon Science Development (PSD) and ALS Photon Science Operations (PSO) groups, the Research Software Engineer will be a part of a team developing scientific computational workflows that interface with high-speed detectors, infrastructure for near real-time analysis, visualization and data management following FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) principles. The position works collaboratively with, or under direction of, staff, scientists, and external collaborators to derive solutions applicable to a diverse set of instruments and computational environments.

The Advanced Light Source is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national scientific user facility whose excellent scientific reputation, expert staff, and capabilities in the soft x-ray, hard X-ray, and infrared regimes attract over 1,500 academic and industrial users each year in disciplines spanning physical, chemical, materials, biological, energy, and Earth sciences. It is one of five Berkeley Lab user facilities that serve a combined 11,000 users annually. The co-location of these user facilities – including the Molecular Foundry Nanoscale Science Research Center and the NERSC scientific computing center, as well as Berkeley Lab's outstanding programs in materials and chemical sciences, among others – offers a prime environment for collaborative science. The ALS has been a global leader in soft X-ray science for more than two decades and is currently undergoing a large-scale upgrade (ALS-U) that will endow the facility with state-of-the-art X-ray capabilities. It's an exciting time to join our growing team!

This position can be hired at Level 2 or Level 3.

What You Will Do:

  • Design, build, test, and maintain robust software tools for high-throughput analysis pipelines, initially focused on ALS and ALS-U beamlines for Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM) and Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (RIXS).
  • Work closely with scientists and technical staff to capture requirements for new software tools and computing infrastructure. Engage in regular testing and feedback sessions to refine and validate tools in operational settings.
  • Ensure the reliable performance of computational workflows through modern unit and integration testing.
  • Collaborate with other Scientific User Facilities by contributing to shared open-source software projects, including code development, peer review, and maintaining communication to synchronize efforts across facilities.
  • Design workflows for deployment across diverse computational environments, including local setups, high-performance computing (HPC) clusters, and cloud platforms.
  • Document technical development comprehensively, including detailed code comments, issue tracking, code reviews, and drafting design and architecture specifications.
  • Communicate the impact and results of technical projects both internally and externally, including publishing results in peer-reviewed journals, presenting findings at workshops and conferences, and creating end-user documentation and tutorials.

The Level 3 responsibilities also Include:

  • Provide expertise and technical leadership in the area of computational approaches in a scientific setting.
  • Maintain continuous integration and deployment systems to streamline and automate workflow updates and enhancements.

What is Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 5 years of related experience; master's degree and a minimum of 3 years of related work experience, or an advanced degree without experience; or equivalent work experience
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a diverse team of scientists and engineers
  • At least 3 years of development experience with Python
  • Experience using the open-source scientific Python software stack
  • Experience contributing to a collaborative software project, including co-developing an internal project or contributing to community-based open-source software
  • Experience creating data analysis methods and procedures

Additional Requirements for Level 3

  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 8 years of related experience; master's degree and a minimum of 5 years of related work experience, or an advanced degree without experience; or equivalent work experience
  • Ability to lead projects from design through deployment, providing technical leadership and coordinate work across multiple developers

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience in data acquisition and analysis at a synchrotron light source, neutron source, or other major scientific user facility
  • Experience creating data analysis methods and procedures specifically for high data volumes
  • Experience creating user-interfaces or interactive dashboards
  • Familiarity with widely used AI/ML libraries such as scikit-learn, PyTorch, and TensorFlow
  • Experience with one or more container deployment systems such as Podman, Docker and Kubernetes
  • Experience with workflow orchestration systems like Prefect, Airflow, Globus Flows
  • Experience with software source control and related team software tools and processes
  • Experience with configuring and maintaining GitHub Actions
  • Experience with profiling tools and scaling analysis to identify bottlenecks and ideal compute configurations

Required Application Materials:

  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume


  • For full consideration, please apply by July 15, 2024.
  • This is a full-time career appointment, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.
  • If hired at a level 2:
    • This position is expected to pay $106,596.00- $133,236.00, which fits within the full salary range of $106,596.00-$179,880.00 for the C70.2 job code. Salary for this position will be commensurate with the final candidate’s qualification and experience, including skills, knowledge, relevant education, and certifications, and aligned with the internal peer group.
  • If hired at a level 3:
    • This position is expected to pay $126,900.00- $158,628.00, which fits within the full salary range of $126,900.00-$214,140.00 for the C70.3 job code. Salary for this position will be commensurate with the final candidate’s qualification and experience, including skills, knowledge, relevant education, certifications, and aligned with the internal peer group.
  • 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.
  • This position is eligible for a hybrid work schedule - a combination of teleworking and performing work on site at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA. Work schedules are dependent on business needs. Individuals working a hybrid schedule must reside within 150 miles of Berkeley Lab.
  • The ALS operates our accelerator up to 24/7 and there may be times when work is necessary outside of typical business hours.

Learn About Us:

Berkeley Lab (LBNL) addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 16 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The core values of the ALS reflect a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek candidates who will support a culture in which each member of the community feels welcomed and valued. An ongoing commitment to recruiting and retaining a vibrant, diverse, and talented workforce is paramount to promoting a strong and successful lab community. For more information refer to the LBNL core values and the ALS mission statement and core values.

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.

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.