Research Scientist (AER0005BR)

Engineering Research
February 16, 2021
Houston, TX
Job Type


ERC is a servant-leader oriented company with approximately 1,800 employees and multiple contracts across the US.  We believe that our culture has a direct influence on the job satisfaction of our employees and is reflected in the outstanding quality of service received by our customers. 

Your role:

We need your commitment, teamwork, and energy to help us achieve great things that inspire humans all over the globe.

We need you to bring innovative ideas and diverse backgrounds to help us envision, shape, and deliver systems that will benefit the quality of life of people around the world. We are excited about what we do, and we need you on our team as we take on new challenges for NASA’s pursuits in deep space exploration. Jacobs is NASA’s largest engineering solutions provider working alongside NASA at centers across the United States.

We have the unique and significant role to partner with NASA at Johnson Space Center (JSC), to be part of every human spaceflight program – the International Space Station (ISS), NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which will carry astronauts into deep space, and Gateway, the orbiting platform providing the home for astronauts to work and travel back and forth to the moon’s surface, and serving as the platform for deep space exploration. From critical systems on the ISS to enable astronauts to live and work in space; to performing advanced development for systems leading to deep space exploration; to being part of the foundation for Gateway.

We also partner with NASA at JSC, the only NASA center in the United States to curate all astromaterial samples returned from exploration missions, to perform curation services, orbital debris analysis, and basic research to further humankind’s understanding of the origins of our solar system.

What you’ll do all day:

  • Analyze astromaterial samples and analogs.
  • Develop analytical techniques based on detailed understanding of laser ablation methods for both elemental and isotopic analysis.
  • Utilize contamination minimization and clean techniques.
  • Prepare samples and perform analyses for both laser ablation MC-ICPMS and laser ablation ICPMS.
  • Perform day-to-day operation of femtosecond and excimer laser systems
  • Provide general support for isotope lab users including the procurement and inventory of supplies and laboratory equipment.
  • Validate, summarize and communicate quantitative results.
  • Meticulously document procedures and results, and actively participate in safety programs.
  • Work with in-house as well as visiting researchers on all aspects of experimentation and analysis.
  • Actively pursue collaborations and development of projects within and outside the department.
  • Perform other duties as required and assigned.

You will love this job if you:

  • Are a self-starter and require little oversight to complete given tasks
  • Enjoy a fast-paced work environment
  • Love working with diverse groups of individuals, including engineers and technicians
  • Are good at communicating with people
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Enjoy multitasking

Minimum requirements for this position:

This position has been posted at multiple levels. Depending on the candidate's experience, requirements and business needs, we reserve the right to consider candidates at any level for which this position has been advertised.

  • BS degree from an accredited college or university in an associated technical discipline and four (4) years related experience, or MS degree in an associated technical discipline with two (2) years of related experience, or Ph.D. in an associated technical discipline.
  • Experience working in laboratory environment preparing samples as outlined in the job description above, conducting experiments, summarizing results, preparing reports for internal and external use, writing abstracts for submission to national and international meetings, and contributing to the preparation of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Experience running and maintaining optimal performance of a LA-MC-ICPMS system is required.
  • Must have knowledge of the theory and practice of elemental and isotopic analyses of geologic samples and data reduction.
  • Good computer skills are essential.
  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills, as well as excellent interpersonal skills.

Requisition Preferences:

  • A graduate degree and at least two years of relevant laboratory experience is highly preferred. The most competitive candidates will demonstrate previous experience with laboratory management and leadership.
  • Experience and desire to develop novel sample analysis procedures particularly on the MC-ICPMS.
  • Experience minimizing instrument mass bias for precise and accurate stable isotope measurements.
  • Experience making measurements for radiogenic dating.
  • Experience with femtosecond lasers is highly desired.
  • Experience with supporting other lab users as well as a record of technique development and innovation is strongly desired.
  • Experience with astromaterials, and generally irreplaceable samples is highly preferred.
  • Experience with clean laboratory sample preparation is a plus, particularly mineral separations and micro-sampling.
  • Additional experience operating an electron microprobe for chemical analysis of solid materials and electron imaging of planetary science samples is a plus.
  • The most competitive candidates will have demonstrated the ability to author scientific papers, are active members of the geochemistry and/or cosmochemistry science communities and will also contribute broadly across research topics within the Science Department and ARES Research.

What we offer:

  • Competitive salaries.
  • Continuing education assistance.
  • Professional development allotment.
  • Multiple healthcare benefit packages.
  • 401K with employer matching.

Paid time off (PTO) along with federally recognized holiday schedule

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