LODE Laboratory Manager


The Natural History Museum seeks a Laboratory Manager to run a laser ablation ICP-MS laboratory that is a core facility of the London Centre for Ore Deposits and Exploration (LODE) hosted within the Imaging and Analysis Centre (IAC), part of the Museum's Core Research Laboratories. LODE is a joint initiative between the NHM and Imperial College London, which seeks to undertake research of the highest international quality into the mineralogy and geochemistry of ore deposits. In 2012, the LODE group secured funding from industry partners to set up a second LA-ICP-MS facility at the NHM (the LODE Lab), dedicated primarily to mineral deposits research. Funding from industry partners has subsequently been extended until late 2018, with the LODE Lab providing commercial analyses according to an agreed schedule to the sponsoring parties, plus associated consulting engagements. The commercial contracts utilise approximately 50% of the laboratory capacity with the remainder dedicated to research projects for LODE group staff and students, as well as other museum and visiting scientists. It is anticipated that the LODE Lab will have a long and successful future as an externally-funded entity within the IAC, evolving and adapting to the changing needs of the LODE group.

As holder of this post, you will be responsible for managing the LODE Laboratory, requiring significant experience in the acquisition, processing and interpretation of mineral chemistry data by SEM-EDS and LA-ICP-MS. In the first place, the role requires the maintenance of the instruments at optimum functionality, working closely with instrument manufacturers at a technical level in order to do so. There will be opportunities for the post holder to engage in instrument developments, and prototype hardware and software testing. The role also requires the development of new analytical techniques and the procurement or creation of new standard materials, to meet the science needs of the group. The post holder will also be involved in improving the workflow of routine sample analysis (for commercial or research purposes) to increase throughput whilst maintaining data quality.

A full time Research Assistant (RA) is responsible for the day-to-day analysis of the majority of the commercial samples; occasionally, a second RA is also engaged according to demand. It will be the responsibility of the post holder to Line Manage and oversee the activities of the RA(s), perform Quality Control checks on all data generated to fulfil commercial contracts, and manage the timely and effective throughput of samples (from delivery, to sample preparation, data acquisition, processing and reporting) to meet contractual deadlines, where necessary undertaking hands-on analytical work (SEM and LA-ICP-MS) alongside the RA(s). The post holder will also be responsible for the training of PhD and MSci students and NHM staff and visitors in the safe operation of the LA-ICP-MS instruments, data acquisition and processing, as well as generating, tracking and managing the associated research project costs.

This is a team role. This means that excellent communication skills are required for liaising with IAC staff, senior scientists and early career researchers, manufacturers and mining industry contacts. Good writing and presentation skills are essential for report preparation and the dissemination of scientific findings within the academic and industry communities.

The post holder should have a thorough knowledge of mineralogy and petrology, including the ability to identify key silicate, sulphide and oxide minerals in hand specimen. They should ideally have experience of mineral deposit geology, including porphyry-epithermal systems and related rock alteration styles, particularly propylitic alteration ("green rocks"). Previous exposure to the mineral exploration and mining industry would be an advantage.

It is expected that the post holder will play a proactive role, engaging with senior scientists, in the development of a business plan for the future running and potential expansion of the laboratory including assessment of alternative income generation models.

The post is offered for 18 months in the first instance.

Salary: 35,164 - 42,420 (according to experience) per annum plus benefits

Application Close Date: 9am on Tuesday 4 April 2017

Further information from Museum Website: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/careers.html


posted: 08 March 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.