Electron Microscopist sought with expertise
in quantitative analysis of minerals

The Central Analytical Facility (CAF) at Stellenbosch University is a rather unique comprehensive core facility which employs approximately 40 members of staff supporting a wide range of analytical facilities. The CAF is organised into Units and Divisions which specialise in the following areas: Electron Microscopy; Fluorescence Microscopy and Flow Cytometry; ICP MS and LA ICP MS, including geochronology applications; LCMS including proteomics applications; GCMS; NMR including solid state applications; X-ray CT Scanning; Neuromechanical Analysis; PET/CT Scanning; DNA Sequencing; and Vibrational Spectroscopy. The aim of the CAF is to ensure optimal utilisation of expensive multi-user research equipment in the service of the research community at Stellenbosch University, and the South African research and development sector in general. The Electron Microscopy Unit houses state-of-the-art EM equipment, including a Zeiss Merlin FESEM with S-TEM, EDS, CL, SE, BSE and cryo capabilities, a Zeiss EVO MA15 analytical SEM which includes EDS, WDS, SE, BSE and a cryo stage, as well as a LEO Variable Pressure-SEM which includes SE, BSE and CL detectors. Additionally we house a Zeiss AxioImager with Zeiss's Shuttle-and-Find system for correlative imaging of light and electron microscopy (CLEM). The aim of the EM Unit is to support and advance imaging and analytical electron microscopy for all scientific disciplines at Stellenbosch University, as well as the broad scientific community throughout South Africa. We encourage and support international collaboration. This recruitment exercise seeks to enhance the capabilities of the unit in quantitative electron beam analysis of hard materials, with particular emphasis on the quantitative analysis of major, minor and trace elements in minerals and glasses. More information about CAF is available at this link: http://www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/science/CAF

Details of the position are as follows:

Job title: Senior Analyst: Electron Microscopy Unit.

Reporting to: Prof Lydia Joubert, Manager of the EM Unit lydiaj@sun.ac.za

Pligte / Duties:

The successful candidate will be responsible for various aspects of the functioning of the EM Unit, including:

  • Proficient operation of all Electron Microscopes within the EM Unit.
  • Sample preparation for application in Geological, Engineering, Biological, Materials and Medical Sciences.
  • EM support for students from all disciplines as well as industrial users.
  • Quantitative micro-elemental analysis using suitable X-ray detectors (EDS, WDS) as applicable for SEM users.
  • Development of quantitative analytical protocols for major-, minor- and trace-element analysis in engineering and geological applications.
  • Writing reports to industrial clients.
  • Providing support for student analysts.
  • Presentation of results at local meetings and national conferences
  • Publication of novel findings in accredited journals.
  • Maintenance of a daily scheduler.
  • Training students in EM operation and application of analytical software.
  • Support other staff members in daily maintenance of electron microscopes and ancillary equipment such as coating and drying apparatus, pumps, water chillers and UPS systems.
  • Daily tasks as requested by the Unit Manager.

Job requirements:

  • PhD in the fields of Analytical Chemistry, Geology or Mineralogy.
  • Experience in the operation of Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM), sample preparation for SEM quantitative analysis and interpretation of results.
  • Experience in using micro-analytical software in combination with EDS and WDS for standardised, quantitative analysis of element abundance, including interpretation of results.
  • A sound understanding of mineral stoichiometry and the use of mineral stoichiometry in quality control of micro-analytical data.
  • A sound understanding of the principles of electron beam analysis of minerals using EDS and WDS.
  • Relevant research experience as evidenced by publications in accredited journals that were a direct result of the applicant's own work.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Expertise in technical aspects of Electron Microscopy.
  • Expertise in MS Word and Excel software
  • Enthusiasm for Electron Microscopy.

Candidates selected for interview will be expected to complete practical tests relating to some of the requirements.


Advanced knowledge and experience in Oxford Instruments' Aztec software for X-ray detectors.

Commencement of duties: 1 January 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter

Enquiries: L-M Joubert lydiaj@sun.ac.za 0027 21 8083574; G Stevens gs@sun.ac.za 0027 21 8083127

Closing date: 27 October 2018

posted: 18 October 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.