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Rock Mechanics Specialist (Assistant or Associate)

Position overview

Position title: Rock Mechanics Specialist (Assistant or Associate)
Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience (see section D. Qualifications of the CAPM 602.230 Specialist Series. A reasonable estimate for this position is $59,200 - $77,900.
Percent time: Full-time (100%)
Anticipated start: As soon as possible after the initial review of applications. Degree requirement must be completed no later than June 30, 2024 and it must be in hand before employment can begin.
Position duration: Initial appointment will be for one year, with the possibility of reappointment. Should the hiring unit propose reappointment; a review to assess performance will be conducted. Reappointment is also contingent upon the availability of funding.

Application Window

Open date: January 24, 2024

Most recent review date: Monday, Feb 26, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Thursday, Jan 23, 2025 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

Quentin Williams in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites applicants for an Assistant or Associate Rock Mechanics Specialist to be stationed at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs.

Under the aegis of the NSF-funded Synchrotron Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES) Consortium-approved Program at beamline 8.3.2, based at the Advanced Light Source (ALS), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) (UCSC PI, Quentin Williams), the Rock Mechanics Specialist will contribute technical skills to make scientific and scholarly contributions to collaborative synchrotron radiation research projects in the area of rock mechanics/deformation and other earth and environmental sciences projects at microtomography beamline 8.3.2. The possibility exists for additional collaborations at micro-Laue diffraction beamline 12.3.2, which includes capabilities such as texture analysis and grain orientation.

Duties include supporting a user program that applies synchrotron tomographic X-ray techniques to diverse problems in rock mechanics, assisting with image analysis, instrumentation development, implementing and monitoring safe laboratory practices, fostering collaborative relationships with other scientists and agencies, and contributing to technical publications, presentations, and/or reports. The successful candidate will assist a diverse user community, requiring excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Applicants with expertise and experience with assisting users at synchrotron facilities is considered an advantage. Furthermore, applicants with any of the following areas of expertise are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Prior experience in X-ray imaging (and particularly tomography) and/or rock mechanics research: an academic record in these areas is strongly preferred.
  • Familiarity with image analysis/processing (including multi-dimensional).
  • A Ph.D. in Physical Sciences, Engineering, or a related discipline.

Earth and Planetary Sciences Department:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • M.S degree (or equivalent foreign degree) in physical sciences or engineering, or a related discipline. It is anticipated that the degree will be completed by June 30, 2024.
  • A minimum of three years' research experience relevant to the advertised position.
  • Demonstrated experience with scientific instrumentation, including data analysis methods.
  • A demonstrated record of collaborative work experience.
  • A demonstrated record of peer-reviewed, scientific publications on rock mechanics and/or X-ray techniques (co-authored and in progress publications are acceptable).

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V., including publications list.

  • Cover Letter - Letter of application that briefly summarizes your research interests, qualifications, and interest in the position.

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Statement addressing your understanding of the barriers facing traditionally underrepresented groups and your past and/or future contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through teaching and professional or public service. Candidates are urged to review guidelines on statements before preparing their application.

  • Position-relevant publications (1 of 3 required) - Publications can be co-authored and in progress. 3 required, 2 optional.

  • Position-relevant publications (2 of 3 required)

  • Position-relevant publications (3 of 3 required)

  • Position-relevant publications (1 of 2 optional) (Optional)

  • Position-relevant publications (2 of 2 optional) (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 3 letters of reference required

Applications must include confidential letters of recommendation*. Note that your references, or dossier service, will submit their confidential letters directly to the UC Recruit System.

*All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UCSC’s confidentiality statement at

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About UC Santa Cruz

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/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, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see

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If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at (831) 459-4602.

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Job location

Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory