Optical Sensing Postdoc

Bringing Science Solutions to the World
From the infinite scale of the universe to the infinitesimal scale of subatomic particles, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Berkeley Lab – are advancing the scope of human knowledge and seeking science solutions to some of the greatest problems facing humankind. Scientific excellence and an unparalleled record of achievement have been the hallmarks of this Laboratory since it was founded in 1931.

Fourteen Nobel Prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Eighty Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Fifteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research, and one (Arthur Rosenfeld) has received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained tens of thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus with spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram science lab in the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in energy-efficient technologies – from cool roofs to window coatings to appliances – have also been in the billions of dollars.

Berkeley Lab was founded by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His “team science” concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy; today, a deep commitment to inclusion and diversity brings perspectives that inspire innovative solutions.


Optical Sensing Postdoc – 98028
Division: CE-Climate & Ecosystems

The Berkeley Lab’s Energy Geosciences Division (EGD) welcomes applicants for a Optical Sensing Postdoc with strong instrument and experimental skills in distributed fiber optic sensing (FOS) technologies, with a preferred focus on chemical sensing. The candidate is expected to (1) design, prototype, and test special optical fibers to detect chemical species, such as CO2, H2, CH4, and O2; (2) help with the design and prototype a distributed chemical sensing interrogator to work with the sensing fiber; (3) utilize the designed optical fiber and interrogator in lab and field experiments. In addition, the successful candidate will be responsible for carrying out benchmarking the FOS with laboratory experiments and field campaigns to understand (1) optical fiber and interrogator performance at lab and field environmental condition; (2) improve the technologies for real-time processing; (3) develop optical fiber protection and installation protocols for long term survivability in harsh conditions, including higher temperature, pressure, salinity and cryogenic conditions.

In this exciting role, you are expected to be an expert with demonstrated skills in optical and electronics engineering, specifically in optical fiber design and prototyping, optical instrumentation design and nonlinear optics. You will work collaboratively with geomechanics, geochemistry, civil engineering and magnet experts to integrate FOS signals and models for real-time distributed monitoring applications.

What You Will Do:

  • Develop and test optical fiber sensing units that can detect gas concentrations (CO2, H2, CH4etc.).
  • Develop optical time domain reflectometry (OTDR), or optical frequency domain reflectometry (OFDR) based sensing technologies, especially OFDR.
  • Conduct experiments to test the developed sensors.
  • Improve the optical fiber survivability in extreme environments, such as high pressure, high temperature, high salinity, or extreme low temperature.
  • Characterize fiber sensing systems and benchmark against other sensor technologies.
  • Develop specifications, test procedures, automated test fixtures, and test scripts.
  • Develop and document algorithm and software for calibration, processing, and broadcasting sensor data.
  • Work collaboratively with a diverse group of team members with expertise in geochemistry, geomechanics, civil engineering and high energy physics.
  • Author peer-reviewed conference or journal papers, and contribute to grant proposals.
  • Publish in high quality, peer reviewed journals.

What is Required:

  • Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Optical Engineering, Physics, or other related disciplines.
  • Strong and demonstrated skills in optical fiber design, optical system design, and optical signal analysis methods.
  • Demonstrated capability in hands-on laboratory work with optics, optical fibers, splicing and termination.
  • Expertise in OFDR, Fiber Bragg Gratings, Fabry-Perot interference effects, light propagation in SM/MM fibers, and polarization effects.
  • Knowledge of tunable laser sources and fast photodetector electronics.
  • Experiences in fiber chemical dopant and/or micro optical waveguides.
  • Demonstrated experience developing systems and processes for optical alignment and testing.
  • Experience identifying, qualifying, and managing contract manufacturers for optical assemblies.
  • Collaborative spirits for working in a diverse team
  • Familiarity with OFDR, OTDR and signal to noise control in those systems.
  • Familiarity with chemical detection based on optical solutions.
  • Knowledge on behaviors of optical fiber design and its optical/mechanical properties.
  • Demonstrated record of publications or conference presentations.
  • Interest in collaborative research and open science.

Want to learn more about Berkeley Lab’s Culture, Benefits and answers to FAQs? Please visit: https://recruiting.lbl.gov/


  • This is a full-time, 2 year, postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs. You must have less than 3 years of paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.
  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.
  • The monthly salary range for this position is $4,636.00 – $7,010.00 and is expected to start at $6,476.00 or above. Postdoctoral positions are paid on a step schedule per union contract and salaries will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates. Each step represents one full year of completed post-Ph.D. postdoctoral and/or related research experience.
  • 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.
  • Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

How To Apply
Apply directly online and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process.

Based on University of California Policy – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program and U.S Federal Government requirements, Berkeley Lab requires that all members of our community obtain the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible. As a condition of employment at Berkeley Lab, all Covered Individuals must Participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program by providing proof of Full Vaccination or submitting a request for Exception or Deferral. Visit covid.lbl.gov for more information.

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.

Apply Here: https://spiecareercenter.org/jobs/5378462