The revolution in electron microscopy (EM) has greatly increased the demand for high-end EM in both Life Sciences and Materials Sciences. EM is the only technique available that can image the atomic structure of materials with (sub) nanometer resolution. Using analytical tools, also the chemical composition and electronic properties can be mapped in 2D or 3D at the nanometer scale. This detailed characterization is of major importance to research fields such as nanoscience, catalysis, semiconductor devices, geosciences, metallurgy, (hard matter), colloids, and polymeric materials (soft matter).
The Electron Microscopy Centre at Utrecht University houses both life sciences and materials sciences microscopes. We have a strong collaboration with the Cell Microscopy Core at the academic hospital UMCU. Together we are ‘Electron Microscopy Utrecht’. For the materials sciences, a double-aberration corrected TEM with advanced spectroscopic capabilities, the Spectra300, has recently been installed at Utrecht University. This specific microscope is also part of the National EM Infrastructure NEMI and will be opened soon for visitors. With the large investments into EM in Utrecht, both by Utrecht University itself and from the National Roadmap, there is much need for specific facility and research support for high-end EM, in particular for the materials science microscopes. Most materials science groups of Utrecht University are in the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science at the Faculty of Science and in the Structural Geology group of the Faculty of Geosciences. Applicants are invited to visit these web pages to have an overview of relevant materials science research taking place at UU.
As a facility staff member, you will be part of a team that consists of the Facility Manager and two other EM staff members that have specializations such as cryo-EM and in-situ EM. Together the team will also perform general tasks to make the facility run smoothly and serve the ~100 users of the facility.
This position can offer you a diverse and interesting mix of responsibilities, such as:
- training of users on electron microscopes, for both TEM and SEM;
- contributing to research projects by performing advanced experiments together with the materials science groups of Utrecht University, mainly on nanomaterials, colloids, and geomaterials;
- keeping the high-end electron microscopes in a good condition by regular alignments;
- overseeing installations, repairs, and upgrades of the microscopes by the supplier companies, all conducted in close collaboration with the Facility Manager;
- implementation of safety regulations and ensuring these are adhered to;
- staying up-to-date of existing techniques and the implementation of new research techniques as needed.
There is opportunity to perform management/outreach tasks as well, such as taking care of the booking system of the microscopes, updating the webpage of the electron microscopy centre, contributing to a newsletter, etc.
The position is not intended as a first step for a scientific academic career. You will be actively supported to develop your microscopy and managerial skills.
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