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University of California, Berkeley
  • Position Number: 2989453
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Position Type: Engineering - Mechanical

Principal Lab Machinist (8651C) - Physics - MPS
About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

Departmental Overview

Physics includes a wide variety of disciplines and specializations, ranging from very practical, technology-driven fields to the study of the fundamental laws and structure of the universe. The major fields of study include astrophysics and cosmology; atomic, molecular, and optical physics; condensed matter; experimental particle physics; theoretical high energy physics; and nonlinear dynamics.

Principal Laboratory Machinists are responsible for the actual manufacturing of research equipment for a variety of projects in the Physics Machine Shop. Because of time and cost considerations, timeliness and accuracy are paramount. The physics machine shop is a well-respected and successful unit of the Department of Physics. Our Mechanician staff provides an enormous amount of accrued technical expertise in machining, fabrication and welding of a variety of scientific instruments, including modification, repair and maintenance of physics research equipment. The shop also provides design and technical support for the faculty, researchers, students and various partners within the physics community.

Tasks may include working with cryogenics, optics, vacuum systems, pressure chambers, plumbing systems and interacting thermal components. As well as working around high temperatures and energized areas. The physics machine shop has a wide selection of support equipment including precision CNC machine tools, EDM, manual machines, and precision surface grinders. Additional fabrication support tools are various drill presses, grinders; tool sharpeners spot welder, sheet metal equipment and precision TIG welders.

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: 5/9/22 - Open Until Filled


65% Machine and fabricate parts as required

15% Design and build tools and fixtures as needed for fabrication

10% Weld and solder projects as required

5% Interact with clients to understand job requirements. Analyze jobs for ease of manufacture problems, materials

5% Fit and assemble parts into finished products, test as required. Maintain machine tools

Required Qualifications
  • Ability to interact with scientists, researchers, engineers, and students using rough sketched and concepts or finished blueprints to understand client's needs.
  • Independently review work for feasibility and initiate corrective action as required.
  • Ability to use manual and CNC machines and hand tools to make parts to close tolerances; tools include, mills, lathes, saws, presses, brakes and shears.
  • Proficiency in vacuum soldering and welding.
  • Ability to assemble complex equipment.
  • Knowledge of machining exotic materials.
  • Able to work within a team to effectively meet the technical requirements of a project while maintaining budgets and schedules.
  • Provide cost estimates and project completion dates as requested.
  • Graduation from High School and a minimum of eight years of experience in multi-disciplinary fabrication shop, instrument making or and equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Ability to set up and run complex parts on CNC mills and lathes.
  • Continuous Physics, Chemistry R&D machining background of 8 years.
  • Precision TIG welding of vacuum components
  • Formal Machinist /Tool & Die apprenticeship. Completion of machinist trade school
  • Cryogenic, Telescope, Detector and various probe fabrications
  • Solidworks and Surfcam
  • Electronic, electrical background

Salary & Benefits

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:
  • The salary range designated for this position: Up to $95,442; however, starting salary will be commensurate with experience.

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Equal Employment Opportunity

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, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:
For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

To apply, visit

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