206-632-6206 info@brooksapplied.com

Quality Assurance Assistant

Join Our TeamBrooks Applied Labs is an analytical chemistry laboratory, located in Bothell, that specializes in trace metals analysis and speciation to support the environmental and pharmaceutical market sectors. Our employees reflect our core values of creating a nurturing culture, striving for excellence and integrity in the work we produce, and contributing to a collaborative work environment.

We are seeking a Quality Assurance Assistant to support our QA team by reviewing data analytical chemistry projects involving trace metals analysis and metals speciation. You will use your knowledge of physical and chemical principles and quality assurance processes and systems to ensure data integrity and regulatory compliance. Typical duties may include:

  • Detailed review of laboratory-generated data for trace metals and speciation analysis in hardcopy, instrument software, and the LIMS.
  • Communicate and trouble shoot data issues with project managers and laboratory staff.
  • Work with the QA Manager to implement corrective action plans and process improvements.
  • Assist members of the QA department with creation of control charts, laboratory audits, review of MDL/DOC studies, and other tasks to ensure regulatory compliance.

The successful candidate will possess exceptional organizational and problem-solving skills, efficiently prioritize and perform tasks with high-level of attention to detail, and effectively communicate method deviations and corrective actions to a variety of stakeholders. This is an ideal position for someone with an enthusiasm for learning, who is ready to take their analytical chemistry experience to the next level.

Qualifications

This is a fast-paced environment where work priorities can change in a moment’s notice. You have demonstrated the ability to maintain a positive, upbeat attitude, and work collaboratively within and across groups to achieve team and business goals.

Required certifications and competencies include:

  • Bachelors Degree in chemistry or other physical sciences field (BA/BS degree in other field and significant lab experience may substitute).
  • Minimum of 1 year experience in analytical laboratory setting where responsibilities included primary or peer data review.
  • Familiarity with environmental laboratory QA/QC practices.
  • Experience using LIMS software (Promium Element preferred) and/or instrument software (Agilent MassHunter) for data review.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software (Excel, Word, and Outlook).
  • Ability to remain focused while working long hours at a computer in a busy office setting.
  • Effective communication (written and verbal) of data integrity issues to multiple stakeholders.
  • Ability to read, write and understand SOPs relevant to quality assurance processes.
  • Ability to apply mathematical operations necessary in data review.
  • Willing to contribute to a collaborative, diverse and engaging team environment.
  • Excited to support BAL’s mission, vision, and core values.
  • Must be legally able to work in the United States.

Preferred Experience and Attributes:

  • Previous experience reviewing metals data, especially ICP-MS methods.
  • Experience working in an accredited/regulated (ISO 17025, NELAP, DoD, CGMP) laboratory environment.
  • Familiarity with cGMP processes as it relates to laboratory analysis.

Hours & Compensation

This is a full-time, hourly (non-exempt; eligible for overtime) position with full benefits, including medical/dental/vision insurance, generous PTO, 401(k) matching, profit-sharing, and significant opportunities for growth. Schedule will be five 8-hour days/week (with flex-time) and may include one weekend day per week (successful candidate must be willing and able to work on either Saturday or Sunday). Occasional overtime may be required. Pay rate is dependent upon the level of experience but starting wage is typically in the range of $16-$18/hour.

How to Apply

If you are passionate about data quality and want to use your analytical skills to advance excellent science with practical applications in our world, we encourage you to apply!

To be considered please submit the following application materials to jobs@brooksapplied.com; please reference “QA Assistant” in the subject line: 

  • Cover letter (Required! Please feel free to express your personality!) and
  • Resume

Candidates in our final selection will be asked to provide employment references.

An offer of employment is conditional upon (1) signing of the Brooks Applied Labs Ethical and Legal Responsibilities Agreement;  (2) signing of the Brooks Applied Confidentiality, Non-Competition, and Inventions Assignment Agreement; (3) providing proof of your identity and eligibility to work in the U.S., as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA); and (4) verification of your academic degree(s) through provision of an unofficial transcript. 

It is the policy of BAL not to discriminate in hiring, promoting, subcontracting, or in any other way discriminate against persons based upon gender, religion, race, national origin, color, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, sensory/mental/physical disability or serious medical condition, pregnancy or childbirth-related medical condition, breastfeeding status, citizenship status, military status, or any other classifications protected by state or federal law.

The Importance of Selenium Speciation

Got SeleniumThe topic of selenium has garnered attention in various industries for decades now, but the challenge associated with removing selenium from wastewaters has not diminished. In order to understand the most effective form of treatment for this unusual element that is both an essential micronutrient but also toxic at relatively low concentrations, the molecular form, or speciation, of selenium must be understood.

The two most common inorganic forms present in industrial wastewaters and agricultural runoff are selenite and selenate. Numerous treatment options are available for selenite, but conventional options like iron co-precipitation are ineffective for selenate. Several reviews have identified biological treatment as one of the best options for selenate removal, in part because it is cost-effective and has been proven in full-scale installations. Therefore, it is prudent for industries needing to implement selenium treatment and collaborative service providers to characterize waste streams via speciation analysis before and during bench- or pilot-scale studies.

Systems for biological treatment of selenium-laden waters take many forms, but anaerobic bioreactors are one of the most common iterations. In most of these systems, reduction of selenite and selenate to elemental selenium (Se0) is the desired outcome. This elemental selenium is mostly insoluble and can be removed from the effluent via filtration or temporarily retained in the reactor until backflushing of the system can be performed. Well-maintained and optimized bioreactors have been shown to treat industrial wastewaters containing mg/L concentrations of selenium down to single-digit µg/L levels.

Depending on the bacterial strains involved, the chemical environment, proper operation and maintenance, and the availability of nutrients, other less-desirable selenium species may be formed by bioreactor systems. Figure 1 shows a chromatogram of an effluent from a bioreactor used to treat a wastewater initially containing only selenite and selenate. Of particular note are the appreciable concentrations of the reduced selenium species, selenosulfate and selenocyanate (SeCN), as well as the organic selenium species that are present. While the toxicity of all these species have not been fully characterized and their bioaccumulation can be influenced by other constituents in the water, it has been shown that the bioavailability of certain species like selenomethionine can be several orders of magnitude higher than those of inorganic selenium.

Since the goal of the treatment process is to reduce the uptake of selenium in the aquatic environment, conversion of inorganic selenium into forms that are significantly more bioavailable must be avoided. Otherwise, there is the potential that the treatment process itself will enhance the biomagnification of selenium. Methods that can quantify low levels of organic selenium species in the aquatic environment are also required due to the high bioavailability of these forms. Figure 2 shows an example of one such method performed at Brooks Applied Labs, high-performance liquid chromatography inductively coupled plasma collision reaction cell mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-CRC-MS). Using this method, selenomethionine can be reliably quantitated down to 5 ng/L (or part-per-trillion, ppt) in natural waters and certain industrial wastewaters.
Selenium speciation analysis is essential for not only selecting an appropriate treatment system but also monitoring its performance, thereby increasing the probability that it serves the goals of mitigating selenium ecotoxicity and corporate liability. Routinely monitoring the speciation of the effluent (in addition to standard parameters such as pH and ORP) allows system operators to make timely adjustments to maintain optimal reactor performance.  To find out more about how Brooks Applied Labs can support your selenium treatment system, please contact us today!

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Arsenic and Lead in Fruit Juice

Arsenic in Fruit JuiceEveryone knows that too much of a good thing can be bad. But what happens when even a little of a good thing can be harmful?  Consumer reports tested different fruit juices for cadmium, lead, mercury, and inorganic arsenic. The results were startling.  Click here for a detailed description of the juices tested and potential health risks.

Contact us for more information about trace metals and metal(loid) speciation analyses.

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Nuclear waste – what can be more fun than that?! If you are headed to the Waste Management Symposium in Phoenix next month, then you agree and can meet up with Jamie Fox March 3 – 7! One of the biggest challenges associated with nuclear waste is the presence of mercury, and that’s where BAL’s reputation as a solutions provider and our expertise with complex speciation of different forms of mercury shine through. Let us know if you will be there, so we can connect!

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Elizabeth 15 YearsElizabeth Madonick, one of BAL’s outstanding technical services specialists, celebrated her 15-year anniversary with the company in November. Elizabeth’s significant contributions to BAL over these years has been so appreciated by her colleagues and our clients, with whom she is well known and respected. This exceptional milestone was marked by a slide show at our January all-company meeting sharing pictures of Elizabeth at company events over the past 15 years. Please join all of us at BAL in saying, “Congratulations and thank you, Elizabeth!”

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