Physicist in Richland, WA, US

  • Full Time
  • Anywhere

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - PNNL

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 310779

Directorate: National Security Directorate

Division: Signature Sciences and Technologies

Group: Disruptive Technologies

Job Description

The Detection Systems group supports a number of critical national security missions along with missions relating to environmental monitoring and restoration and industrial technology development. Projects within the research group range from highly applied projects in support of international treaties and national security to fundamental science projects in the areas of nuclear science and novel sensor technology development.

The Disruptive Technology group is seeking junior scientists with a background in low temperature physics to contribute to a variety of projects exploring material properties at very low temperatures, including using dilution refrigeration equipment. The successful candidate will have hands-on experience in designing and operating experimental systems, conducting experiments, and analyzing results to quantify properties and equipment performance. Preferably, candidate’s experience will include cryogenic systems, vacuum systems, and/or sensor development. Preferred candidates will have a background in material science, thermodynamics, and heat transfer. The candidate will work with a multidisciplinary team and be expected to contribute to the mechanical design of experiments, work with the team to install test fixtures, conduct experiments, analyze results, and report findings to the team.

The successful candidate will receive guidance on new assignments from senior team members while being expected to suggest preliminary selections of technical alternatives. The candidate will work independently to complete recurring assignments and define/lead project work at a small task/project level, reporting results to the larger team on time and within budget. They will be expected to contribute to proposals and embrace expectations for quality, safety, and security.

Minimum Qualifications
BS/BA with 2 years of experience, MS/MA with 0 years of experience, or PhD with 0 years of experience

Preferred Qualifications
BS/BA with 5 years of experience MS/MA with 3 years of experience PhD with 1 year of experience Fluent with CAD tools (SolidWorks, AutoCAD Inventor, Creo, etc.) Familiar with engineering mathematics and documentation software (MathCAD, SMath, Maple, Mathematica, etc.) Hands-on experience working with cryogenics, and vacuum systems, including instrumentation Experience with vacuum engineering materials and manufacturing methods (polymers, metals, traditional machining, welding, sheet metal forming, etc.) Ability to independently design, execute and report results of complex tests at cryogenic temperatures Familiarity with the finite element method (FEM) and software tools (COMSOL, ANSYS, etc.) Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate effectively on diverse, interdisciplinary teams Excellent written and oral communication skills Experience managing tasks with budget and deadline requirements
Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. If you are offered a position at PNNL and are currently a participant in a foreign government talent recruitment program you will be required to disclose this information before your first day of employment.

Other Information

The hiring level will be determined based on the education, experience and skill set of the successful candidate based on the following:

Level II: Builds reputation through application of S&E principles and theories, and developing technical approaches to solve challenges along with building networks at a local and capability level. Defines and leads project work at a small task/project level, reporting results on time and on budget. Contributes to proposals. Embraces expectations for quality, safety, and security.

Level III: Selects and develops technical approaches on assignments with occasional oversight on complex problems. Principal investigator or co-PI on projects or tasks, while integrating capabilities of work team members. Generates new ideas for proposals and business development opportunities while leading development of technical section of small to medium proposals. Demonstrates ability to acquire funding for self with programmatic impact at the sector and division level. Serves as a role model for quality, safety, and security.

Other Information

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.

U.S. Citizenship Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance 10 CFR 710, Appendix B. Drug Testing: All Security Clearance (L or Q) positions will be considered by the Department of Energy to be Testing Designated Positions which means that they are subject to applicant, random, and for cause drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).
Note: Applicants will be considered ineligible for security clearance processing by the U.S. Department of Energy until non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for 12 consecutive months can be demonstrated.

Special/Hazardous Working Conditions Or Environment
Laboratory work with vacuum, pressurized gases, cryogenics, and control/measurement systems Occasional travel
Directorate: National Security

Job Category: Scientists/Scientific Support

Group: Disruptive Technology

Opening Date: 2020-04-24

Closing Date: 2020-05-08

Upload your CV/resume or any other relevant file. Max. file size: 256 MB.