PNNL Careers

Systems Engineer / Operations Research

Computation and Information Sciences

Job Description

Job ID: 307524
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Description

The Systems Engineer/Operations Research scientist filling this position at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory plans, develops, designs, and manages holistic systems solutions throughout the project lifecycle. Also, provides expertise in how to tailor systems and applies engineering techniques and processes to meet project objectives within constraints. Balances systems thinking and systems engineering best practices, as needed, over the full range of technology maturity levels. Applies systems engineering expertise to define cost/benefit and risk/opportunity, develop and analyze alternatives, support decisions, and mitigate risks. Additionally, performs model-informed and data-driven research and discovery to support decision- and policy-making at all levels and facilitated by the tools and techniques of computational modeling and statistics, simulation, optimization/math programming, and data analytics for national security systems.
Of particular interest is a focus on advanced and emerging systems engineering methods and simulation tools and mathematical methods that can be applied to various Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DoD), and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) processes and concepts of operations. Specific modeling focus areas include risk, resilience, and deterrence modeling and quantification related to a number of national security domains including radiological and nuclear terrorism, bioterrorism threats, cyber and cyber-physical threats, and critical infrastructure. At times, this position may require interactions with government, military, and industry officials nationwide for a variety of programs, projects, and tasks, including technical and programmatic concept development, planning, coordination, integration, and execution that can be supported by modeling and simulation methodologies.

Responsibilities & Accountabilities
- The selected staff scientist or engineer will have responsibility for developing high-quality systems engineering, modeling, simulation, and analysis products and delivering results to government sponsors. The candidate must be able to independently apply theories, principles, methods, tools, and technologies of the field and work effectively in a team environment. Candidate must also demonstrate ability to work proactively with clients and to independently initiate and carry out new activities. The position therefore requires excellent verbal and written communication skills, with a demonstrated ability for writing concisely and clearly.

- The incumbent will should have expertise in at least one specific domain area and the ability to connect multiple domains to establish the candidate as a resource within PNNL for technical leadership and to set technical direction. Selects and develops technical approaches to complex challenges. Principal investigator or co-PI on multiple or significantly complex, and/or high risk projects or tasks and/or involving multiple tasks, capabilities, and organizations. Develops, and realizes new significant project opportunities, leading the development of technical sections of large proposals. Takes lead in scope, schedule, and budget for projects or large tasks Demonstrates ability to acquire funding for self and task level teams. Serves as a role model for quality, safety, and security. May contribute to directorate level operational improvement activities.

- Additional desirable expertise include the ability to efficiently program in a programming language such as Python, R, Java, Scala, Matlab, etc. Experience with modeling/simulation and statistical libraries and programming skills including version control and parallel/high-performance computing are preferred. Experience in business development, grant and proposal writing are also valued skills. Above all, the candidate should possess interest, curiosity, and technical depth to support the development and advancement of a variety of applied problems specific to the national security community.

Operating on the data-information-knowledge continuum, staff at PNNL employ diverse methods to confront significant problems of national interest—from distilling distributed data into knowledge that supports decision processes, to enabling resilient technologies that enhance computing at extreme scales, to equipping cyber defenders with tools that prevent damaging cyber-attacks.

Our research portfolio—spanning from basic to applied—includes data and computational engineering, high-performance computing, applied mathematics, semantic and human language technologies, machine learning, data and computing architectures, systems integration, and software and application development.

Computing researchers and practitioners work side by side to apply advanced theories, methods, algorithms, models, evaluation tools and testbeds, and computational-based solutions address complex scientific challenges affecting energy, biological sciences, the environment, and national security.

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

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's Degree with 7 years of experience or Master's degree with 5 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

- PhD with 3 years of experience
- Systems engineering expertise/background
- Working knowledge in one or several related skill-sets such as:
- Machine learning
- Experiment design and hypothesis testing
- Domains such as nuclear engineering, applied physics, chemistry/biology
- Experience in national security or government policy

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 307524
Directorate: National Security
Division: Computing and Analytics
Group: Applied Statistics and Computational Modeling

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.