PNNL Careers

Controls Engineer


Job Description

Job ID: 307664
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Description

The Applied Materials and Performance group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is seeking practical expertise in mechatronics: the synergistic combination of precision mechanical engineering, electronic control, and systems thinking in the design of products and manufacturing processes. Our particular interest is the control of thermomechanical processing equipment control and specifically, the relationship between control and processing conditions. The position requires knowledge of, and hands-on experience in, machine programming and machine design. Applicants must have a strong background in process engineering and machine control but also be knowledgeable about physical, mechanical, and process metallurgy so that they can work with metallurgists to design intended processing conditions. The position holder will contribute to the development and application of high performance materials and innovative processing approaches, supporting business lines associated with next generation lightweight vehicles, nuclear systems, and other markets where improvements in materials performance and energy efficiency are of interest to the Department of Energy and other clients.

The position holder will:
- Research, plan, design, and develop controls for thermomechanical and other specialty processing or testing systems.
- Collaborate with others to develop individual steps and combined processes for manufacturing, joining, finishing, treating, and strengthening materials.
- Work with highly diverse research staff in the following technical areas:
*Development and characterization of high strength lightweight materials for vehicles,
*Understanding and characterization of the microstructure and behavior of materials under specified operating conditions and external factors,
*Advanced forming, joining and manufacturing processes for metals and polymer composites,
o Topics in mechanical metallurgy and applied mechanics, including design of experiments and application for materials development.

The position will require interaction on a daily basis with project managers and other scientists and engineers with a diversity of backgrounds. The successful candidate will have the opportunity (and desire) to work on projects solving problems in a wide variety of areas including energy efficiency, transportation, and high temperature materials. In addition, the selected candidate will be expected to propose original ideas and technical suggestions to senior project research staff and project managers to solve science and engineering problems. Applicants must be able to complete assigned tasks with limited guidance, exercising appropriate judgement on work details and making preliminary selections and adaptations of technical alternatives. The position holder is expected to build a professional reputation for technical expertise, which includes publishing work and contributing to journal articles and presentations.

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

- BS/BA with 2 years of experience, or MS/MA with 0 years of experience, or PhD with 0 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

- BS/BA with 2 or more years of hands-on work experience in programming controllers for processing equipment, or MS/MA or Ph.D. with similar relevant experience in graduate work
- Hands-on work experience in programming controllers for processing equipment.
- Demonstrated ability to apply process control and advanced process control techniques to solve machine/process control problems
- Experience in programming industrial controllers using ladder logic and structured text
- Experience working with Allen Bradley and B&R controllers and programming environment
- Sufficient programming experience to develop human machine interfaces (HMI) and effectively use industrial internet protocols
- Ability to generate and modify mechanical and electrical drawings
- Experience in designing and executing experimental projects in friction stir welding, extrusion, rolling or other forms of thermomechanical processing for metallic alloy systems.

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 307664
Directorate: Energy & Environment
Division: Energy Processes & Materials
Group: Applied Materials & Performance

Other Information

Special/Hazardous Working Conditions or Environment:
- The staff member will work in research laboratories, which are inherently hazardous working environments. Exposure to mechanical hazards, chemicals, etc., are kept to a minimum and mitigated through the use of controls and the maintenance of a safety-conscious work environment.