PNNL Careers

Senior Radiochemist

Scientists/Scientific Support

Job Description

Job ID: 307786
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Description

The Radiochemical Analysis and Chemistry of Nuclear Materials Groups conduct fundamental and applied research resulting in new capabilities in trace element and radionuclide detection, environmental assessment and remediation, treaty verification, processing of nuclear materials, and proliferation detection & prevention. The group applies a broad range of instrument and method development knowledge, specialized chemical separation and characterization methods, and advanced radiometric and spectrometric technologies in support of national security clients. The position will contribute to programs of national significance and help ensure the safe and secure implementation of peaceful nuclear technologies while helping to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The Senior Chemist position is split among two specific leadership needs:
The first role resides in the Radiochemical Analysis and Chemistry of Nuclear Materials groups’ radiochemistry capability where there is a need for a senior scientist to fill a substantial gap in technical leadership across a large team of radiochemistry practitioners. The incumbent will provide senior technical leadership to a group of about 10-20 laboratory chemists who work on a variety of radiochemistry and analytical R&D projects.

The second role will be in support of the National Security Directorate’s Program Development Office to help market our radiochemistry and nuclear processing capabilities toward new opportunities and sponsors in support of nuclear defense and deterrence as well as ensuring our capabilities in this space are aligned with the strategy of sponsor organizations. You are expected to interact with senior sponsors and PNNL officials to identify and shape future R&D opportunities. You will also engage with the broader technical community, including universities and other national laboratories, to connect sponsor mission needs, PNNL capabilities, and multi-institution performer teams.

We are looking for someone who is:
• Extremely self-directed and will function independently with only high level direction.
• Proactive about seeking out new opportunities and opening new doors, including seeking out and cultivating potential partnerships in areas where PNNL’s research and development can be introduced.
• Excited to mentor other staff and will facilitate collaboration between PNNL teams and sponsor representatives.
• Enjoys travelling to meet sponsors and execute programs in sponsor environments, including the possibility for regular interaction with collaborators at other DOE labs.
You report to the Technical Group Manager for the Chemistry of Nuclear materials group within the Signature Science and Technology division and have accountability to Project PI’s in the first role and to program managers and sector managers across the National Security Directorate in the second role.
Responsibilities and Accountabilities
• Develop competency with current radiochemistry projects, protocols and procedures employed in the Radiochemical Analysis and Chemistry of Nuclear Materials groups.
• Propose and lead new R&D efforts of your own design, as well as participate on large multidisciplinary projects and proposals.
• You will be expected to write reports and present your work at external meetings and project venues, as well as publish your work in peer reviewed journals.
• Mentor staff technically in the laboratory with the conduct of experimental plans and execution, development of concepts, proposals, as well as help ensure safe and compliant work. This will be a key activity for this position
• You will also be expected to engage with our collaborators at other national labs and with our sponsors’ organizations in order to build and maintain PNNL’s reputation with the same.
• You will report to project managers and principle investigators on large projects, but will also lead large tasks and small projects on your own.
• Develop and maintain deep knowledge of technical capabilities in PNNL’s nuclear materials portfolio and represent these capabilities at sponsor organizations.
• Leading nuclear material programs execution, including developing and managing to scope, schedule and budget.
• Maintaining effective and collegial working relations with sponsor officials.
• Identifying new business opportunities for PNNL in sponsor organizations and developing/executing engagement strategies to capitalize on these opportunities.
• Maintain strong awareness of trends; providing technical insight to PNNL and sponsor stakeholders on research and development directions and to identify gaps and connect sponsor requirements with PNNL technical capabilities to drive adoption of these technologies in sponsor space.
• Recommending strategies and resources to apply to meet program goals, and working with stakeholders at PNNL and its sponsors to negotiate concurrence on solutions.

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 in relevant discipline with 7+ years of relevant experience; MS degree in a relevant discipline with 5+ years of relevant experience or a PhD in a relevant discipline with 3+ years of experience. An equivalent combination of education and/or demonstrated relevant experience may be considered.
• Demonstrated expertise in nuclear material science and production.
• Must have the ability to identify and interact with funding sponsors, prepare program proposals, and help generate future R&D or mission application directions. This requires excellent oral and written communication skills, the ability to work within and lead interdisciplinary teams, and a strong orientation toward advancing the state of PNNL technical capabilities and its reputation with sponsors.

Preferred Qualifications

• PhD in relevant discipline with 5+ years of directly relevant experience in radiochemistry and/or nuclear material science as well as experience engaging within the United States nuclear interagency.

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 307786
Directorate: National Security
Division: Signature Science & Technology
Group: Analytical Chemistry of Nuclear Materials

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.