PNNL Careers

Materials Scientist


Job Description

Job ID: 308004
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Description

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a world leader in materials development and testing for immobilization of nuclear and hazardous wastes. This position serves the Materials Science team in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL’s) Radiological Materials and Detection group. This position will help us continue to demonstrate leadership in basic and applied laboratory research directed at solving some of the world’s most challenging problems: designing, developing, characterizing and managing advanced materials for remediating nuclear wastes.
We are looking for a Glass or Materials Scientist to become a part of our team and join in this field of work. The successful candidate will team with scientists, engineers, and technicians to primarily plan and perform experimental work for senior staff with minimal supervision. The successful candidate will also begin developing skills to independently propose, sell, execute, and ultimately lead tasks and projects. The primary area of technical performance will be in the areas of vitreous materials synthesis and characterization, with a primary focus on developing stable glass and ceramic waste forms for processing nuclear and hazardous wastes. The ideal candidate will be someone who has a vision to grow themselves into an international technical authority in the field, as well as to further expand PNNL’s prestige in nuclear waste forms development.

Responsibilities & Accountabilities:
Responsible for helping to develop and execute experimental plans to synthesize and evaluate the performance of various ceramic materials for processing hazardous wastes. Material categories include glass, polycrystalline ceramics, and cements. The incumbent will be overseeing technicians performing sample preparation activities and operating various pieces of analytical characterization equipment (XRD, SEM, spectrometers, etc.) The candidate will work closely with senior scientists to design and execute scientific experiments and process testing.

Although the candidate will initially work with close supervision by senior engineers and scientists, it is expected that within one year the candidate will be able to perform experiments and tests with little direct supervision from senior engineers and scientists. The position requires the ability to apply a strong disciplined approach to experimental planning, execution, and reporting. The candidate will be expected to prepare high quality technical reports and presentations that communicate the objective, experimental process, results, and conclusions in a traceable, defensible manner. The candidate will be expected to contribute to the writing of winning research proposals and other business development activities. Other responsibilities include:
- Publication of key scientific findings in high-impact peer-reviewed journals and technical reports.
- Presentation of scientific work at professional conferences including participating in professional societies (e.g. session chair responsibilities) at the regional and national level.
- Identify and document intellectual property.
- To the assigned Team Leader for performance in meeting staff development goals, safe and high quality conduct of work, and meeting training requirements.
- To the assigned project manager(s) and/or task leader(s) for timely and quality performance on assigned projects.
- To the Cognizant Space Manager(s) of laboratories in which research is conducted for conducting experimental work safely and in compliance with environmental and health standards.
- To the Group Manager for assigned contributions to the group strategy.

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 Degree with at least 2 years of experience, or an advanced degree.
- Experience in Materials Science & Engineering/Glass or Ceramic Engineering, Chemistry, Nuclear Engineering or similar field.

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 308004
Directorate: Energy & Environment
Division: Nuclear Sciences
Group: Radiological Materials & Detection