PNNL Careers

Chief Materials Scientist


Job Description

Job ID: 308162
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Description

The Chief Nuclear Materials Scientist serves as a nationally recognized expert in materials degradation and establishes new approaches to advance the state of the art in this field. This senior research position will lead high-impact research proposals, integrate research with existing activities in the group through teamwork and mentoring, and extend the group’s capabilities in the areas of stress corrosion cracking, radiation effects on the microstructure and properties of alloys, characterization of irradiation creep and void swelling, and materials development for advanced reactors. Initial responsibilities in this position will include leading research and development of materials degradation for existing reactors and development of advanced materials for new reactor concepts including small modular reactors, molten salt reactors and fusion reactors.

This research position encompasses reactor structural materials and reactor primary pressure boundary materials, including weldments. It includes research designed to understand failure mechanisms of existing materials and development of materials with enhanced tolerance to degradation in extreme environments.

The successful candidate will work with leading researchers in material property evaluation, multimodal chemical imaging, stress corrosion crack initiation and propagation, radiation effects studies, high-temperature materials development, and modeling from density functional theory to continuum mechanics. This position will involve working with existing projects and developing new projects and funding opportunities. Additional responsibilities may include the following:
- Collaborate with other Labs, academia, and industry to lead multi-Lab projects in materials degradation, lead the development and execution of directorate strategies in this area, lead laboratory teams, and mentor mid to senior staff across PNNL.
- Lead planning and technical execution of complex interdisciplinary projects and programs with Lab-level impact, and obtain sufficient funding to support self and project teams.
- Participate in peer reviews, and book chapters establishing the foundations of the science of materials degradation.
- Deliver invited presentations at national forums and develop a significant record of technical products influencing the discipline of materials science.
- Lead major projects with Laboratory-level impact, manage complex and interdisciplinary projects and tasks, and work with project teams spread across organizational boundaries and outside of the Laboratory.
- Lead a cohesive team of researchers and pursue new areas of R&D that meet the long-term strategic goals of the organization, participate in planning Lab-wide initiatives and sector or product line strategies, and be able to fund self and junior staff through business development activities in the nuclear materials area.
- Conceive, plan, and conduct research that may have considerable influence on scientific knowledge or technological developments, develop advanced technological ideas and guide development into a final product.
- Organize and chair sessions at national meetings; present invited papers; Participate in peer reviews and build a record of peer-reviewed publications, reports, presentations, intellectual property, and/or technical products.
- Serve as primary author or contributor on a significant number of literature publications or reports; present papers at national meetings; and develop intellectual property leading to publications, copyrights and/or patents.

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 with 9+ years of experience, MS with 7+ years of experience or PhD with 5+ years of experience in nuclear materials related research and development.
- Degree in Materials Science and Engineering, Nuclear Engineering or a related field.
- Established national or international leader in stress corrosion cracking, radiation effects, and/or materials degradation, and familiarity with current state-of-the-art characterization and modeling methods.
- Demonstrated track record of leading interdisciplinary teams and attracting R&D funding, proven ability to develop and grow business, provide strategic direction, and manage large complex projects.
- Experience developing and successfully implementing project plans for complex projects, including scoping, scheduling, staffing and budgeting.
- Excellent writing and presentation skills, with experience in delivering effective presentations to a technical audience.
- A proven track record of generating new ideas and concepts, and operating with a high level of initiative and independence.

Preferred Qualifications

- PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, Nuclear Engineering or a related field with at least 7 years’ experience in nuclear materials related research and development.

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 308162
Directorate: Energy & Environment
Division: Nuclear Sciences
Group: Reactor Materials and Mechanical Design

Other Information

Special/Hazardous Working Conditions or Environment:
- High temperature furnaces and autoclaves, water, steam and compressed gases, servo-hydraulic test frames, and radiation work