Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Data Scientist for Detector Physics in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311174

Directorate: National Security Directorate

Division: Signature Science and Technology Division

Group: Detection Physics

Job Description

The Detection Physics Group within the National Security Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is seeking a research scientist who will focus on studies of radiation detection physics using Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning (AI/ML) techniques. The Detection Physics Group includes research ranging from low background and high energy fundamental particle physics to radiation detection related to non-proliferation and national security applications. This position will focus on the expanding role of AI/ML within the group. It will provide the opportunity to perform analysis of data from existing experimental setups, and to propose, develop, and demonstrate relevant techniques on new data sets for advanced applications.

Major duties and responsibilities: Contribute to the development of the analysis of a variety of types of radiation detectors and experiments. Perform, analyze, and interpret detector characterizations for detectors of interest, including semiconductor detectors, scintillators, proportional counters, silicon photomultipliers, and others. Develop a detector-physics-focused AI/ML strategy with an eye toward fostering new funding streams and research directions. Engage in research activities with the broader AI/ML community at PNNL.

The hiring level will be determined based on the education, experience and skill set of the successful candidate based on the following:

Level 2: Works on problems of moderate scope where analysis of situations or data requires a review of a variety of factors. Exercises judgment within defined procedures and practices to determine appropriate action. Builds productive internal/external working relationships. Works under general supervision. Follows established procedures. Infrequent interorganizational and outside customer contacts on routine matters.

Level 3: A seasoned, experienced professional with a full understanding of area of specialization; resolves a wide range of issues in creative ways. This job is the fully qualified, careeroriented, journey-level position. Independently determines and develops approach to solutions. Frequent interorganizational and outside customer contacts.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree with 2 years of experience, or Master’s degree with 0-2 years of experience, or PhD with 0 years of experience.

  • Programming capability with languages such as C/C++, Python, MatLab, and R.

  • Experience with "standard" and AI/ML data analysis techniques.

  • Experience with particle detection software and hardware.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree with at least 5 years of well-aligned prior experience or a master’s degree with 3 years of relevant experience or a PhD degree with at least 1 year of experience.

  • PhD in experimental nuclear or high energy particle physics, or related fields.

  • Experience with software tools such as PyTorch, Tensorflow, and Keras.

  • Experience with data analysis and simulation packages such as ROOT, Geant4, and MCNP.

  • Implementation experience with high-performance parallel codes and/or accelerators (FPGAs/GPUs).

  • High level of motivation and ability to work with, form, and lead collaborative research teams.

  • Adaptability to thrive in a rapidly evolving, multitasked, research environment.

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

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. If you are offered a position at PNNL and are currently a participant in a foreign government talent recruitment program you will be required to disclose this information before your first day of employment.

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.

Directorate: National Security

Job Category: Scientists/Scientific Support

Group: Detection Physics

Opening Date: 2020-09-09

Closing Date: 2020-12-08