Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Detection Physics Technician in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311538

Directorate: National Security Directorate

Division: Signature Sciences & Technology

Group: Detection Physics

Job Description

The Detection Physics (DP) group focuses on the development of detection systems and data analysis techniques for a variety of missions ranging from fundamental physics to national security. Projects within the research group range from highly applied projects in support of international treaties and national security to fundamental science projects in the areas of dark matter detection and neutrino physics. Candidates are expected to contribute positively to the breadth of work performed by the group.

The DP group is seeking one or more junior technicians to support to a wide variety of research and development efforts involving radiation detection systems for threat detection and isotope identification.

As part of the DP group, the successful candidate will support research and development activities including standard technical procedures that range from routine to specialized, under technical supervision. The successful candidate will operate in laboratory workspaces under cleanroom protocols and will work with specialized instrumentation in order to conduct research.

The successful candidate will work within established priorities, procedures, processes, requirements or specifications and will perform normal aspects of the job with little or no direct supervision. The successful candidate will function as part of an interdisciplinary project team and will need to effectively present work in project meetings. This position requires strong communication skills to collaborate with senior technologists as well as research staff.

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

Level III : Selects, adapts, applies, and prepares new procedures and methods. Explores alternate courses of action or methods to accomplish tasks. Follows requirements, specifications, or procedures developed for tasks. Work is usually limited to a well-defined area of a project or specific assignment. Provides process leadership as part of project task activity.

Level IV : Identifies and leads efforts to develop new procedures and methods for complex, non-routine processes. Critically analyzes design requirements, experimental plans, standard processes, etc., and proposes appropriate alternatives. Contributions are of sufficient value to have some impact on the outcome of entire project or group. Provides task leadership on project activities.

Minimum Qualifications

  • High school diploma and 4+ years of relevant work experience or Technical Institute Graduate/relevant Associate’s degree and 2+ years of relevant work experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • High school diploma and 6+ years of relevant work experience or Technical Institute Graduate/relevant Associate’s degree and 4+ years of relevant work experience.

  • The operational support needs of the DP group include many disciplines. Hands-on experience with one or more of the following is preferred:

  • Cryogenics – experience handling liquid nitrogen, working with low-temperature instrumentation and detectors

  • Vacuum – experience constructing vacuum systems, operating leak detectors, understanding vacuum pumps (e.g. the difference between rough vs. high vacuum)

  • Gas Handling – experience operating gas systems through opening/closing valves, reading pressures and flows, and following detailed, complex procedures

  • Electronics – experience with analog electronics, cable production

  • Cleanroom protocols – experience working in a cleanroom, ability to adapt and follow strict local protocols

  • General fabrication – experience in moving a concept into reality with proper use of systems and tools. This may include a mix of modifications to existing equipment/parts, computer aided design/draft (CAD), and/or multiple meetings with appropriate staff in order to properly develop, assemble, and fabricate a concept from produced drawings and designs with related knowledge of equipment/materials specifications and design limits.

  • Detector Fabrication – experience following delicate technical processes

  • Chemistry – Familiar with wet chemistry techniques, labware cleaning, gas chemistry and handling (familiarity with analytical techniques desired)

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 having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Other Information

Special/Hazardous Working Conditions or Environment: Complexities related to the position, working environment, special challenges, etc.:

  • Laboratory work with vacuum systems, pressurized gases, cryogenics, cleanrooms, radiation sources, and control/measurement systems

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: 2021-01-13

Closing Date: 2021-01-27