Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Mechanical Engineer - Entry Level in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 309677

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Division: Nuclear Sciences

Group: Experimental & Computational Engineering

Job Description

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution tackling some of the most challenging problems in energy, the environment, and national security. The Experimental & Computational Engineering (ECE) Group is seeking an early career mechanical engineer with strong communication skills who proactively solves problems. The ECE group includes technical experts in chemical, mechanical, and nuclear engineering that focus on modeling and experimental studies to address national challenges in energy production and environmental cleanup for a broad range of sponsors. ECE staff use structural mechanics, multi-phase fluid dynamics, heat transport, mass transfer, and reactive transport computational capabilities combined with experimental efforts and expert project management to deliver sponsor solutions. This position will focus on providing design, engineering, analytical, and numerical modeling support for fluid, thermal and mechanical problems relevant to energy systems and security. The position is located on the PNNL campus in Richland, WA, where residents enjoy year-round outdoor activities, water recreation, wineries, and abundant sunshine as part of the Tri-Cities community. PNNL also offers excellent benefits including pension, matching 401(k), tuition reimbursement plans, health insurance, and flexible work schedules.

The successful candidate will:

  • Apply and interpret standard theories, principles, methods, tools, and technologies in mechanical engineering.

  • Apply principles of engineering, physics, and materials science along with the use of numerical methods and computational modeling tools to solve diverse engineering and science problems.

  • Contribute to technical projects under the mentorship of senior staff; ensure project milestones are met on schedule and budget.

  • Demonstrate the ability and initiative to provide technical support, analyses, and assessments while maintaining effective communication with project managers, peers, and clients.

  • Contribute to interdisciplinary teams to tackle high-impact problems and creatively innovate new technical solutions for diverse industry or government sponsors.

  • Be able to support more than one engineering/research project at a time through both individual and team-based contributions.

  • Contribute to technical products, such as technical reports and journal articles, and present at conferences and technical forums.

  • Proactively grow technical acumen to lead small project tasks and execute within budget and timeframes allotted.

  • Grow internal/external reputation through collaboration with staff across the laboratory and outside of PNNL.

  • Support proposals for business and capability development opportunities that expand the group’s research portfolio.

  • Ensure safe operating practices are followed on all work assignments.

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

Level I: Executes tasks on time and budget based on instruction and guidance of experienced staff. Contributes to technical products such as topical reports, peer-reviewed publications, patents and intellectual property, software/data artifacts, and/or hardware/materials/electronics artifacts.

Level II: Independently completes recurring assignments. Receives guidance on new assignments, making preliminary selections on technical alternatives. Defines and leads work at the task level. Member of an external professional community and presenter at national or international forums. Leads elements or sections of technical products such as topical reports, peer-reviewed publications, patents and intellectual property, software/data artifacts, and/or hardware/materials/electronics artifacts.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 0-1 years of experience, or MS/MA with 0 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 2 years of experience or an MS/MA or PhD with 0 years of experience.

  • Experience in the application of analytical calculations, computational methods, and/or commercial modeling tools for design and evaluation of fluid, thermal, and mechanical components/systems.

  • Knowledge of fundamentals and familiarity with either computational fluid dynamic (CFD) codes such as STAR-CCM+ or Fluent, or with implicit/explicit finite element analysis (FEA) codes such as ANSYS or LS-DYNA.

  • Programming experience (e.g., Fortran, C++, APDL, MATLAB, Python, etc.).

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

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

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: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Engineering/Engineering Techs

Group: Experimental & Computa Engrng

Opening Date: 2019-08-09

Closing Date: 2019-09-06