Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Mechanical Engineer in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 312712

Directorate: Energy and Environment Directorate

Division: Earth System Sciences Division

Group:Operational Systems Engineering

Job Description

The Earth Systems Science Division (ESSD) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory seeks a Mechanical Engineer to conduct and lead research and development supporting Sustainable Hydropower to join our Operational Systems Engineering (OSE) Group. PNNL is nationally and internationally recognized for unique and innovative sustainable hydropower research, including fish monitoring, tracking, and survival in hydropower projects; turbine design and efficiency evaluation; hydropower operations impact on water quality; impact of future water availability on hydropower investments; energy-water nexus and optimal hydropower operation.

PNNL seeks Mechanical Engineering candidates with working knowledge and demonstrated experience in hydropower engineering and design (both inside and outside the powerhouse); operations and maintenance; instrumentation and sensing; and optimization, including balancing hydraulic, power, biological, and economic demands. Candidates should also be familiar with emerging technologies in hydropower operation, including pumped storage hydro and hybrid waterpower systems. The successful candidate will participate in and lead tasks associated with innovative research, strategy, and vision with a team of scientists. Preference will be given to candidates with experience working with hydropower owner/operators, including the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, and the United States Bureau of Reclamation, or other organizations responsible for the operation of hydropower facilities.

Specifically, successful candidate will:

  • Help develop and execute innovative and impactful science and technology solutions towards sustainable operation of hydropower projects.

  • Publish key findings in high-impact peer-reviewed journals as well as present work at professional conferences.

  • Play a role as part of a team of early-career and senior scientists and engineers across multiple disciplines in the conduct of laboratory and field-based research projects.

  • Understand the regulatory environment that governs sustainable hydropower and communicating the results of research to the regulatory community.

  • Build reputation through application of S&E principles and theories and develop technical approaches to solve challenges.

  • Define and lead project work at a small task/project level, reporting results on time and on budget. Receive guidance on new assignments, making preliminary selections on technical alternatives. Independently complete recurring assignments.

  • Contribute to proposals.

  • Lead elements or sections of technical products with a growing influence.

  • Actively participate in and present at industry conferences, workshops, and professional societies nationally as a member.

  • Building networks at a local and capability level. Effectively teaming to share resources and optimize research at the group and division level. Mentoring junior staff and students.

  • Serve as a role model for quality, safety, and security and comply with PNNL's policies regarding environmental health and safety and protection of intellectual property. Embrace expectations for quality, safety, and security and communicate the importance thereof within the work team.

  • Contribute to other applied engineering projects within the group, division, directorate and laboratory ranging from ecological systems to nuclear and border protection systems.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 2 years of experience

  • MS/MA with 0-2 years of experience

  • PhD with 0 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge in the innerworkings of hydropower generation units, balance of plant systems, and fish passage systems.

  • Demonstrated participation in multidisciplinary efforts to provide solutions to complex problems where the problems are characterized by lack of precedents, source material, or lack of prior success.

  • Excellent technical writing skills.

  • Demonstrated success at project execution and working with technical teams.

  • Ability to effectively communicate within a team environment and with sponsors and partners.

  • Well respected by the hydropower community in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Professional engineering registration not required but may be a benefit

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

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via

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.

Closing Statement

The work involves significant laboratory and complex systems operations. High risk activities may include field work, animal care, systems operating at high temperatures and high pressures, and complex chemical hazards. Some travel (for fieldwork, scientific conferences, and client networking) may be necessary depending on evolving project/programmatic needs and candidate interest.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Engineering/Engineering Techs

Group: Operational Syst Engineering

Opening Date: 2021-09-14

Closing Date: 2021-09-27