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: 311713

Directorate: Energy and Environment

Division: Energy Processes and Materials

Group:Chemical and Biological Processing

Job Description

The Energy Processes and Materials Division (EP&MD) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is seeking an excellent Mechanical Engineer with expertise in engineering, process controls and materials testing to join our Chemical & Biological Processing (C&BP) Group. This represents a fantastic opportunity to be a key contributer to an internationally-recognized research group that is pushing the envelope in the development of next generation science to produce bio-based fuels, chemicals, polymers and materials.

As a Mechanical Engineer, you will provide technical expertise to existing and future research efforts and programs. Working with colleagues in the C&BP group, and in collaboration with our research partners in industry, academia, and at other National Laboratories, you will be a key contributor to high-visibility research projects that leverage C&BP Group capabilities to meet the technology goals of the Department of Energy and other key stakeholders. As a Mechanical Engineer, you will also have responsibility for supporting the development and growth of the C&BP competency at PNNL, including generating applying theories to tasks, helping to generate new ideas, working with senior researchers providing input on strategies and tasks, and developing the safety cutlure.

The successful candidate will be have experience with process control systems, data acquisition, materials testing; and an enthusiasm for the potential to address major societal challenges through the transformation of underutilized carbon sources to sustainable chemicals and fuels. They should have experience with Python and/or R programming for data visualization, experience with Labview, controls and sensors for gas and liquid flows in an industrial environment. Familiarity with molecular biology bench methods (such as DNA extraction) is a plus. They will be working with task leads and principle investigators to achieve defined project goals. They will need to be an experienced communicator able to deliver effective and compelling written and oral communications to a broad range of audiences. Working with colleagues in the C&BP Group, and in collaboration with our research partners, you will work in new, high-visibility research programs. As a Mechanical Engineer, you will have responsibility for contributing to the safe operations of fermentation and biological systems. You will be expected to occasionally work weekends as needed to support sponsored research activities.

Responsibilities include:

  • Building reputation through application of sciencific principles and theories, and developing technical approaches to solve challenges.

  • Building networks at a Group and Division level. Effectively teaming to share resources and optimize research at the group and division level.

  • Receiving guidance on new assignments, making preliminary selections on technical alternatives; independently completes recurring assignments.

  • Contributing to project work at a task/project level, reporting results on time and on budget.

  • Contribute to technical products such as topical reports, peer reviewed publications, patents and intellectual property.

  • Embracing expectations for quality, safety, and security. Communicating the importance within the work team.

  • Member of external professional community. Presenter at national or international forums.

The selected candidate will have skills in one or more of these areas:

  • Mechanical engineering with experience in process controls, instrumentation, data acquisitionand data visualization.

  • Experience with Labview and/or other laboratory process control and data acquisition systems

  • Experience with materials testing and 3D printing

  • Experience with automatization and control of laboratory equipment

  • Excellent programming skills with R and Python

  • Experience with Solid Works

  • Basic statistics

  • Safe operations of laboratory equipment

  • Excellent presentation, verbal and written communication skills, with a demonstrated ability for writing concisely and clearly, are required.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree with 0-1 years’ experience or a Master's degree with 0+ years’ experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Mechanical Engineering degree preferred.

  • Demonstrated success in building and maintaining operational discipline with a diverse research and operations team

  • Experience with biological bench methods (such as DNA extraction, assembly, breakdown, and cleaning of bioreactors, and preparation of microbial growth media)

  • Experience with proper handling, storage and disposal of biological and chemical waste

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.

Other Information

The work involves significant laboratory operations and biological culture handling. High risk activities include systems operating at high temperatures and high pressures (autoclaves and bioreactors), handling of sporulating biological cultures of RG1 or RG2 under BSL 2 conditions, and complex chemical hazards (organic solvents, toxins, acids, bases).

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Engineering/Engineering Techs

Group: Chemical & Bio Processing

Opening Date: 2021-02-23

Closing Date: 2021-03-09