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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doc Research Associate - Non Destructive Evaluation in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311684

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Division: Nuclear Sciences

Group: Reactor Materials & Mechanical Design

Job Description

The Reactor Materials and Mechanical Design Group (RMMD) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) advances fundamental materials science and provides the scientific basis for fusion and fission reactor materials development, light water reactor life extension, safe storage of spent fuel, and design of materials and systems for extreme operating conditions. RMMD is a world-class materials science and mechanical engineering organization with more than 40 highly qualified and experienced staff—including internationally recognized scientists and Fellows of professional societies—delivering impactful research for multiple sponsors.

This postdoctoral associate will support research and development (R&D) activities associated with the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technology and methodologies aimed at characterizing nuclear power components and systems. The successful candidate will play a supporting role in assessing and developing advanced inspection methods of nuclear reactor components. In addition, this position will include supporting ultrasonic modeling and simulation work using tools such as CIVA, OnScale or other modeling packages. This work will assist in developing the technical basis for regulating nuclear power plants in the area of in-service inspection.

This postdoctoral associate will also support R&D activities aimed at developing novel ultrasonic and acoustic sensing techniques for applications in structural and environmental monitoring of containers for spent nuclear fuel. The successful candidate will be familiar with several advanced ultrasonic and acoustic sensing techniques in theory and in practice. They will contribute novel concepts, be skilled and familiar with laboratory equipment associated with advanced ultrasonic and acoustic sensing, and capable of applying sophisticated signal processing and data analysis for interpretation of results.

The candidate should demonstrate an interest and aptitude toward supporting research projects and working effectively in dynamic, multi-disciplinary teams that involve electrical engineers, physicists, mechanical engineers, chemists, materials scientists, and statisticians. Of interest is a candidate who has demonstrated the ability to work independently and in a team environment on technical projects for demanding clients. The candidate will be responsible for providing substantial technical contributions in a complex, time-sensitive, and safety-conscious laboratory working environment. The position will include planning, executing, analyzing, and documenting research tasks under the guidance of experienced research staff.

This position will involve research that covers a wide of range of physical and chemical phenomena and is interdisciplinary in nature. Activities in this group address materials research needs related to atomic transport relevant to corrosion, high-temperature degradation, stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen compatibility, and radiation effects in materials. The group publishes high quality research manuscripts, contributes oral and written papers at conferences, and participates in workshops on degradation mechanisms in materials. The position involves routine research activities as well as independent problem solving.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities :

  • Early career professional who is building a professional reputation for technical expertise in NDE and ultrasonic/acoustic sensing.

  • Works well independently and with others, in diverse teams. This includes a willingness to accept mentorship, training, and constructive criticism related to the application of NDE techniques.

  • Provides high quality technical deliverables. to successfully support Laboratory-based R&D projects.

  • Is familiar with the use of laboratory instrumentation (oscilloscopes, signal generators, amplifiers, etc.).

  • Has excellent written and verbal communication skills.

  • Actively participates in project planning, including preparation of experimental procedures and documentation of results.

  • Has good computer skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Office and a capability and willingness to learn NDE data acquisition/analysis/modeling software.

  • Has experience with programming languages, such as MATLAB or Python.

  • Contributes to technical content of proposals.

  • Prepares detailed technical reports, journal articles, and technical presentations.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have received a PhD within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Candidates must have received a PhD in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, materials science, metallurgy, or related field within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university. 3.25 GPA or higher is preferred

  • Experience in NDE methods, especially ultrasonics.

  • Experience and knowledge of conventional and phased array ultrasonics (including advanced processing techniques including full matrix capture/total focusing method, plane wave imaging, etc.) data acquisition and analysis software.

  • A basic understanding of material degradation processes, particularly in steel and stainless steel piping, and a basic understanding of fracture mechanics, metallurgy, and statistics.

  • Experience with commercial NDE modeling software (such as CIVA or OnScale).

  • Experience with FEM modeling of full wave propagation of acoustic phenomena using standard software packages such as Ansys or Abaqus

  • Experience in developing measurement techniques based on phased array ultrasound, surface acoustic waves, guided ultrasonic waves, nonlinear ultrasound, and acoustic emission.

  • The candidate must be capable of interpreting experimental results based on the findings of theory and modeling.

  • Knowledge of alloy degradation mechanisms in nuclear power facilities is preferred.

  • Proficient in processing data utilizing Python, MatLAB, or Mathematica.

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

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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.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Post-Graduates and Post-Docs

Group: Reactor Mat. & Mech. Design

Opening Date: 2021-02-22

Closing Date: 2021-03-15