Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Chemical Engineer in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311042

Directorate: Energy and Environment Directorate

Division: Energy Process and Materials

Group: Chemical and Biological Processing

Job Description

The Energy Processes and Materials Division (EP&MD) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is seeking a Senior Chemical Engineer with research expertise in catalysis, applied chemistry, chemical or biological processing, and/or biotechnology, to join our Chemical & Biological Processing (C&BP) Group. This represents a fantastic opportunity to be a key contributor to an internationally recognized research group that is pushing the envelope in the development of next generation processes to produce bio-based fuels, chemicals, polymers and materials.

As a Senior Chemical Engineer, you will provide technical leadership and expertise to existing research efforts and collaborate with stakeholders to define and shape future research programs. Working with colleagues across the Laboratory, and in collaboration with our research partners in industry, academia, and at other National Laboratories, you will lead efforts to build new, 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 Senior Chemical Engineer, you will also have significant responsibility for supporting the development and growth of the C&BP competency at PNNL, including developing, proposing and leading new projects, working with other senior management to develop strategies, and mentoring junior level staff in the Group.

You will be an expert in catalysis, applied chemistry, chemical or biological processing, and/or biotechnology; and possess an enthusiasm for the potential to address major societal challenges through the transformation of underutilized carbon sources to sustainable materials, chemicals, and fuels. You must be adept at translating stakeholder needs for bioenergy and bioproducts, to funded research programs at the Laboratory that effectively leverage current and emerging capabilities to meet program goals. You will be an accomplished communicator, with experience delivering effective and compelling written and oral communications to a broad range of audiences. As a Senior Chemical Engineer, you will have significant responsibility for supporting and managing the safe operations of engineering scale systems.

Responsibilities include:

  • Building reputation through application of science and engineering principles and theories and developing technical approaches to solve complex problems and challenges.

  • 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.

  • Principal investigator or co-PI on projects or tasks, while integrating capabilities of work team members. Supports scoping, scheduling, and budgeting at a project or major task level.

  • Generate new ideas for proposals and business development opportunities while leading development of technical sections of small to medium proposals. Demonstrates ability to acquire funding for self with programmatic impact at the sector and division level.

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

  • Applied chemistry, organic chemistry or chemical engineering with experience in biomass or waste processing

  • Design of Experiments, Research Design, and Statistical Sampling

  • Understanding of the operational needs for conducting applied chemical and engineering scale research activities

  • Understanding and experience of hydrothermal liquefaction, operating a fractionalization column and other separations technologies, biomass to fuels and products

  • Track record of working with complex systems

  • Biobased polymers and / or polymer recycling

  • Safe operations of engineer scale unit operations

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

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

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

Level 3: Manages small to moderate projects and/or major project tasks. Integrates intellectual and technical capabilities of work teams. Enhances technical/professional skills of junior staff through active mentoring and training. Generates ideas for new proposals and participates in business development activities.

Level 4: Principal investigator or co-PI on multiple or significantly complex, and/or high-risk projects or tasks and/or involving multiple tasks, capabilities, and organizations. Develops, and realizes new significant project opportunities, leading the development of medium to small proposals and the technical sections of large proposals. Mentoring staff and peers across the directorate.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree with 5+ years’ experience

  • Master's degree with 3+ years’ experience

  • PhD with 1+ years’ experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Preferred MS or PhD degree in chemical engineering or chemistry. Master's degree with 5+ years’ experience or a PhD with 3+ years’ experience.

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

  • Experience securing project funding, working with or leading technical teams, and the ability to manage research projects.

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 participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. If you are offered a position at PNNL and are currently a participant in a foreign government talent recruitment program you will be required to disclose this information before your first day of employment.

Closing Statement

The work involves significant laboratory and complex systems operations. High risk activities include systems operating at high temperatures and high pressures, biological processing, and complex chemical hazards. You may be expected to contribute to shift work and weekends as needed to support sponsored research activities.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Scientists/Scientific Support

Group: Chemical & Bio Processing

Opening Date: 2020-07-30

Closing Date: 2020-08-28