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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Fluid Dynamicist in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 312251

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 is seeking a Senior Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Engineer to join our Operational Systems Engineering (OSE) Group. This represents a fantastic opportunity to be a key contributor and leader in an internationally recognized research group that is pushing the envelope in operational systems ranging from hydropower and ecological systems to nuclear and border protection systems from initial concept and design, to scale up and demonstration, to deployment, and finally end of life cycle.

As a Senior CFD Engineer, you will provide technical leadership and expertise to existing research efforts and collaborate with stakeholders to define, shape, and lead 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 OSE Group capabilities to meet the technology goals of the Department of Energy and other key stakeholders. As a Senior CFD Engineer, you will also have significant responsibility for supporting the development and growth of OSE competencies at PNNL, including developing, proposing and leading new projects, working with other senior management to develop and lead strategies, and mentoring junior staff in the group. You will be adept at translating stakeholder needs 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 CFD Engineer, you will have significant responsibility for supporting and managing the safe operations of engineering and full-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.

  • Serving as Principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on multiple or significantly complex, and/or high-risk projects or tasks and/or involving multiple tasks, capabilities, and organizations. Takes lead in scoping, scheduling, and budgeting at a project or major task level.

  • Recognizing new significant project opportunities and leading the development large proposals (whole or in part).

  • Acquiring funding for self and teams.

  • Building networks across the laboratory and externally. Effectively teaming to optimize research. Mentoring staff and peers.

  • Holding leadership role(s) in professional community.

  • Organizing and chairing sessions at national/international meetings of professional societies.

  • Serving as lead author or developer on a significant number of technical products.

  • Holding reputation with sponsors and collaborators for delivery on important programmatic elements.

  • Serving as a role model for and complies with PNNL’s policies regarding quality, safety, security, environmental health, intellectual property, and business ethics.

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

  • Complex multiphase interface problems (e.g., sediments, turbulent gas-liquid boundaries, etc.)

  • Autonomous objects and actors (e.g., self-propelled entities, fish, eels).

  • Nuclear and/or hydropower systems and/or clients.

  • “Soft” skills in communicating with clients, mentees, sponsors, project managers, etc.

  • Reviewing the work of others.

  • If from an academic background, preference for a strong publication/presentation record including an h-index of at least 20, publication of key findings in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, and presentation at professional conferences. If from a non-academic background, preference for a corresponding level of impact.

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

Senior Fluid Dynamicist level 4:

Expert in at least one S&E domain and the ability to connect multiple domains. Sought after within PNNL for technical leadership to set technical direction. Holds leadership role in professional community. Organizes and chairs sessions at national meetings of professional societies. Lead author or developer on a significant number of technical products. Recognized by sponsors and collaborators for delivery on important programmatic elements.

Chief Fluid Dynamicist level 5:

Established nationally as an expert in at least one S&E domain. Establishing new approaches at a national level and advancing state of the art concepts. Sought out to participate in peer reviews, and book chapters establishing the foundational aspect of the discipline. Sought out as an invited speaker at national forums. Displays a significant record of technical products influencing their discipline. Recognized by Lab leadership, sponsors and collaborators as a resource for resolving challenges with impact at a significant programmatic or Lab mission level.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 7 years of experience; MS/MA with 5 years of experience; PhD with 3 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 9 years of experience; MS/MA with 7 years of experience; PhD with 5 years of experience.

  • Preferred Ph.D. degree in mechanical or chemical engineering or the equivalent and 10 plus years of relevant experience.

  • Well-established research reputation with professional achievements, including excellent technical writing skills.

  • Demonstrated success at proposal development and project management.

  • 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.

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

  • Demonstrated experience securing project funding, working with and 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

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

Due to business needs and client space, US Citizenship is required:

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is subject to the Department of Energy Unclassified Foreign Visits & Assignment Program site, information, technologies, and equipment access requirements.

Closing Statement

Validation of some models may necessitate leadership or engagement in laboratory/field work. These may involve complex systems operations, complex chemical hazards, high temperatures and high pressures, and/or complex field work.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Engineering/Engineering Techs

Group: Operational Syst Engineering

Opening Date: 2021-06-16

Closing Date: 2021-09-03