Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

send a request via <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a> </p><p><strong><em>Please be awar

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Hydropower Engineer in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 312265

Directorate: Energy & 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 Senior Hydropower Engineer to lead and conduct research 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 all aspects of hydropower engineering management 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 cyber security challenges related to information technology/operation technology systems. The successful candidate will participate in and lead innovative research, strategy, and vision with a team of scientists. The successful candidate will leverage PNNL staff and facilities and external relationships to resolve critical science and engineering challenges to the development and operation of sustainable hydropower in the United States. Preference will be given to candidates with experience working with or for 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. Key responsibilities will be to effectively participate in multidisciplinary teams and provide technical direction on research projects.

Specifically, successful candidate will:

  • Help develop, execute, and lead PNNL vision to provide innovative and impactful science and technology solutions towards sustainable operation of hydropower projects and influence the direction of PNNL's overall strategies in the areas of sustainable waterpower.

  • Have a demonstrated track record of successful proposal development and work with members of technical and management teams to develop proposals for external funding.

  • 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 conditions that govern sustainable hydropower and devise novel techniques for communicating the results of those activities to the regulatory community.

  • Actively participate in and organize industry conferences, workshops, and professional societies with strong experience in collaborative problem solving at the regional and national level.

  • Develop expertise required to lead national and international technical networks with manufacturers, industry, academia, and other research organizations.

  • 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.

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

  • Accountabilities: Accountable to relevant sector managers, project management office directors, and technical group managers for project development, execution, and closure.

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

Senior Mechanical Engineer 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 Mechanical Engineer 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.

  • Based on client and project requirements, US citizenship is required. The ability to obtain and maintain a future Department of Energy clearance 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.

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 engineering or related field and 10 plus years of relevant project experience.

  • 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.

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

  • Demonstrated success at proposal development and project management.

  • 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.

  • Well connected to and 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: 2021-06-16

Closing Date: 2021-09-03