Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Materials Scientist with Actinide Metallurgy Background in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311862

Directorate: National Security Directorate

Division: Signature Science & Technology

Group: Nuclear Engineering & Analysis

Job Description

Do you want to impact national security? Does addressing our Nation’s most challenging problems motivate you? Come and join us! Pacific Northwest National Laboratory advances the frontiers of science and engineering. As a leader in national security, we steward longstanding capabilities in the production of nuclear materials and modeling of nuclear systems to support our nuclear deterrent and to counter proliferation of nuclear weapons. We are searching for Material Scientists with deep experience in actinide metallurgy to support projects in the national security enterprise and advanced nuclear fuels development.

We invite you to become part of the Signatures Science & Technology Division. Our mission is to discover the science, develop the technology, and drive operations to neutralize emerging national security threats. Through this mission we strive to:

  • Maintain U.S. supremacy in detecting adversaries

  • Deter and counter the use of weapons of mass effect

  • Support the modernization of nuclear-materials production in the national security enterprise

You will work alongside over 450 Division staff made up of seven technical groups that maintain capabilities in fundamental physics, detectors, nuclear explosion monitoring, materials science, nuclear material production and processing, biochemistry, explosives detection, and non-destructive evaluation.

PNNL’s Nuclear Engineering and Analysis Group is part of the Signatures Science and Technology Division and is comprised of over 70 staff. Our staff are expanding the nation’s capabilities in the science and engineering related to material production and nuclear non-proliferation. A significant portion of our work supports the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Defense Programs, which is responsible for maintaining and modernizing our nuclear weapons stockpile. We also support programs in nuclear nonproliferation and in the development of advanced nuclear fuels for research reactors, current commercial reactors, a new generation of advanced reactors, and DoD mobile and small nuclear power plants.

The successful incumbent will have demonstrated metallurgy experience and will be working on projects related to actinide casting; our scope ranges from first-principles modeling at the atomic level to pilot-scale casting campaigns to technical support for partners that produce nuclear materials at industrial scale. Laboratory and/or modeling experience in microwave and/or induction casting techniques of actinide metals is desired; experience with injection casting and/or metal extrusion manufacturing processes is beneficial.

Responsibilities will be centered on providing the technical leadership to successfully deliver on current sponsor projects; identifying internal investments needed to deepen and broaden our actinide metallurgy capabilities, and collaborating to pursue new opportunities across our sponsor space. Specific activities will include hands-on work in the laboratory, applying modeling and simulation tools, data reduction and analysis, and mentoring early career scientists.

This position will be expected to work with non-sensitive, sensitive, and classified information as appropriate for individual projects. The person in this position must recognize and accept that they will be working in technical areas associated with the National Security of the United States.

Minimum Qualifications

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

Preferred Qualifications

  • Hands-on casting experience with nuclear materials (e.g., uranium, plutonium, zirconium, etc.)

  • Familiarity with modeling and simulation tools related to metal casting (e.g., Flow-3D, ProCAST, StarCCM+, and similar)

  • Desire and ability to design, install, and/or maintain process equipment in radioactive material areas and execute test plans

  • Demonstrated ability to plan scientific research and to lead R&D programs

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

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.


  • U.S. Citizenship

  • Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.

  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance (L or Q) positions will be considered by the Department of Energy to be Testing Designated Positions which means that they are subject to applicant, random, and for cause drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).

Note: Applicants will be considered ineligible for security clearance processing by the U.S. Department of Energy until non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for 12 consecutive months can be demonstrated.

Directorate: National Security

Job Category: Scientists/Scientific Support

Group: Nuclear Engineering & Analysis

Opening Date: 2021-03-23

Closing Date: 2021-04-22