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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Sustainability Engineer in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 312264

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 Sustainability 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 ecological systems and hydropower to nuclear and border protection systems from initial concept and design, to scale up and demonstration, to deployment, and finally end of life cycle.

The successful candidate will have extensive knowledge and capabilities in proposing, designing, and executing scope related to sustainability engineering and life cycle principles including significant experience with life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC), and social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) methodologies. Additional experience with tools and analyses applicable to technoeconomic analysis (TEA), material flow analysis (MFA), and other quantitative methodologies used for resource characterization, planning, and analysis is also expected, as well as the ability to translate Federal energy/water policy into research proposals, priorities, and objectives. Working with colleagues across the Laboratory, and in collaboration with our research partners in industry, academia, and at other National Laboratories, the successful candidates 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. The successful candidate will be comfortable working with a diverse set of research staff and project tasks, and possess the appropriate analytic, task management, and communication skills (both oral and written) to clearly define and articulate both objectives and outcomes of their research.

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 of large proposals (whole or in part).

  • Acquiring funding for self and teams.

  • Collaborating with other senior scientists, engineers, and project managers with responsibility for performing the technical tasks with the level of quality, timeliness, and cost, to meet required project and client expectations.

  • Leading the development and implementation of approaches, methodologies, and solutions to assess and solve sponsor-centric scientific and engineering challenges.

  • Leading the development of technical proposals, project reports, scientific and technical products, and journal papers.

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

  • Holding leadership role(s) in the 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 incumbent will be accountable to project and/or task managers for performing assigned roles and responsibilities, following applicable project requirements and reporting procedures, and OSE group and team leaders for general staff performance and development, operational discipline (e.g., maintaining training qualifications, procedural compliance, safe operations), and project execution.

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

Senior Sustainability 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 Sustainability 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.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Preferred experience: 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 sustainability engineering or civil, environmental or chemical engineering or the equivalent and 10 plus years of relevant project 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.

Closing Statement

This position may include travel to sponsor locations.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Engineering/Engineering Techs

Group: Operational Syst Engineering

Opening Date: 2021-06-16

Closing Date: 2021-09-03