Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Wireless Communications Research Engineer in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311406

Directorate: National Security Directorate

Division: Signatures Science & Technology

Group: Disruptive Technology

Job Description

The Disruptive Technology group focuses on emerging technologies by integrating capability across electromagnetics, systems modeling, communications, analytics development, and systems design to serve as a flywheel for feeding technology advancements across the division and laboratory. Projects within the group range from mission focused, highly applied projects in support of national security to fundamental science projects.

The candidate will be part of a multidisciplinary team focused on developing and analyzing all elements of high-performance wireless digital communication systems or radar imaging systems from antenna to protocol level.


  • Design and simulate/model communications systems and sub-systems

  • Derive specifications for communications systems and sub-systems

  • Design and build communications systems prototypes using software-defined radios

  • Characterize system performance

  • Participate in technical design reviews and element/system level activities

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

Level II : Receives guidance on new assignments, making preliminary selections on technical alternatives; independently completes recurring assignments. Defines and leads project work at a small task/project level, reporting results on time and on budget. Contributes to proposals. Embraces expectations for quality, safety, and security. Communicates the importance within the work team.

Level III : Selects and develops technical approaches on assignments with occasional oversight on complex problems. 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. Generates new ideas for proposals and business development opportunities while leading development of technical section of small to medium proposals. Demonstrates ability to acquire funding for self with programmatic impact at the sector and division level. Serves as a role model for quality, safety, and security.

Minimum Qualifications

BS/BA degree with 2 years of experience, MS/MA with 0-2 years of experience, or PhD with 0 years of experience in Electrical Engineering or equivalent from accredited university

Preferred Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 5 years of experience, MS/MA with 3 years of experience, or PhD with 1 year of experience

  • Master's degree or PhD in an engineering discipline with emphasis in digital signal processing and/or communications systems theory

  • Experience building and analyzing engineering solutions with software-defined radios

  • Experience characterizing radar or radio performance at microwave frequencies

  • Familiar with radar or radio related test equipment such as spectrum analyzers, vector signal analyzers, vector signal generator, network analyzers, and software defined radios (SDRs)

  • Knowledge of digital communication systems, spread spectrum, single and multi-carrier techniques and modulation types such as QPSK, APSK and QAM

  • Experience in Matlab, Python, C++ or equivalent tools for modeling and analyzing RF communications systems

  • Digital communication theory

  • Experience with WiFi, 4G, and/or 5G communication systems

  • Understanding of electromagnetic propagation and antenna systems

  • Strong familiarity with one or more of the following: state of the art signal processing techniques, algorithm development, machine learning, and spectrum management

  • Successful research and development projects in RF/microwave communication technologies

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.

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: Engineering/Engineering Techs

Group: Disruptive Technology

Opening Date: 2020-11-20

Closing Date: 2021-02-18