You are viewing a preview of this job. Log in or register to view more details about this job.

Post Masters Research Associate - Materials Scientist

Job Description


At a time when complex environmental problems are emerging on every front, the Nuclear Sciences Division's staff, capabilities, and facilities are delivering science and technology innovations for the environment, as well as for energy and national security needs. Our diverse work addresses a wide range of national and international challenges, from providing solutions that protect the health of people who must work in hazardous environments, to developing durable new materials, streamlining industrial processes for improved productivity and effectiveness, and delivering new approaches for environmental cleanup. Nuclear Sciences Division capabilities and efforts are focused in three key areas including Environmental Health and Remediation, Nuclear Regulatory, and Nuclear Energy.


The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a multi-program laboratory operated by Battelle for the U.S. DOE. The Radiological Materials (RM) group at PNNL is a world leader in development and testing of materials for immobilization of nuclear and hazardous wastes. Specific areas of noted expertise are in formulation, synthesis, and characterization of vitreous and cementitious materials. RM group is looking to hire a Post Masters with a background in materials science/chemical engineering/nuclear engineering/chemistry to help with formulation, processing and testing of ambient-temperature waste forms and vitrified waste forms to immobilize nuclear wastes. The successful candidate will be an integral member of an inter-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and technicians to primarily help with laboratory processing and testing in the areas of materials synthesis and characterization. An emphasis will be placed on developing stable waste forms in the area of ambient temperature materials synthesis and their physical and chemical properties to develop advanced cement- and glass-based waste forms capable of immobilizing nuclear wastes.
The candidate will assist in the planning of experiments, writing of test instructions, production of test samples, performance of experiments, and writing of reports and journal papers. Characterization data to be gathered, cataloged and used with respect to formulation, processing and final waste form properties testing will include rheology, calorimetry, ultrasound wave reflection techniques, chemical leaching studies, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and optical microscopy. Additional analysis methods/waste form properties would also focus on physical characterization (e.g., flexural, compressive & tensile strength, permeability, hydraulic conductivity, etc.).
  • Demonstration of good laboratory testing skills and wet chemistry skills.
  • Candidate must be familiar with standard chemical laboratory operating procedures and standard analytical techniques.
  • The candidate must be willing to learn and employ safe techniques for handling hazardous materials.
  • The candidate will be required to maintain laboratory records and to implement and follow quality assurance procedures.
  • General activities include: preparing test specimens, characterizing them, examining the data, compiling results and presenting findings at regular team meetings. The materials will be characterized with respect to formulation, processing and final properties.
  • On a broad basis, apply principles, theories and concepts of materials science and processing to develop novel, high-performance solutions to address waste management needs.
  • Independently analyze diverse and potentially inconsistent data and develops technical solutions of increased difficulty
  • Provides clear and concise written and oral presentation of data, analysis and conclusions and contribute to technical papers and proposals
  • Participate in multi-disciplinary teams often leading specific subtasks


Minimum Qualifications:
  • Candidates must have received a Master’s degree within the past 24 months or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university. 
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 required.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Master’s degree in either Materials Science & Engineering or Chemical Engineering with experience in cementitious materials.
  • Candidate must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5.
  • The candidate must have experience with good laboratory practices and skills.
  • Solid understanding of Excel, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and MS Office applications.
  • Basic understanding of Python or other programming language

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Candidate will work in various laboratories under the supervision of scientists.
  • Would need to become a Radiological Worker II to be able to conduct radioactive materials testing in radioactive designated areas.