Water Security and Resilience Scientist

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Richland, WA, United States 🇺🇸

Job Description

The Hydrology Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is seeking a candidate to provide impactful contributions to the development and evaluation of scientific and engineered solutions to research related to water security and resilience. The successful candidate will join a multidisciplinary team of engineers and scientists who focus on developing modeling and simulation techniques to understand impacts to interdependent infrastructure systems. The successful candidate will specifically be responsible for the conceptualization and development of new approaches and the utilization of existing tools to quantify water infrastructure performance relative to a wide array of vulnerabilities. The incumbent will be expected to be well versed in the fundamentals of hydrology, hydraulics and operations of controlled water infrastructure systems and have the ability to craft novel metrics to quantify performance of these systems under non-stationary, adverse conditions. This will require the candidate to be familiar with engineering design, operation, maintenance and response concepts. The successful candidate will be required to prepare manuscripts for publication and present their work both internally and externally at national conferences. 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 articulate the objectives and outcomes of their research.


The incumbent will work as a technical contributor under the guidance of senior scientists and engineers, and will be responsible for performing the following technical tasks with the level of quality, timeliness, and cost, to meet required project and client expectations:

  • Building reputation through application of scientific and engineering principles and theories, and developing technical approaches to solve challenges.
  • Effectively teaming to share resources and optimize research at the group and division level. Mentoring junior staff and students.
  • Lead experiments, design evaluations, or development of scientific and engineered solutions to assess or solve a variety of technical problems.
  • Lead portions of technical proposals, project reports, scientific and technical products, and journal papers.
  • Present at national or international forums.
  • Assist with the development of new capabilities within the group.
  • Assist and/or lead the conceptualization, development, validation of physically-based models representing infrastructure systems and interdependencies.

In addition to high-quality support for clients (both internal and external), a critical part of the position is the ability to quickly and effectively develop and demonstrate skills and abilities that will lead to growth in responsibilities and career progression.


The incumbent will be accountable to:

  • Project and/or Task Managers for performing assigned roles, following applicable project, field, and laboratory procedures, and performance of assigned tasks on time and within budget.

The Hydrology Group Manager for general staff performance and development, operational discipline (e.g., maintaining training qualifications, procedural compliance, safe operations), and project execution.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 2 years of experience; MS/MA with 0 years of experience; or PhD with 0 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in technically relevant discipline (e.g., engineering, computer science, data science, environmental science, etc.)
  • Demonstrated knowledge of water security and resilience research and familiarity with associated modeling and simulation tools.
  • Programming experience (e.g., Java, C, Python)
  • Experience in cloud deployment of physics-based software solutions

Equal Employment Opportunity

PNNL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer that is committed to hiring a diverse, talented workforce. EOE Disability/Vet/M/F/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. Staff at PNNL must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States.

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: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Scientists/Scientific Support

Group: Hydrology

Opening Date: 2017-11-30

Closing Date: 2017-12-14