Environmental Microbiologist
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - Richland, WA

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Organization and Job ID

Job ID:
Directorate: Energy and Environment Directorate
Division: Earth Systems Science Division
Group: Environmental Assessment
Job Description
The Environmental Assessment Group within the Earth Systems Science Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is currently seeking an Environmental Microbiologist. The successful candidate will establish an externally funded research program and lead research teams with scientists and support staff to perform research in environmental remediation, geothermal energy research, geologic carbon sequestration and biomass conversion.
Specific business development efforts and research will include the use of a systems biology approach to develop and implement methods and tools for use in the removal of petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents, metals, and radionuclides from groundwater, soil and air, and sequestering greenhouse gases in geologic formations.

In addition growth of research projects in the area of microbial biomass conversion and microbial characterization methods is expected.

Finally, development of business initiatives and internally funded research projects are also expected.

The researcher will also be expected to mentor and supervise other research staff, graduated students and seasonal interns.

Laboratory testing and analysis will be conducted using a systems biology approach.

Analytical approaches for evaluating diverse sample matrices will include genomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, enzymology, metabolomics and metabolic modelling to understand how microorganisms respond to a variety of carbon sources in their growth environment.

Research will require experience with thermophilic and acid and alkaline resistant microbes for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to value added end products for biomass energy research.

Projects will require collaboration with multidisciplinary teams of scientists and can include experimental design, laboratory experimentation, computer simulation of conceptual processes and translation of laboratory and simulation results to field scale applications.
Technical expertise in the application of techniques in environmental and industrial microbiology to perform enzyme mining, including both elevated temperatures and low and high pH conditions, is required.

Experience with microbial reactivity of organic contaminants, metals and radionuclides in the environment is also desirable.

Key responsibilities will be to develop new contract research for PNNL, develop and lead a productive and externally funded research program in collaboration with other scientists and support staff at the Laboratory, publish peer-reviewed journal articles, and mentor junior staff and student interns.

Incumbent will establish technical leadership in the area of applied microbiology.

Project and task management responsibilities will vary based on the research project but the candidate will be responsible for developing and implementing project management plans for moderate to large projects and support scoping, scheduling and budgeting for those projects. The incumbent is expected to develop proposals for funding (both internal and external to PNNL) and within approximately one year manage between $350-500K in research funding.
Technical performance is emphasized, but the incumbent is also expected to manage moderate to large research tasks and projects, develop inter-organizational linkages both internally and externally to the Laboratory, conduct quality assurance checks, and conduct work in a safe manner.

The incumbent is accountable for:
Technical quality of laboratory and field research
Working with interdisciplinary teams
Prioritizing and handling multiple tasks and projects concurrently
Complying with PNNLs policies regarding environmental health and safety, waste management, and protection of intellectual property
Maintaining professional competence, knowledge and skills necessary to effectively complete responsibilities.
Minimum Requirements
M.S. degree in applied or industrial microbiology or related field from an accredited university (Ph.D preferred). At least 10 years of professional experience and proven ability to develop a research team and secure external funding from Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and Industry clients, lead peer review journal publications and presentation of work at national forums.

Technical Expertise:
Skilled professional. Applies, on a broad basis, existing theories, principles, and concepts to the field of environmental and industrial microbiology. Candidate must also have a competent set of interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with team members and clients.

The candidate must also have a history of contributions to peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and abstracts.

Level of Responsibility:
Fully competent in all conventional applications of knowledge common in microbiology and function of work assigned. Principle Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on projects or tasks.

Breadth of Relevant Technical Knowledge:
Proactively stays abreast of developments in industry and maintains skills consistent with state of the art experimental and computational environmental microbiology as it relates to environmental remediation, geothermal energy research, and geologic carbon sequestration, and biomass conversion. Background in environmental and industrial microbiology is also highly desired, specifically a focus on systems biology approaches for the evaluation of microbial response to a variety of carbon sources.

Experience in developing intellectual property and pursuing patents within the environmental remediation and biomass research business areas is required.

Candidate must have experience in developing and deploying technologies with national and international impact to the commercial sector.

Experience with government and non-government (i.e. industry) funding agencies is desired.
Equal Employment Opportunity
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 staff at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States.
Other Information
This position requires the ability to obtain a federal security clearance in a timely manner.

Which requires:
US 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 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 for 12 consecutive months can be demonstrated