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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Physicist 3 in Richland, Washington


Protecting U.S. residents and visitors from adversaries is among our nation’s highest priorities. As enemies gain access to sophisticated technologies and materials, the threats grow more dynamic and complex—from cyber and nuclear to chemical and biological weapons of mass effect and other forms of terrorism.

The PNNL National Security Directorate mission employs our researchers, tools, and technologies to play a key role in advancing the ability to identify and secure nuclear materials, detect weapons of mass effect, manage nonproliferation treaties, secure our nation's borders, and protect critical infrastructures. PNNL’s scientific discovery and capabilities—rooted in innovative theory, methods, algorithms, and tools—are enabling stronger, more resilient technologies and systems to safeguard national security.

The Applied Radiation Detection (ARD) Group within the Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Technology (NCBT) Division at PNNL is focused on the development of technology supporting detection and imaging. Projects within the group range from highly applied projects in support of international treaties and national security to fundamental science projects in the areas of radiation imaging, novel sensor technology development, machine learning algorithms, and basic science.


We are seeking a physicist to help us wok on a variety of projects and eventually begin to develop their own research identity here at PNNL.

Ideal candidates have a mixture of electronics, broad sensor experience, programming and analytics skill, machine learning exposure and a solid understanding of science and engineering principles.

Some specific work that is currently ongoing that you can be involved in includes:

  • Design, development, and fielding of diagnostic systems for dynamics of thin films

  • Mathematical modeling and analytics for microstructural materials measurements

  • Computational methods for automation and autonomy of experimental measurement systems

  • Computer vision methods for image processing, registration, and pattern recognition

  • Contribute to our tomography work though image analysis and advanced mathematics of CT images

  • Advance theory, modeling, and analysis of phase contrast imaging and new concepts being developed at PNNL

Skills that will be helpful over your entire course of research with us are:

  • Problem-solving and design skills to solve challenging technical problems

  • Desire to stay current on developments in industry and academia

  • Collaborate with mentors to decide directions and set goals

  • Demonstrate outstanding verbal and written communication skills and the ability to work in a collaborative environment

  • Be passionate and self-motivated with good time management skills


Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA and 5+ years of relevant work experience -OR-

  • MS/MA and 3+ years of relevant work experience -OR-

  • PhD with 1+ year of relevant experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Physics, Nuclear Engineering, or fields that give excellent exposure to Computer Science, Radiation Imaging, Data Science, and Mathematics.

  • Demonstrated creativity and highly developed problem-solving skills

  • Capability of handling ambiguity and work in very matrixed work environments

  • Initiative and interpersonal skills with desire and ability to work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary team environment

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not Applicable

Additional 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 with 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.

  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance positions are Testing Designated Positions, which means that the candidate selected is subject to pre-employment and random 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 months can be demonstrated.

Testing Designated Position

This position is a Testing Designated Position (TDP). The candidate selected for this position will be subject to pre-employment and random drug testing for illegal drugs, including marijuana, consistent with the Controlled Substances Act and the PNNL Workplace Substance Abuse Program.

About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!

At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or 3-hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.

Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity

Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at .

Drug Free Workplace

PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

If you are offered employment at PNNL, you must pass a drug test prior to commencing employment. PNNL complies with federal law regarding illegal drug use. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug. If you test positive for any illegal controlled substance, including marijuana, your offer of employment will be withdrawn.

Mandatory Requirements

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.

Rockstar Rewards

Employees and their families are offered medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, health savings account, flexible spending accounts, basic life insurance, disability insurance, employee assistance program, business travel insurance, tuition assistance, supplemental parental bonding leave, surrogacy and adoption assistance, and fertility support. Employees are automatically enrolled in our company funded pension plan and may enroll in our 401k savings plan. Employees may accrue up to 120 vacation hours per year and may receive ten paid holidays per year.

  • Research Associates excluded.

**Once eligibility requirements are met.

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