Group Lead – Nuclear Engineering

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
January 13, 2023
Richland, WA
Job Type



Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) advances the frontiers of science and engineering. Right now, our national security mission faces a two-fold challenge: technologies on the horizon will fundamentally change the nature of great power competition and adversaries around the globe are getting more sophisticated in activities contrary to US interests.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is seeking a Leader for the Nuclear Engineering Group to provide visionary leadership and build new capabilities and sponsored programs. This position reports to the Division Director of Nuclear, Chemistry, and Biology Division within the National Security Directorate. The Group Leader will support the National Security Mission by leading and growing scientists and engineers, technical capabilities, safety envelopes, and strategic needs. We need you to help establish and guide our Nuclear Engineering Group while increasing innovation and building capability in applied nuclear engineering domains that are critical to our national security (including reactor engineering, reactor physics, nuclear safety analysis, and strategic materials production). The group leads and contributes to a diverse set of projects for the National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and other sponsors.

The NE group is currently 50+ staff with technical backgrounds in nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering and materials science. It is composed of 6 teams with technical capabilities in Core Performance, Fuels and Materials Performance, Material Production Technologies, Nuclear Safety and Analysis, Reactor Technologies, and Project Coordination and Administration. Primary technical areas where current work is focused include tritium production, stockpile stewardship support, nuclear packaging and transportation, advanced nuclear fuels, advanced nuclear reactor technologies, space and military power applications.

Success in this position will be characterized by:

+ focus on staff development and nurturing careers of recognized technical experts and future organizational leaders

+ robust recruiting, especially in nuclear engineering, physics, materials science, and data science

+ fostering analysis and development of technologies that support U.S stockpile stewardship, strategic nuclear materials production, and nuclear power applications

+ elevation of PNNL's role and recognition in the science and engineering community, including university partnerships

+ partnership with business development leaders to develop proposals that integrate and promote capabilities


Positions comprised predominantly of research management responsibilities, with significant span of control and/or delegated authority and responsibility. These positions generally manage multi-disciplinary organizations through staff leaders or subordinate managers. Management decisions impact objectives, goals and long-term success of the organization and Laboratory. Specific to the Nuclear Engineering Group:

+ As a group leader, you will supervise approximately 50 staff across technical disciplines and support staff. You will focus on staff and career development of the next-generation of leaders as well as the recruiting of high-caliber technical talent.

+ As a technical leader, you will support projects focused on nuclear engineering applications so that you know the challenges staff face to better provide insightful guidance. You will advise and influence senior leadership as it invests internal resources to position for the future.

+ As a member of a division leadership team, you will help shape and guide our strategy that defines the future of our 400+ person organization. You will partner with the other technical groups in our division to develop cohesive strategies across technical domains that meet national security challenges-specifically those on a five-year time horizon.


Minimum Qualifications:

+ BS/BA and 10 years work experience -OR-

+ MS/MA or higher and 8 years of experience

Preferred Qualifications:

+ Proven ability to execute on a vision, making it real and tangible. This includes understanding the mission landscape and the ability to bring the mission to the group.

+ Demonstrated leadership of people, in particular other leaders. Candidates must have high emotional intelligence and strong soft skills to effectively integrate across capabilities and build bridges. This includes understanding the role of scientists and engineers with the ability to nurture their careers uniquely. External to the group, the leader must influence stakeholders across the organization.

+ Experience with operational risk. This includes knowledge of information security, safe conduct of research (SCoR), and a demonstrated ability to balance safety/security with productivity.

+ Ability to effectively communicate across technical expertise and organizational cultures, translating vision and objectives for the workforce and distilling complex programs/technologies for diverse audiences

**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 [Click Here to Email Your Resumé] .

**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.

**Mandatory Requirements**

Battelle requires employees to have a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation. Applicants are required to disclose their vaccination status following a conditional offer of employment and must attest to being fully vaccinated with a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination or provide documentation of need for medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

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.

Click Here For Rockstar Rewards (

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