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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.


PNNL’s Earth System Science Division enables energy independence and national security through leadership in earth systems science, engineering, and decision analytics. Our work focuses on solving complex problems in the dynamic Earth system. Our interdisciplinary scientists steward a breadth of efforts that encompass research on plants to groundwater science and coastal zones, to storm prediction.


Our research focuses on understanding and mitigating operational risks at the interface of human and natural environments. This includes predicting the impacts of natural hazards and extreme climate events on Earth and human systems, along with the impacts of wildfire, flooding, sea level rise and storm surges. We focus on understanding and mitigating environmental contamination and increasing the resiliency, security and sustainability of water resources. We provide geointelligence through advanced sensing and data analytics to forecast complex system behaviors and operational performance to understand human-natural systems. This includes informed decision making and enhanced community resilience, advanced monitoring, and remote sensing of environmental systems for energy and national security. It also includes developing energy systems, including geothermal energy, sustainable oil and gas production, storage and utilization, along with carbon sequestration.


Driven by a “science-to-solutions” philosophy, we provide scientific leadership and technology to enhance national security, mitigate natural hazards and optimize disaster response. In the critical areas of energy, environment, intelligence, and defense, we deliver insights and decision support through the development of tools and solutions.


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Operational Systems Engineering Group in the Earth Systems Sciences Division is seeking an intern to provide full-time, year-round technical support to a wide variety of projects through participation and collaboration with multidisciplinary engineering teams. The selected candidate will have a foundation in basic and applied engineering principles and be capable of supporting projects by executing scope related to development of functions and requirements, conceptual design and drafting, and execution of system testing and validation projects. Hands-on aptitude is preferred including a working familiarity with industrial processes, instrumentation, automation, controls, and experience using commercially available drafting and design software, as well as other field-ready scientific equipment is desirable. The successful candidate will be comfortable working with a diverse set of research staff and project tasks and possess the appropriate analytic and task management skills to contribute to the research activities. Excellent communication and technical writing skills are expected.


The selected candidate will be primarily responsible to Project Managers and Task Managers for performing assigned roles and tasks on time and within budget safely. The selected candidate will also be accountable to the Operational Systems Engineering Group Leader for general staff performance and development, operational discipline (e.g., maintaining training qualifications, procedural compliance, safe operations), and promoting cooperation and teamwork within the technical group and project teams. 


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Candidates must have received a PhD within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 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 define and articulate both objectives and outcomes of their research. 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.
  • Perform basic and applied engineering and scientific tasks and activities with oversight.
  • Cooperate with project team members and demonstrate mutual respect.
  • Contribute to portions of journal papers, reports, software, proceedings, scientific and technical products. May contribute to the development of intellectual property leading to publications, copyrights and/or patents.
  • Effective written and oral communication is required for this position as well as strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate effectively on diverse, multidisciplinary teams.
  • Work to broaden and deepen own technical knowledge and skills.
  • Lead subtasks and contributes to the production of technical reports, scientific and technical products, and journal papers in support of principle investigators and project managers.
  • Ability to develop internal and external scientific networks.
  • Establish and maintain high technical quality in work products.
  • Ability to contribute to the growth of new business development opportunities and capabilities for project and program teams.
  • Effective written and oral communication is required as well as strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate effectively on diverse, multidisciplinary teams.
  • Excellent organizational and task coordination skills.
  • Doctorate degree in chemical, electrical, or mechanical engineering or related fields
  • Exposure to cybersecurity principles
  • Hands on experience with industrial systems and controls (PLCs, SCADA, instrumentation)
  • Field engineering / troubleshooting experience a plus
  • Knowledge of potable water or wastewater systems
  • Immediate start preferred

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

The selected candidate must engage in laboratory experiments on the Richland campus several times per week. Experiments may entail significant laboratory hazards.

Additional Information

Travel may be required. Must be a US Citizen.

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.

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.