Subsurface (Earth) Scientist

Subsurface (Earth) Scientist

Job Description

The Hydrology Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory develops resilient and sustainable solutions for complex, national and global scale challenges in energy and water systems using advanced computational modeling, sensor development and deployment, and novel geospatial and data analytics. We seek subsurface scientists who are able to conduct research in support of existing and emerging federally-funded programs focused on characterization, initiation, and control in subsurface environments. This include primary application areas of environmental management and remediation, but also includes subsurface energy systems. The successful candidates will be responsible for conceptual model development, participate in logging and field testing programs, and incorporate geo-based knowledge into existing PNNL multiphase flow and reservoir simulators. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated experience in the development of new multiphase flow and reactive transport simulation techniques to represent engineered controls on subsurface processes and the natural and engineered stresses associated with those processes. 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 collaborating with 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:

  • Developing new state-of-the-art technologies and technical approaches to advance high-impact science that raise PNNL’s visibility and reputation.
  • Collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers.
  • Influencing the direction of PNNL’s overall strategies in the areas of subsurface environmental remediation.
  • Understanding the regulatory conditions that govern subsurface activity and devising novel techniques for communicating the results of those activities to the regulatory community.
  • Working with members of technical and management teams to lead proposals.
  • Leadership and mentoring of a team of early-career and senior scientists in the conduct of laboratory and field-based research projects.
  • Publication of key scientific findings in high-impact peer-reviewed journals as well as presentation of scientific work at professional conferences.
  • Participation in professional societies at the regional and national level.
  • Compliance with PNNL’s policies regarding environmental health and safety, waste management, and protection of intellectual property

Minimum Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 5 years of experience
  • MS/MA with 3 years of experience
  • PhD with 1 year of experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in technically relevant discipline (e.g., hydrology, water resources, or related) with experience in conceptual and computational modeling.
  • Experience in multiple subsurface flow and solute transport models (e.g., eSTOMP, PFLOTRAN, CrunchFlow, HydroGeoSphere, MIN3P, RT3D, PHREEQC).
  • Experience in post-processing tools (e.g., Tecplot, Paraview)
  • Fluency in one or more programming and scripting languages (e.g., FORTRAN, PYTHON, R)
  • Fluency with LINUX operating system
  • Experience in High Performance Computing and the parallel computing paradigms (e.g., OpenMP, MPI)
  • Field experience and familiarity with soil chemical and physical tests.
  • Experience working in an inter-disciplinary team.
  • Demonstrated success of articulating research through publications, particularly in top-tier journals.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at 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 BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

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