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Analytical Chemistry Researcher

Job ID 2450 Date posted 11/30/2020

Brookhaven National Laboratory (www.bnl.gov) delivers discovery science and transformative technology to power and secure the nation’s future. Brookhaven Lab is a multidisciplinary laboratory with seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, 37 R&D 100 Awards, and more than 70 years of pioneering research. The Lab is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) operates and manages the Laboratory for DOE. BSA is a partnership between Battelle and The Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University.

Organizational Overview

Brookhaven National Laboratory possesses world-class and unique measurement technologies in the environmental sciences with applications ranging from basic science in atmospheric and terrestrial processes to environmental security. The Environmental & Climate Sciences Department has a legacy of instrument development that has situated the department favorably for playing a lead role in areas aligned with BNL’s mission and its forward leaning initiatives such as facilitating market penetration of renewable energies, building tomorrow’s smart cities, and protecting urban populations from contaminant or threat dispersion.

The Energy-Environment Measurement Technologies (EEMT) group was created within the department to coordinate several research efforts that are fundamentally based in advanced and innovative measurement technologies. The primary measurement technique that drives BNL’s contributions to the studies of dispersion in urban environments, air quality, pollutant tracking, and building infiltration is the ultrahigh-resolution perfluorocarbon tracer gas chromatograph (PFT-GC) designed, built, and operated by BNL personnel. Perfluorocarbons are safe and non-toxic materials and their concentrations in the environment are extremely low, making them ideally suited as tracer gases. BNL’s detection limit for PFTs (parts per quadrillion) is unique in the world and the technique is proprietary, providing a niche for BNL in this area of applied research and operations.

Position Description

The Environmental and Climate Sciences Department has an exciting opportunity for a scientific researcher in analytical chemistry with experience in gas chromatography and analytical analysis of gases at or near atmospheric concentration limits to conduct research in atmospheric transport of perfluorocarbon tracers (PFTs) (e.g., urban dispersion, nuclear control room habitability) and to be responsible for the operation and maintenance of our PFT gas chromatography lab and associated instrumentation (www.bnl.gov/envsci/tracer/). The successful candidate will join an experienced team to learn the PFT technology with the potential to take on a leadership role for existing programs and to then develop new areas of research and funding.    
PFT analysis has been successfully applied to simulate the release and dispersion of toxic materials in urban environments and assist in emergency response.  It is used to assess nuclear plant control rooms to ensure the safety of operators under accident conditions and evaluate indoor air quality in energy efficient buildings.  PFTs were used to track pollutants over thousands of km to better understand issues of air quality. Utilities rely on PFTs to find leaks in dielectric fluid from power transmission cables.  The successful candidate will continue building on these examples of basic capabilities and work with the group members to maintain a leadership position in urban science and energy efficiency research arenas.
The researcher will be expected to publish, present results at national and international scientific conferences, develop future directions for his/her research program, and participate in and contribute to the development and growth of the department. A potential opportunity also exists for cooperative work with DOE’s Atmopsheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) User Facility’s trace gas monitoring program (www.arm.gov). The researcher should have the ability to work well in a diverse team across cultures, language skills, and experiences in order to promote the PFT technology throughout the department and laboratory as well as with external collaborators. This position has a high level of interaction with an international and multicultural scientific community.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Use scientific expertise to support Tracer laboratory including instrument operation, maintenance and to monitor data quality
  • Conduct independent research of high scientific value in atmospheric and urban transport chemistry suitable for publication in leading journals; this may involve off-site work for field testing and campaigns.
  • Publish scientific research in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Present at national and international conferences.
  • Actively participate in and contribute to program development and other aspects of the department.
  • Support ongoing field operations by providing analysis of PFTs, visit field sites as necessary for installation, calibration, and maintenance of instruments. This may include domestic and/or foreign travel.
  • Perform field work in remote locations.
  • Work involves moderate lifting and strenuous activities.

Position Requirements

  • Ph.D. in the atmospheric sciences, analytical or environmental chemistry, or a related field
  • Knowledgeable in analytical chemistry
  • Experience with gas chromatography and fundamental knowledge of the measurement principles
  • Ability to pursue independent research
  • Demonstrated publication record in peer-reviewed journals
  • Clear and concise oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to work well in a diverse team across cultures, language skills, and experiences

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Postdoctoral experience, preferably in a related area
  • Experience with data analysis programs and QA/QC for gas chromatography at or near the limits of detection
  • Experience working on field campaigns, including measurement planning, running, and troubleshooting instruments in the field, and verifying/documenting data quality
  • Experience with other ambient trace-gas monitoring techniques
  • Competent with Microsoft Excel and macro programming
  • Proficient in LabVIEW software and/or C++, python

Environment, Safety & Health, and other information:  

  • Ability to work in tight spaces; routinely lift more than 30 pounds
  • Appointment level will be commensurate with experience and qualifications
  • Initial 2 year term appointment is subject to renewal contingent on satisfactory performance and funding

At Brookhaven National Laboratory we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. Our benefits program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Care Plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Paid Time-off and Leave Programs (vacation, holidays, sick leave, paid parental leave)
  • Lab-funded Retirement Plan
  • 401(k) Plan
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Tuition Assistance, Training and Professional Development Programs
  • Employee Fitness/Wellness & Recreation:  Gym/Basketball Courts, Weight Room, Fitness Classes, Indoor Pool, Tennis Courts, Sports Clubs/Activities (Basketball, Ping Pong, Softball, Tennis)

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer that values inclusion and diversity at our Lab.We are committed to ensuring that all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, status as a veteran, disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

BNL takes affirmative action in support of its policy and to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.We ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment.Please contact us to request accommodation.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor

Brookhaven employees are subject to restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation at the time of hire for review by Brookhaven. The full text of the Order may be found at: https://www.directives.doe.gov/directives-documents/400-series/0486.1-BOrder-a/@@images/file

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