Postdoctoral Appointee- Chemical/environmental risk analyst

Argonne National Laboratory

Lemont, IL

Job posting number: #7079966 (Ref:410244)

Posted: June 15, 2021

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

The mission of Argonne’s Environmental Science Division (EVS) is to provide pioneering fundamental multidisciplinary research and innovative analyses to solve global to local challenges by applying our core competency in predictive environmental understanding. 

We invite interested candidates to apply for a postdoctoral appointment in chemical and environmental risk analysis, within the EVS Department of Radiological, Chemical, and Environmental Risk Analysis. The postdoctoral appointee will support multiple projects that integrate chemistry and risk assessment principles. The key aim is to promote safe stewardship and responsible innovation by assessing risks associated with byproducts, end-of-life materials, degradation products, and other substances released to the environment. An initial emphasis will be on environmental health risk modeling related to polymers, combining the transport and fate of chemical releases with predicted ecological and human exposures and effects. This research will involve identifying and applying approaches that enable the development and management of environmentally benign materials to advance the circular economy. The risk analyses will encompass the product lifecycle – spanning design and development, sourcing and manufacture, distribution and use, and ultimate disposition – with particular emphasis on post-use management, ranging from recycling to disposal in manmade and natural systems. 

In addition to working with EVS project teams, the employee will have an opportunity to work with computational scientists and engineers within and beyond the Laboratory, including Argonne’s Computing, Environment and Life Sciences Directorate; Argonne’s Physical Sciences and Engineering Directorate; and university collaborators.

Required Knowledge and Skills:

  • PhD + 0‑3 years in computational sciences, including chemistry, polymer science, chemical engineering, environmental health engineering, environmental chemistry, or a related field.
  • Knowledge of environmental chemistry, polymer chemistry, and computational modeling.
  • Knowledge of human and ecological risk analysis methods, including modeling multimedia fate and transport, assessing exposure and toxicity, and characterizing risk and uncertainty, including statistical analyses.
  • Knowledge of analytical methods and data interpretation relevant to chemical and material design and performance; emissions and releases; and associated exposures and effects.
  • Knowledge of the relationships among material composition, product performance, and after-life performance in both natural and manmade systems.
  • Ability to create high-quality modeling approaches and software.
  • Independent judgement and critical thinking.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to model Argonne’s core values of impact, safety, respect, integrity, and teamwork. 

Desirable Knowledge and Skills:

  • Knowledge of (and experience with) machine learning/deep learning, including as applied to inverse design.
  • Knowledge of cumulative risk concepts, including as applied to assessing chemical mixtures and environmental interactions.
  • Knowledge of coupled modeling, including for natural and social systems.
  • Strong collaborative skills and experience in conducting research in interdisciplinary teams.
  • Experience with developing new ideas and techniques and applying them to environmental health challenges.
  • Experience with developing and implementing research proposals.
  • Good publication record.

As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, and in accordance with our core values of impact, safety, respect, integrity and teamwork, Argonne National Laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation. In support of this commitment, Argonne encourages minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment. Argonne considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Argonne employees, and certain guest researchers and contractors, are subject to particular restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Sponsored or Affiliated Activities, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation in the application phase for review by Argonne's Legal Department.

All Argonne offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes an assessment of criminal conviction history conducted on an individualized and case-by-case basis. Please be advised that Argonne positions require upon hire (or may require in the future) for the individual be to obtain a government access authorization that involves additional background check requirements. Failure to obtain or maintain such government access authorization could result in the withdrawal of a job offer or future termination of employment.



Argonne is an equal opportunity employer, and we value diversity in our workforce. As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, Argonne National Laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation. In support of this commitment, Argonne prohibits discrimination or harassment based on an individual's age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


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