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Research Project Description

Graduate Student and/or Faculty – Geological and
U.S. Department of Energy, NETL
National Energy and Technology Laboratory
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Pittsburgh, PA

NETL-Grad Student or Faculty-Geological and Environmental Sciences

Project Description:

Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) this posting seeks motivated graduate students currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program, and/or faculty researchers who currently hold a full-time position at a degree-granting research institution, interested in researching as part of geologic and environmental sciences focus area research team at NETL. NETL is a multi-disciplinary, scientific and technical-oriented national laboratory. NETL’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) conducts research to evaluate environmental impacts and risk assessments associated with domestic energy resource development. 

As the development of shale gas resources continues to expand across the United States, public knowledge of the behavior and fate of chemicals associated with the hydraulic fracturing process remains limited. There is a need for development of analytical techniques for detection and quantification of organic-based frac chemicals in various fluid media (produced waters; surface waters; groundwater), and for identifying products from reactions that occur in the shale reservoir, or at surface conditions. The unconventional resources team is looking to recruit individuals who are able to perform laboratory-based studies and analyses of organic chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing of shales.

Graduate student applicants for this position must demonstrate knowledge of and have experience with chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing of gas shales, demonstrate an ability to perform chemical analyses, and process data associated with experimental studies with frac chemicals. Suitable degree programs include chemistry, geoscience, or engineering-based programs.

Faculty applicants for this position must demonstrate knowledge of and have experience with principles associated with environmental organic chemistry, chemical transformations in natural systems, and analytical techniques for identifying concentrations and structures of organic chemicals. Access to equipment, such as GC-MS and LC-MS-MS-MS instruments, would complement existing capabilities at the NETL-Pittsburgh facility.

For both Graduate student and Faculty applicants, familiarity with Geochemistry, Geology, Chemistry, and Oil & Gas Operations would be beneficial.


  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or approved Foreign Nationals
  • Suitable for this position, as determined by background investigation.
  • Graduate student applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate program at a degree-granting institution, with an ability to travel to the NETL-Pittsburgh facility to participate in on-site research
  • Faculty applicants must have a current position at a degree-granting institution and hold a PhD, with an ability to travel to the NETL-Pittsburgh facility to participate in on-site research

How to Apply:

Applicants should apply through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) program.  The ORISE Program provides opportunities for undergraduate students, recent graduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty researchers.  NETL utilizes the ORISE program to support research and work within NETL’s Office of Research & Development. 

Interested applicants should complete the online application at

  • In the online application list Alexandra Hakala as your requested mentor.  This will associate your application with this job posting.
  • If you have additional questions please contact Nancy Andres, Nancy.Andres@NETL.DOE.GOV, who is the NETL ORISE program contact.