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Senior Scientist, Research & Development (R&D) Department, Field Research Laboratory (Anaheim)

  • Orange County Water District
  • 07/03/19
  • Fountain Valley, CA
  • 92708
  • $91,667 - $114,583 / Yearly
  • Full-Time
A Senior Scientist position is available beginning September 2019 in the Research and Development (R&D) Department of the Orange County Water District (OCWD). The Senior Scientist position is the second level of a three-level research scientist series and is responsible for designing and executing complex experimental protocols with minimal supervision.

The mission of the R&D Department is to conduct applied research that supports OCWDs operational, regulatory, and water quality objectives through innovation, technology evaluation, development of new or improved processes and methods, and collaboration with universities and topic experts. R&D Department efforts relate to evaluation and process optimization of the OCWD Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) and OCWDs groundwater recharge operations. The Field Research Laboratory (FRL) is part of the R&D Department and is located in Anaheim near the groundwater recharge operations and OCWDs Field Headquarters (FHQ). Other R&D staff are located at OCWDs Fountain Valley headquarters where the AWPF is located (potable reuse treatment facility).

R&D scientists at FRL focus principally on enhancement of groundwater recharge, with respect to both quantity and quality of water, and to a more limited extent (currently), research related to OCWDs constructed wetlands treatment of Santa Ana River water. Past and current activities have included recharge pond sediment and water quality sampling, evaluations of monitoring and treatment technologies, instrumentation testing, and controlled laboratory studies, which are either fully in-house or in collaboration with universities and outside experts. Specific current FRL projects include: bench and pilot-scale groundwater treatment for PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated substances); soil column study to evaluate basin clogging during recharge of advanced treated recycled water; evaluation of fiber optic distributed temperature sensing (FODTS) for high-resolution measurement of basin percolation rates; performance assessment of a demonstration-scale engineered riverbed filtration system for total suspended solids (TSS) removal; quagga mussel control study using chemical additive to imported water supplies; as well as coordination for various studies led by outside researchers in which OCWD is a host site, e.g., evaluation of constructed wetland open water treatment cells. The Senior Scientist may support these projects and/or lead new projects.
The Senior Scientist will carry out applied research related to recharge optimization in collaboration with staff colleagues, the R&D Department Director, and outside partners. FRL is currently staffed by one full-time R&D Scientist, one Postdoctoral Research Associate, and two student interns. Coordination with other OCWD departments is critical, including the Recharge Operations, Planning, Hydrogeology, Engineering, and Water Quality Departments, as these staff help identify research needs and interpret study findings.
The Senior Scientist will be responsible for conducting field, office, and laboratory work, design and implementation of experiments, and managing project/task timelines and deliverables. Additional responsibilities include preparation of project reports and journal publications; presenting at conferences and internal meetings; identification and pursuit of grant funding; and assigning and coordinating tasks completed by interns.

The Senior Scientist is expected to build and maintain a professional network of researchers, experts, and collaborators to support and grow District knowledge of relevant groundwater recharge and treatment-related topics, and to assist in the development of FRL mission and management of overall FRL projects and activities.

Application Deadline: July 19, 2019
Preferred Start Date: September/October 2019

Applicants must provide a rsum, a cover letter, and the names, emails, and phone numbers of three references. Please also submit a technical writing sample (at least 2 pages) for which you are the primary author, such as a report or publication.


Applicants should have excellent communication skills (presenting and writing) and organizational skills; strong quantitative skills; the ability to work both independently and within collaborative teams; experience designing and conducting scientific studies and experiments; knowledge regarding water reuse, advanced treatment, and groundwater remediation (e.g., membranes, granular activated carbon, ion exchange, etc.); knowledge of theory, practices, and methods used in the chemical, physical, and microbial analysis and testing of water; knowledge of safe laboratory and pilot treatment operating practices and procedures; the ability to prepare clear and concise written project reports and publications.

A PhD is preferred, and a Masters degree is required, in engineering or science such as Environmental Engineering, Geosciences, or a related discipline, with 5+ years of work and/or research experience beyond the PhD or 10+ years beyond the MS degree. Incumbent should have experience independently managing own or others projects. Specific experience with design of experimental test plans, field work/sampling, collaborative research in multi-institution teams, proposal writing, and/or grant award management/reporting is highly favorable.

M-F (8am 5pm)

You must submit an OCWD online employment application to be considered.
Please visit to complete an application.
A valid California drivers license and proof of automobile insurance is required.
Applications will be accepted until a sufficient number apply. EOE

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