Job Overview

Summary

A career with the Forest Service will challenge you to manage and care for more than 193 million acres of our nation's most magnificent lands, conduct research through a network of forest and range experiment stations and the Forest Products Laboratory, and provide assistance to State and private forestry agencies.

It's an awesome responsibility - but the rewards are as limitless as the views.

This position is with the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory’s Engineering Composites Science Research Work Unit, and is located in Orono, ME. The selectee will be expected to use material science approaches to optimize processes, improve efficiency, and exploit opportunity for new advanced bio-based composites. The position is responsible to integrate other specialists in materials science, chemistry, biological science and engineering into a cohesive, highly focused research team.

 For additional information about the duties of this position, please contact Zhiyong Cai at (608) 231-9446 or zcai@fs.fed.us

This is a research position and is classified under the scientist career plan. Research scientists have open-ended promotion potential. Research accomplishments and their impact on the duties and responsibilities of positions are evaluated periodically. The grade level is limited only by the individual's demonstrated ability to perform research of recognized importance to science and technology. Final grade level may be determined by a peer review panel.

Applicants being considered for this research position should provide a list of publications that you have been an author, co-author, or contributor for. If providing curriculum vitae, please incorporate all resume requirements identified in the REQUIRED DOCUMENTS section of this announcement, or submit a supplemental resume which includes all information required in addition to the curriculum vitae.

This is an interdisciplinary position and may be filled in any of the job series/position titles listed. In addition to the specialized experience requirements, applicants must submit proof that they meet the educational requirements for at least one of the series described in the announcement. Applicants may only be appointed to job series/position titles for which they meet all experience and educational requirements.

The USDA Forest Service has legislative authority to recruit and fill Permanent (Career/Career-Conditional), Temporary, and Term Appointments under the USDA Demonstration Project. Under this authority, any U.S. citizen may apply.

Duties

Duties listed are at the full performance level.

Serves as the Forest Service expert on initiating, planning, and conducting advanced bio-based composites research to manufacture advanced wood-based composites and on the product performances.

Performs reviews of available literature and prioritize which studies will provide the maximum benefit from the wood resources that are sustainably available. Plans, executes, and analyzes the highest priority studies. Specifies, designs, or purchases appropriate experimental apparatus to complete these studies.

Uses material science approaches to optimize processes, improve efficiency, and exploit opportunities for new advanced bio-based composites. Initiates and follows an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach that includes a reassessment of some of the following research areas: 1.) evaluating characteristics of lignin as a residual material and relate characteristics to the process from which it was derived; 2.) characterizing the small diameter and other forest thinning materials and engineering them into forms suitable for composites; 3.) determining the effects of processing conditions on the morphology and properties of cellulose nanofibers and their composites; 4.) determining which tools and characterization techniques are best suited for evaluating the properties of composite raw materials; 5.) developing composite processing methodologies that best uses constituent materials; 6.) developing models relating materials, processing, and performance; 7.) extending fundamental knowledge of the mechanisms of wood composite failure to ensure long-term durability (i.e., fire-, decay-, insect-, creep-, fatigue-, moisture-, and UV-resistance); 8.) developing, manufacturing, performance, and design standards for wood-based composites; 9.) evaluating the physical and mechanical properties of cellulose nanocomposites, especially for use in novel and advanced applications; 10.) improving the forest sustainability and reducing environmental impacts; and 11.) exploring new applications and transfer technology.

Completes research and transfers the research results through appropriate means (i.e. publications).

Participates in professional societies, serves on committees, arranges for, or participates in major technical conferences and programs. Provides service to the public on utilizing forest resources.

Creates work schedules, assigns priorities, and provides technical guidance to personnel within the Research Work Unit (RWU), and with other research and support groups on technical aspects of research projects, and ensures their timely completion. Works with the university faculty members to provide guidance and support to students and interns.

Supervisory Status

No

Promotion Potential

14

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • Less than 10%

Relocation Authorized

  • No

Who May Apply

This job is open to…

US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.