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    Mendenhall Research Fellowship - Research Opportunity # 18-26. Reuse and treatment of high-salinity waters produced from hydrocarbon wells

    The Oil and Gas Waters Project of the USGS Energy Resources Program is seeking a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Scholar to research topics surrounding produced water treatment and reuse. The scholar must have a background in petroleum wastewater treatment, environmental engineering, chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, organic chemistry, petroleum chemistry, hydrology, water resources, or a related field.  The scholar will conduct mostly laboratory research, both at the USGS and with outside partners, with the opportunity to conduct field and/or modeling studies. 

    Research Topic: Develop tailored treatment methods for various geological basins or treatment levels

    Produced water geochemistry varies across the geologic basins of the United States, and it also varies across the lifetime of a production well. We seek proposals focusing on refining the treatment process for produced waters over the lifetime of a well (considering changes to geochemistry over time) and/or on creating a cost-effective uniform treatment method that can be applied across various basins, based on the variable chemistry of the water. The purpose is to offset the water demands from energy production by increasing the volumes of produced water that can be reused in some way. Identifying an easy-to-modify treatment regime may reduce cost of treatment and streamline treatment operations across the United States. Identifying an easily translatable treatment regime would allow for quick implementation of treatment plans in an area of new drilling operations.

    Proposed Duty Station: Reston, VA

    Areas of Ph.D.: Engineering, Chemistry, Hydrology, or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines but with knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).

    Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications: Research Hydrologist, Research Engineer, Research Chemist

    (This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above. However, other titles (such as Research Physical Scientist) may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources Specialist.)


    Physical/Environmental Demands:

    Work is usually performed in an office setting. The work area normally involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of offices or meeting and training rooms.

    Work involves exposure to moderate risks and discomforts, such as those due to:
    • laboratory work that includes handling and being exposed to various chemicals, fumes, flammable liquids, acids, and other laboratory materials;
    • fieldwork that includes some physical exertion such as walking over wet, rough, uneven or rocky surfaces; and bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, or similar activities;
    • adverse weather conditions, such as high winds and low or high temperatures;
    • irritating chemicals; noxious fumes; flammable liquids;
    • falling trees; hostile wildlife; poisonous insects, plants, or snakes;
    • radiation; potentially pathogenic bacteria; and/or carcinogenic materials.
    Work requires special safety precautions and/or protective clothing and equipment.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Overnight travel of 1 night per month may be required.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/547363700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.