Critical Materials Specialist

Research Northern Virginia, Virginia Remote, United States


Position Description:      


Position Summary     

At AUI, we collaborate with the scientific community to plan, build, and operate cutting-edge facilities. We cultivate excellence, deliver value, enhance education, and engage the public. Our expertise focuses on continually improving research and development, user facilities, management and operations, technology incubation, and community engagement through workshop and conference planning. This Critical Materials Specialist appointment will be awarded initially for a two-year period, renewable for a third year. The location for the position will be in Northern Virginia. A remote workstation within the United States may be considered for candidates with sufficient experience, who can work independently while still communicating effectively with the team.   



What You Will Be Doing:     


Reporting to the Senior Advisor and Project Lead for the BEACONS Energy Storage Systems Campus Supply Chain Analytics effort, the individual is responsible for conducting research on critical material supply chains, with a focus on applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to modeling and analysis for materials relevant to existing and future batteries. As part of the effort, the individual will lead in the analysis of the flowsheets for critical materials relevant to batteries from extraction to processing with the aim of strengthening the domestic supply chains. The individual and efforts will aim to identify recommendations and priorities to improve market intelligence, transparency, designs, and options for maturing and deploying technologies that can result in improvements to the supply chains for batteries in important domestic applications
The ideal candidate should be familiar with modeling and analysis techniques that can be applied to the materials supply chain, have some understanding of batteries and their application in mobility and storage, and a passion for building up a capability that can help enhance the domestic supply chain of critical materials. Additional knowledge of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) is preferred but not required. The candidate will work closely with the project lead in designing and implementing the supply chain analytics effort, assist in representing AUI to funding agencies and partner organizations, analyze data, prepare manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed publications, present papers at scientific meetings, and prepare reports and presentations/ papers for group meetings. The candidate will carry out innovative and hands-on independent modeling and analysis work. The job can be fully remote or in Northern Virginia, depending on the candidate. 



Key responsibilities and duties will include, but are not limited to:     


  • Provide research that focuses on analyzing and improving the data and models relevant to the critical materials supply chains.       
  •  Analyze the flowsheets for critical materials relevant to batteries, help identify opportunities to strengthen the domestic supply chains and the market intelligence related to the supply chains.      
  • Work with the Project Lead on prioritizing ideas for improving the industry and markets.      
  •  Develop and apply analytical approaches, compile results, and prepare reports, publications, and documentation.       
  • The candidate will receive a supportive and enabling environment to develop research projects, grow research collaborations, communicate impactful research outcomes in peer-reviewed journals, and support other related projects within the team’s portfolio.     


Work Environment     

Work is mission-driven, team-oriented and typically performed in an office setting within a research or development environment.  Environmental attributes are as follows:     


  • The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those teammate encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
  • Moderate noise (i.e., business office with computers, phones, and printers, light traffic).
  • Ability to work in a confined area.
  • Ability to sit at a computer terminal for an extended period.



Who You Are:      


  • You have an Advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in science (including economic sciences) or engineering, with a focus on modeling and analysis.  If a Post-doc, the PhD degree should already be awarded, although some consideration may be given if the defense date is known.  Hiring preference is for individuals possessing excellent skills in data analytics, machine learning, and development of actionable analytical tools for business decisions, however acquired.   
  • You have a minimum of 3 years experience in the field, or possess equivalent education.  
  • While not required, experience in lithium-ion batteries and/or next generation battery chemistries, as well as experience with critical minerals and materials supply chains for batteries, are highly valued.   


Competency Summary     

  • Modeling and analysis techniques that are applicable to the critical materials supply chain
  • Experience in working with and designing machine learning and/or artificial intelligence approaches to data collection and analysis
  • Knowledge of lithium-ion batteries and/or next generation battery chemistries preferred, but not required
  • Considerable skills in written and oral communication
  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by a teammate to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee may be regularly required to stand, sit, talk, hear, reach, stoop, kneel, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer, telephone, and keyboard.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision requirements due to computer work.
  • Light to moderate lifting may be required.
  • Regular, predictable attendance is required; including quarter-driven hours as business demands dictate.

Post Offer/Pre Employment Screening      

The selected candidate must successfully pass a post-offer, pre-employment/pre-placement background check, and reference check. Failure to pass the background and reference check will disqualify the candidate from employment consideration for six months from the date of the results.     


Total Rewards:      


AUI offers a comprehensive total rewards package for this position, subject to eligibility requirements. We are committed to serving our employees and their families with an extensive and competitive compensation and benefits package that supports our employees’ overall well-being and career growth.     



AUI strives to attract and retain dedicated, highly qualified, competent, and motivated employees by offering competitive compensation and recognition for performance.     


The starting salary of this position is between $115,000-$144,500. Factors that may affect starting pay within this range may include education, experience, skills, competencies, and other qualifications of the successful candidate, as well as internal equity and labor market conditions.     



AUI’s benefits package addresses the needs of employees and their families with most benefits beginning on the first day of employment. AUI provides excellent paid time off (13 holidays, annual accrual of up to 24 vacation days and 15 sick days, additional time off for doctor/dentist visits, and 8 weeks of paid parental leave). Medical, dental, and vision plans are effective on the first day of employment. AUI’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay with no required employee contribution; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.     


Application Instructions:      


Select the “Apply” button. Please be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a cover letter describing your interest and suitability for the position     


Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:      


AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to [email protected].