NRRI Researcher 6: Process Mineralogist
Job ID 344428
Position open until filled.
About this position
This senior level research position is responsible for the development, planning, oversight, and execution of one or more complex research programs, integrating geological, mining, metallurgical, environmental, and economic information. The successful candidate must have significant industrial/business experience and knowledge in geology, metallurgy, applied/process mineralogy and associated mineral process chemistry and engineering, a record of leading a successful research program with attraction of funding, a record of peer-reviewed publications, a record of reports and presentations, an ability to both lead and contribute to ongoing research programs, and excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills.
The Researcher will collaborate with NRRI senior leadership to direct research activities, personnel and resources as required to achieve institute strategic objectives. This position leverages Institute policies and procedures and applies project management skills with their technical expertise to manage day-to-day research activities with minimal guidance.
- Subject Matter Expert/Principal Researcher (60%) – as key contributor to the Institute research organization, this position is responsible for the creation and execution of original, integrated, multi-disciplinary research programs in the area of geology, metallurgy, applied/process mineralogy, and associated mineral process chemistry and engineering as applied to both ferrous and non-ferrous mineral resources and consistent with the strategic research objectives of the Institute. The researcher will apply their experience and expertise in ensuring and mentoring scientific rigor in literature review, experimental design, data collection & analysis, report generation and overall responsibility for the achievement of research objectives (scope, time, and budget). Strong project management, communication and collaboration skills will be critical in reaching these objectives. The incumbent is expected to remain current in their area of expertise and contribute as a technical expert to others across the Institute and University System.
- Publications (10%) – the position is expected to generate peer-reviewed publications independently and collaboratively, internal reports, client reports, professional presentations, and outreach materials as appropriate to establish both personal and Institutional professional credibility. The researcher must exhibit strong verbal and written communication skills, particularly as related to geology, metallurgy, applied/process mineralogy, process mineralogy and associated mineral process chemistry and engineering fields of study.
- Research Funding (10%) – the position is expected to actively pursue and attract research funding, from both internal and external sources, via collaborative preparation of professional, competitive grant proposals leveraging expertise in geology, metallurgy, applied/process mineralogy, and associated mineral process chemistry and engineering. Expectations are that this position will coordinate and collaborate as needed across NRRI as well as the University of Minnesota System within defined policies and procedures to ensure that project budget, schedule and scope fulfill granting agency requirements. In addition, the position will engage with external business clients to understand their challenges and propose scientifically based solutions for consideration and potential funding.
- Operational Assistance (20%) – as an extension of the principal researcher role, the position is expected to contribute their expertise to ensuring that the geology, metallurgy, applied/process mineralogy, and associated mineral process chemistry and engineering research and service activities managed at the NRRI Coleraine site are conducted safely and appropriately with robust technical/quality control. The researcher will lead service projects when appropriate and will provide professional oversight for the Institute’s mineral characterization laboratory, specifically including XRF and XRD equipment. The researcher will review established operational policies and procedures concerning mineral processing, sample collection and testing practices which may be carried out by other technical support staff at the Coleraine site. Periodic assessment of work area layout, current/future equipment and strategic infrastructure needs, process capabilities and technical expertise will be necessary for the position to maintain awareness of Institute capability to fulfil expectations of clients and the research community. As a leader, this researcher will promote and model a robust safety and respectful work environment.
- Master’s Degree in the field (geology, metallurgy, applied/process mineralogy) and at least 5 years’ experience in geology, metallurgy, applied/process mineralogy, and associated mineral process chemistry and engineering to conduct innovative research in the field.
- Demonstrated application of expertise to solve mineral processing and product quality problems and/or to develop and optimize minerals processing and extractive metallurgy flowsheets for value added mineral recovery while considering environmental and life cycle aspects such as water conservation and pollution prevention, waste minimization, zero air emissions and energy efficiency.
- Demonstrated material characterization skills including optical microscopy of ores, metal products and materials; analysis of materials using powder x-ray diffraction methods, chemical and thermal analytical techniques and identification of potential safety and environmental hazards associated with minerals and processing techniques.
- Prior experience working in diverse teams, being able to collaborate respectfully with staff of various educational and cultural backgrounds and ability to appropriately navigate complex team dynamics.
- PhD Degree in the field of geology, metallurgy, applied/process mineralogy, and associated mineral process chemistry and engineering
- Pyrometallurgy - basic knowledge of principles and industrial applications.
- Hydrometallurgy - basic knowledge of principles and industrial applications.
- Industrial experience and knowledge of emerging technologies for crushing, grinding, screening, separation, pelletizing, smelting, recycling (i.e., dense media, gravity, flotation, etc.) of ferrous and non-ferrous mineral feedstocks.
- Spatial analysis: familiarity with geographical information systems, 3D drill hole database/modeling software and Lith geochemical software.
- Experience working with and in multidisciplinary teams.
- Evidence of other professional activities including participation in manuscript reviews/editorial duties, advisory committees, review panels, and other activities associated with the professional discipline.
- Experience recruiting, mentoring, and managing a diverse workforce.
About the Department
The Natural Resources Research Institute was established by the Minnesota legislature in 1983 as an applied science and engineering research organization to inform state citizens and decision- makers while leveraging the power of the University of Minnesota. NRRI is guided by the forward- looking charter provided by the Legislature to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment.
NRRI’s mission is to deliver integrated research solutions that value our resources, environment, and economy for a sustainable and resilient future. We are a mission-driven, project-focused team working to create opportunities for natural resource stewardship.
With industrial-scale facilities in Duluth and Coleraine, MN, NRRI works across five strategic research platforms. These platforms address Minnesota’s soil, forest, water, and mineral resources:
- Applied Ecology and Resource Management
- Minerals and Metallurgy
- Materials and Bioeconomy
- Data Collection and Delivery
- Commercialization Services
How To Apply
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This position will remain open until filled.
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