NRRI Researcher 6: Process Mineralogist

Nov 23, 2021

NRRI Researcher 6: Process Mineralogist

Job ID 344428

Location: Duluth


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.

Job duties/Responsibilities:

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.


Required Qualifications:

  • 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.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • 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

Applications must be submitted online at this link

To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions.  You will have the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your "My Job Applications" page and uploading documents in the "My Cover Letters and Attachments" section.  

This position will remain open until filled.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).

***Smoking and chewing tobacco and the use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited on all UMD property, including indoor facilities, campus grounds and University vehicles.***


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission.  The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  To learn more about diversity at the U:

Employment Requirements

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to either attest that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or agree to comply with the University's testing requirement. To learn more please visit:

In the coming weeks the University will move from attestation to requiring all faculty and staff systemwide to submit proof of vaccination.