Stormwater Treatment Materials Specialist - Researcher 5

Aug 30, 2023

Job ID: 357494
Location: Duluth
Job Family: Research-Researchers
Employee Class: Acad Prof and Admin

About the Job

NRRI is seeking a Stormwater Treatment Materials Specialist to join the Water Research Group. The Stormwater Treatment Materials Specialist will work closely with the Materials and Bioeconomy, Mining and Minerals, and Forestry Groups to lead research on the development and application of stormwater filter materials derived from biomass and mineral resources. They will develop standardized methodologies for filter media performance certification, including protocols for hydraulic testing and batch and column experiments. They will also perform experiments at various scales to evaluate treatment performance for removal of a wide range of contaminants, including metals, nutrients, Escherichia coli, and organic contaminants such as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances. They will set research goals and manage the day-to-day tasks of technical and temporary staff to implement research plans. The employee will serve as the primary project manager and point of contact for internal and external partners. They will also prepare, plan, and monitor project budgets under the guidance of their supervisor and assist their supervisor in development of proposals for new internally and externally funded research projects.

Job Duties:

• Development and application of standardized methodologies for stormwater filter media performance certification, including protocols for hydraulic testing and batch and column experiments.
• Specification and implementation of bench and pilot-scale testing equipment for water treatment testing.
• Data processing and interpretation, reporting, writing manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals, and contributing to proposals and patent applications.
• Training and managing students and staff to implement research activities.
• Proposing, justifying, and implementing quantitative measurement of various contaminants in water samples, including metals, nutrients, Escherichia coli, and organic contaminants such as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances.


Required Qualifications:

• PhD in Environmental Engineering or a closely related field.
• Minimum three years of relevant experience post completion of the PhD.
• Strong oral communication skills in English, as evidenced by a record of seminars and conference presentations in English (minimum three oral presentations as main presenter).
• Strong written communication skills in English, demonstrated by a publication record in peer-reviewed journals (minimum three articles as first author).
• Proven ability to work independently and as a part of a collaborative team, including collaboration with both internal and external partners.
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
• Valid US driver’s license at time of application.
• Physical ability to work long hours in the laboratory or outdoors in all weather conditions.
• Ability to lift 50 pounds.

Preferred Qualifications:

• PhD in Environmental Engineering and additional training or certification in Geology and Water Management.
• Three years of experience conducting research to assess stormwater filter media performance for contaminant removal, including laboratory batch and column tests as well as pilot- and demonstration-scale experiments.
• Experience as principal or co-principal investigator on at least one project involving collaboration with industry or agency partners.
• Eight or more peer-reviewed publications as first or second author.
• Experience working with various geomedia amendments, particularly biochar, mineral resources, and zeolites.
• Experience with sample collection and analysis for a wide variety of contaminants in water, including metals, nutrients, Escherichia coli, and poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances.
• Experience operating analytical instrumentation for water quality analyses, including ion chromatography, total organic carbon, and liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry.
• Experience managing or mentoring staff or graduate students.

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:

1. Applied Ecology and Resource Management
2. Minerals and Metallurgy
3. Materials and Bioeconomy
4. Data Collection and Delivery
5. Commercialization Services


Working at the University

At the University of Minnesota, you’ll find a flexible work environment and supportive colleagues who are interested in lifelong learning.  We prioritize work-life balance, allowing you to invest in the future of your career and in your life outside of work.

The University also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • Competitive wages, paid holidays, and generous time off
  • Continuous learning opportunities through professional training and degree-seeking programs supported by the Regents Scholarship
  • Low-cost medical, dental, and pharmacy plans
  • Healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts
  • University HSA contributions
  • Disability and employer-paid life insurance
  • Employee wellbeing program
  • Excellent retirement plans with employer contribution
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) opportunity
  • Financial counseling services 
  • Employee Assistance Program with eight sessions of counseling at no cost

Please visit the Office of Human Resources website for more information regarding benefits.

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online.  To be considered for this position, visit the UMN careers page and follow the instructions. Search for Job ID 357494. Applicants are required to complete the online application for the position and must 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.  

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

This position will remain open until filled.


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.

Strategic Initiatives