Senior Explosives Chemist


Are you:

... interested in making critical contributions to critical challenges?

… passionate about applying your Chemistry knowledge and experience toward solving the country's toughest national security challenges?

... searching for an engaging career with an employer that prioritizes innovation and collaboration?

If so, we would like to hear from you. We are seeking a Senior Chemist with the initiative to lead a diverse set of energetic materials investigations. You should possess significant experience in energetic materials detection, characterization, and formulation that can be applied to advancing these research and development initiatives.

Be a part of a diverse team of scientists at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). APL is a national leader in scientific research and development, and provides our nation with cutting-edge solutions to solve critical challenges of national importance.

Job Summary:

In this role, you will develop and support research projects and new initiatives for several government sponsors geared towards detecting explosive materials and preventing their use for illicit purposes. You will be help to lead a core technical team and research program focused on developing novel solutions for difficult challenges in energetics detection and defeat. Additionally, you will support ongoing efforts in the areas of chemical test and evaluation and analytical analysis.

Duties (Listed in order of importance with the estimated amount of time spent at each task):

  • Support research and proposal activities (25%)
  • Perform various material characterization studies (25%)
  • Develop test articles and materials for detector evaluation (15%)
  • Manage and/or support testing events (15%)
  • Support various other analytical and materials characterization tasking (10%)
  • Assist in the preparation of reports and presentations to sponsors (10%)

Note: This job summary and listing of duties is for the purpose of describing the position and its essential functions at time of hire and may change over time.

Required Qualifications:

MS in chemistry or related discipline with a minimum of 5 years of experience in energetic materials including work in analytical, physical, or organic chemistry or related fields; demonstrated experience in proposing and executing original chemical research, expertise in multiple analytical techniques for analysis and characterization of chemicals, including spectroscopic methods (e.g, Raman, IR, laser-based), mass spectrometry (e.g., AMS, GCMS, LCMS), and chemical separations (e.g., IC, GC, LC, IMS); demonstrated expertise in detection and analysis of chemicals relevant to homeland security applications; US citizenship and ability to obtain a Department of Defense security clearance.

Desired Qualifications:

PhD in chemistry or related discipline with experience in energetic materials analysis/characterization, including dielectric property measurements, x-ray properties, basic synthesis and formulation; experience in building, designing, and evaluating chemical detection systems; active or current DoD security clearance.

Special Working Conditions: Occasional travel (local and non-local, CONUS), occasional closed room work (report preparation).

Security: Applicant selected will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.

Benefits: APL offers a comprehensive benefits package including a liberal vacation plan, a matching retirement program, significant educational assistance, a scholarship tuition program for staff with dependents, and competitive salaries commensurate with skills and experience. For more information about our organization, please visit our web site at

Equal Employment Opportunity: Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972, as well as other applicable laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

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