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Job #: R-00008006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Category: Research Scientist
Schedule (FT/PT): Full time
Travel Required: Yes, 10% of the time
Shift: Day
Potential for Telework: No
Clearance Required: None
Referral Eligibility: Eligible
Group: Civil

Job Description:

No two career paths will ever look the same. At Leidos, we know the most talented and diverse IT and engineering professionals will always have a multitude of career choices; your time at Leidos will be a wise investment in your career and in yourself. We welcome your perspective and ideas, in order to foster collaboration and deliver world-class solutions. We look for solutions that not only transform businesses, but change the world.

Our Civil business is helping to modernize and manage infrastructure, systems and controls, and cybersecurity for civilian agencies and commercial clients around the globe. With core competencies in information technology, energy and environment, complex logistics, and specialized engineering, we solve technical challenges and implement newfound efficiencies on a number of programs!

Protect yourself and your family, with the benefits of working for a world-class employer. When you join Leidos, you join a Fortune 500 company and one of Ethisphere Institute's "World's Most Ethical Companies"

Leidos...We strive to make the complex clear

Leidos is seeking a Research Scientist / Engineer for our NETL Pittsburgh, PA Site. The Research Scientist / Engineer will conduct research and development of cladding materials for sapphire optical fibers. These claddings are to be used in distributed temperature sensing in energy-related applications such as boiler exhaust, heat recovery steam generators, gas turbines, and solid oxide fuel cells.

Primary Responsibilities:
  • Apply MgAl2O4 and other potential claddings using a sol-gel process
  • Test the mechanical durability of claddings, including resistance to abrasion and spalling when flexed. Mechanical testing initially will include bending the fiber and observing delamination or cracking.
  • Test the resistance to chemical damage and contamination in various gas atmospheres.
  • Measure the optical performance of the cladding before and after exposures and mechanical testing.
  • Investigate the performance of other materials identified through the literature reviews.
  • Develop reel-to-reel fiber coating and manufacturing facilities for the most promising cladding candidates
  • Demonstrate cladding stability under application relevant conditions.
  • Scale up the coating process for MgAl2O4 while further exploring alternative processes for higher temperature operation including, but not limited to, porous Al2O3.
  • Upon successful test of MgAl2O4 coated sapphire fiber, further optimize coating process and benchmark temperature limitations for various process gas environments.
  • Demonstrate alternative cladding recipes for higher temperature operational ranges (greater than 1000oC).
  • Scale up the coating process for porous Al2O3 or an alternative cladding material for higher temperatures greater than 1000oC
  • The candidate will provide general R&D support to NETL-LRST Advanced Sensors staff. The candidate will participate in-group meetings to discuss current research and promote discussion with fellow researchers.


Required Qualifications:
  • A Ph.D. degree and 2 years prior relevant experience with extensive research experience in crystal growth, laser systems, fiber optics, thin films, and materials processing and characterization.
  • Comprehensive hands-on laboratory experience and a strong theoretical background in general physics, optics, and materials technology.
  • Experience with the sol-gel process required
  • Hands-on experience in optical fiber handling, polishing and fusion splicing
  • Experience in evaluation of high temperature ceramic coatings using materials science microanalysis instruments (SEM, XPS, XRD, TEM)
  • Experience in performance testing of coatings using the various techniques in conjunction with UV, visible and near-infrared spectroscopy measurements.
  • Demonstrated ability to author high quality research publications
  • This position requires extensive interface with customers and potential collaborative partners, so excellent verbal and written communication skills are a necessity.


Preferred Qualifications:
  • Familiarity with crystal fiber growth techniques like Laser Heated Pedestal Growth and/or Micro-Pulling Down is especially desirable
  • Preference for experience in a national laboratory environment or R&D industrial lab where safe working practices are paramount.
  • Familiarity with vacuum compliant systems is a plus


Position may require travel. Position may require the ability to pass and maintain a Security Clearance.

Leidos is a Fortune 500® information technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets. The company’s 31,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $10.17 billion for the fiscal year ended December 29, 2017. (NYSE: LDOS) All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.

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