Bennett Aerospace

Research Scientist

8 months ago(4/13/2017 4:02 PM)
# of Openings




About Us:


Bennett Aerospace, Inc. is located in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.  Established in 2008, we are a woman owned, veteran owned, certified 8(a) small business that provides scientific, engineering, and technical advisory services to our customers. Primarily focused on Federal Government clients in general, and the Department of Defense in particular, Bennett Aerospace provides expert guidance and advice on the full spectrum of R&D and its applications in engineering, science, medicine, and IT, as well as providing strategic programmatic support in order to meet customer goals and objectives.  Bennett Aerospace is a rapidly growing business focused on hiring and retaining the best people.


Bennett AerospaceInc. has an opening for a highly motivated Research Scientist for the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Environmental Processes Branch (EP-P) team in execution of its mission in Vicksburg, MS. The candidate will be a Bennett Aerospace employee performing services for ERDC in Vicksburg, MS.


Job Description:


The successful candidate will provide all labor and expertise needed to plan and conduct laboratory studies utilizing molecular microbiological and genomic approaches combined with traditional microbial and analytical biochemical approaches to provide a fundamental understanding of microbial processes involved in contaminant biodegradation, microbial ecology and host-microbiome interactions.  The candidate will quantify microbial community diversity and activity in various samples including microbiome samples derived from various vertebrate hosts as function physical/chemical properties and contaminant bioavailability.


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  1. Quantify soil, sediment, or groundwater microbial community structure, function and diversity.
  1. Determine soil microbial community diversity via high-throughput DNA sequencing of rRNA amplicons specific to archaea, bacteria, and micro-eukaryotes via paired-end sequencing according to the MiSeq Protocol.
  1. Employ Qiime and MR-RAST software packages for downstream multivariate analysis of sequencing data. PCA will be conducted using pairwise distances between bacterial communities (Bray–Curtis and UniFrac distances) or metagenomes (Bray–Curtis distances) to determine if sample categories contained significantly different microbial communities or metagenomes. Jackknifed beta diversity and hierarchical clustering analysis via Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean will be used to differentiate microbiome profiles.
  1. Functional gene microarrays will be used to evaluate potential soil biogeochemical and biodegradative functions.
  2. Follow study design protocols utilizing microbiological and genomic approaches.
  3. Determine contaminant biotransformation rates in soils, sediments, groundwater as function of abiotic/biotic factors and biostimulation.
  1. Biotransformation rates will be determined in microcosms that simulate the environmental conditions of the sampling sites.
  1. Stimulate soil microbial activity and contaminant biotransformation by addition of electron donors, surfactants, and NPK fertilizers. Monitor contaminant concentrations by GC/MS, HPLC, and ICPMS.
  1. Quantify microbial activity. Determine soil microbial activity measurements will focus on rates of net CO2, CH4, and N2O fluxes and net inorganic N mineralization. 
  1. Follow study design protocols utilizing analytical biochemical approaches.
  1. Quantify soil physical/chemical parameters. Plan and conduct selected chemical and physical characterizations using standard approaches to include moisture content, pH, cation exchange capacity, organic carbon (C), total nitrogen (N) and nitrate (NO3-N), ammonium (NH4-N), soil texture, contaminant concentration. Microbial biomass C and N will be determined by ATP method.
  1. Contaminant bioavailability in the various soils will be determined. Follow study design protocols traditional microbial and analytical biochemical approa
  1. Prepare reports and excel spreadsheets detailing experimental growth conditions, contaminant degradation rates, microbial identification and data reductions.
  2. Perform trouble-shooting and maintenance of laboratory equipment and instrumentation including but not limited to gas chromatograph, HPLC, gel scanners, and thermalcyclers.
  1. Maintain records of laboratory data including both laboratory notebooks and electronic media such as spreadshe Perform in data analysis using appropriate statistical packages (e.g., Excel, SigmaPlot, SigmaStat, etc).
  1. Construct experimental apparatus, accumulate data, and prepare samples for analyses.
  1. Provide all pertinent descriptive information for disposal of wastes such as soils, sediments, hazardous and radioactive materials. Maintain disposal records.
  1. Maintain inventories of waste generated and stored prior to disposal. Assure that all containers are properly labeled and properly stored.
  1. Perform data management for individual projects to include:
    1. Maintenance of laboratory and field experiment databases.
    2. Maintain maintenance and performance record for all laboratory and field equipment.
    3. Maintain records of laboratory safety inspections, including radioactive wipe.
  2. Provide one to two page status report detailing experimental growth conditions, contaminant degradation rates, microbial identification, data reduction, and problems encountered shall be generated monthly.
  3. A brief technical report (<5 pages) summarizing the results of experimental growth conditions, contaminant degradation rates, microbial identification with appendices in spreadsheets providing results obtained from all instruments utilized shall be completed at the end of the project.
  4. All results shall be defensible for peer review and shall be incorporated into peer reviewed scientific abstracts and publications.


Education and Experience:

  • Masters in microbiology
  • Knowledge, skills, and expertise to test, plan and conduct laboratory studies utilizing molecular microbiological and genomic approaches combined with traditional microbial and analytical biochemical approaches to provide a fundamental understanding of microbial processes and microbial ecology

Preferred Training and Experience:


  • Laboratory Quality Control and Quality Assurance
  • Handling of Explosives
  • Explosives Safety
  • Handling of Radioactive Materials
  • Radiation Safety
  • Chemical Safety


Travel Requirements:

  • No travel is currently projected

Medical Screening Requirements:

Must be able to complete the following in connection with the job duties and responsibilities:

  • SMA 21 screen and evaluation
  • Optional Rabies pre-exposure vaccination (as needed)
  • Auditory evaluation
  • Complete ophthalmologic exam

Security Requirements:

  • Must be able to pass a background security screening

Abilities and Skills:

  • Able to work with diverse technical and administrative teams and provide quality input and recommendations aimed at improving overall program success.
  • Must be articulate, adaptable, and able to work with a variety of research professionals in academia, government, and industry.
  • Strong intellectual interest in scientific and engineering disciplines;
  • Exceptionally Strong written and verbal English communication skills;
  • Able to initiate open discussion with internal and external customers to understand and troubleshoot problems; and
  • Excellent computer skills, including MS Word, Excel, and e-mail software. Expert in spreadsheet development, manipulation, and management.


  • Competitive market-based salary, commensurate with experience and education
  • Comprehensive benefits package available

About the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC):


The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is one of the premier engineering and scientific research organizations in the world.  As the research organization of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ERDC conducts R&D in support of the Soldier, military installations, and civil works projects (water resources, environmental missions, etc.) as well as for other federal agencies, state and municipal authorities, and with U.S. industry through innovative work agreements.  ERDC research is developing innovative solutions for a safer, better world.


ERDC labs collaborate to address R&D in four major areas:  Military Engineering; Geospatial Research and Engineering; Environmental Quality/Installations; and Civil Works/Water Resources.  ERDC has seven laboratories in four states:  Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Ill.; Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H.; Topographic Engineering Center in Alexandria, Va.; and the Coastal and Hydraulics, Geotechnical and Structures, Environmental, and Information Technology Laboratories in Vicksburg, Miss.  ERDC has a staff of approximately 2,500 federal employees and contractors, and an annual research program exceeding $1.1 billion.


ERDC R&D focuses on five primary technical areas to support the Army and the Corps:

  • Warfighter Support – geospatial information; system development; operational support; force protection; and force projection and sustainment
  • Installations – transformation; operations; and environmental issues
  • Environment – remediation and restoration; land planning, stewardship and management; threatened and endangered species; and cultural resources
  • Water Resources – infrastructure, water resources, environmental issues, and navigation; and flood control and storm damage reduction
  • Information Technology – informatics; geospatial technologies; computational services; high-performance computing applications


ERDC manages five major Department of Defense Supercomputer Resource Centers and hosts one of the centers at its Vicksburg site.  ERDC supercomputers are some of the most powerful and fastest in the world, with a capability of 1.3 quadrillion calculations per second (this capability will be enhanced to 3.5 quadrillion in June 2015).  Other unique and world-class facilities include the world’s most powerful centrifuge, blast effects facilities, physical models of river and coastal projects, endangered species laboratories, heavy vehicle simulators, hazardous waste research laboratories, frost and ice engineering facilities, and an 1800-foot coastal research pier.


Even with state-of-the art facilities and cutting edge technologies, ERDC’s most impressive asset is its people – the expertise and education of its research team allows ERDC to provide solutions to our nation’s most complex challenges.  The ERDC staff includes more than 1,020 engineers and scientists, many with advanced degrees (32% hold doctorates and 45% hold master’s degrees).  ERDC outreach and partnering efforts result in numerous cooperative R&D agreements engaging leading experts from academia, private industry, and other agencies. 


We are an Equal Opportunity Employer


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