Bennett Aerospace

  • Research Scientist VII

    Job Locations US-MS-Vicksburg
    Posted Date 1 month ago(3/8/2018 3:24 PM)
    # of Openings
  • Overview



    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 *immediate* opening for a highly motivated and experienced Research Scientist VII to support the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Environmental Processes Branch (EP-P) Microbiology team in execution of its mission in execution of its mission in Vicksburg, MS. 


    Job Description:


    The successful candidate shall provide all labor and expertise needed to plan and conduct laboratory studies utilizing molecular microbiology and genomic approaches combined with traditional microbial and analytical biochemical approaches to manipulate and engineer non-model microbial systems that are of environmental significance. The objective of the requirements is to determine the environmental fate of microbial synthetic biology constructs. The candidate will accomplish the required tasks by:  

    1) measuring the physiological/metabolic cost to the host microorganism carrying a synthetic construct when present in a phage genome, on a plasmid or the host genome;

    2) determining the stability of the construct in the host microorganism and when present as free DNA in environmental samples;

    3) determining the likelihood for transfer of the construct to other microbial species by mechanisms of transduction (phage), transformation (DNA), or conjugation (plasmid); and

    4) measure the effects of the microorganism with the synthetic construct on the microbial diversity and activity of soil, wastewater, or groundwater communities.


    To learn more about us, please visit us at:


    Core duties and responsibilities include the following.  Other duties may be assigned

    • Clone microorganisms, phage, and yeast with synthetic plasmids, phage genomes, or DNA fragments using appropriate methods such as conjugation, electroporation or phage encapsulation. Use appropriate liquid and solid media along with gel electrophoresis and molecular approaches to screen for cloning success.
    • Quantify microbial growth and metabolic cost of synthetic construct in various microbial hosts. Follow study design protocols utilizing biochemical assays.
    • Assess loss rates of synthetic construct from the host microorganism and degradation rate of free synthetic DNA when present in environmental samples. Follow study design protocols for DNA extraction, DNA measurement, and functionality of the construct via molecular, biochemical or fluorescent assays.
    • Perform pure culture and microcosm studies with known and natural species to determine the potential for and rates of transfer of the construct (by itself and in a host) to other bacteria. Follow protocols for setting up mating experiments for phage to bacteria/yeast, two to three bacterial strains (donor and recipients or helper plus recipient), and bacteria to yeast.
    • Assess changes to microbial community composition of soils, wastewater, and groundwater in response to release of the genetically manipulated host compared to a control community. Use QIIME2 and MG-RAST software packages to determine phylogenetic diversity measures and multivariate statistical analyses.
    • Quantify microbial activity in environmental samples from Subtask 1.5 in both control and inoculated microcosms. Follow study design protocols utilizing analytical biochemical, molecular, and fluorescent approaches.
    • Prepare reports and Excel spreadsheets detailing experimental growth conditions, all quantitative data, and downstream calculations and statistics.
    • Perform trouble-shooting and maintenance of laboratory equipment and instrumentation including but not limited to gas chromatograph, HPLC, gel scanners, and thermal cyclers.
    • Perform trouble-shooting on growth of microorganisms and experimental procedures.
    • Maintain records of laboratory data including both laboratory notebooks and electronic media such as spreadsheets.
    • Perform data analysis using appropriate statistical packages (e.g., Excel, SigmaPlot, SigmaStat, etc).
    • Construct experimental apparatus, accumulate data, and prepare samples for analyses.
    • Provide all pertinent descriptive information for disposal of wastes such as soils, sediments, biohazardous, chemical, and radioactive materials. Maintain disposal records.
    • Maintain inventories of waste generated and stored prior to disposal. Assure that all containers are properly labeled and properly stored.
    • Maintain a clean and orderly laboratory environment by washing glassware, sweeping and mopping the laboratory floor, and discarding laboratory, biohazardous, and chemical waste in an appropriate manner.
    • Author one to two page status report detailing pertinent information from experimental subtasks, such as growth conditions, biochemical, molecular, and physiological assays, microbial identification, and data reduction etc., and problems encountered shall be generated monthly. A brief technical report (<5 pages) summarizing the results of experiments with appendices in spreadsheets providing results obtained from all instruments utilized shall be completed at the end of the project. All results shall be defensible for peer review and shall be incorporated into peer reviewed scientific abstracts and publications.


    Education and Experience:

    • Master’s degree in Microbiology (minimal) with 0-5 years of experience and education in the areas of genomic, genetic, and molecular biology studies.

    Preferred Training and Experience:

    • Laboratory Quality Control and Quality Assurance
    • Handling of Explosives
    • Explosives Safety
    • Handling of Radioactive Materials
    • Radiation Safety
    • Chemical Safety
    • Hazwoper or an 8 hour Hazwoper refresh training

    Travel Requirements:

    • Non local travel to attend meetings within the government and with project stakeholders may be required

    Medical Screening Requirements:


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

    • SMA 21 screen and evaluation
    • CBC with Differential screen and evaluation
    • PCBs/Pesticides exposure screen and evaluation
    • Heavy metal screen and evaluation
    • Auditory evaluation
    • Complete ophthalmologic exam

    Security Requirements:

    • Must be able to pass a background security screening
    • Must be a US Citizen with the ability to obtain a US Government security clearance

    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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