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Advanced Reactor Control Systems, R&D Assistant Staff Member

Date: Jun 1, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4498 


The Modern Nuclear Instrumentation and Controls (MNIC) Group within the Advanced Reactor Engineering and Development (ARED) Section, Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle (NEFC) Division, Fusion and Fission Energy and Science (FFES) Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking exceptional candidates for a full-time R&D Assistant/Associate Staff Member position.


As part of the MNIC Group’s diverse research portfolio, the selected candidate is expected to provide support on advanced control system research, development and design activities, primarily focusing on the Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR). TCR aims to demonstrate a revolutionary approach to deploying new nuclear power systems. By building and operating an additively manufactured microreactor, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory program will explore solutions to the high costs and lengthy deployment timelines that threaten the future of nuclear energy—the country’s largest source of carbon-free energy.


Specifically, this position will provide technical expertise in conceptualizing and designing hierarchical supervisory control systems that will establish the path forward for the design of semi-autonomous, and ultimately, autonomous control systems to enable significant staffing reduction in advanced nuclear systems.


Major Roles and Responsibilities

  • Support the design activities for the TCR control system
  • Maintain the requirements and specifications of the TCR I&C system and all associated interfaces
  • Support the development activities for the TCR supervisory control system
  • Conduct research and development on advanced control schemes for nuclear systems
  • Document work conducted in the form of high-quality technical reports to meet project deliverables
  • Publish and present research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conferences
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong commitment to scholarly values and ethics


Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, engineering physics or a closely related field
  • Experience in conventional control system design techniques
  • Experience in state-space control system design techniques
  • Experience in finite state machine (FSM) and Petri Net modeling


This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.


Desired Qualifications

  • Knowledge and record of publication on model-predictive control for complex systems
  • Understanding of robust control techniques and H control
  • Working knowledge of software tools for control system design, such as MATLAB, Simulink and applicable toolboxes
  • Programming skills in high-level interpreted programming languages, such as Python
  • Programming skills in general-purpose programming languages, such as C, C++ and Fortran
  • Strong scholarly record that demonstrates independence and initiative taking
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal, presentation and scientific writing) that enable effective interaction with technical peers, program managers and sponsors
  • Ability to function in a diverse team environment


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville