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CFD Applications Engineer

Date: Sep 22, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9104 


We are seeking a staff CFD Applications Engineer, who will focus on the development and application of CFD modeling and simulation technology for the analyses of large-scale high-power thermal energy systems, including nuclear fission reactors, fusion pilot plant designs, industrial facilities, and other energy generation and storage systems. This position resides in the Thermal Hydraulics (TH) group in the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). As part of our research group, you will develop next generation thermal hydraulics simulation methods, CFD simulation methods, and models for a variety of nuclear reactor and thermal energy systems using world- leading high-performance computing platforms. Our group members work collaboratively with diverse experts across the laboratory to solve challenging and important problems related to the development, construction, and operation of fission and fusion energy technologies, other carbon-free energy technologies, and ORNL scientific facilities. Our staff is expected to perform work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules. Further, the group is expected to support a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Support integration of thermal-hydraulics and CFD simulation capabilities with other existing ORNL codes for high-fidelity multi-physics simulations of fission and fusion energy systems
  • Complete large-scale multi-phase Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) or Large Eddy Simulations (LES) simulations of reactor cores, heat exchangers, pumps, pressurizers, condensers, etc. 
  • Complete simulation verification, model validation, uncertainty quantification and documentation to optimize system and component designs for performance and safety
  • Develop best practice recommendations for application of methods generally and to specific classes of problems.
  • Work with R&D line management and other research staff to Identify opportunities for research program development, and contribute to proposals
  • Be an active member of professional organizations and contribute to the advancement of the nuclear energy data science professional communities, and
  • Lead the development of journal and conference articles and technical reports that document research results


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in nuclear, mechanical, chemical, or computational science and engineering, engineering physics, or a related field


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong fundamental understanding of the principals of fluid mechanics and heat transfer, and demonstrated experience in applying and extending CFD codes for application to nuclear or similarly complex thermal energy systems
  • Experience with open source CFD codes such as OpenFOAM or Nek5000, commercial CFD codes such as STAR-CCM+, ANSYS Workbench or COMSOL Multiphysics, and/or the Dakota or RAVEN uncertainty quantification tools
  • Experience using common CFD modeling approaches, including RANS, LES and LBM methods, and familiarity with multiphase approaches, such as Volume of Fluid (VOF), level set, or Eulerian-Eulerian dispersed phase methods
  • Experience using parallel Linux computing platforms, parallel job submission scripts, common software repository tools, and parallel visualization software
  • Background in FORTRAN, C and/or C++ applied programming and knowledge of Python, Java or other scripting languages
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


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.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

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