Chemical Engineer

Date: Sep 14, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11639 


We are hiring Chemical Engineers to focus on the development and support of a variety of research projects encompassing front and back end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related separation systems. This includes the use of established chemical engineering separations principles geared towards the recovery of energy critical elements from minerals and non-traditional sources. Experience with chemical processing R&D equipment ranging in size from laboratory to engineering scales is highly desired. You'll work beside other staff in the development of process flowsheets and processing equipment designs. This position resides in the Fuel Cycle Chemical Technology Group in the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division, Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Perform work in chemical process engineering, particularly material separations systems with an emphasis on chemical engineering separations techniques and mass transfer models associated with vapor-solid, vapor-liquid, liquid-liquid, and solid-liquid systems.
  • Work in the areas of unit operations and design experience with and the construction of process flow diagrams (PFD’s) and piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID’s).
  • Efforts will focus on nuclear fuel cycle chemical processing, particularly chemical conversion and separations processes pertaining to the production of engineered forms of actinide compounds used throughout the uranium fuel cycle.
  • As part of design tasking, the successful candidate will be responsible for preparation of design documents (equipment drawings and specifications).
  • Tasks will include selection and configuration of appropriate equipment, preparation of experiment and operating procedures, and preparation of training modules.
  • Effectively interact with various personnel and sponsors, both within and outside of ORNL.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements.
  • Conceptualize and design engineering test capabilities.
  • Deliver ORNL's mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace - in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A degree in Chemical Engineering is required for consideration:
    • A PhD in Chemical Engineering with experience in uranium chemical processing or chemical research including pilot-scale R&D, OR
    • A Master’s in Chemical Engineering with 2+ years of experience in uranium chemical processing or chemical research including pilot-scale R&D, OR
    • A Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering with 4+ years of experience in uranium chemical processing or chemical research including pilot-scale R&D
  • A strong grasp of the fundamentals of chemical process unit operations with emphasis on separations and chemical reaction science.
  • An understanding of fundamental chemical engineering thermodynamics.
  • The ability to work in chemical laboratory and processing environments with a high level of attention to detail and adherence to safe work practices that such activities demand.
  • Operational familiarity with chemical processing equipment at pilot or production scales.
  • The ability to conceive chemical process flowsheets.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Excellent interpersonal, presentation, and writing skills to enable effective interaction and communication with technical peers, program managers, and sponsors.
  • Organized, detail-oriented and sensitized to a nuclear safety culture.
  • 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 requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain hard-working people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.


Moving is stressful and expensive, and UT Battelle offers a wide range of relocation benefits for individuals and families to make it easier to come and work here. If you are invited to interview, please ask your Recruiter about relocating with ORNL.


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