Chemical Process Engineer

Date: Apr 1, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12801 


We are seeking a Chemical Process Engineer who will focus on the development and interpretation of gas testing experiments. This position resides in the Gas Testing Science Group in the Centrifuge Science Section, Enrichment Science and Engineering Division, Isotope Engineering and Science Directorate, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This group leads the application of machine and cascade theory to develop, execute, and interpret testing evolutions for discovery, performance evaluation, and optimization of enrichment systems.


As part of our team, you will provide research and development (R&D) support to strategically advance science and technology of prototype enrichment devices for processing both uranium-bearing and stable isotope process gases.


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. With a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people, ORNL’s decadal vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Characterize isotope enrichment centrifuges and related processes. Characterization involves assessments for optimal processing parameters, developing and analyzing approaches to mitigate chemical and physical impediments to processes, and implementing material and design goals.
  • Develop and execute complex test plans involving significant data collection and interpretation, assessment of results, and incorporation of steps for continuous improvement of processes and communication of activities to senior research staff and management.
  • Work collaboratively with coworkers and management, as well as independently, to fully document work performed in the forms of technical reports and presentations and to participate in the development of research proposals.
  • Interface with principal investigators, managers, engineers, fabricators, modelers, and operations personnel.
  • Understand and contribute to detailed formal design and instrumentation drawings, analysis plans, and fabrication plans in coordination with stakeholders.
  • Ensure compliance with Environment, Safety and Health (ES&H) and QA requirements.
  • 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 BS degree in Chemical Engineering or a related discipline and 5+ years of relevant experience 
  • A solid understanding of fundamentals of chemical process unit operations with emphasis on separations and chemical reaction science is essential, as is familiarity with and understanding of chemical engineering thermodynamics
  • Demonstrated experience working in cross-disciplined teams.
  • Demonstrated experience in process flow diagrams and equipment design
  • The ability to clearly communicate, both verbally and in writing, to sponsoring agencies, other engineers and researchers, technicians, and craftsmen
  • Active DOE Q clearance
  • The ability to work flexible hours and travel when required.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A MS degree in Chemical Engineering or a related discipline and 4+ years of relevant experience 
  • Engineer Intern (FE) certification
  • Active DOE Q clearance
  • Experience in process design, including the following:
    • System requirements generation
    • Chemical design requirements, calculations, and detailed design associated with processes or systems
    • Design principles and calculations associated with pipe sizing for specific gas flows and vacuum
    • Vacuum system design


  • 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


Special Requirements:


Visa Sponsorship:

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


 Q or L clearance: 

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 talented 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: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Pet 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.





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