Composites Engineer

Date: Sep 24, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10673 


The Centrifuge Science (CS) Section within the Enrichment Science and Engineering Division (ESED) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking a Composites Engineer for the Mechanical Systems Modeling Group (MSM). The Composites Engineer will develop analysis approaches and perform analysis on the mechanical components of enrichment devices in support of centrifuge research and development (R&D), design activities, and troubleshooting of experimental and test facilities. The Composites Engineer is also responsible for developing and executing tests to obtain both mechanical and thermal properties of composite laminate.  



ESED serves the nation in two critical areas: advancing enrichment technologies and exploring enriched stable isotope production and applications. The division leverages an elite staff of scientists and engineers with the world-leading capabilities of ORNL to deliver groundbreaking advancements with a variety of applications, from national security to life-saving medical treatments ESED is the national steward for the research, development, and demonstration of centrifuge technology. The successful candidate will provide research and development (R&D) leadership to the group that strategically advances science and technology focused on gas testing of prototype enrichment devices for processing uranium-bearing and stable isotope compounds. 

The Mechanical Systems Modeling Group applies first principles and empirical approaches to advance the physics and engineering understanding of enrichment devices using analytical methods and computational tools such as finite element analysis (FEA). The Composites Engineer will provide R&D leadership to the group in the area of composite solid mechanics modeling and conducting experimental measurements to obtain mechanical and thermal properties of composites as applied to enrichment devices for processing uranium-bearing and stable isotope compounds.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Major duties will be to perform complex analysis in the field of solid mechanics as it relates to composites for enrichment devices and technologies. The successful candidate will also be involved with developing and coordinating tests to determine mechanical and thermal properties for use in and to validate simulations. Finally, the candidate will be responsible for providing direction in detailed formal designs, test plans, test data analytics, and fabrication plans in coordination with stakeholder personnel. Additional duties include the following:

  • Independently perform complex solid mechanics analysis involving composites.
  • Develop and perform tests to determine mechanical and thermal properties of composite laminates
  • Significantly contribute to R&D, design, and experimental troubleshooting activities.
  • Publish high-quality research results in peer-reviewed open or classified journals and conferences, if authorized by the sponsoring agency.
  • Publish and present nonsensitive research in journals and conferences.
  • 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:

  • PhD degree and 2 years relevant postgraduate experience or a Master’s degree with 5 years postgraduate experience in engineering science and mechanics, mechanical engineering, physics, or a related field.
  • Experience in solid mechanics modeling, explicitly in analyzing mechanical systems for stress, strain, and vibration (natural frequencies, mode shapes, and damping), using finite element methods
  • Experience in modeling composite structures.
  • Experience in executing and understanding composite material testing techniques and the use of these tests to extract mechanical and thermal material properties.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in research and applications of strength of materials, vibrations, heat transfer, fluid-structure interaction, rotor dynamics, magnetic analysis, and materials.
  • Experience with modeling rotating equipment.
  • An understanding and experience in analyzing dynamic testing data to extract information from the collected data.
  • Experience in fabricating composite parts.
  • Excellent communication (verbal and written), strategic planning, organization, and decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrated prior leadership experience.
  • Experience with ANSYS, COMSOL, or similar FEA tools.
  • Experience with MATLAB, C++, or Python.


Special Requirements:

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q clearance from the US Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a preplacement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


About the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED):
Established in 2020, ISED is strengthening ORNL’s leadership in isotope production and enrichment technology innovation. ISED is guiding the laboratory’s pursuit of the fundamental science and technology that broadens the application of isotopes for energy, environmental, medical, and national security purposes. These efforts are made possible through the High Flux Isotope Reactor, the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center, ORNL’s other nuclear facilities, and an assemblage of world-leading scientists and engineers. Please visit for more information about ISED.

Benefits at ORNL:
UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, and fitness facilities.

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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.

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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.

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