Computational Instrument Scientist - Powder Diffraction Group

Date: May 27, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10653 


We are seeking a Neutron Scattering Computational Instrument Scientist who will work as a team member within the suite of neutron diffractometers at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). The suite includes the POWGEN, NOMAD and the HB-2A powder diffractometers and the WAND2 single crystal and powder diffractometer.


These instruments support a diverse science community attracting scientists from all over the world conducting world-class research in physical, chemical and materials’ sciences. More details about the instruments and their scientific impact can be found at,,  and


In this role you will emphasize developing software tools for analysis and reduction of neutron diffraction data. You will be championing software developments for the powder diffraction suite that will enable improvement of the instrument’s performance and to expand the user base.


Areas of interest include local spin correlations and dynamics in ordered and/or disordered materials, Rietveld and total scattering data analysis tools development, data mining for the large amount of datasets measured at various ORNL-hosted powder diffractometers, and automation. You will be expected to work closely with other diffraction Computational Instrument Scientists to support the power diffractometers at SNS and HFIR. Meanwhile, you will also be working closely with the software team from the Computer Science and Mathematics Division in a collaborative manner.


This position resides in the Powder Diffraction Group in the Diffraction Section, Neutron Scattering Division, Neutron Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


Successful candidates will be selected via a panel interview process.  If this position is of interest to you and you meet the basic qualifications below, please apply.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Pursue a high-quality personal research program using neutron scattering, build national, international collaborations, and publish research results in scientific journals.
  • Communicate and refine data reduction, analysis, and modeling software requirements to develop sustainable software projects for the user community.
  • Develop documentation and tutorials for data acquisition, reduction, and analysis for users.
  • Participate in instrument upgrade projects with a focus on software developments, particularly for data analysis and modeling.
  • Triage and prioritize issues and bugs reported by users.
  • Communicate software development activities to the instrument teams in the diffraction suite.
  • Attract new users, both broadly and from areas related to your own research, to expand the user community and the impact of neutron scattering.
  • Assist users as a local contact for experimental setup and data acquisition, participate in user education as appropriate, and assist users with data reduction, analysis and modeling.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Ensure an inclusive work environment for a diverse community of users, staff, postdocs, and students.
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:
  • 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 Ph.D. in Physics, Materials Science, Chemistry or related field.
  • A minimum of 1 year of related experience. (Applicants with additional years of experience are encouraged to apply and we will hire commensurate with years of experience.)


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated track record of scientific software development.
  • Experience with neutron and/or X-ray diffraction.
  • Previous beamline support experience in a neutron or X-ray user facility.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team that includes scientists and scientific/technical support personnel.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and other research scientists from both academia and/or industry.


Other Requirements:

  • Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position.
  • If you are selected for interview, you may be required to submit a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation.


About Neutron Sciences Directorate:
The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States’ highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source.  Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists.  HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation.  To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to


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 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 can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.


For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at




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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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.

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