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Digital Hardware Engineer (Entry Level)

Date: Jun 16, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8457 


The Controls Integration Group at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) seeks a Control Systems digital designer who will focus on SNS control system infrastructure and tools. This position resides in the Controls Integration Group in the Research Accelerator Division, Neutrons Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The group is responsible for maintaining and improving fully integrated control system for SNS accelerator to deliver safe, high reliability beam to the target. Typical systems are based on PLC, VME or MicroTCA hardware integrated using the Experimental Physics and Industrial Control Systems (EPICS).


This position reports to Controls Integration group leader. The group is currently focusing on modernizing the control system environment and systems. Ongoing upgrade projects are replacing VME solutions with custom MicroTCA applications, upgrading applications towards EPICS7 and PV Access protocol, and improving control room operators experience with latest software tools.


The position will support this ongoing modernization efforts by developing FPGA digital designs based on MicroTCA platform for applications like fast-feedback control loops, distributed time synchronization, low latency fault protection, ADC and DAC applications.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Design and maintain generic VHDL building blocks for supporting custom FPGA applications on MicroTCA platform.
  • Maintain and improve 2 distributed systems critical for SNS operations: Machine Protection System and Timing System.
  • Actively collaborate with peers at the SNS and other large experimental physics facilities to share and leverage community developed solutions.
  • Working as part of a multi-discipline group, contribute towards control system architecture design and standards.
  • Perform work in accordance with SNS work control procedures and safety guidelines.
  • This position operates during typical daytime office hours, but some off-hours and weekend support is required to support the 24/7 operational needs of the SNS.
  • Ensure compliance with Environment, Safety and Health (ES&H) and QA requirements.
  • 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:


Basic Qualifications:

  • BS degree in engineering, science, physics, or related field.
  • Knowledge of one or more of the following: digital hardware designs, FPGA firmware development, highly distributed systems, time synchronization systems, signal processing algorithms.
  • Experience with one or more of the following FPGA development tools: Xilinx Vivado, VHDL, Verilog.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with diverse teams of engineers, operators, and technicians.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in electrical engineering.
  • Proficiency with hardware development tools and practices, such as version control, issue tracking, documentation.
  • Experience with MicroTCA or AdvancedTCA platforms.
  • Familiarity with PCIe bus and protocols.
  • Experience with one or more of the following data processing tools: Simulink, Matlab, LabView, Python.
  • Demonstrated presentation skills.
  • Work experience in experimental physics facility.


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


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.

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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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