Fire Protection Engineer

Date: May 23, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12939 



The Engineering Management Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks to hire two early- to mid-career fire protection engineers (FPE).  ORNL is the nation’s largest and most diverse science research laboratory and is a world leader in multiple applied sciences fields, such as; high-performance computing, neutron sciences, isotopes, etc.  As host to a number of world-class scientific user facilities, ORNL attracts scientists and engineers from across the globe to innovate and solve some of the nation’s most critical and complex problems.  Our fire protection engineering team partners with these researchers to provide a safe environment wherein to discover and create.  


The two open positions on the FPE team are responsible for assisting in the implementation of all technical aspects of the Fire Protection Program at ORNL. ORNL FPEs are assigned to support research, operations, and facility management activities across the campus and at associated off-site facilities. This includes missions in nuclear facilities, accelerator facilities, supercomputing facilities, and a wide range of other laboratories and structures.


The role includes using scientific and engineering principles to protect people and their environment from destructive fires which include:

  1. Analysis of fire hazards;
  2. Mitigation of fire damage by proper design, construction, arrangement and use of buildings, materials, structures, industrial processes, and transportation systems;
  3. Design, installation and maintenance of fire detection, fire suppression and communication systems; and
  4. Post-fire investigation and analysis.


These positions support the implementation of ORNL’s comprehensive fire prevention/protection program, which is designed to reduce the threat of fire and related perils to life, missions, property, and the environment, while complying with Department of Energy (DOE) requirements.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

These positions will primarily focus on providing fire protection engineering support for facilities/operations managed by UT-Battelle at the ORNL.  Duties include:

  • Designation as an FPE point-of-contact for lab operations, projects, and missions. This includes support of day-to-day operations, review of work packages, periodic facility walkdowns, and providing FPE consultations to research and development, engineering, maintenance support, construction, etc.;
  • Interpreting and assuring compliance with DOE, state, federal, and consensus standards;
  • Developing project-specific fire protection design criteria and associated specifications;
  • Performing design reviews of planned construction and building/process modifications;
  • Reviewing work packages for fire protection and life safety issues and compliance;
  • Supporting the design, installation, modification, and commissioning efforts for fire- and life safety-related systems/features;
  • Identifying risks and recommending solutions which balance compliance with research needs;
  • Performing, and/or reviewing, scheduled Fire Protection Engineering Assessments (FPEAs) and/or Fire Hazards Analyses (FHAs) in alignment with the requirements of DOE Order 420.1C;
  • Interpreting requirements and implementing associated safeguards to mitigate risk associated with the use, handling, and storage of hazardous materials;
  • Supporting ORNL’s fire barrier program and chemical inventory management program in assigned facilities;
  • Providing technical support for areas of interest beyond traditional fire protection responsibilities (e.g. nuclear safety, occupational safety, etc.);
  • Serving on support teams and special projects;
  • Assisting in the investigations of fires and preparing reports to include lessons learned and recommendations to prevent reoccurrence;
  • Supporting the Engineering Management Division Director, Fire Protection Program Manager, and Fire Protection Authority Having Jurisdiction;
  • Working with and providing technical support to the ORNL fire department; and 
  • Abiding by the Battelle Safe Conduct of Research Principles.


Basic Qualifications:

  • The successful candidate will hold a BS in Engineering or Fire Protection Engineering Technology from an ABET/ETAC accredited program and have at least two years of relevant past experience. 


Preferred Qualifications:

  • In addition to interpreting and applying prescriptive code requirements, the ideal candidate will possess the ability to develop, propose, and implement defendable risk-based decisions related to fire safety issues. 
  • The ideal candidate will understand and be able to apply the principles of the “Highly Protected Risk” concept from DOE Order 420.1C.
  • The ideal candidate will have good oral communication and technical writing skills and will be proficient with common computer software used in the office environment.
  • The ideal candidate will have a strong sense of customer support and an ability to develop and foster positive customer relationships.
  • The ideal candidate will possess the social skills necessary to have positive interactions and collaborations with peers. 
  • The ideal candidate will have experience with the fire hazards of commercial and/or research nuclear reactors, gloveboxes, and similar nuclear work environments. 
  • A P.E. license in the field of fire protection engineering is preferred.
  • Qualification as a Systems Engineer (per DOE O 426.1) is preferred.
  • Membership in the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and/or the National Fire Protection Association is preferred.  


Special Requirements:

  • Physical Requirements: This position requires passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing. This position requires the successful completion of a pre-employment physical. 
  • Visa Sponsorship: Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.
  • Q 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.




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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville