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Fuel Performance Modeling and Uncertainty Quantification - R&D Assistant Staff Member

Date: May 25, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5913 

Description of Job: The Advanced Fuel Fabrication and Instrumentation (AFFI) Group is seeking a highly motivated individual with experience in computational simulations to support the fundamental understanding and development of high burnup nuclear fuel safety criteria. Areas of research will include assessing radiation effects and other degradation mechanisms on the Zr/UO2 fuel system, accident tolerant fuels, and other advanced fuel systems in light water reactors. Candidates should have experience in the field of finite element analysis, including model uncertainty quantification.


Major Duties/Responsibilities

The selected candidate will:

  • Support various R&D programs in the field of computational research to inform the accelerated qualification for Zr/UO2 variants, accident tolerant fuels, and other advanced fuel systems.
  • Use, develop, interact and contribute to the maintenance of computational tools used and developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and assist in the development of experiments supporting accelerated fuel qualification.
  • Leverage ORNL experimental capabilities (i.e., HFIR, SATS, hot cells, supercomputers, etc.) and unique access to commercially irradiated accident tolerant and high burnup fuels to support and advance modeling and simulation capabilities
  • Present and report research results in peer-reviewed journals, conferences, program reviews, and technical committees.
  • Meet all applicable quality assurance standards through documenting work, developing procedures, and publishing milestone reports and peer-reviewed journal articles.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.


Qualification Required


  • A Ph.D. degree in materials science or nuclear, mechanical, or chemical engineering.
  • Experience evaluating thermodynamics and kinetics of radiation damage in nuclear fuel materials.
  • Experience in conducting R&D projects in the field of finite element analysis and model uncertainty and quantification techniques.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently solve technical problems with limited supervisory oversight.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills to support regular interactions with fellow research staff, peer reviewers, and research sponsors in the preparation of reports, proposals, publications, and journal articles.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills to support team building and partnering inside and outside ORNL.
  • Excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • 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.

Preferred Qualifications:


  • Experience using finite element analysis codes such as BISON, Falcon, ANSYS, Abaqus, etc.
  • Experience using uncertainty quantification codes such as DAKOTA.
  • Experience with object-oriented programming such as C++.
  • Experience in combining experimental research and numerical modeling.




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