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Instrument Design Engineer

Date: Jan 6, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6866 


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. Located along the rivers and ridges of the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, 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. HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation. To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL, go to: 


Job Description: 

Design engineers with an interest in designing systems that will have high impact to research in materials science, biology, chemistry and physics are encouraged to apply to this position within the Neutron Technologies Division (NTD) Instrument Engineering Group. Join a creative team of scientists and engineers from around the globe. Highly motivated individuals are sought for work in a collaborative team environment.


In this group, you will have the opportunity to design, procure, and oversee installation and commissioning of new instruments and upgrades to existing instruments, including the design of one-of-a-kind and first-of-a-kind components and systems.  Typical instrument components include vacuum and / or pressure vessels, equipment positioning devices, personnel safety systems, neutron and biological shielding, optical components and more.


The job involves:

  • performing engineering design and analysis on a wide variety of mechanical systems from simple assemblies to highly complex systems that support new instrument developments and upgrades to existing instruments at SNS and HFIR
  • overseeing fabrication and procurement of components and systems
  • planning and supervising validation testing
  • overseeing the installation of components and systems
  • participating in work planning and evaluation activities

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop concepts to final detailed and documented designs for SNS and HFIR
  • Provide direction to designers to ensure engineering standards are met, and customer expectations are satisfied
  • Support testing and development activities
  • Work effectively with a diverse set of team members to meet project goals
  • Lead multidisciplinary activities to ensure project requirements are met
  • Produce accurate and concise technical reports and design documentation
  • Prepare presentations for technical design reviews and advisory committees
  • Participate in R&D activities and prototyping of proposed new equipment
  • Produce and follow cost and schedule estimates
  • Accurately and reliably communicate technical status and performance to ORNL management
  • Comply with ORNL environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of ORNL values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • BS in engineering or engineering science and 5+ years in applicable engineering design experience is required or an equivalent combination of education and experience. 
  • Must have sound educational basis for engineering design
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly grasp complex technical problems, and ability to technically analyze and communicate engineering problems and to propose potential solutions
  • Experience in Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Experience working within multidisciplinary technical teams


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • We are seeking candidates with a positive attitude and ability to function as a quality team member within a design team consisting of scientific specialists, engineers and designers to meet project cost and schedule goals.


Work Direction and Interface:

Position reports to the Instrument Engineering Group Leader. Provides work direction to CAD designers and operating technicians. Coordinates activities with personnel at all levels within Instrument Engineering and other groups in NScD. Participates in and interfaces with the International Neutron Instrument Engineering community.


Authority and Approval Levels:  Provides work direction to CAD design staff and operating technicians. Issues and approves design packages and resolves technical fabrication issues with vendors.


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.

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.

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