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Irradiation Experiments Engineer

Date: Jul 31, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8377 

Oak Ridge National Lab is seeking an Irradiation Experiments Engineer who will focus on the design of targets for irradiation – principally in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) – for the purposes of producing radioisotopes. Supporting the largest radioisotope production and research portfolio within the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science for Isotope R&D and Production, as well as extensive isotope production programs for the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy and National Nuclear Safety Administration, this position will grant you the opportunity to work with rare nuclear materials, and the unique facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), including the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC).


This position resides in the Target Design, Analysis, and Qualification (TDAQ) group in the Radioisotope Science and Technology Division, Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate. The TDAQ group enables the production of a variety of important medical, scientific, and industrial radioisotopes. These include several alpha/beta emitting radioisotopes either deployed or under clinical trial for treatment of cancer (e.g., Ac-225, Ac-227,Ra-224/Pb-212, and W-188); heavy actinides Bk-249, Es-254, and Fm-257 for fundamental chemistry research and new element discovery; Cf-252 for neutron emitting applications; for space exploration; and Ni-63 and Pm-147 for industrial applications. 


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Translate conceptual designs for irradiation targets into detailed mechanical designs compatible with loading into the HFIR.
  • Lead engineering calculations evaluating the performance of targets during irradiation and confirming performance is within the safety basis of the HFIR.
  • Lead research and development on alternative target designs, including alternative material matrices for pressed cermet pellets, complex geometries of pellets, novel encapsulation methodologies, and other innovations utilizing advanced manufacturing.
  • Develop relationships with other subject matter experts at ORNL, national laboratories, other government agencies, universities, and private industry to develop collaborative proposals for advancing target design, analysis, and fabrication.
  • Maintain detailed records relating to the qualificaftion of targets for irradiation and sign off on experimental authorization basis documents.
  • Provide imaginative, thorough engineering solutions to a wide range of complex, ambiguous, and/or difficult problems.
  • Serve in professional societies and standards development committees
  • 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:

  • A Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Materials Science, or similar field, and a minimum of four years of related experience is required. Work towards an advanced degree with relevant research may be applied towards this experience requirement
  • Experience with solid modeling and finite element analysis codes
  • An understanding of the behavior of materials during neutron irradiation


 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in a production and operations environment, with strong quality control over analysis and fabrication.
  • An understanding of traditional and advanced fabrication methods

Special Requirements:

Export controlled


About the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED):
Established in 2020, the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate is strengthening Oak Ridge National Laboratory's leadership in isotope production and enrichment technology innovation. ISED is guiding the Lab's pursuit of the fundamental science and technology that broadens the application of isotopes for energy, environmental, medical, and national security purposes. These efforts are made possible through the High Flux Isotope Reactor, the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center, ORNL's other nuclear facilities, and an assemblage of world-leading scientists and engineers.  Please visit for more information about ISED.

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.
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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.

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