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Lead Neutron Beamline Engineer

Date: Sep 8, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830-8050

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6353 

Level: TP04




Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking a Lead Project Engineer for the Second Target Station (STS) project. The STS is a $2 Billion, Department of Energy project to be constructed over the next decade at the ORNL Spallation Neutron Source (SNS).  The STS will provide wholly new capabilities for the study of a broad range of materials with neutron scattering and support thousands of users from the physical, materials, and applied sciences as well as industry. The science capabilities provided by the instrument suite at the STS will complement those of the two existing DOE Office of Science neutron scattering user facilities at ORNL, the First Target Station (FTS) of the SNS and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). The STS will deliver the highest peak brightness cold neutrons in the world, which together with advances in neutron optics, instrumentation, and detectors, will ensure US leadership in neutron scattering for decades to come. The STS will be capable of supporting 22 individual neutron scattering instruments (beamlines), each of which transports neutrons from the source to a shielded end station which houses a user-provided sample along with a suite of detectors. Each instrument has unique requirements and incorporates custom configurations of neutron optics, choppers, detectors, sample environment and shielding.


The STS Instrument Systems Group is responsible for the design and development of instruments for the STS Project.


A Lead Neutron Beamline (or Instrument) Engineer in STS Instrument Systems Engineering is responsible for the entire engineering design of one or more instruments. This individual will use a systems engineering approach to beamline design, and will coordinate the work of other engineers and designers in specialized engineering teams to ensure the instrument’s scientific objectives are met within the cost, schedule and scope expectations of our DOE sponsor. The Lead Instrument Engineer will work alongside a Lead Instrument Scientist who is responsible for the physics design of the instrument and for specifying the science requirements. The Lead Instrument Engineer is also responsible for overseeing the procurement and fabrication of components and beamline subsystems. Lead Instrument Engineers oversee installations and work with installation supervisors during the construction of the instrument. Beamline subsystems typically include neutron choppers, vacuum and / or pressure vessels, equipment positioning devices, personnel safety systems, neutron and biological shielding, optical components and more. A beamline’s major components are often first-of-a-kind or one-of-a-kind.


The ideal candidate will have experience as a Lead Engineer for an instrument development at a neutron scattering facility or synchrotron, or as a lead for complex large-scale projects in industry. A Lead Instrument Engineer typically, but not always, has a strong background in machine design and systems engineering.


Domestic and International travel is infrequent but required.


Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serves as a Lead Engineer for new instrument developments
  • Ensures safety and quality by following STS Instrument Systems Engineering standards and procedures
  • Provides direction to other engineers and designers to ensure engineering standards are met, and customer expectations are satisfied
  • Develops conceptual engineering designs and requirements from scientific specifications
  • Leads multidisciplinary activities to ensure project requirements are met
  • Produces drawings, specifications and other engineering documents
  • Performs engineering calculations to ensure safe designs and component performance
  • Reports progress to sponsors and management
  • Leads and participates in engineering and project reviews
  • Produces and follows cost and schedule estimates
  • Performs work efficiently to ensure project deadlines are achieved


Basic Qualifications

  • BS in Engineering (typically Mechanical Engineering; other disciplines with appropriate experience are welcome)
  • 8 or more years of experience in applicable engineering work
  • 3 or more years previous experience leading large engineering projects
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly grasp, prioritize and analyze complex technical problems
  • Experience working within and leading multidisciplinary technical teams
  • Proficiency in Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Excellent communication skills


Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous experience as a Lead Engineer for a neutron scattering instrument development
  • Experience with vacuum systems
  • Working level proficiency in Creo CAD software and Windchill Project Lifecycle Management software
  • Familiarity with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code
  • Proficient in Finite Element Analysis


Work Directions and Interfaces     

Reports to the Instrument Systems Engineering Manager. Works closely with instrument scientists, designers, instrument operations personnel, sample environment personnel, electrical engineers and conventional facilities engineers. Communicates with and coordinates the work of instrument subsystem specialized teams and the wider staff within the STS Project. Participates in and interfaces with the international neutron instrument engineering community.


Authority/Approval Levels

Authorizes the technical suitability of instrument components and systems. Initiates, manages and approves changes to the system especially with regard to impacts on safety and performance. Responsible for creating technical reports and presentations.


Measures of Effectiveness

  • Competently completes the duties of Lead Instrument Engineer
  • Successfully assures continuous improvement in the safety, reliability, and performance of instrument systems
  • Manages the configuration of neutron scattering instruments at the STS
  • Oversees timely completion of recommended/required modifications to Neutron Scattering Instruments
  • Establishes communicative and trustworthy relations
  • Successfully interacts with engineers and scientists to develop ideas into workable engineering solutions


Relocation:  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.