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Machine Design Engineer - Technical Staff Member

Date: Jun 21, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7692 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


We are seeking a Senior Machine Design Engineer who will support the Engineering Design Group within the Enrichment Science and Engineering Division (ESED), Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)


ESED serves the nation in two critical areas: advancing enrichment technologies and exploring stable isotope production and applications. The division leverages an elite staff of scientists and engineers with the world-leading capabilities of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to deliver groundbreaking advancements with a variety of applications, from national security to life-saving medical treatments.


ESED is the national steward for the research, development, and demonstration of centrifuge technology. The successful candidate will provide support for research and development using principles of Integrated Safety Management (ISM) within a division that supports multiple projects and programs.


The Engineering Design Group is tasked with the development of centrifuge components, subassemblies, and full machines in support of the strategic advancement of science and technology focused on the enrichment and processing of uranium-bearing and stable isotope compounds.


This position works within a group of peers with the goals of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, nurturing ORNL’s culture, and providing excellence and impact in enrichment science R&D. The Senior Machine Design Engineer reports to and works closely with the Engineering Design Group Leader to implement the group’s scientific vision, establish capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology, and perform R&D to advance the field of knowledge. 



Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

This position will lead activities that advance the state of the art in centrifuge design, working with development staff to turn concepts based on a combination of first principles modeling and test data into practical and cost-effective designs. The position will be responsible for communication of activities to senior research staff and management and will be responsible for understanding and contributing to detailed formal designs, testing/analysis plans, and fabrication plans in coordination with stakeholder personnel.


Desired Experience:

To be successful in this position, applicants should have experience with and future career interest in the following skills/subject areas:



  • Producing a variety of design output documents including but not limited to systems requirements documents, calculations, drawings, bills of materials, specifications, datasheets, inspection plans, assembly instructions, and test plans/procedures
  • Utilizing 3D CAD modeling and drawing software at an expert level
  • Organizing design packages and consistently applying product identification, document and drawing numbers
  • Ensuring the accuracy and informational sufficiency of drawings and other engineering documents
  • Applying drafting standards such as ASME Y14.100 and ESED drawing requirements documents
  • Interpreting and applying ASME Y14.5 for dimensional tolerances and inspection criteria
  • Performing tolerance stack-up and error analysis calculations
  • Collaborating with groups of structural and dynamic analysts to optimize the design of centrifuge components, subassemblies, and full machines
  • Applying expert knowledge of material properties and manufacturing processes to the development of mechanical designs
  • Working with Manufacturing staff (both internal to ORNL and with external suppliers) to disposition non-conformances and respond to requests for waivers/deviation
  • Working with assembly technicians and testing engineers to define and document acceptance criteria, inspection plans, and testing required to qualify machine components
  • Evaluating custom designed machine hardware and purchased components to identify attributes which are critical to performance
  • Identifying and documenting structures, systems, and components to identify items relied on for safety (IROFS)
  • Interpreting and applying AWS and ASME standards for the design and inspection of weldments
  • Designing components of vacuum systems, such as mechanical and electrical feedthroughs, weldments and sealing elements
  • Designing specialized fixtures/tooling for fabrication, inspection, and assembly


Group/Project Coordination:

  • Promoting a professional code of conduct and ethical behavior
  • Providing technical direction and trouble-shooting skills
  • Providing mentorship to junior engineers
  • Leading design and project teams
  • Providing direction to designers/drafters
  • Performing peer-review and formal design verification of design output documents
  • Conducting design reviews and acting upon requisite comments, findings, and recommendations



  • Promoting a strong security culture. This involves understanding how to produce design outputs in/with areas, computers, and communication channels which have multiple levels of security control.
  • Executing design scope on sensitive projects while maintaining excellent communication with the classification office, derivative classifiers, reviewing officials, and high-risk property management.
  • Effectively communicating the importance of protecting proprietary or sensitive information and complying with ORNL cybersecurity policies and guidelines.



  • Strictly maintaining configuration management of design outputs
  • Utilizing project data management systems, to ensure revision control and change control activities/workflows
  • Performing design activities in accordance with documented design procedures, processes instructions, and forms (e.g.: Design Control, Design Reviews, Design Verification, Requirements Management, and Change Control Procedures).
  • Utilizing verification matrices to ensure that design criteria and requirements have assigned acceptance criteria, including documented inspection plans, vendor surveillance, and criteria for the disposition of non-conformances


Basic Qualifications:

  • Requires a B.S. degree with 7 years of relevant experience in the design of complex mechanical systems or components
  • The ability to work flexible hours and travel when required.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Proven 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:

  • M.S. Degree with 5 years of relevant experience in the design of complex mechanical systems or components
  • SolidWorks Professional Certification (CSWP-Mechanical Design)
  • Licensed NCEES Professional Engineer
  • Active DOE Q Clearance
  • Relevant design experience with high-speed rotating machinery



Special Requirement:

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.

Benefits and Relocation:

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