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Mechanical Engineer

Date: Mar 6, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10291 


We seek a Mechanical Engineer for the Source Development and Engineering Group in the Neutron Technologies Engineering (NTE) Section of the Neutron Technologies Division (NTD). The Neutron Technologies Division’s mission is to develop, deploy, and support critical technologies for instruments and target systems, to support operations in those areas and to execute projects in support of neutron sciences. The Mechanical Engineer will play a significant part by designing equipment for the unique challenges and acting as the subject matter expert for selected systems.


The Source Development and Engineering (SDE) group is responsible for the design, development, and operational support of the components at the Spallation Neutron Source’s first target station that convert protons into useful neutrons for scientific instruments. The first target station is the world’s highest power pulsed spallation neutron source and faces unique challenges. SDE works closely with the operations groups to develop and execute plans for operating and upgrading source systems, and addressing emergent issues found during operation.


As a Mechanical Engineer you will perform engineering design, analysis, and support on various mechanical systems related to the SNS neutron source systems, such as high-power targets and their support systems, moderator and inner reflector plug assemblies, shutter systems, proton beam windows, and remote-handling support tooling. The neutron source systems receive pulsed, high-power, high-energy proton beams and must provide different tuned pulses of neutrons to various instrument beamlines. These first-of-a-kind systems have unique design challenges, often requiring innovative solutions. You will work with operations, stakeholders, and management to develop and maintain long-term plans and carry them out by creating new designs or modifying existing ones. You will then, either directly or in conjunction with the Manufacturing group, oversee the fabrication of these items and develop any needed installation, commissioning, operation, or maintenance plans for the equipment. In this role, you will grow into a subject matter expert providing long-term direction and support for selected systems. The work will support the operation and maintainability of the Spallation Neutron Source and its continued improvement, making possible scientific discoveries by users from all over the world.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Identify the need for new and modified source system components. Develop, analyze, and support the fabrication of systems to convert them into reliable operating systems
  • Support improvement, testing, deployment, operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of assigned source subsystems.
  • Proactively work with operations to identify and ensure the timely resolution of operational issues.
  • Develop concepts to final detailed and documented designs.
  • Work with team members with different expertise to meet project goals.
  • Manage projects.
  • Produce accurate and complete technical reports and design documentation.
  • Prepare presentations for and respond to recommendations from technical design reviews and advisory committees.
  • Participate in R&D and prototyping of proposed equipment.
  • Accurately and reliably communicate technical status and performance to ORNL management.
  • Comply with ORNL environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain a solid commitment to implementing and perpetuating ORNL values and ethics.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A B.S. degree with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in an engineering field such as mechanical, aerospace, or biomedical engineering or engineering technology. A master’s degree with 3 years of relevant experience or a PhD with 0 years of experience will also be considered.
  • A firm grasp of engineering fundamentals in areas such as mechanics, fluids, heat transfer, materials, design, and fabrication and the ability and willingness to learn about the unique challenges of the Spallation Neutron Source.
  • Experience in 3-D modeling.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Must be able to function as part of a design team consisting of scientific specialists, engineers, designers, and technicians to meet project goals.
  • Ability to work independently and track commitments and deadlines.
  • Willingness to continually acquire new knowledge and skills and help others do the same.
  • Familiarity with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code and other industry standards.
  • Proficiency in creating design drawings and documentation.
  • Familiarity with Creo and Windchill.
  • Experience in analysis of components and systems using MathCAD, ANSYS, CFX, FLUENT, ABAQUS, or other standard tools.
  • Basic familiarity with coding in python, MATLAB, or other common languages and tools.
  • Experience with challenges associated with radiation and radioactive contamination.
  • Experience with cryogenic, vacuum, and hydraulic systems.
  • Experience with operating accelerator or nuclear facilities.


About Neutron Sciences Directorate:
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. Together 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 for more than 3,000 visiting scientists. HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation. To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to




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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