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Neutron Activation Scientist - Senior R&D Staff

Date: Oct 9, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5220 


We are seeking a senior neutron activation scientist who will focus on developing and expanding our research portfolio for the CIMS group’s Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) laboratory. The individual should be well versed in all infrastructure, operations, and technologies associated with NAA. This position resides in the Chemical and Isotope Mass Spectrometry (CIMS) group in the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry (NAC) Section which resides in the Chemical Science Division (CSD), Physical Science Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our research team you will lead the effort to develop existing as well as new technical capabilities to perform a wide range of neutron activation routines and analyses on specimens which contain radiological constituents from environmental levels to high levels of radioactivity. You will be expected to develop novel neutron activation methodologies to improve and expand on lab capabilities. As a senior researcher, you will also lead program development efforts to grow sponsorship in the areas of nuclear fuels R&D, isotope science, nuclear forensics, and NAA.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and grow the CIMS group’s NAA capabilities and technologies to support detailed chemical characterizations in a wide variety of environmental and nuclear matrices, nuclear fuel cycle and isotope research and development, and production of nuclear surrogate materials for forensic applications.
  • Participate in the development of laboratory capabilities and infrastructure and novel analytical methodologies. 
  • Write proposals and grow sponsor base.
  • Synergistic interactions with other NAA scientists as well as a variety of subject matter experts working in DOE’s scientific communities involved in neutron activation science and technologies.
  • Obtain and maintain all ORNL training requirements for Advanced Radiological Worker qualification to enable performing analytical work in a reactor nuclear facility.
  • Perform all duties while adhering to applicable radiological guidelines and procedures for conducting work within smear clean and C-zone laboratories, open and closed port glove boxes, and shielded hot cells.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in Chemistry, Radiochemistry, Nuclear Engineering, Physics or a related discipline with a minimum of 6 years of experience


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong publication record in the field of neutron activation
  • Expert level knowledge in the theory and application of neutron activation across a wide variety of scientific disciplines.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory. 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.



Special Requirements

Three letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to  Please include the title of the position in the subject line.


This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.


This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain an HSPD-12 PIV badge.  


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.



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