Neutron Scattering Instrument Scientist

Date: Mar 27, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12626 


We are seeking a Neutron Scattering Instrument Scientist to join our team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the new VENUS (BL-10) time-of-flight neutron imaging beamline at the Spallation Neutron Source. VENUS is an innovative hyperspectral (i.e., wavelength-dependent) neutron imaging beamline, nearing its completion of construction. In addition to conventional neutron imaging and tomography, VENUS is designed for measuring Bragg edges and neutron resonances and is expected to support a broad spectrum of scientific investigations. As part of our imaging team, you will support the development of a strong user community and shape the scientific direction of the user program on VENUS More details about the instrument and its science impact can be found at:


VENUS will be a high throughput imaging instrument and will thus produce large amounts of data. Our objective is that VENUS achieves its highest potential by ensuring the following:

  1. Users are provided necessary beamline support and can achieve their experimental requirements in the allocated time
  2. Data are collected efficiently
  3. Data are processed optimally
  4. Publishable results are obtained in a timely fashion


To achieve these objectives, VENUS requires an Instrument Scientist who can both support the general user program and participate in the development of AI/ML software tools needed to achieve a high scientific throughput. Applications are thus sought from highly creative and motivated individuals with demonstrated skills/experience in hyperspectral imaging and AI/ML software development related to hyperspectral imaging. Our imaging team is composed of instrument scientists, a computational scientist, and scientific associates, who support the VENUS beamline in the Materials Engineering Group, one of four research groups in the Large Scale Structures Section of the Neutron Scattering Division. This position is ideally suited for an emerging scientist with a passion for hands-on working with neutron scattering users as local contact and in developing and growing the development of AI/ML software tools to enable the high throughput required to meet the needs of the current and future VENUS user community.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Assist users as a local contact for experimental design, data acquisition, user education as appropriate and ensure users are provided with analyzable data.
  • Lead/direct development of AI/ML software tools to enhance the performance of VENUS.
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner.
  • Pursue a high-quality personal research program using neutron hyperspectral imaging and build national and international collaborations.
  • Attract and support users of VENUS from across a broad spectrum of scientific research.
  • Champion developments in instrumentation, sample environment, and software to help maintain and further develop the performance of VENUS.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by encouraging a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in physics, chemistry, materials science/engineering, imaging science, computer science, or a related field.
  • Experience in imaging science.
  • Experience in relevant AI/ML software development.
  • Track record of collaborating with research staff at all levels within a multidisciplinary team environment solving sophisticated problems.
  • A strong record of productive and creative research proven by publications in peer reviewed journals and presentations at scientific conferences.
  • Proficiency in Python programming language.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience performing research at a neutron or synchrotron X-ray user facility.
  • Experience with time-of-flight neutron imaging measurements.
  • Demonstrated experience in relevant areas of software development and implementation such as:
    • Experience in demonstration and implementation of AI/ML-driven technology at a neutron or X-ray imaging beamline.
    • Proficiency in hyperspectral (4D) modeling, experimental demonstration/implementation of AI/ML capabilities at a user facility.
    • Proficiency in Python and deep learning frameworks (e.g., PyTorch, Tensorflow) applied to large size hyperspectral data with a minimum of 3 years of hands-on experience.
    • Hands-on experience with ML, including deep learning and neural networks.
    • Hands-on experience with hyperspectral data processing and dataset-driven ML algorithms development and demonstration using limited neutron imaging datasets.
    • Experience in developing software or scripts related to data collection, reduction, and/or analysis.
    • Experience in developing software or scripts using multiple cores and/or GPUs.
  • Experience in developing novel sample environments for imaging.
  • Track record of developing applications, techniques and/or instrumentation in imaging.


Special Requirements:

Please provide a cover letter and curriculum vitae when applying for this position. If you are selected for interview, you will be asked to submit a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation.


Physical Requirements: Work involves various physical requirements and working conditions. As such, a pre-hire physical will be required after offer.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain hardworking people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, and Employee Discounts. Relocation Assistance is available for this position.


If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: or call 1.866.963.9545.




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