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Neutron Scattering Instrument Scientist

Date: Jan 11, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9836 


The Large Scale Structures Section of the Neutron Scattering Division has a need for a Neutron Scattering Scientist with a focus in modeling-enhanced approaches to neutron diffraction and imaging. Applications are sought from highly creative and motivated individuals with demonstrated skills/experience in neutron diffraction, neutron transmission and software development to join the instrument scientists and computational scientists who support the instrument suite in the Materials Engineering Group, which is one of four research groups in the Large Scale Structure Section. Persons interested in developing neutron diffraction and transmission models to aid in the prediction, reduction and analysis of experimental data are strongly encouraged to apply.  


In this position, you will emphasize developing software that enables users of the neutron scattering instruments and the staff that support them to model, reduce, and analyze their data.  In addition to developing workflows for streamlining common tasks, you will have the opportunity to engage with users and staff to develop new ways for working with their data that enable them to translate their measurements more effectively into knowledge.  You will also pursue your own scientific interests using the neutron scattering instruments at the High-Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). Initially you will work at least 50% of your time as an instrument scientist on HFIR’s Neutron Imaging Facility acquiring experimental expertise that will guide future computational developments. 


Major Duties/Responsibilities:   

  • Support the Neutron Imaging instrument team at HFIR as instrument scientist, fulfilling local contact assignments, and providing hands-on support for neutron imaging experiments with external users. 

  •  Work with members of the Materials Engineering Group, Large Scale Structures Section, and the Neutron Scattering Division to develop software tools that model microstructure, strain, and texture, incorporating refinable parameters for fitting to experimental neutron scattering data across a range of instruments at HFIR and SNS: 

  • Work with staff to define requirements for software for data reduction, analysis, and modeling; refine the requirements and work closely with software engineers to realize new ideas as sustainable software products for the user community. 

  • Develop documentation and tutorials for data acquisition, reduction, and analysis for users. 

  • Participate in future instrument projects by incorporating requirements for software for data reduction, analysis, and modeling. 

  • Pursue a high-quality personal research program based on neutron transmission and neutron diffraction, which includes building national and international collaborations, and publishing research results in scientific journals. 

  • Ensure an inclusive work environment for a diverse community of users, staff, postdocs, and students. 

  • Comply with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements. 

  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct.  Our full code of conduct and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:  

  • Complete all required training, including radiological training. 


Basic Qualifications: 

  • Ph.D. in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering, or a related field. 

  • A strong record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer reviewed journals and presentations at scientific conferences. 

  • Demonstrated track record of scientific software development. 


Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience with neutron and/or X-ray powder diffraction and Rietveld analysis. 

  • Experience with neutron transmission measurements (both single- and poly-crystal). 

  • Previous beamline support experience in a neutron or synchrotron x-ray user facility. 

  • Experience in developing software or scripts related to powder diffraction data reduction and/or analysis. 

  • Experience in developing software or scripts related to neutron transmission measurements. 

  • Proficiency with modern programming environments, such as Python. 

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. 

  • 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.  


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


Special Requirements:  

Please provide a complete list of publications when applying for this position.  


Letters of Recommendation: If selected for interview, you may be required to submit a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation. 




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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