Share this Job

Non-Destructive Assay (NDA) Systems Engineer

Apply now »

Date: Dec 11, 2018

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 208 

Description of job

The Safeguards and Security Technology (SST) Group, within the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division (NND), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, seeks to hire a Non-Destructive Assay (NDA) Systems Engineer to support research and development missions associated with safeguarding and securing nuclear fuel cycle materials.  

The NND at ORNL is involved with improving the protection of nuclear materials and fuel cycle technology from theft, diversion, and illicit use, while at the same time allowing for the peaceful use of these materials and technologies.  NND contributes world class research; technology development and deployment that plays a vital role in the implementation of global nuclear security and nonproliferation agreements.  We have a range of expertise, facilities, and programs that focus on nuclear security challenges, and it is the combination of these activities that assist in meeting the overall mission needs in this area.  

The mission of SST Group is the development of new technologies, techniques and methods that improve the global capability to detect, measure, characterize, and track fuel cycle materials as they are processed, stored, and transported.  The group specifically supports the advancement of technologies in NDA systems, measurements and controls software, tamper detection, and data analytics for arms control, international safeguards, and domestic safeguards and nuclear criticality safety.  Many of the group’s R&D efforts involve the advancement of state-of-the-art safeguards and security systems, the development of new technologies and systems that improve the timeliness of diversion detection, and assessments of verification technologies for vulnerabilities.  

Partnering with subject matter experts at the laboratory, our researchers develop advanced technology and applications needed to solve complex nuclear material measurement problems, both domestically and abroad, in support of nuclear material safeguards and security, as well as safety.  Software and hardware solutions include the development of advanced radiation detectors, next-generation electronics and data collection systems, and innovative analytical tools and platforms.  Main job responsibilities for the position include: 

  • Collaborating with project managers, principal investigators, subject matter experts, and other researchers (mentors) to develop new nuclear material detection and measurement capabilities to support global nuclear security missions, including technology, techniques and methods.
  • Support development of advanced data analysis routines and specialized algorithms to identify, locate characterize and quantify nuclear materials.
  • Provide focused technical support on neutron NDA for safeguards applications.
  • Developing, testing, documenting, and managing analysis routines for new and existing software algorithms and software upgrades.
  • Support safeguards and security-related professional development courses held at ORNL.
  • Support technical projects as assigned, working with customers to meet agreed deliverables and address and resolve technology or system issues.
  • Contribute to technical publications and presentations within the global technical safeguards and non-proliferation community.
  • Regularly co-author responses to proposal calls and assist in the review of proposals.
  • Perform work activities in nuclear and/or radiological facilities/environments.
  • Some domestic and international travel may be required.


Basic Requirements:


The successful candidate will have a M.Sc. degree in nuclear engineering or related technical field and at least five years of relevant experience.  The candidate will also have practical experience with neutron-based NDA Systems including the Active Well Coincidence Counter and the Neutron Coincidence Collar.  Familiarity with neutron coincidence counting using INCC and experience with list-mode analysis is required.  Excellent written and verbal communications are needed.


Preferred Qualifications:

Demonstrate an understanding of NDA systems, both theoretical and applied.  Ability to convert user requirements to effective algorithms and numerical implementation.  The ability to work effectively, both independently and as a member of an agile development team is expected.  Willingness to learn a variety of skills across the broad activities of the SST Group.

  • Experience with alternative neutron detectors
  • Practical/working experience with common NDA equipment (hardware or software components) used in the detection of uranium and plutonium, data acquisition systems, or algorithm development.
  • Familiarity with domestic and international methods used for monitoring fuel cycle activities (associated with mining, milling, conversion, enrichment, fuel fabrication, weapons and waste).
  • Experience teaching technical content including laboratories and exercises is desirable.
  • Familiarity with neutron imaging techniques


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.


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