Nuclear Incident Modeling R&D Associate

Date: Sep 3, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10589 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Division (NND) is a division operating within the National Security Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The NND performs research and development to detect, characterize, and monitor nuclear fuel cycle activities and nuclear explosions; develops concepts, approaches, and technologies to strengthen global security for nuclear and radiological material; and engages with federal agencies to enhance international nonproliferation regimes.


Within the NND, the Incident Modeling and Computational Sciences (IMCS) group focuses on modeling, analytics, and software development for nuclear incidents, such as nuclear weapon fallout prediction for support of forensics and consequence management or facility accident modeling in support of response planning. The IMCS group seeks applicants for a research associate position with a background in post-detonation debris modeling and research, or in facility accident and material release research, or with expertise in atmospheric dispersion processes, with relation to the transport and deposition of nuclear debris over local and global domains.


We are seeking a Nuclear Incident Modeling R&D Associate who will support the Incident Modeling and Computational Sciences Group in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division, National Security Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • This position will contribute to basic research and code development for nuclear weapons effects or facility accident effects for forensics, consequence management, or health physics applications.
  • The successful candidate will be proficient in modeling and simulation of: forward and inverse modelling of irradiation/decay processes, material formation and evolution, or atmospheric fate and transport.
  • The successful candidate will be expected to engage programmatically and technically across the division, directorate, and laboratory to help sustain and grow ORNL impact on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security missions.
  • The candidate is expected to work well both in a team environment and independently and to fully document work performed in technical reports, papers, and presentations. The candidate will be responsible for contributing to and expanding DFR’s capabilities and scientific impact through proposals and other program development.
  • Support senior staff in the development and execution of projects that provide valued and timely deliverables supporting the National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) and nonproliferation customers.
  • Ensure compliance with environmental, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of institution values and ethics.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering, Physics, or related field
  • Experience with modeling and/or analysis of the physics, chemistry, or fate and transport of either nuclear fireball or facility accident material release.
  • General approaches to solving inverse problems, e.g., parameter estimation, optimization, and applied statistics.
  • Demonstrated proficiency developing computer codes.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills, a willingness to apply those skills to a variety of problems, and the ability to determine and understand the broader context of his or her research.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Successful post-doctorate experience in post-detonation nuclear effects or related research.
  • Experience with atmospheric transport codes such as HYSPLIT, SCIPUFF, or FLEXPART.
  • Experience with building modelling in CAD-like software.
  • Experience developing software in a production or similarly structured environment.
  • Familiarity with continuous integration / continuous development (CI/CD) code development practices.
  • Demonstrated history of communicating research and development results through peer-reviewed journal articles, conference publications, and technical manuals.

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Special Requirements:

Q or L clearance: 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.

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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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville