Nuclear Incident Modeling R&D Associate

Date: Apr 23, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12740 


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation. The Incident Modeling and Comutational Sciences (IMCS) Group within ORNL’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Division (NND) 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.The 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 NND performs R&D 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.


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.
  • Conduct modeling and simulation of: forward and inverse modelling of irradiation/decay processes, material formation and evolution, or atmospheric fate and transport.
  • Engage programmatically and technically across the division, directorate, and laboratory to help sustain and grow ORNL impact on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security missions.
  • Document work performed in technical reports, papers, and presentations. Contribute 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.


All team members 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 fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


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.
  • Experience with general approaches to solving inverse problems, e.g., parameter estimation, optimization, and applied statistics.
  • Experience developing computer codes.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • 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 one’s research.
  • 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.



Special Requirements:

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


Q 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.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented 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, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.

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