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PLC Controls Engineer - Entry Level

Date: May 11, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8242 


We are seeking an entry level PLC Controls Engineer who will focus on developing, implementing, and maintaining PLC base control system. This position resides in the Conventional Facilities (CF) and Vacuum Controls Group in the Control System Section, Research Accelerator Division, Neutron Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our Controls Group you will have the opportunity to design, develop, install, and integrate PLC base control systems on various systems of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) Accelerator. The primary focus will be on conventional facility processes that include tower water, chillers, instrument air, HVAC, and many other processes control systems. The group also supports high vacuum PLC controls on the accelerator and neutron instruments.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Generate control requirements, design PLC hardware and software, implementation of the control solution for various subsystem that control and monitor the SNS Accelerator, instruments, and CF systems
  • Provide operational support for the SNS Accelerator Control System including some off-hours and weekend work as required to support the 24/7 operational needs to maintain high reliability
  • Troubleshoot and maintain control systems and develop solution to address obsolescent issue with aging controls hardware
  • Work in accordance with ORNL, NScD, SNS and Control Systems Group procedures and programs including EHS&Q
  • Work involves various physical requirements and working conditions (examples are lifting of less than 50lb, climbing ladders, stairwells, etc.)  


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in electrical, electro-mechanical, industrial, controls engineering or related field
  • An Associate’s Degree with at least 2 years of relevant experience may be considered
  • Experience or coursework in designing PLC base control system


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience developing industrial control systems using Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) in a research or industrial environment
  • Experience troubleshooting industrial control systems and field instrumentation using test equipment
  • Experience implementing controls solutions using Rockwell Allen-Bradley programmable logic controllers, programing HMIs with Rockwell Factory Talk View, and using ControlNet, DeviceNet, Ethernet, and BACnet communication protocols
  • Employee may be required to work near radiation, cryogenic and electrically controlled areas and could involve climbing ladders and the use of fall protection; therefore, the candidate must be able to acquire and maintain appropriate training and qualifications to work in these areas and follow all safety instructions
  • 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:


Physical Requirements:

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


Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.



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