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Postdoctoral Research Associate- Nonproliferation Nuclear Chemical Engineer

Date: Jan 17, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9725 


The Nuclear Nonproliferation Division (NND) is a division operating within the National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) 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.


The Material Security and Counterproliferation (MSC) group within the NND at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks applications for a postdoctoral Nuclear Chemical Engineer. Familiarity with the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear materials processing, nuclear materials handling, and nuclear materials characterization are essential skills for this position. Basic competence in core nuclear engineering concepts (microscopic and macroscopic nuclear cross sections, criticality safety, bare and reflected critical masses and how to calculate them, fuel depletion, dose rate calculations, etc.) is highly desirable.


ORNL is one of the pre-eminent multidisciplinary research facilities in the Nation, located about 40 miles northwest of Knoxville, TN. ORNL is a U.S. DOE laboratory and is managed by UT-Battelle, LLC. ORNL is an equal opportunity employer, and we value diversity in our workforce.


Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform fuel-cycle experimental testing to support development of advanced reprocessing and recycling technologies
  • Perform companion analysis, modeling, and simulation to support interpretation and understanding of the experimental data collected
  • Develop model(s) to portray and predict behavior for conditions that cannot readily be tested experimentally
  • Present and report research results and consistent with sponsor requirements publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner.
  • Support and contribute to ongoing applied research in nuclear operations and materials.
  • Possess experience in both nuclear theory and operations.
  • Possess the capability to analyze, develop and implement processes related to the nuclear operations.
  • Possess the ability to provide innovative solutions to identified problems/issues. 
  • Be able to function in a well-established, fast-paced research environment.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Qualifications Required: 

  • Ph.D. in Physics, Nuclear Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years.
  • Must be familiar with general equipment to support nuclear materials and operations.
  • Be capable of setting priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines.
  • Must be able to adapt to ever changing needs.
  • Willingness to work with radioactive materials


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with relevant code packages (i.e., MCNP, Scale, SEPHIS, AnyLogic, Aspen, NJOY, etc.)
  • Be a self-starter with the ability to work independently and/or participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Have excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to consolidate and write concise reports for applicable sponsors.
  • Have effective interpersonal skills.
  • Be capable of setting priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines and adapt to ever changing needs.
  • Desire to work in a nuclear security environment


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


Special Requirements:

Q clearance: This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Q 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.


Applicant must be a US citizen. 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