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R&D Associate, Advanced Nuclear Fuel Characterization and Development

Date: Dec 30, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830-8050

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6965 



Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Particle Fuel Forms Group in the Nuclear Fuel Development Section within the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division is seeking a dynamic individual to join their research team to support and drive new research and development activities associated with fuel fabrication, fuel characterization, and/or post-irradiation examination (PIE). This individual is expected to support projects and industry engagement through experimental efforts and task management. The individual will support established and growing research in the areas of advanced reactor fuel development (e.g. tristructural isotropic (TRISO) fuel development for high temperature gas-cooled reactor and fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactor applications), space nuclear propulsion, and other nuclear fuel forms and nuclear materials. The individual will be expected to execute complex research tasks to support programmatic milestones and deliverables. Areas of immediate support will include as-fabricated fuel characterization, integrated fuel form fabrication, and support for established PIE. A primary role of this position will be exploration and demonstration of advanced characterization methods focused on modern non-destructive capabilities and use of international user facilities to advance understanding of material behavior and evolution under irradiation. The selected individual will be encouraged to leverage ORNL’s unique resources (e.g. High Flux Isotope Reactor and the Spallation Neutron Source) to meet this goal. Scientific output as well as national and international visibility will be an emphasis throughout these activities.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 


  • Execute activities in radiological materials laboratories dedicated for nuclear fuel fabrication and characterization according to specific rules and requirements for quality assurance, nuclear material control, radiological work, and general laboratory safety
  • Work with team members in the areas of modeling, fabrication, property measurements, irradiation design, separate effects testing, post irradiation examination, and other relevant areas to advance science-based understanding of nuclear fuels and actinide materials
  • Produce high impact publications and conference presentations in the field of nuclear fuel materials
  • Lead demonstration and evaluation of ORNL and other DOE/international beamlines for characterization of nuclear fuel materials
  • Interact with program management to develop, plan, and execute strategic objectives
  • Supervise and mentor students, postdoctoral fellows, early career staff, and technicians
  • Lead completion of programmatic milestone reports and summary presentations to interface with sponsoring organizations


Basic Qualifications:


  • PhD in chemistry, materials science, nuclear engineering, or a related field
  • Background in nuclear materials science with a focus on nuclear fuel materials as evidenced by prior work and publications



Preferred Qualifications:


  • Knowledge of present Office of Nuclear Energy programs and priorities
  • Experience with ceramic nuclear fuel synthesis, processing, and characterization
  • Physical property measurements and materials characterization of nuclear fuel materials
  • Demonstrated collaborative interactions with international beamline facilities
  • Strong written and oral communications skills
  • Ability to produce high impact publications and conference presentations in the field of nuclear materials
  • Capacity to effectively supervise and mentor students, postdocs, and other technical staff




Special Requirements


This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.


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.