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R&D Associate Staff Member, Ceramic Nuclear Fuel Material Processing

Date: May 10, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8003 


We are seeking a R&D Associate Staff Member who will focus on processing of ceramic materials that are relevant to nuclear fuel applications.  This position resides in the Advanced Fuel Fabrication and Instrumentation in the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division, Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


The AFFI Group is particularly interested in chemical vapor infiltration (CVI) of porous silicon carbide (SiC) materials fabricated using various additive manufacturing techniques for the development of fully ceramic microencapsulated nuclear fuel designs. As part of our research team, you will establish a fundamental understanding of CVI process variables and how they affect material densification, macroscopic properties, and irradiation performance of composite nuclear fuels containing CVI SiC. Metrics for success will include scientific output, disseminating results at national and international conferences and other technical meetings, and delivering on programmatic milestones.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Lead experimental CVI work, including parametric studies to optimize processing parameters for various material systems and understanding processing-property relationships.
  • Produce experimental test specimens for neutron irradiation testing or other evaluations, including working with radiological materials in compliance with environmental, safety, health, quality assurance, and nuclear material accountability and control requirements.
  • Explore new methods for improving fuel fabrication capabilities and expanding to new materials and applications within the nuclear fuels community.
  • Interface with other staff working in related areas including additive manufacturing of materials relevant to nuclear fuels, chemical vapor deposition and gas phase coatings, tristructural isotropic fuel development, and characterization of these constituent materials before and after neutron irradiation.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD degree in materials science, nuclear, mechanical, or chemical engineering, or a related discipline


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Background in CVI, chemical vapor deposition, or other ceramic material processing techniques.
  • Experience with SiC materials, preferably for nuclear fuel applications.
  • Familiarity with additive manufacturing processes for ceramic materials.
  • 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


Special Requirements [Remove section(s) based on position need]


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


Export control, no clearance:  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 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