Research Software Engineer - Neutron Sciences

Date: Nov 17, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11894 




We invite applications for the position of Research Software Engineer who will focus on designing, developing and deploying data reduction and data analysis software for the neutron science community at ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). This position resides in the Software Engineering Group within the Computer Science and Mathematics Division.


Our group focuses on engineering the next generation of high-quality scientific software. We innovate and encourage the next generation of cutting-edge scientific software, thus enabling Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to host the world’s best-in-class scientific software engineering group and transform science with software-defined solutions that are reliable, usable, and trustworthy.


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science 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.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Partner with scientific and technical staff in both CSMD and the Neutron Scattering Division to evaluate and optimize the software development practices of the group, and ensure success of the project.

  • Participate in the planning and major development efforts on scientific software projects for neutron techniques in the areas of diffraction, engineering diffraction, imaging, reflectometry, small-angle scattering, and spectroscopy.

  • Collaborate on proposals related to the neutron sciences, and on proposals in computing that support better software and infrastructure for the neutron sciences.

  • Coordinate, lead, and act as a representative of the Laboratory in international collaborations related to scattering software.

  • Work closely with partners to meet their software requirements, address bugs, and achieve their scientific goals.

  • Act as a mentor for project members, junior staff, post-graduates, and students to help them grow.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A minimum of a BS degree in computer science or physics and 3+ years of software engineering experience outside of degree.

  • Experience progamming in Python.

  • Experience with version control, containers, and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD).


Preferred Qualifications:

  • MS or PhD preferred.

  • 5+ years of experience in addition to the degree.

  • Experience programming in C++.

  • Experience developing software at a neutron user facility, synchrotron light source or other large-scale experimental physics project or user facility is preferred.

  • Experience with PyQT or PySide.

  • Experience with modern software practices such as test-driven development, Agile software development practices and a firm, proven knowledge of software development lifecycles.

  • The ability to work on a team in a dynamic group environment as the team meets daily, practices continuous integration, collaborates on the source code and has regular deadlines as part of an Agile-based development process.

  • Activity within the broader open-source software community.


Code Sample:

An open-source code sample or coding exercise used for evaluation purposes will be required later in the application process. Your code sample should be related in some way to the subject of this post. It should be object-oriented, contain five or more classes, show a sophisticated understanding of the project and be your sole work to a very high degree (>95%). Code samples will need to be made available on GitHub or a similar sharing platform.


Special Requirements:

Please submit three reference names with contact information when applying to this position. You may upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via

  • View Profile

  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


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.


In addition, we offer a flexible work environment that supports both the organization and the employee. A hybrid/onsite working arrangement may be available with this position; however the position will require this individual to be located in the Knoxville/Oak Ridge, TN area. This position is not 100% remote eligible.


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