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Research and Development Assistant-NDA Systems Developer

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Date: Nov 29, 2018

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 145 

The Safeguards and Security Technology (SST) Group, within the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division (NND), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, seeks to staff a research position focused on development and application of nondestructive assay (NDA) and data acquisition systems to support R&D missions associated with safeguarding and securing nuclear fuel cycle materials.


The NND at ORNL is involved with improving the protection of nuclear materials and fuel cycle technology from theft, diversion, and illicit use, while at the same time allowing for the peaceful use of these materials and technologies. NND contributes world class research; technology development and deployment that plays a vital role in the implementation of global nuclear security and nonproliferation agreements. We have a range of expertise, facilities, and programs that focus on nuclear security challenges, and it is the combination of these activities that assist in meeting the overall mission needs in this area.


The mission of SST Group is to perform research that leads to development of novel techniques, tools, and methodologies that ensures the capability to confidently detect, measure, characterize, and track nuclear fuel cycle materials as they are processed, stored, and transported. The research of the group specifically supports the advancement and application of technologies for nondestructive assay (NDA) systems, algorithms for measurement uncertainty reduction, measurements and controls software, tamper detection systems, data analytics for arms control, and international and domestic safeguards.  Many of the group’s R&D efforts involve the advancement of state-of-the-art safeguards and security systems, the development of new technologies and systems that improve the timeliness of diversion detection, and assessments of verification technologies for vulnerabilities. Partnering with a variety of subject matter experts at the laboratory, our researchers apply innovative solutions to address complex nuclear material measurement problems both domestically and abroad in support of nuclear material safeguards, security, and safety.


Main job responsibilities for the position include:


  • Collaborate with project managers, subject matter experts, and other researchers (mentors) to develop and apply new nuclear material detection and measurement capabilities to support global nuclear security missions.
  • Research and test novel data analysis processes and specialized algorithms that improve measurement efficiency and reduce uncertainties.
  • Provide subject matter expertise for domestic and international technical engagements and hands-on course and classroom training.
  • Serve as technical lead on projects as assigned, working with customers to meet deliverables and address and resolve technology or system issues.
  • Document and publish technical work in high impact papers, journals, conference papers and technical reports.
  • Collaborate in a team environment to develop and present research proposals to generate new funding.
  • Ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, and to work effectively as a member of an agile development team.
  • Performance of work activities in nuclear and/or radiological facilities/environments.
  • Ability to engage in domestic and international travel as required.


Basic Requirements

  • Successful candidate will have a Ph.D in nuclear engineering, electrical engineering, or related technical field,. Candidate will also have experience with code development and/or familiarity with various computer languages including C, C++, and/or Fortran. Excellent verbal and written communication skills and strong organization skills are expected.



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


Preferred Qualifications


  • Demonstrated understanding of NDA systems, both theoretical and applied.
  • Practical/working experience with common NDA equipment (hardware or software components) used in the detection of uranium and plutonium, data acquisition systems, or algorithm development.
  • Demonstrated ability to convert user requirements to effective algorithms and code.
  • Working knowledge of measurement statistics.
  • Wireless data transmission experience.
  • Familiarity with domestic and international methods used for monitoring fuel cycle activities (associated with mining, milling, conversion, enrichment, fuel fabrication, weapons and waste)
  • Experience communicating technical content
  • Experience with tamper-indicating devices and vulnerability assessments


Benefits at ORNL:  UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.   


Relocation:  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


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