Rotor Dynamics Engineer

Date: May 24, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11998 


The Centrifuge Science (CS)  Section within the Enrichment Science and Engineering Division (ESED) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking a Rotor Dynamics Engineer for the Mechanical Systems Modeling Group (MSM). They will perform rotor dynamic analysis of proposed gas centrifuge rotor and suspension designs and will also perform and provide analysis and interpretation of dynamic test data.



ESED serves the nation in two critical areas: advancing enrichment technologies and exploring enriched stable isotope production and applications. The division leverages an elite staff of scientists and engineers with the world-leading capabilities of ORNL to deliver groundbreaking advancements with a variety of applications, from national security to life-saving medical treatments.

ESED is the national steward for the research, development, and demonstration of centrifuge technology. The successful candidate will provide research and development (R&D) leadership to the group that strategically advances science and technology focused on gas testing of prototype enrichment devices for processing uranium-bearing and stable isotope compounds. 

The Mechanical Systems Modeling Group applies first principles and empirical approaches to advance the physics and engineering understanding of gas centrifuges using analytical methods and computational tools such as finite element analysis (FEA). The Rotor Dynamics Engineer will perform research and development (R&D) in rotor dynamics, bearings, and suspension systems (including squeeze film dampers) of gas centrifuges for processing uranium-bearing and stable isotope compounds.


Major Duties and Responsibilities

Major duties will include developing and executing research tasks focused on characterizing the dynamic performance of enrichment devices and their subassemblies. This position will involve developing complex dynamic simulations of these devices. These activities will include using rotor analysis and design codes to predict rotor and suspension dynamic performance as part of either the rotor/suspension design or the test measurement evaluation process. This work may also include the modification of existing or the development of new dynamic models to extend analysis capabilities. The successful candidate will be heavily involved with developing and coordinating tests to validate these simulations. Finally, the candidate will be responsible for understanding and contributing to detailed formal designs, test plans, test data analytics, and fabrication plans in coordination with stakeholder personnel. Additional duties include the following:


  • Independently perform complex rotor dynamic analysis.
  • Participate in developing R&D activities in rotor dynamics for the group, section, and directorate.
  • Interact with team members to execute and report on relevant project elements.
  • Actively collaborate with domain experts from US government laboratories and academia involved in similar efforts.
  • Publish high-quality research results in peer-reviewed open or classified journals and conferences, if authorized by the sponsoring agency.


Basic Qualifications:

  • B.S. with 5 years or a M.S. degree with 3 years of relevant experience with a mechanical engineering, engineering science and mechanics, or a closely related engineering or science discipline.
  • Applied and modeling experience in the areas of rotor dynamics, rotor stability, bearings (hydrodynamic and rolling element), squeeze film dampers, dynamic testing, signal processing, and data analysis.  


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong computational skills with modeling and simulation experience with rotor dynamic analysis codes.
  • A record of technical publications.
  • Experience with modeling rotating equipment.
  • Applied experience in the areas of rotor dynamics; bearing selection and modeling; rotor balancing; and dynamic testing, including designing and performing measurements and analyzing test results.
  • Excellent communication (verbal and written), strategic planning, organization, and decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrated prior research and development leadership experience.

Special Requirements:

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q clearance from the US Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a preplacement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


About the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED):
Established in 2020, ISED is strengthening ORNL’s leadership in isotope production and enrichment technology innovation. ISED is guiding the laboratory’s pursuit of the fundamental science and technology that broadens the application of isotopes for energy, environmental, medical, and national security purposes. These efforts are made possible through the High Flux Isotope Reactor, the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center, ORNL’s other nuclear facilities, and an assemblage of world-leading scientists and engineers. Please visit for more information about ISED.

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, and fitness facilities.

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