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STS Electronics Engineer

Date: Nov 22, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9571 


The Second Target Station (STS) is a $2 Billion, Department of Energy project to be constructed at the ORNL Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). The STS will provide wholly new capabilities for the study of a broad range of materials with neutron scattering and support thousands of users from the physical, materials, and applied sciences and industry. The science capabilities provided by the instrument suite at the STS will complement those of the two existing DOE Office of Science neutron scattering user facilities at ORNL, the First Target Station (FTS) of the SNS and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). The STS will deliver the highest peak brightness of cold neutrons in the world, which together with advances in neutron optics, instrumentation, and detectors, will ensure US leadership in neutron scattering for decades to come.



Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking an Electronics Engineer for the Second Target Station (STS) project for Data Acquisition and Control Systems. This is an opportunity to join the project at an early stage and help define system architecture, standards, and technical approaches.


STS Integrated Control Systems (ICS) provides the controls systems, data acquisition, computing infrastructure, and personnel protection systems for the neutron scattering instruments, accelerator, target, and conventional facilities. The ICS scope includes the design, development, installation, and testing of software and hardware, and the integration of technical systems. The group includes expertise in software, process controls, process safety, instrumentation, digital design, electronics, and computing. The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems for the STS are based on the open-source Experimental Physics and Industrial Control Systems (EPICS) software toolkit.


The STS Electronics Engineer designs and coordinates the implementation of custom and commercial electronics for data acquisition and control systems. The Electronics Engineer works closely with engineers and scientists to develop requirements, define technical interfaces, and create solutions to meet project requirements and future operational needs. The primary focus of the position will be the electronics for data acquisition for the neutron scattering and imaging instruments. This scope includes analog and digital electronics for collecting data from He-3, scintillating, and pixel (imaging) detectors, interfacing to the timing system, and transferring data to computer systems. The Electronics Engineer will also provide electronics expertise across Integrated Control Systems.


The position reports to the STS Integrated Control Systems Manager and interfaces closely with engineers and scientists from STS Instrument Systems and SNS Instrument Controls & Data Acquisition Groups. The ICS team is a diverse group who values collaboration and the ability to work together to solve technical challenges.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform full life cycle development of electronics, from custom circuit board designs to system integration.
  • Participate in Research and Development (R&D) for neutron scattering and neutron imaging detectors.
  • Provide technical expertise for electronics, noise mitigation, grounding, and signal integrity for control and data acquisition systems.
  • Implement FPGA designs for custom and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems.
  • Develop cost and schedule estimates for electronics system design, fabrication, and testing. Evaluate suitability of COTS solutions versus custom designs. 
  • Create documentation including requirements, specifications, interface documents, designs, installation plans, and test plans. Review and track design changes.
  • Work closely with engineers and scientists from Instruments Systems to translate system requirements into control system requirements.
  • Serve as the interface between Integrated Control Systems and the Instrument Systems detector team.
  • Working as part of a multi-discipline group, contribute towards control system architecture design and standards.
  • Collaborate with peers at the Spallation Neutron Source and other large experimental physics projects to leverage community developed solutions to benefit the project.
  • Participate in project reviews, including presenting to internal and external technical review committees.
  • Support the delivery of project milestones based on project work plans.
  • Ensure compliance with Environment, Safety and Health (ES&H) and QA requirements.
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct, and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:


Basic Qualifications:

  • BS degree in electrical engineering, physics, or related field and 8 or more years of relevant engineering experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Advanced degree in electrical engineering, physics, or related field is preferred.
  • Technical expertise with mixed-signal electronics and distributed systems.
  • Demonstrated experience developing multilayer circuit board designs.
  • Experience evaluating electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).
  • Experience with grounding schemes, signal integrity, and DC power distribution. 
  • Experience with digital communication protocols.
  • Familiarity with analog design including pre-amplifiers, digital-to-analog converters (DAC), and analog-to-digital converters (ADC).
  • Proven success in developing and delivering distributed electronics designs including defining requirements and developing documentation.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Technical experience building or commissioning data acquisition systems for high-energy physics, nuclear physics, neutron scattering, or x-ray scattering experiments, or similar experience at a large-scale science facility.
  • Experience with instrumentation for scientific data acquisition and radiation detection such as gaseous ionization detectors, scintillators, multichannel plate (MCP) detectors, silicon photomultipliers (SiPM), and imaging detectors.
  • Familiarity with interfacing to ASIC-based pixel detector readouts such as the Timepix or Medipix series.
  • Experience with FPGA development, preferably with VHDL using Xilinx tools.
  • Familiarity with DOE project management requirements.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with diverse teams of scientists, engineers, and technicians.


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.

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