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Senior Neutron Instrument Development Scientist

Date: Jun 5, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4593 


The Neutron Instrument Development and Neutronics Group within the Neutron Technologies Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is looking for a Senior Neutron Instrument Development Scientist.  The mission of this group is to develop designs for new instruments at HFIR and SNS, concepts for new sources and moderators, and to provide radiation transport calculations.


The High Flux Isotope Reactor has a science mission in neutron scattering, isotope production, materials irradiation, and other areas.  ORNL is planning substantial upgrades of the facility to ensure its reliable operation into the next century.  These upgrades include the construction of a second (thermal) guide hall, a new core reflector assembly, upgraded beam tubes, and a new suite of modern scattering instruments (thermal and cold). 


The facility upgrades will serve HFIR’s different science missions equally.  You will join a project team that represents all science stakeholders and several directorates at ORNL.  As a senior instrument development scientist, you will overlook planning and design efforts for a new suite of thermal and cold scattering instruments at HFIR, and you will integrate these activities with the project.  To be successful in this role, you need to have strategic vision, organizational talent, leadership qualities, and you need to combine the understanding of neutron scattering science with expert knowledge of the technical capabilities and limitations of the various instrument classes.


Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Lead efforts to develop new instrument concepts for HFIR (thermal and cold).
  • Develop new concepts for improved neutron optical coupling between the source (thermal or cold) and the beam transport system.
  • Integrate neutron science design and engineering design of new instruments, develop floor plans for new instrument suites.
  • Coordinate with instrument scientists in the Neutron Scattering Division and at the SNS Second Target Station.
  • Coordinate design work with stakeholders in other science areas.
  • Benchmark and validate software tools used in the performance simulation of neutron instruments and sources.
  • Publish results in scientific journals, conference proceedings and ORNL technical reports as appropriate.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of laboratory values and ethics.
  • Ensure and monitor compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.  Promptly identify ESH and QA issues and communicate them to project and division management, ESH and QA contacts, and/or subcontractor contacts as appropriate.
  • 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:

  • Ph.D. in physics, materials science or related technical field.
  • Experience with Monte Carlo/ray-tracing methods for neutron transport and neutron scattering conceptual instrument design.
  • Demonstrated success in working with a multi-disciplinary team in a dynamic research environment.
  • A proven publication track record.
  • Familiarity with techniques relevant for reactor instruments: focusing monochromators and polarization optics.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Position reports to the Instrument Development and Neutronics Group Leader.
  • Works with interdisciplinary teams of scientists, engineers and designers.


Other Requirements:

Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position. 


About Neutron Sciences Directorate:

The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States’ highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source.  Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists.  HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation.  To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to


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.



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.


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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.

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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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