Senior Risk Modeling Development Engineer

Date: May 20, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10426 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


The Risk Methods and Analysis (RMA) Group within the Advanced Reactor Engineering and Development Section of the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division seeks applicants for a Senior Research and Development Staff position. The RMA Group is developing new risk, safety, security, economic, and other integrated models to support energy transition efforts and global decarbonization through the deployment of advanced nuclear energy systems.


As a member of the RMA Group, you will contribute to one or more projects related to:

  • Characterization of the both the safety (radiological) risk and benefits (carbon reduction, economic, etc.) of novel nuclear energy systems, including microreactors
  • Development of dynamic and other probabilistic risk analysis (PRA) models
  • Development of new methods and tools for the evaluation of nuclear safety, security, and/or safegaurds
  • Development of new methods, including the use of machine learning, for nuclear design optimization
  • Support the development of nuclear regulatory guidance for advanced fission and fusion systems
  • Support the ideation and development of proposals in new areas of research related to risk, safety, security, design, and nuclear energy


Work in these areas supports the research programs of the US Department of Energy, partnerships with other federal programs, industry collaborations, and operations at ORNL’s major research facilities, such as the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor.


Our team members have the opportunity to work collaboratively with diverse subject matter experts from across the laboratory to solve challenging and important problems related to the development, construction, and operation of nuclear energy technologies, other carbon-free energy technologies, and ORNL scientific facilities.


RMA staff members are expected to perform work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules.  Further, all staff members are expected to support a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Support Principal Investigators with the development, design, and analysis of high-impact risk and nuclear safety related research.
  • Thoroughly document work performed to meet sponsor and mission needs, including preparation of peer-reviewed papers for publications in journals and conference proceedings.
  • Collaborate across ORNL to develop new programs, write proposals, and pursue new funding opportunities.
  • Exercise the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  • Lead ESH&Q by example, maintain a questioning attitude, and ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.


Basic Qualifications:

  • MS or PhD in nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, engineering physics, mathematics, or closely related field with twelve (12) or more years of relevant experience (for MS degree holders), or six (6) or more years of relevant experience (for PhD degree holders) in the areas of nuclear engineering, PRA, design, safety analysis, thermal hydraulics, or licensing


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to contribute with and lead cross diciplinary teams related to nuclear safety analysis, nuclear security, and safeguards
  • Experience working with or developing PRA and/or dynamic PRA models for nuclear energy systems
  • Experience with nuclear codes and standards and their development organizations such as ANS, ASME, ASTM, IEEE, etc.
  • Familiarity with a wide range of demonstrated and proposed nuclear reactor technologies solutions including thermal and fast spectrum systems
  • Proficiency in risk and reliability analysis tools such as CAFTA, RISKMAN, SAPHIRE, Crystal Ball, etc.
  • Experience working with nuclear safety analysis software such as MCNP, RELAP, MELCOR, GOTHIC, TRACE, SCALE, MAAP, etc.
  • Experience with Python, C#, Matlab, R, or other scientific programming language


About Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate:

The Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate (FFESD) addresses compelling challenges in fusion and fission energy systems, enabling Oak Ridge National Laboratory to pursue national priorities in current and advanced nuclear research, development, and deployment.


FFESD traces its roots to the X-10 Graphite Reactor, the world’s first continuously operated nuclear reactor, and to early innovations in fusion research and engineering. The directorate’s unique facilities, capabilities, and talented scientists and engineers are currently tackling such challenges as extended operations of the current US nuclear reactor fleet; investigating economical and flexible advanced reactor systems; and making fusion energy a viable power source. The directorate leverages synergies between fusion and fission across domestic and international programs.


FFESD leads US ITER, which has the responsibility of designing, fabricating, and delivering hardware for the international ITER fusion project. The directorate also leads the Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX), a future world-leading capability that will produce the extreme plasma environments to test materials for use in fusion energy devices. To learn more about FFESD at ORNL go to


Special Requirements:

Export control, no clearance:  This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.


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.

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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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