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Senior Theoretical & Computational Plasma Physicist

Date: Sep 24, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6126 


The Fusion Energy Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks applications for an R&D Senior Staff Member in Theoretical & Computational Plasma Physics. ORNL’s Plasma Theory and Modeling Group carries out research in nearly all areas of magnetic fusion energy development and related technology development. The program is a strong and vital component of both the U.S. fusion program and the international fusion community. The successful candidate will work with a multidisciplinary team of theoretical, computational, and experimental physicists in one or more of the following disciplines: edge transport and turbulence, magnetohydrodynamics (including control and mitigation of transients), or integrated modeling, with applications to a range of devices, including the DIII-D (San Diego, CA) and NSTX-U (Princeton, NJ) tokamaks, as well as contributing to preconceptual design activities for a fusion pilot plant. The work assignment will be located at ORNL in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.


Job Duties and Responsibilities: The successful candidate will be involved in both developing new and applying existing models and simulation tools to understand one or more of the following topics:

  • Edge plasma dynamics, with a focus on understanding the interaction between the pedestal, the boundary plasma, plasma-facing components and core performance.
  • Magnetohydrodynamics, with a focus on and transient prediction and mitigation, engagement with the ORNL fueling and transient mitigation technology group to better prepare for ITER, and possible engagement with private fusion ventures.
  • Integrated modeling, with a focus on contributing to the suite of predictive tools to be used in preconceptual design of a fusion pilot plant.

The selected candidate will be responsible for interaction with division staff and the external collaborators that work with the ORNL research group. The candidate will be expected to work independently, collaborate with experimentalists, fully document work in technical reports and publications, effectively interface with project sponsors, and lead the identification and development of research proposals.


Basic Qualifications:

  • The successful candidate must have completed a Ph.D. in Plasma Physics or a closely related field.
  • The applicant is expected to have more than 10 years of experience in the physics of toroidal confinement devices and computational physics.
  • It is required for candidates to have experience in the development and application of complex scientific codes for fusion devices.
  • Excellent verbal, presentation, and writing skills are required to enable effective interaction and communication with technical peers, program managers, collaborators, and sponsors. This should be evidenced by a proven publication record.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in both analytical theory and computational physics is desirable, as are examples of successful collaboration with experimentalists.


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.
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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.

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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